The Indiana India Business Council has named noted Indianapolis businesswoman and philanthropist Christel DeHaan its first-ever "Indiana Ratna," or Jewel of Indiana, award winner. DeHaan was co-founder of Resort Condominiums International, which she later sold, and is founder and chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based Christel House International, which works to transform the lives of impoverished children.

During a recent ceremony at the inaugural Indiana India Celebrating Our Impact Gala in Indianapolis, DeHaan said "the children of India have a very special place in my heart. The country and its people hold extraordinary promise and both Christel House and the IIBC contribute to unleashing their potential. Our two organizations work to foster mutual understanding. I am honored to be recognized with the Indiana Ratna award, and proud that Christel House has been part of nurturing this relationship between India and Indiana."

Indiana India Business Council founder and President Raju Chinthala called DeHaan a trailblazer in creating a bridge between the state and the south Asian nation. "She has shown leadership through her business career, her support of the arts, and her philanthropic vision of helping impoverished children through Christel House, transforming their lives and breaking the cycle of poverty. She is the perfect recipient for the very first Indiana Ratna award."

Christel House has two schools in India, four in Indianapolis, one each in Mexico and South Africa and a ninth global school set to open in Jamaica next year. You can connect to more about Christel House International by clicking here and more about the Indiana India Business Council by clicking here.