Party Central

The Gee Whiz Factory continues to host the KC party circuit. After a wildly successful grand opening, the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City held a reception on 11/7 to recognize developers of completed redevelopment projects that successfully utilized the minority and women business enterprise program. About 100 development and civic bigwigs were here, including Mayor James, and we’re proud to say we were one of the projects recognized.

Next week, the Urban Core Group is holding its December event here. The organization is a grassroots group dedicated to learning more about how urban pioneers are preserving and enriching the Kansas City experience. Each month they gather to discover and learn how new projects and redevelopment efforts are revitalizing the urban core. We are proud to have been asked to host this event, and expect 150-200 people. The group had someone sketch the front of our building for the invitation, and it’s awesome. Check it out:

We are also hosting the American Marketing Association Kansas City Healthcare Special Interest Group’s (that’s a mouthful!) holiday party in a few weeks.

In its first 100 days, the Gee Whiz Factory will have hosted over 1,000 guests. We didn’t set out to build party central, but perhaps we did!

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant

The party was a huge success. Using the Plaza Lights Crowd Estimate Formula, we had at least 3,000 people through the doors of the Gee Whiz Factory last night.

We hired John Bukaty to paint the scene of the party, during the party. Needless to say, it turned out even better than we imagined. With a prominent spot in our lobby, it will serve as a warm reminder of the night we christened the new place.

An up-close view of the scene. The canvas was blank at 4:30 p.m. when guests started arriving.

The painting in progress. John Bukaty is the artist. Check him out at johnbukaty.com. (Thanks to former TCG'er Cori Kallenbach for taking this photo, and posting it on our Facebook page.)

A view from afar to provide perspective. The canvas is 6' wide by almost 6' tall.

Party Prep

Nothing like a big grand opening party to force us to finish all the details. Perhaps I should live blog from the party tomorrow, like an Apple product unveiling. I’m probably not that important.

The front benches are now covered in Dynamo. I'm still not tired of that color - that's a good thing, I suppose.

Now Natalie can stop answering the question, "Is this 811 Wyandotte?".

And for those who miss the 44 foot logo on the side of the building, Natalie no longer needs to answer, "Is this Trozzolo?".

It seems we have professional window decorators on staff.

I can't wait to see what we do for Christmas (and for when the Royals are in the Playoffs next year).

Amazing New Concept in Cooking

Check out the vintage advertisement outside the Marion A. Trozzolo Innovator room. Marion was the first person to apply Teflon to cookware, thus inventing non-stick cookware.

His product was called the Happy Pan, and one sits in the Smithsonian today. This old advertisement looks great outside Innovator, and reminds us that if a young man can immigrate from Italy, learn a new language, start a business and change the way America cooks forever, anything is possible.

All Rooms Operational

The furniture for Innovator arrived yesterday and the room is ready for use. The A/V equipment is a little more complex in this room – let me know if you need help figuring it out.

This room has the potential to be really cool and yet another differentiator for us. It has the six small table/benches made from the old beams of the building, and six captains chairs.

The thinking behind this is simple, yet unusual for an organization. When you invite someone to your home, you usually do not immediately sit at the dining room table. You have a drink in the living room, or even standing in the kitchen. This creates a more casual and relaxed atmosphere before getting down to business.

When visitors come to an organization, it is common practice to immediately sit down at a big conference room table. We think this is wrong in many instances. Unless intense writing is required, Innovator is perfect for client meetings, presentations, internal brainstorms – just about everything. With the benches, it can seat up to 12 (clients get first dibs on the chairs!). I hope you begin using it as soon as your next meeting.

Innovator's furniture is here. You should start using it. Right now. Those three tables are actually six individual pieces (made from beams removed from the building) that double as tables and additional seating surfaces. Feel free to rearrange as necessary. Just put them back where you found them so the room doesn't end up looking like your college dorm room.

The pink Captain Kirk chairs for the lobby have also arrived. They are very comfy and there's no reason you can't have an informal meeting there. Do it, Doug.

Monday, Monday

Considerable progress has been made on punch list items the last few days. You may have noticed the fresh coat of stain on the wood floor by the main entrance, for example. Or that some of the water appears to be clear. I’m on my second glass out of the sink in the Kitchenator and am still coherent.

The Downtown Council spruced up our corner this morning:

Thanks to the Downtown Council for adding some nice potted plants and a brand new waste receptacle to our corner this morning. As soon as all the construction equipment gets out of here, we'll clean up the parking lot and 8th & Wyandotte will look like it did in 1899. Or something like that.

We finally have a soda machine again. I wonder if a backwards Hawaiian Punch button means it really has Hawaiian Punch. That would be sweet. Someone go try it out.

The 7UP machine dispenses Sprite. Interesting. Hey, we don't own it.

Michael G. was in the Catholic Center behind us last Thursday evening and took this photo of the Gee Whiz Factory:

It looks cool with the lights on.

I’m Out of Sign References

Anyone seen M. Night Shyamalan around? (Guess I wasn’t done yet.)

In case you haven’t noticed, the permanent room signs have arrived. The font is the same as our logo. Thankfully we have a good agency to make sure we stay on brand. The ones mounted on glass will have a backing to cover the tape. It’s just not here yet. That probably won’t warrant a blog post. Unless I’m really bored that day.

A. Ralph Trozzolo was born on 9/12. Today is 9/12. Coincidence?