We are saddened to report the passing of our founder, Chris Kindsvatter. Chris was a great man who impacted numerous people in and around the state capitol. He led with a blend of his own tireless work ethic, teaching style and unique sense of humor. Chris was always quick to lend a helping hand to others. Best of all, Chris had an uncanny ability to see and bring out the best in his staff, his clients, legislators, legislative and regulatory staff. He will be missed by many.

Christian H. Kindsvatter was Chairman/Founder of Kindsvatter, Dalling & Associates, Inc. (KDA). Under Mr. Kindsvatter’s direction, KDA expanded from its original legislative services to association management and public relations services for its clients.

Mr. Kindsvatter had a distinguished career in association management/lobbying which began in Ohio in 1968, representing such organizations as the Ohio Manufacturer Association, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, Wholesale Beer Association of Ohio, Ohio Osteopathic Association, and the Ohio Home Builders Association. Prior to coming to Michigan in 1980, Mr. Kindsvatter managed the Ohio ballot campaign, representing Ohio businesses and labor organizations that defeated a mandatory bottle deposit law by a 3 to 1 statewide ballot vote.

In 1980, Mr. Kindsvatter became President and CEO of the Michigan Merchants Council & Associates, representing the nation’s leading retailer corporations and related association groups. In 1994, Mr. Kindsvatter purchased the organization, founded in 1934 by Wilfred F. Doyle, and he developed a new model that combined legislative and management services.

In 1995, Mr. Kindsvatter received a high tribute from his peers and legislators in Michigan by being rated in a statewide survey as nineteenth out of 1,250 lobbyists in the state in his lobbying influence. Mr. Kindsvatter’s firm was ranked ninth out of 950 lobbying organizations. In 2001, he ranked eighteenth, and his firm was ranked sixth. Mr. Kindsvatter retired in 2013 after 45 years of organizational development and legislative advocacy experience. He continued as Chairman and Founder to KDA firm and its clients in an advisory capacity.

Mr. Kindsvatter served on numerous civic and professional boards which included: Past President of Impression 5 Science Museum; past Board member and Executive Committee member of the Chief Okemos Council of the Boy Scouts of America; Past President of the Top of Michigan Marathon Association; Burt Township Planning Commission Chairman; Board of the Burt Lake Preservation Association; and he served as Assistant Airport Manager for fifteen years and Airport Manager for two years for the Campbell-Pratt Airport of Indian River. He loved flying and had owned several airplanes of which he had rebuilt a Lite Sport, Challenger II Ultralite.

He attended Valley Forge Military Academy, was a graduate of Akron University with a B.A. in finance and held a Master of Science in Business Administration from Central Michigan University.

Mr. Kindsvatter had received numerous awards including the Outstanding Young Men of America Award in 1980 given by the Columbus, Ohio Jaycees. Mr. Kindsvatter was also an avid outdoor enthusiast. He and his wife, Lori, of thirty years, owned and operated the family farm, Eaglenest Farms of Indian River, Michigan which was sold in 2021 following a stroke and discovery of AML cancer. They continued a smaller twenty acre fruit farm where Chris would make apple cider in the fall and spend his time with many barn projects to keep him busy and divert his mind away from cancer. This brought him great joy and purpose as well as work, but most importantly it was a great place to raise their son, Kaleb, to teach him a strong work ethic. He also taught Kaleb how to operate equipment and adapt to changing equipment uses and repairs on farm. He had three children: Kelly, Karee and Kaleb and one grandchild, Katelyn Buerger.

After a three-and-a-half-year battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), Chris passed away peacefully at home while watching the sunset and listening to John Denver’s “Sunshine on My Shoulders”. Chris specifically did not want a memorial service, but instead a large barn party at the beginning of summer.

Chris’ charity of choice, “Reel Recovery”, is a national non-profit organization that conducts free fly fishing retreats for men living with all forms of cancer. Chris was able to attend a retreat in Michigan last summer. He often talked about how life-changing it was for him. If you would like to make a donation in memory of Chris, here is the website: