Location: San Francisco, Calif.
When Typhoon Hainan devastated the Philippines in Nov. 2013, people around the world watched the news with horror. But few were moved to respond like Jeff Stecyk, a sales engineering senior manager for SanDisk (No. 408) in San Francisco. “My mother is originally from Leyte in the Philippines, and seeing those images, those people felt like my family,” Stecyk says. He and his wife traveled to Tacloban, Leyte’s capital, less than a year after the typhoon to discover ruined infrastructure and makeshift graves dotting the landscape. Through a non-profit called Go Abroad, the Stecyks volunteered with Mission Tacloban, which found the perfect assignment for the couple: teaching elementary school students about technology. When Stecyk returned home two weeks later, he spoke with his bosses at SanDisk about donating laptops and other equipment to the Tacloban schools. SanDisk was quick to comply, contributing more than 25 refurbished machines. Stecyk, on his own, collected another 25 and flew back to the battered region. SanDisk continues to ship refurbished laptops to Tacloban. So far, Stecyk and his employer have provided 20 schools with computers.