IBJ: Chris Kirles Named 2018 Forty Under 40

Chris Kirles, President, Construction – Flaherty & Collins Properties

Even with the completion of 360 Market Square, a $120 million, 27-story mixed-use luxury apartment tower, Kirles doesn’t have much time to rest: Flaherty & Collins has $500 million in projects in the works.

Age: 35

Birthplace/hometown: Indianapolis

Family: wife, Courtney

Education: bachelor’s in finance from Indiana University Kelley School of Business

Years with company: 12

Getting here: Kirles wasn’t interested in the namesake family business, Kirles Jewelers. “My uncle was in real estate and he was the first person who introduced me to the business. I was probably too young to understand what it meant, but I was intrigued.” After graduation, he joined Flaherty & Collins Properties as a development associate.

Transitional moment: After 10 years in development, Kirles was presented with the opportunity to oversee the construction side of the business. “The confidence they instilled in me professionally has carried with me throughout my career and specifically in my current role.”

Speaking up: “I tell everyone, ‘Have an opinion, right, wrong or different, and we are going to listen.’ We have meetings at least once a month, getting everyone from the field to the office to get around the table to talk about how we can get better.”

Major achievements: In addition to 360 Market Square, Flaherty & Collins Properties was lead developer on The Depot at Nickel Plate in downtown Fishers. It won a stack of awards, including the Indiana Apartment Association Award for Community of the Year (New Development).

Recent challenge: “People management, which I’ve never had any experience with, is eye-opening,” he said. “Finding the right people is tough. Every person we hire we do with the mind-set that they are going to retire here.”

Givebacks: Kirles is a board member for Sense-Able Solutions, a recently established not-for-profit aiming to develop responsible citizens by providing behavioral, social and academic support for children with special needs and their families. He also works with The Penrod Society and the Mozel Sanders Foundation.

Downtime: “When I was 5 or 6, I would sleep in my Jordans,” he said of the athletic shoes. He now has 75 pairs he’s never worn. “It’s not for investment. It brings me back to a place in my childhood that makes me feel good.”•