On June 6th 8 Guy Tai's went to Ningbo in order to visit the Ningbo Museum, which is also known as the Yinzhou Museum. The meseum itself has been constructed using a lot of old tiles and stones that were left over when rebuilding the old town of Ningbo. Bamboo which is very common in the Yangze river area has also been used to "frame" the tiles.
Ningbo Museum is designed by Wang Shu, the first Chinese citizen to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The design is a conceptual combination of mountains, water and oceans. The first floor of the museum is constructed as a whole part, while the building starts to tilt on the second floor, giving the whole building a mountain and also a boat shape. This design alludes the geographical feature in Ningbo as well as the importance of over-sea commerce in its history, thus making the museum a symbol of Ningbo history and culture.
On Friday May 11 twenty-one guy tai members toured the Bao Steel plant in Shanghai. The plant site is 20 km in size and we were told they employ 50,000 people. The size and scope of the place boggles the mind.
One of the guys who did a lot of the heavy lifting to get Guy-Tai's up and running will be back in Shanghai. There are many stories during Ola's leadership - one that I always found emblematic of him occured during the Swedish royal family visit to Shanghai during the 2010 Expo. Ola and his wife found a way to meet the newly married prince and princess of Sweden. During this meeting he humorously acknowledged his praise and respect for the former gym owner and personal trainer that married into royalty, and made the prince an honorary Guy-Tai. The prince and the crowd had a great laugh and I think that all of you will as well if you can come by and have a drink with Ola.
Ola Falck will be in town the week after Easter. For all the members who joined Guy-Tai's after Christmas in 2010, Ola was the leader of GT's in the beginning. Ola and his family moved back to Sweden and he left not only Shanghai, but also Guy-Tai's by jumping back into HR leadership at IKEA. As many of you have seen IKEA is growing by leaps and bounds here in China and I suspect that is why he is back in town.
A bunch of us will be meeting at the Kerry "Brew Pub" on April 10 at noon. Ola is a legendary story teller and good guy so if you are looking for a good time and to drink some tasty icy cold beer come on down to the Brew. Give me a heads up if you plan to come by so I can give the Brew a heads up for how many lunches they may need to cue up.
For one of our most successful events, 30 Guy Tai members headed out into the Pudong suburbs for a special guided tour of the Coca Cola bottling plant in Shanghai. The tour included seeing a short video of Coke in China (started up in China in the mid 20’s) a visit to the Coke museum and then what everyone was waiting for, a tour of the actual bottling plant which was quite amazing to take in. We watched as machines filled, sealed and packed 1,600 cans of coke EVERY minute. The engineering and machinery was amazing to watch. We also got to see bottles by the thousands being filled with Sprite and watched as plastic tops whizzed down from the floor above to somehow make it right side up and screwed onto the plastic bottles at a dizzying speed. And all of this supervised by no more than 10 to 15 people on the production floor.