Galen Harry is the Marketing Events Team Lead – On-Site Events at Esri. We didn’t actually sit down for this interview, since Galen is usually running around campus delivering items for onsite meetings and checking on the status of conference rooms. Instead, we laced up our best cross training shoes and tried to keep up as he blanketed the Esri campus.
What is your background?
I graduated from THE University of Texas at Austin. I worked my way through school as a waiter and in retail and then spent twenty years in sales and marketing with Panasonic Consumer Electronics.
You sound like a proud Texan.
I am originally from Waco, Texas, but I’ve also resided in Austin, Houston and Dallas, Texas. Before moving here to Southern California I lived in Georgia, Illinois, and New Jersey.
How did you discover Esri?
I found out about Esri through a friend of a friend. I sent my resume to one of the Event supervisors and was asked to come in for an interview. The rest, as they say, is history.
How long have you been at Esri?
I started my tenth year here at Esri just last year, in November of 2014.
Why do you like maps?
Although I like maps, my job at Esri has more to do with event planning and execution.
Let’s talk about that. What exactly do you do?
My normal job, if there is such a thing, is to manage and coordinate the planning, execution and clean-up of all events that take place here at Esri headquarters in Redlands. I handle everything from simple meetings to full-on conferences and summits. There is one other person on the On-Site team that is instrumental in keeping everything running smoothly. We do everything from setting up rooms and spaces for meetings, conferences, summits, corporate and catering events on-site to planning and managing all the food and beverage events at the UC, excluding the Thursday night party. We also assist with community events including the Redlands Forums and the Annual Redlands Flower Show.
When do you start preparing for the UC?
Right after the previous one ends! I help manage all the food and beverage events so I am always either reporting on what just happened or preparing estimates, menus and logistics for the next year.
What do you like most about the UC?
I think my favorite part of the UC is the Map Gallery Reception. You can really see how GIS applications are changing our world. The maps are incredible and the special displays tell such great stories about how GIS is used throughout the world. You just can’t help but to be inspired.
Do you have a funny UC story to share?
Oh boy. My story, which wasn’t so funny at the time, was the first time I announced the Map Gallery Awards at the closing ceremony when the screen went totally black. I had to improvise for about 3 to 4 minutes. All of this happened in front of Jack, the Esri Directors and about 2,000 attendees. It’s funnier now. At the time however, I was sweating bullets! I must have done something right because I still get to announce the awards every year.
What is your insider tip for the UC?
My don’t miss tip for attendees is to be sure to visit the Esri Showcase and ask as many questions as you can. Our staff are the GIS experts and are always ready to help.