Inside the life of George Guastello
As president and CEO of Union Station, George Guastello may have the best workplace digs in Kansas City. For more than a decade, he’s been at the helm of the metro’s beloved century-old icon. In that time, Union Station has seen major capital improvements, and the number of Kansas Citians who regularly flock to the grand building to engage in edutainment at Science City, enjoy fine dining, see a movie, partake in a major exhibit, experience all the feels from the Memorial Day Celebration at the Station or catch a train is growing. Forget about Guastello having the best office in Kanas City; he may just have the best job.
❖When I walk through Union Station, I think of the majesty, beauty and all the memories that have been created here and that will be created in the future. The station is inspiring on so many levels.
❖The most fun thing about my job is imagining, curating and creating magical experiences and stories.
❖I am a night owl. Who needs sleep?
❖My biggest daily opportunity is to ensure our customers and our associates are happy and finding enjoyment in every Union Station experience. Without the people, we are just a beautiful, historic monument. With them, we are something so unique and important to our community that it becomes hard to describe. My biggest challenge is also my biggest opportunity and a true joy all at once.
❖I’m a power shake-on-the-go type of guy.
❖There are many things that hold importance in my office, but some of my favorite pieces include a 1937 photograph of my dad and his senior pharmacy class traveling to Indiana. It was taken at Union Station in front of their train. I also was able to acquire a display cabinet from the old drug store and gift shop that was once in Union Station
❖I’m currently binge-watching the final season of “House of Cards.”
❖When we are choosing the next exhibit for Union Station, we focus on our primary customers. We want to make sure every exhibit has an amazing story that will take them on an unforgettable journey — a journey that will educate and fascinate. All of our exhibits have been of outstanding quality and fascinating in their own way, but “The Science of Rock ‘n’ Roll” was one that never really found the expected audience. Those who came loved it, so in that respect, it’s hard to call it a flop.
❖My passion for Union Station never takes a break. I’m always thinking about what’s now and what’s next. It’s a privilege to be a caretaker of such an important KC icon — one that matters to so many people. I feel a tremendous responsibility to ensure every Union Station experience is as grand as it can be. So I’m always thinking about this magnificent monument.