Dignitaries and distinguished dental professionals from all over the United States came together on Friday, July 26, 2019, to celebrate the grand opening of GC America’s new home at 3737 127th St. in Alsip, IL. The new building is now accommodating over 200 Associates and features a state-of-the-art education center, which consists of an all new seminar hall, training laboratory, and operatory.
The grand opening began with a traditional Shinto blessing and purifying ceremony, performed by Senior Shinto Priest Rev. Lawrence Koichi Barrish of the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America. A handful of GC executives and distinguished guests also participated in the ceremony.
After the blessing, speeches were given by Dr. Clark Stanford (Dean, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry), Dr. Kiyotaka Nakao (President and CEO, GC Corporation and GC International AG), Dr. Jeffery Cole (President, ADA), Erin Guthrie (Acting Director, IL Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity), Naoki Ito (Consul-General of Japan), Jeff Stiner (President, Kajima Building & Design Group), and Torsten Gilles (President, GC America). Other distinguished guests in attendance included FDI World Dental Federation President, Dr. Kathryn Kell; CDS Executive Director, Randall Grove; Chicago Dental Society (CDS) President, Dr. Cheryl Watson-Lowry; President-Elect of the IL State Dental Society, Dr. Alice Boghosian; President of the South Suburban Dental Society, Dr. Richard Bona; Mayor of Alsip, IL, Mr. John Ryan; and Executive Director of the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, Ralph Biedermann.
“This is really a partnership of friendship, and friendship is actually one part of what defines us in terms of the excellence of our partnerships, and the kindness of the way we work as a team together for the very best in patient care,” Dr. Stanford said in his welcoming remarks.
“Not only does our family of Nakama get to work in a beautiful new space, this facility was created to unify our Associates by bringing them under one roof,” Dr. Nakao said in his speech. “All of our Nakama’s great work has led us to the grand opening of this wonderful facility.”
“We are exceptionally proud of our new state-of-the-art education center, which is the centerpiece of this new facility,” Mr. Gilles added in his closing statements, “…we will be able to provide dental professionals with the most advanced tools to meet their continuing education needs.” Finally, the event came to a close with a champagne toast by Dr. Nakao and Mayor John Ryan (Alsip), followed by a lunch reception.
Construction on the new facility began in July 2017 with the grand breaking ceremony and was completed in June 2019. The expansion is largely made of reinforced concrete and consists of 53,374 square feet of state-of-the-art offices with 10 conference rooms on two levels, including a training laboratory, seminar rooms, and research and development spaces, as well as 64,940 square feet of warehousing. This has allowed for the transplant of manufacturing projects and, for the first time, the unification of GC America Associates at one consolidated Alsip location. GC America expects to gain tremendous value from improving communication and innovation among Associates that can help drive dental and orthodontic business and product breakthroughs that improve and extend the lives of patients across the Americas.