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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 of GC Corp. and GC International AG; Dr. Jeffery Cole, president of ADA; Erin Guthrie, acting director, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity; Naoki Ito, consul-general of Japan; Jeff Stiner, president, Kajima Building & Design Group; and Torsten Gilles, president of GC America.
Other distinguished guests in attendance included FDI World Dental Federation President Dr. Kathryn Kell; Chicago Dental Society (CDS) Executive Director Randall Grove; CDS President Dr. Cheryl Watson-Lowry; President-Elect of the Illinois State Dental Society Dr. Alice Boghosian; President of the South Suburban Dental Society Dr. Richard Bona; Mayor of Alsip, Ill., Mr. John Ryan; and Executive Director of the U.S.-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,” 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,” 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,” 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.”
The event came to a close with a champagne toast by Nakao and Mayor Ryan, followed by a lunch reception.
Construction on the new facility began in July 2017 with the groundbreaking 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, 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, the company said.
Founded in 1921, GC Corp. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of innovative materials, devices and equipment designed for use by oral care professionals, laboratories and consumers. GC America, a subsidiary of GC Corp. for more than 25 years, employs nearly 300 people in the United States and traces its own history back to Coe Laboratories, founded in 1928. More information about GC and GC America can be found online, at www.gcamerica.com.
(Source: GC America)