President and CEO, Union Station Kansas City
From train station to museum: the story of Union Station Kansas City.
In this clip, George describes how soliciting ideas from kids (including a human-powered hamster wheel!) helped Union Station Kansas City create engaging exhibits to inspire the next generation of STEM innovators:
George Guastello is President and Chief Executive Officer of Union Station Kansas City, a historical landmark and civic asset renovated and reopened to the public in 1999. He is responsible for operation, management and development/growth of the Station and surrounding property it owns. Guastello oversees a staff of over 50 and manages an annual budget of $11 million. The Station features a science center, planetarium, rail museum, national traveling exhibits, one of the region’s largest giant screen 3D movie theaters, live theater, shops, restaurants and offices. A bi-state cultural sales tax, the first of its kind in the country, funded nearly half of the $250 million renovation.
Guastello has amassed noteworthy accomplishments in many endeavors from association management to economic and community development. He is a respected, results-oriented, area leader with over 25 years of demonstrated organizational impact and success.
Prior to joining USKC, Guastello served as President and CEO for the American Royal Association for 6 years, focusing attention on youth and education, celebrating the region’s rich agricultural heritage through competition, education and entertainment, and boasting one of the largest combined livestock, horse show, rodeo, and barbecue competitions in the country.
Guastello, a native Kansas Citian, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in Finance, both from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
He has garnered numerous awards, most recently being named the 2015 Non-Profit Professional of the Year from Non-Profit Connect and inclusion in 435 Magazine’s “KC’s 50 Most Powerful People” listing. Other awards include the 2006 Alumni Legacy Achievement Award from the University of Missouri at Kansas City; 2005 Recipient of Hospitality Leadership Award from the Greater Kansas City Hotel Association and the 2003 Brick by Brick Leadership Award from the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City.