When it comes to grand openings, The Magellan Group’s maxim is you only get to open a new building once … so do it up right! Yet, in the case of Catholic Health’s new Administrative & Regional Training Center (ARTC) in downtown Buffalo, we got to do it not once, not twice, but three times. Working closely with and under the direction of Chuck Hayes, Catholic Health’s Transformation Communications Manager, the three opening events were designed to engage different audiences: associates, business people and partners, and community leaders.
On September 26, the festivities kicked off with a Welcome to Downtown Buffalo-themed picnic for the 700-plus associates who now call the ARTC their home base. Since they are relocating from a variety of suburban outposts, our team, which consisted of Magellan principals as well as a group of Catholic Health employees, thought a welcome theme appropriate.
Under a tent on the back lot, the event featured choice Buffalo-oriented foods and live music provided by the iconic Boys of Summer. To aid in the transition, all associates received a welcome packet filled with maps, CVB guides, coupons and menus to numerous restaurants and businesses in the area as well as theater schedules and promotional info and offers from the Central Downtown Library. Topping it off was a raffle with prizes that included fabulous gift bags from various businesses and gift certificates to nearby restaurants and businesses, including one to Buffalo United Martial Arts and one for a happy hour party at Eddie Brady’s.
Next up was a VIP reception for dignitaries, politicians, business leaders and key Catholic Health personnel. Beginning outside with a cocktail reception where Catholic Health President and CEO Joe McDonald welcomed guests, the event then moved inside for tours of the building. Employees were stationed throughout the building to provide information and discuss how their department’s role supports service to patients. There were also food and beverage stations set up on various floors and a trio of string musicians from the Buffalo Philharmonic performing in the chapel.
Two days later dignitaries, politicians, business partners and Catholic Health leaders gathered along with the media for the dedication and blessing by the Most Reverend Richard J. Malone, bishop of Buffalo. Joining the bishop and Joe McDonald on the dais and for the ceremonial ribbon cutting were the following: Mayor Byron Brown, County Executive Mark Poloncarz, NYS Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, the late James Boldt, chairman of Catholic Health’s board of directors; Dennis Horrigan, president and CEO of Catholic Medical Partners; David Vitka, Catholic Health’s VP of facility planning and property management; Rev. Monsignor Robert Zapfel, chair, corporate members/bishop’s representative for healthcare; Michael Montante, vice president, Uniland Development Company, and Philip Snyder, president and CEO, Stiglitz Snyder Architecture. Chuck Hayes, served as emcee and host.