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Tamara Zahn, former leader of Indianapolis Downtown Inc., dies at age 67

Posted at 8:32 AM, Oct 02, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — Tamara Zahn, who led Indianapolis Downtown Inc. for 19 years, has died at age 67.

The nonprofit organization now known as Downtown Indy Inc. released a statement Thursday night saying, "We are shocked and saddened by this evening's news of the sudden passing of our dear friend Tamara Zahn." Her cause of death has not been announced.

Zahn's tenure as president of Indianapolis Downtown Inc. from its founding in 1993 through 2012 came during a period of growth for the downtown area and was marked by the opening of Circle Centre Mall in 1995 and Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.

"Indianapolis has lost a civic icon who was a giant among corporate, nonprofit and elected leaders and peers," a statement from Downtown Indy Inc. said. "Her passion for Downtown Indy was unparalleled and unapologetic, which led to national recognition for outstanding urban revitalization, monumental development, and unrivaled beautification — all due to her inspired leadership and meticulous attention to detail."

Former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson said in a statement he loved Zahn's ability to motivate people to make downtown a better place.

"Whenever I entertained visitors to our city, they invariably commented on how clean our downtown was," Peterson said. "While cleanliness was only a small part of the work of Indianapolis Downtown, Inc., it symbolized Tamara's attention to every detail of her job. In those days she was everywhere — seemingly at every single event or gathering. And her positive outlook and engaging personality always raised my spirits and those of everyone around her."