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Gnl Celebrates 15 Years

It’s truly amazing to see how an unfortunate setback can quickly turn into a great opportunity. Today, that great opportunity turns 15 years old.

In 2009, Chris Mahlmann was driving home from a meeting feeling rather discouraged. New to the Northwest Indiana area from Illinois, he was able to observe a lot about the Region from an outsider’s perspective - most notably all the positivity in the communities around him, and was excited to share all this good news with others. Unfortunately, others he met with about starting a good news company seemed to lack the same sentiments, much to his surprise.

“I wanted to read everything I possibly could about the area because I'm not from here,” Mahlmann said. “I just wanted to observe everything I could about the Region, so I went out and got involved in the Valpo Schools Foundation, which gives teachers grants and some students scholarships. I got involved with the Porter County Career Center, which is a vocational school here in Porter County. I began learning like, ‘Dang, there are a lot of really good people doing really nice things out here.’” 

After yet another discouraging meeting and being told positive media would never prosper, a broken-hearted Mahlmann got in his car and began to make his way home. Just six minutes into the drive, however, Mahlmann got the idea to create GreatNews.Life (GNL), an all-positive media company proudly sharing the Region’s great news with its equally great people, and the rest was history. 

A Region full of such great people also means it's well equipped with great people to spread all this positivity, people commonly referred to as Lifers. While Mahlmann cherishes each and every Lifer who has come through the GNL doors, one Lifer who has been imperative to GNL’s success is none other than Mahlmann’s wife, biggest supporter, and GNL Chief Financial Officer Natalie Mahlmann. Without her, GNL would be nowhere close to what it is today.

“I'm so glad I have a wife who said I believe in you and I believe in your premise. Secondly, we won't quit and we will never stop – any normal spouse would definitely be upset multiple times in our history,” Mahlmann laughed. “To have a spouse who is supportive of you risking everything and going off into business on your own is a crazy awesome thing. When my wife is 1,000,000,000% behind me, you just can't fail.” 

Great news also isn’t stopping anytime soon. In fact, it’s spreading even further! GNL has been gaining traction in the Michiana area in recent years and is expected to launch a site fully catering to the area very soon. After that, Mahlmann says anything is possible, and looks forward to sharing with as many people as possible what a great life is all about. 

“I don't see any reason why this can't be everywhere,” Mahlmann said. “I watch the evening news do five out of six segments that are awful and depressing, and then they give you puppies at the end. I think you could actually make a living off of things like puppies and Boy Scouts and the Boys & Girls Club and the junior high basketball team – it’s affirming what people want to know about their neighborhood, so we're going to go to every single place that welcomes us.”

For more information about the great news in your community, be sure to visit any one of the Life sites: Valpo.LifePortage.LifeLaPorteCounty.LifeNWI.Life, and soon, Michiana.Life. Mahlmann and the GNL team extend a warm thank you to the many supporters over the years. GNL is made possible through people like you - it’s you who really make the good news, great.