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Monday, March 18 , 2019, 2:09 pm | Fair 67º

 
 
 
 
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The Working Life: Grace Burns

Her job as an events manager for Citrix Online suits her skills, personality and love of travel

As an events manager for Citrix Online, Grace Burns produces an array of events, including trade shows, corporate events and holiday parties. “I love my job because the diversity of events keeps it interesting and requires me to be creative,” she says.
As an events manager for Citrix Online, Grace Burns produces an array of events, including trade shows, corporate events and holiday parties. “I love my job because the diversity of events keeps it interesting and requires me to be creative,” she says.  (Jenn Kennedy photo / www.kennedypix.com)

Last month, Grace Burns was in Berlin, New York, Las Vegas and Austin, Texas, with quick stop-offs in her hometown — Santa Barbara. A striking ethnic mix of Filipino, Scottish, Chinese, Spanish and Italian, Burns says it’s in her fiber to explore. As it turns out, the Citrix Online events manager has built a career that feeds her need to both travel and organize.

Raised in the sleepy California town of Porterville, Burns moved to Santa Barbara to attend UCSB for a political science and international relations degree.

“I always knew I wanted to work for a global company,” she said. “I had early ideas about becoming a diplomat, which may still happen.”

Burns graduated during the 1990s Internet boom and took the lure of the rising technology sector. Initially, Burns worked for Hewlett-Packard in marketing and public relations, then she moved to Citrix Online as senior manager of events.

Citrix Online, formerly Expertcity, was aqcuired by Citrix Systems in 2003. Its headquartered in Goleta, with offices in San Francisco, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Australia, India and the United Kingdom. The company offers the portable desktop product GoToMyPC and the online meeting platform GoToMeeting.

Burns and a team of four people handle all North American events in person and work with internal cross teams to coordinate all other events. As a result, Burns travels about 50 percent of the time.

She produces an array of events, including trade shows, corporate events, sales meetings, staff training, product launches, executive meet-ups, symposiums and holiday parties. Each event has unique goals, focus and participants, so she has to frequently switch gears — and hats — to get the job done.

“I love my job because the diversity of events keeps it interesting and requires me to be creative,” Burns said.

While most people have attended events such as the ones Burns produces, few have been tasked with the numerous logistics involved. At the hub of these multipronged events, she interacts with executives, sales staff, engineers and vendors. A skilled multitasker, Burns must be organized, flexible and adaptable to solve any problems that arise.

“I’m part sociologist — attempting to get the desired result with millions of moving parts and various logistics,” she said. “I operate in chaotic order most days.”

Citrix Online was recently voted one of the best places to work for its corporate culture, leadership and work environment. Complete with a café, fitness center and basketball court, its headquarters rivals other known technology companies that provide employees a grown-up playground to blow off steam and build camaraderie.

“I get to work with smart, interesting people,” Burns said.

The company also supports corporate citizenship through sponsored philanthropic events such as bike building and annual time off for volunteering.

Despite the flagging economy, Citrix Online is booming, which keeps Burns busy. The company has plans to expand to Germany and France in the coming year and add to its staff of 800. Burns said she believes the Santa Barbara lifestyle also helps attract and retain good talent.

“I’ve had the luxury of hiring only the best because people want to work for an innovative company like Citrix Online and live in a such a gorgeous town,” she said.

Noozhawk contributor Jenn Kennedy can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here to see more of her work. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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