Hitish Nathani Credit: Courtesy / Jon Garcia

There’s never an easy way to accept loss, especially when it’s the loss of someone you hold in such high esteem and for whom you have such gratitude.

Hitish Nathani was one of those people for whom I, and our entire Geekdom community, had an incredible amount of gratitude and appreciation. He was an influencer, a role model, a difference maker, a leader, and a friend. He was always thinking, always creating, always innovating, always connecting.

Hitish passed away on Friday night in his sleep, and when we all awoke to find out, we were in complete shock. I am, our community is, we all still are.

Hitish was a valued member of the Geekdom community. He made us all better. He was a member for almost two years – but his impact will last a lifetime. He was vibrant, authentic, and passionate, highly visible inside our community and in the entrepreneurial space outside the Rand Building and within academia locally.

Hitish was an executive leader, a scientific researcher, an innovator, a culinary creator, and a human design thinker, and was recognized this year by the San Antonio Business Journal as a prominent rising star on its 40 under 40 list. He was founder of Bombay Salsa Company, chief innovator at The Learning Company, and professor and manager of innovation and entrepreneurship at Alamo Colleges. Most importantly, he was also a loyal husband to his wife, Natasha, and a loving son to his parents.

An educator at heart, he believed in Geekdom as a learning community, where people could discover more about themselves and how they could improve. His impact is evident in so many ways with so many individuals, companies, and initiatives in and out of the walls of Geekdom. The strength of his impact has shown so strongly in the past days, with outpouring of love and testament to his character. Hitish was always there to help others with advice and encouragement in pushing people to be the best they could be. This is one of many reasons why Hitish is and was so loved and will truly be missed.

A memorial service was held Wednesday morning to celebrate his life.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to honor Hitish and support his family during this time.

In the days and weeks ahead, we will be feeling the void of Hitish. We will lean on each other and lift each other up – just as Hitish did for us with his energy and enthusiasm. Let’s be grateful to Hitish for being an influential part of our community, sharing his passion with others and challenging his students and our community to be better. Let’s give thanks that he was part of our lives, and let’s do what we can to continue his legacy in our hearts.

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David Garcia Jr.

David Garcia Jr. is CEO of Geekdom. He was born and raised in San Antonio and is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio.