Union Station Kansas City, Inc.
30 West Pershing Road
Suite 400
Kansas City MO 64108
Photo Courtesy of Bill Cobb
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 460-2020
Mission Statement
Union Station Kansas City is dedicated to science education, celebration of community and preservation of history. 
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. George M. Guastello II
Board Chair Mr. Robert D. Regnier
Board Chair Company Affiliation Bank of Blue Valley
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1999
Former Names
Union Station Assistance Corporation
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement Union Station Kansas City is dedicated to science education, celebration of community and preservation of history. 
Background Statement

Originally constructed in 1914 as a massive railroad terminal, Union Station quickly became a centering point for commerce, culture and community. Today, over 100 years later, Union Station Kansas City -- a 501(c)3 non-profit organization – has reclaimed those monikers and added more. Today, this historic self-sustaining landmark located in the heart of downtown Kansas City is where our citizens connect, create, discover and celebrate. We teach young students. We deliver world-class exhibitions. And, of course, we celebrate and inspire an entire Greater Kansas City community.

What the critical Bi-State initiative helped save and reopen in 1999, we now carefully and thoughtfully grow and guide to meet the needs of Kansas City for the next 100 years. And Kansas City’s Science Center, Science City, serves as our foundation and filter, informing so many of our decisions.

At more than 92,000 square feet, Science City was most recently recognized internationally with a “Best Visitor Experience” award by a prestigious group of industry peers representing 650 science centers from 50 countries. More important validation, however, is a rapidly growing Science City guest count, year-over-year and driven by an organized and aggressive long-term strategy with a particular focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.

Union Station also proudly features our wildly popular Model Train Exhibit; the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium; the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre, City Stage featuring live theater, a selection of unique shops and restaurants, and prominent area civic organizations and businesses. And our Bank of America Gallery regularly hosts world-class traveling exhibitions.

For Greater Kansas City, this “Paris of the Plains” future has never looked so bright. All roads lead to our hometown - the center of the nation, the heart of America, in two states connected by location and a sense of purpose. A place that feels like main street, USA but has become a major destination. A place with Midwestern hospitality but still on the leading edge. Union Station stands as the center and in the center of it all . . . just as it did 100 years ago. What an amazing success story of survival, determination and purpose. Not only an architectural masterpiece, Union Station is living history and investing in the strength and vibrancy of a community to serve many generations to come.

Impact Statement
Union Station Kansas City has enjoyed a great deal of success in the last year. Examples of the Station’s accomplishments include:

  1. 44% increase in Science City attendance since 2014
  2. 24% increase in Union Station family memberships since 2014
  3. 101% increase in touring exhibition attendance since 2013
  4. 46% increase in attendance at Maker Faire Kansas City since 2013
  5. 265,000 guests visited the Station for “Holidays Come Alive” in 2016
  6. Significant fundraising success associated with the Station’s Western Expansion Project – only $200,000 remaining to fully fund the project.
  7. Implementation of a successful Energy Management System – this $1.4 million project is expected to reduce annual kilowatt hour consumption by 25%.
  8. Merger of Science Pioneers (a premier STEM education organization) with Union Station / Science City.
  9. Opening a brand new 16,000 sq. ft. outdoor Science City exhibit – Simple Machines at Play.
 
Quality products and programs, as well as exceptional customer service, are the highest priorities at Union Station Kansas City. The Station’s top goals for the current year reflect these priorities and drive us to deliver on our organizational mission. Goals include:
  1. Evaluation of a strategic expansion of Early Childhood Learning within Science City.
  2. Proactive launching and fundraising for a 12-month, $1.6 million project to preserve, protect and maintain the Station’s historic exterior surfaces.
  3. Upgrades to Union Station security systems – security cameras and card readers.
  4. Successful completion of the Western Expansion Project – buildout and fundraising.
Needs Statement
Union Station seeks individual, corporate and foundation support for the preservation of Kansas City’s beloved monument, educational programming, traveling and permanent exhibits, special community events and offerings, and the general operations of the organization.
The most pressing needs of the Station include:
  1. Volunteers: Customer service-minded individuals that have a passion for Union Station Kansas City and its success – its history, mission, offerings and growth.
  2. Dedicated long-term and short-term funders: annual drive (USKC memberships), capital projects, programming, special community events and offerings, and general operations.
  3. Technology Improvements: security systems, kiosks, customer service tools/systems, etc.
  4. Endowment Plan: Creation and implementation of plan to significantly grow USKC endowment
Service Categories
History Museums
Science & Technology Museums
Management & Technical Assistance
Areas of Service
International
National
MO
KS
MO - Jackson County
Programs
Description Science City is a dynamic, hands-on science center featuring 250+ individual interactive exhibits and daily programming. Awarded the 2015 ASTC prestigious international Leading Edge award for “Visitor Experience” and recognized as one of the Top 25 Science Centers in the country by PARENTS Magazine, Science City annually educates and entertains 225,000 guests. The Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium combines interactive astronomy education with spectacular public shows and night sky viewing opportunities. The Planetarium’s 60-foot dome and recently upgraded state-of-the-art projection system makes it one of the largest and highest resolution planetariums in the Midwest. The USKC Education team creates and delivers innovative and supportive programs for area youth and Educators. Examples include: Greater Kansas City Science & Engineering Fair, Saturday STEM Seminars, Expanding Your Horizons, Meet the STEM Mentor, ScienceWise Professional Development for Teachers and Educator STEM Fest.
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Museum Education
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Short-Term Success Short-term success for Science City / Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium / Educational Programming includes alignment of educational programs and content to state/national standards, positive unsolicited comments from guests and patrons, boosted ticket and membership sales, and regional educator participation in professional development offerings.
Long-Term Success Long-term success for Science City / Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium / Educational Programming includes expansion and refinement of education program offerings, continued use of programs as educational resources for formal and informal education, progressive annual attendance records, and growing membership base.
Program Success Monitored By Program success is gauged by staff interaction with guests, recognition through awards and grants, solicited evaluation of programming from educators, daily attendance, and meeting budget goals.
Examples of Program Success Examples of program success include consistent increased annual attendance, increased volunteer commitment, select participation in national grants, continued support and partnership of the Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains student STEM competition, full capacity for summer camp program, large positive and continued response to recent projects like the Planetarium revitalization, and regional media support with consistently positive press.
Description

Union Station Kansas City is the area’s most prominent destination for cultural and entertainment activities. Key to this designation are the changing exhibitions offered in Union Station’s galleries and public spaces. These offer visitors the opportunity to be educated and entertained about a wide variety of topics. The Bank of America Gallery is home to Union Station's large, traveling exhibits. World class traveling exhibitions fill this 20,000 square foot space. Union Station has earned an envied reputation across the Midwest as a proven host to world class touring exhibitions and is now sought out by the most respected tours in the world. Past exhibits have included POMPEII: THE EXHIBITION, Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life, Da Vinci – The Exhibition, The Discovery of King Tut, Real Pirates, Diana: A Celebration, and Titanic: the Artifact Exhibition. These blockbuster exhibits have been featured here and enjoyed by an audience of more than 1 million in the Bank of America Gallery.

Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Traveling Exhibitions
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Short-Term Success Short-term success is demonstrated by the number of visitors versus projected number of visitors, meeting or exceeding anticipated revenue, increasing auxiliary revenues including restaurants and retail shops, securing the required number of volunteers to assist in exhibit presentations, maintaining or increasing the number of students and families participating in programs and visiting the exhibit website, increasing tourism dollars for large scale exhibits, increasing our ability to attract sponsorship/foundation support, securing a number of partners presenting exhibits, and increasing ticket sales as exhibits progress.
Long-Term Success Visitors will be educated and entertained about a wide variety of topics, which will stimulate their interest in wanting to view and participate in additional exhibitions.
Program Success Monitored By Program success is monitored by exit interviews/comments and evaluations, as well as general ticket sales.
Examples of Program Success Examples of program success include positive exit interviews/comments, strong student and teacher evaluations, and positive press responses.
Description

