What. Just. Happened.

Sarah Kennedy Ellis from Sabre Holdings Makes the Class of 35

Sarah manages Social Product Strategy, Development & Marketing at Sabre Holdings and is responsible for all of the social media product strategy within Sabre Travel Network including the product vision, development, launch and marketing of custom social tools and community products.

In her role at Sabre, Sarah is responsible for their Cubeless enterprise community platform as well as Sabre’s virtual travel agent community, AgentStream. She also leads a cross-functional team responsible for Sabre’s social media marketing efforts including ongoing support for the new Sabre Red total travel solution. 

As one of my recent posts from a couple of months ago highlights, I am of the opinion that top young leaders not only need, but crave the opportunity to learn & grow early-on in their careers by attending events like The PhoCusWright Conference where industry veterans gather each year.

Not 48 hours after I published that post, I received an email from the President of Sabre Holdings & the President of Sabre Travel Network with a humorous quip or two about my odd obsession with unicorns, followed by the most surprising gift I could have ever imagined receiving from an executive at such a young age… #1) Reading my blog… and #2) Acting on it by sponsoring my attendance at PhoCusWright. 

While they were busy making my year, it just so happened that the PhoCusWright team had also seen my blog and already had young employees who, over the last couple of years, had shared similar ideas to those I published in my post… I guess the timing was right as this seemed to be the tipping point that gave those young employees the green light to get PCW’s idea off the ground.

Within 5 weeks of my original post, the PhoCusWright team announced the new Young Leaders Summit exclusively for the top 35 young leaders in travel under the age of 35 and began accepting applications. 

Thus, my blog’s title. 

Before I could process it all, the Young Leaders Summit application was posted and members of the Class of 35 began to be accepted.

It’s rare to see positive action taken so fast in any industry, but PhoCusWright pulled it off and did so with ideas that went well beyond what my initial idea had considered. Above is an excerpt from the classof35.com blog, featuring the announcement of my acceptance into the Class of 35… I can’t wait for November!

I’m honored and thrilled to be a part of the new class this year, but I’m even more grateful for the incredible executive leadership under which I am lucky enough to give my time, passion and effort each and every day in my career.

Before this event unfolded, I would have told you that money, without a doubt, was the most influential ticket to loyalty from me with any employer. And it still ranks at a high, high place… just a close 2nd.

This gesture was meaningful beyond the obvious simply because I know how frequently our 9,000 employees clamor for the attention of these leaders every day, and for them to simply take the time to even read my blog amidst 500+ emails each day, much less go to the effort to sponsor my attendance at PhoCusWright… it’s something for which any mid-level employee would be extremely grateful.

I’m not sure I fully realize exactly how rare & special it is for a company of our size to have an executive team with a history of operating with integrity and proactively developing employees that is decades long… but I’m starting to.

Bottom line, I feel blessed.

I believe that beyond grace, talent and hard work, much of the success anyone experiences in a career is based on being in the right place at the right time and getting lucky when it counts.

I’m one lucky lady.

-SKE

One thought on “What. Just. Happened.

  1. Eddy Badrina says:

    Congrats Sarah! What a great honor. It looks like Sabre is really trying to recognize and reward its employees – sounds like a great place to work.

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