2013 Forty Under 40: Chris T. Gahl

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share


“One thing that’s been instilled in me is servant-leadership. What I hope to do is continue mentoring other younger leaders, making sure they stay in our community.”

Age: 35

Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Visit Indy

Chris Gahl is passionate about his hometown. As vice president of marketing and communication for Visit Indy, he turns his enthusiasm loose on meeting planners and travel professionals, showing them the best Indianapolis has to offer, which was on display for millions in 2012 during Super Bowl XLVI.

At the height of the Super Bowl hoopla, he and his staff of nine worked with the national and international media as they threw their spotlight on the city.

“To think that we not only won the bid, but successfully hosted a Super Bowl” is extremely rewarding, said Gahl, who studied communications at Butler University.

He also led the city’s bid to host the Society of American Travel Writers annual convention. Landing the gathering, which has met in some of the world’s most desirable destinations, from New Zealand to Switzerland, was another publicity coup. More than 250 travel journalists descended on the city in September, checking out the local flavors that will be featured in print and broadcast stories for months to come.

Gahl also spearheaded the year-long research into rebranding the former Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, which has been around since 1923, as Visit Indy.

“We’re marketing it as that hospitable yet hip place to visit,” said Gahl, who honed his tourism skills for five years in Hawaii, where he became part owner of a boutique travel agency. The islands will always have a strong connection for him, but when he and his wife, Catherine, decided to start a family, they returned to Indianapolis in 2005.

The city’s tourism agency appealed to his desire to promote the city he loved. He also serves on several boards, including Heartland Truly Moving Pictures, and ones for Butler’s alumni and College of Communication.

“It’s been incredibly rewarding to see our city grow,” said Gahl, who also instills a love of the islands to his sons, Kanoa and Kai.•



Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.