GC America launches major headquarters expansion with traditional Japanese Groundbreaking ceremony
Bright skies and warm breezes provided the perfect setting for a traditional Japanese Groundbreaking Ceremony (Ji Chin Sai) to dedicate the property adjacent to GC America Inc.’s corporate headquarters in Alsip, Illinois. The property will undergo a major expansion project – to be completed mid-2019 – to enable future growth and facilitate product development.
The project will enable GC America to bring all its manufacturing projects into a single location, which, according to GC, will improve communication between its associates, accelerate innovation in the dental and orthodontic sphere, and thus help “improve and extend the lives of patients across the Americas”.
The special Shinto Groundbreaking ceremony was officiated by the Rev Lawrence Koichi Barrish of the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America, and attended by GC Corporation Chairman Mr. Makoto Nakao and Mrs. Makiko Nakao. Also attending was GC International AG Executive Vice President Mr. Henri Lenn, GC America President Steve Fletcher, Consul-General Naoki Ito of ‘Japan in Chicago’, along with Illinois State Representative Al Riley. In the party was Dr Gary Roberts, President of the American Dental Association, Alsip Mayor John Ryan and Hideyoshi Kajiyama, Senior Vice President of design/build firm KBD Group, which will serve as project partner with GC America and local municipal authorities.
In this ceremony, the local “kami” (guardians of the area) were asked for their blessings and for the protection of those involved in the construction of the new facilities, as well as all those who will work in them.
Chairman Nakao expressed his gratitude to nearly 100 guests who were present for the ceremony. He explained that the expansion demonstrates GC’s strong commitment to its Semui philosophy, which requires that it serve the dental profession and its patients by only developing and manufacturing products that lead towards the best possible outcomes – instead of blindly seeking corporate profit.
A spokesperson said: “By the time the expansion is completed, the company will be closer to achieving its ‘Vision 2021’ strategic objective – to become the world’s number one dental company in terms of contributions to better oral health through innovative products, dental education programs, and improving health around the world.”
GC International AG Executive Vice President Mr. Henri Lenn joined Mr. and Mrs. Nakao and other dignitaries in the ritual ceremony to purify the grounds and prepare them for construction work, which is expected to begin in a few weeks time. Mr. Lenn said the groundbreaking represented an exciting next step for the company as the global GC Group of companies prepare to celebrate the 100th anniversary of GC Corporation in 2021.