Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Opening of SEG building GRC2

Speech given August 20, 2015 by SEG President Christopher Liner at Grand Opening of GRC2. Original draft by Steve Brown (SEG Staff) with edits by C. Liner and D. Proubasta

During speech in lobby of GRC2 with Mayer Bartlett (left) and Councilman Lakin (right) listening.

Good afternoon. Thank you for coming out on such a historic day for the SEG AND the city of Tulsa. As SEG President and a Tulsa native, I am honored to preside over the dedication of this new building — the Geophysical Resource Center 2.

If you will indulge me for a few minutes, I’d like to provide some historical context for our celebration today.

Founded in 1930, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists is a non-profit organization in its 85th year. The SEG mission is one of connecting, inspiring, and propelling the people and the science of geophysics. 

Our members apply the science of geophysics to energy exploration … to mineral exploration … to environmental and engineering problems … to archaeology and mitigating earth hazards. SEG currently has nearly 33,000 members in 125 countries, with offices in Dubai and Beijing. But SEG is proud to call TULSA home.

The building just to our South — you can see it through those windows — was dedicated 30 years ago during a ceremony much like this one. We built that building, the Geophysical Resource Center’s Cecil and Ida Green Tower to serve as headquarters for SEG’s growing staff and assure stability of our Society by diversifying revenue. 

When we broke ground on this 11-acre campus back in 1983, it was an oil boom. SEG AND the city of Tulsa were riding high.

Even as SEG President Red Olander dedicated that first building, a dramatic downturn in the oil industry began. Within year oil prices fell by half and oil companies began to slash expenses.  Our Society’s membership fell that year, and it would continue to shrink for almost a decade.

Both SEG and Tulsa were going through dire straights.

What about now?

Here we are, 30 years later, in the midst of another severe downturn of the oil and gas industry dedicating another new building in Tulsa — GRC…two!  There will always be hard times and opportunities. We seize the opportunity.

The fact is that our SEG staff of about 100 occupies just ONE floor of GRC1. The rest is leased to other Tulsa businesses. Our 1980s investment in that building served its purpose. It provided much-needed office space for SEG and others in the Tulsa community and helped SEG through some tough economic times.

GRC2 -- a $20 million, 80,000-square-foot, Class-A office building — is currently almost 70% leased and we expect 85% lease by mid-September.

Our Society’s investment in real estate enhanced SEG’s ability to serve a global membership during difficult times and will continue to do so with first class tenants. 

Important companies already calling this building home include CCK Strategies, Kinder Morgan and, very soon, Central National Bank. And we have room for a few more. 

GRC2 initiated under the leadership of former SEG President Dave Monk, SEG Board Members, and the SEG Real Estate Board lead by Bob Wyckoff.  GH2 Architects, Manhattan Construction, Program Management Group and Newmark Grub took our vision and turned it into this impressive structure and campus. When we look at what’s been built here, everyone involved can take pride in knowing they did a fantastic job.

A special thank you as well to the tenants of GRC1 who have put up with all the inconvenience of construction. To our new GRC2 tenants: we couldn’t be happier to have you here.

As a significant addition to the SEG AND the city of Tulsa, I hereby dedicate and officially open the Geophysical Resource Center 2. 

Thank you.

Tulsa World article detail:

Tulsa World article full page:

Tulsa World article page one

Tulsa World article page two

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