The Collections program provides for the acquisition, management, conservation, and interpretation of a collection dedicated to the history and story of Union Station Kansas City. The collection contains a broad array of material culture artifacts and documents related to the history of its social, business, transportation, and political life from the 19th century to the present. The public can view pieces from the collection on display in Union Station Stories, the 5,000 SQF permanent exhibit that exquisitely captures 100 years of rich and diverse cultural history of the Station through significant stories and beautiful artifacts. The first addition to Union Station Stories was the Shoe Shiners Exhibit, featuring stories and artifacts from the shoeshine trade at the Station. This collection will soon include important stories and artifacts related to the United States Postal Service, as well as the rich history of the twelve (12) railroads that founded Union Station Kansas City.

Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Museum Collections Conservation
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Short-Term Success Short-term success includes the acquisition of artifacts, increased accessibility to collections through online catalogues and exhibits, new avenues for interpretation and exhibition, an enhanced preservation program through improvements to existing spaces, and development of artifact-based exhibits centered on Kansas City and regional history.
Long-Term Success Long-term success includes the conservation and preservation of its material culture collections; further research into the history, purpose and use of those same collections; the provision of access to those collections through catalogues, a brochure, and online exhibits.
Program Success Monitored By Program success is monitored by an increase in visitor and volunteer participation in preservation programs and projects, an analysis of visitor surveys, increased private support for conservation and preservation programs, and acquisition of significant artifacts to enhance existing collections.
Examples of Program Success Examples of program success is the expansion of the permanent Union Station Stories exhibit to include the Shoe Shiners Exhibit, as well as planned additions to the Union Station Stories focused on the United States Postal Service and the rich history of the the twelve (12) railroads that founded Union Station Kansas City.
Description What does 8,000 square feet of toy trains look like? Come and see Union Station Kansas City's Model Train Exhibit and find out! From tiny N-scale model trains to the big G-scale giants of the model train world, sample the hobby and enjoy the fun of model railroading. The Model Train Exhibit is FREE for all Union Station visitors!
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Museums
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Short-Term Success Short-term success is demonstrated by the number of visitors, cash donations received, in-kind donations received (model trains and equipment) number of volunteers and the total number of volunteer hours.
Long-Term Success Visitors will be educated and entertained about model railroading and the history of the railways, which will stimulate their interest in wanting to view and participate in additional rail-related exhibitions and offerings.
Program Success Monitored By Program success is monitored by comment cards and evaluations, volunteer interest, as well as funding provided for the continuation of the exhibit.
Examples of Program Success

Examples of program success include positive comment cards, awards received for the exhibit, positive USKC member feedback and unsolicited funding.

Description
Union Station is proud to plan and produce a number of unique community celebrations and festivals throughout the year. Examples of these family-friendly events include:
  • • kidFEST, Spookfest and Noon Year’s Eve.
  • The annual Greater Kansas City Science & Engineering Fair is planned and managed by the Science City Education team and hosted at Union Station.
  • The annual Maker Faire Kansas City (a showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement) is planned, managed and hosted by Union Station.
  • The annual 6-week Holidays Come Alive at Union Station is planned, managed and hosted by Union Station.
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Celebratory Events
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Short-Term Success Short-term success for Union Station’s Special Community Events & Offerings includes positive unsolicited comments from guests and patrons, boosted ticket and membership sales, as well as the growth of a base of funders.
Long-Term Success Long-term success for Union Station’s Special Community Events & Offerings includes expansion and refinement of events, continued interest and engagement (strong attendance) of community for these celebrations and educational offerings, and the ongoing support of funders for these special community offerings.
Program Success Monitored By Program success is gauged by attendance/ticket sales, attendee and funder feedback, recognition through awards and grants, solicited evaluation of programming from Event staff, volunteer engagement, USKC membership interest and feedback, and meeting budget goals.
Examples of Program Success Examples of program success include consistent annual attendance, increased volunteer commitments, growing number of funders, large positive and ongoing response to continuation of annual events and creation of new events, and strong regional media support with consistently positive press.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. George M. Guastello II
Term Start Dec 2008
Experience
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.
 
