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Christel DeHaan
Founder and CEO

Christel DeHaan, who emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1962, is an accomplished businesswoman, community leader and philanthropist.  As co-founder of Resort Condominiums International (RCI), she is widely known for her contributions to the travel and tourism industry.  Under her leadership, RCI grew into a global enterprise with offices in 38 countries.  She sold RCI in 1996, and since that time has devoted her time, energy and financial resources to philanthropy.

A proponent of social responsibility, Christel founded Christel House International in 1998 as a way to deploy her resources and business skills to cause transformation and intergenerational change.  The Christel House locations were selected as her way of giving back to countries that played a significant role in her commercial success.  By covering all of the organization’s administrative and fundraising expenses, she assures donors that 100% of their donations will go to programs benefitting students.  Christel is driven by a passion for excellence, and as a result Christel House is widely recognized as a charity operating with the highest degree of accountability and effectiveness.

In addition to her work and devotion to Christel House, Christel is known for her generosity to the arts in central Indiana, and has served on numerous local and national boards. Her accomplishments in the corporate, educational and philanthropic sectors have earned her numerous awards and recognition.  She holds three honorary doctorate degrees—from Marian College (now Marian University), the University of Indianapolis and the University of Nottingham, England.  

Christel DeHaan has a simple philosophy – to care, to share, to make a difference.