Previous employment includes Vice President Marketing and Business Strategy, Starlight Theatre Association. While at Starlight, he created awareness for the theatre’s new $10 million stage and achieved all-time high season attendance levels of over a quarter million people coupled with record season ticket subscription sales. Guastello served as Senior Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Development for the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce where he rebranded and repositioned the Chamber, authoring the first seed capital legislation in the State of Missouri for investment tax credits for Small Business investors. He was also employed as Assistant Vice President of Commercial Banking at Commerce Bank Kansas City, N.A.
 
Guastello is a member of the UMKC Alumni Governing Board of Directors, Ability KC Board of Directors, Kansas City Streetcar Authority Board of Directors and Powell Gardens Board of Directors. He has served on the Boards of the Boys & Girls Club, Cristo Rey Kansas City, Rockhurst High School, Kansas City River Trails, KCMO Central Industrial District, and Johnson County Parks and Recreation Theater in the Park.
 
Guastello earned a BA in Marketing and an MBA in Finance, both from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
Guastello's professional awards include: 2015 Non-Profit Professional of the Year from Non-Profit Connect; 435 Magazine’s “KC’s 50 Most Powerful People”; 2006 Alumni Legacy Achievement Award from UMKC; 2005 Recipient of Hospitality Leadership Award from the GKC Hotel Association; and the 2003 Brick by Brick Leadership Award from the EDC of Kansas City.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Former CEOs
NameTerm
Mr. Andi Uris May 2005 - Dec 2008
Mr. Turner White May 2000 - May 2004
Senior Staff
Title Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Title Director of Technical & Building Operations
Title Director of Advancement & Community Engagement
Title Director of Science City Exhibits
Title Director of STEM Programming & Outreach
Title Chief Marketing Officer
Title Vice President, Finance
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 44
Paid Part-Time Staff 11
Volunteers 183
Paid Contractors 158
Retention Rate 100%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Under Development
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Affiliations
AffiliationYear
Smithsonian Museum - Affiliate2003
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
"Visitor's Choice Award" for Favorite Museum or Historical SiteKansas City Convention & Visitor's Association2007
Public Works "Project of the Year" for the Freight House Pedestrian BridgeKansas City Metro Chapter of the American Public Works2007
Recognized as one of the top 17 informal science education programs in the country for our Science City Summer Camp program.Association of Science and Technology Centers2007
Recognized as one of the top 17 informal science education programs in the country for our Science City Summer Camp program.National Science Teachers Association2007
Science City Ranked as a Top 25 Science CenterParents Magazine2008
“Midwest Travel Treasure” Model Rail Experience AAA Midwest Traveler2010
Capstone Awards, “Special Judges Recognition Collaboration"Kansas City Business Journal2011
Voted “Favorite Landmark or Monument” Visitors’ Choice AwardsVisit KC2011
“Best of Kansas City” The Best People and Places, Sports and Recreation, Goods and Services, Arts & Entertainment, Food & DrinkThe Pitch2012
“Best Railfanning Spot”Gold Rail Awards2013
Voted “Favorite Landmark or Monument” Visitors’ Choice AwardsVisit KC2013
Voted “Favorite Landmark or Monument” Visitors’ Choice AwardsVisit KC 2014
“Best Kept Secret” Model Train Exhibit KC Parent Magazine2013
“Favorite Museum” Science City KC Parent Magazine2013
Best Brochure Reward CTM Media2014
Voted “Best Landmark” The Pitch2014
Top Banquet Facilities Kansas City Business Journal2014
“Best Kept Secret” Model Train Exhibit KC Parent Magazine2014
Voted “Best Family Outing and Venue” Ingram’s Magazine2015
Voted “Favorite Indoor Family Destination” KC Parent Magazine2015
Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award for Visitor ExperienceAssociation of Science-Technology Centers2015
Certificate of Excellence Trip Advisor2015
Model Train Exhibit Voted “Best Kept Secret” KC Parent Magazine2015
Award of Distinction, Building a MonumentNon-Profit Connect Philly Awards2015
Top Banquet Facilities Kansas City Business Journal2016
Voted “Favorite Landmark or Monument” Visitors’ Choice AwardsVisit KC2016
Sustainability Award for USKC Energy Management SystemKansas City Industrial Council 2017
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments We have successfully taken steps to ensure all departments are optimally staffed to make the greatest impact for the fewest number of dollars. Senior management is being challenged to deliver the best products possible while maintaining a close eye on expenses, adding to our census only when there is a compelling need. Any new initiatives must be presented with a business plan that shows a strong likelihood of success while furthering our mission.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Robert D. Regnier
Company Affiliation Bank of Blue Valley
Term June 2012 to June 2018
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mr. Bucky Brooks Copaken Brooks
Mr. Jon Cook VML
Mayor Michael Copeland Mayor of Olathe
Mayor Peggy J. Dunn Mayor of Leawood
Mr. Michael R. Haverty Retired
Mayor Sly James Ex-OfficioCity of Kansas City, Missoui
Mr. R. Crosby Kemper IIIKansas City Public LIbrary
Mr. Ray Kowalik Burns & McDonnell
Mr. Dan Lowe Legacy Development
Mr. Leo Morton DeBruce Companies
Mr. Ramon Murguia Murguia Law Offices
Mr. Robert D. Regnier Bank of Blue Valley
Dr. Thomas M. Sack MRIGlobal
Mrs. Danette Wilson Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas City
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 12
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 65%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 47%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 0%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Audit
Education
Executive
Finance
Operations
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $14,622,800
Projected Expenses $14,724,000
Endowment Value $265,000
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage 0
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2015, 2014, 2013: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990.  
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line items may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$2,236,419$4,513,630$1,755,072
Government Contributions$112,500$716,667$1,577,779
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified$112,500$716,667$1,577,779
Individual Contributions------
$0$0$0
$6,341,219$5,473,206$4,552,245
Investment Income, Net of Losses$23,996$25,031$63,391
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$364,372$0
Revenue In-Kind$4,687$602,560$99,125
Other$166,233$282,614$215,375
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$7,314,883$12,953,753$10,695,084
Administration Expense$1,856,485$2,110,977$1,958,141
Fundraising Expense$28,660$186,313$64,079
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.970.790.65
Program Expense/Total Expenses80%85%84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%3%2%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$38,545,774$152,223,055$155,222,997
Current Assets$8,917,023$7,605,087$5,633,190
Long-Term Liabilities$5,273,200$4,613,711$4,940,892
Current Liabilities$28,514,000$28,360,738$27,761,828
Total Net Assets$4,758,574$119,248,606$122,520,277
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.310.270.20
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets14%3%3%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose
Union Station Expansion Project
In May 2014, Union Station Kansas City received contractual approval from the Missouri Development Finance Board for $2,250,000 in state tax credits to be used in conjunction with an $8.4 million multi-faceted improvement project.
The project unifies customer infrastructure improvements with increased science based learning opportunities in Science City.
Outside access improvements include reworking the streetscape on Pershing Road and adding a car ramp connecting the front of the Station with the West Yards Parking Garage.
Inside improvements include connecting Science City to the Planetarium and Extreme Screen to allow free flowing access between these attractions, as well as improved conferencing facilities.
Lastly, with the addition of a 32,000 square foot outdoor community plaza area as well as a 13,500 outdoor science exhibit, Science City now offers even more unique, hands-on educational programming opportunities to its guests.
Goal $8,405,000.00
Dates June 2014 to Sept 2017
Amount Raised to Date $8,217,500.00 as of June 2017
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Name Union Station Kansas City, Inc.
Address 30 West Pershing Road
Suite 400
Kansas City, MO 64108
Primary Phone (816) 460-2020
CEO/Executive Director Mr. George M. Guastello II
Board Chair Mr. Robert D. Regnier
Board Chair Company Affiliation Bank of Blue Valley
Year of Incorporation 1999
Former Names
Union Station Assistance Corporation