In Memoriam: Karl Zimmerman

Last week, the Chicago tech and international hosting communities lost Karl Zimmerman (full obituary).

Or just Karl, everyone knew Karl. You couldn’t help it if you accidentally touched on a topic that he knew everything about – and he knew everything about a lot of things, especially tech, especially travel, especially food, especially public service, and on and on.

I met Karl three years ago via a mutual business acquaintance who told me you “just need to meet Karl.” And boy was he right, we started talking about hosting, yada yada yada, but ended up deep in the rabbit hole about anything but. He was insatiable in his curiosity and generosity.

I will miss him very much, for the person he was and the person he made people think they should be.


More important than all the accomplishments, it was Karl’s character that will endure. Karl was a loving and devoted son to his mother and father and his family, a true and humble friend to all of those that knew him, and a mentor and role model to those that were fortunate to work with and learn from him.


i2Coalition Executive Director Christian Dawson shared “Karl was special. Insightful and direct, while being the most decent and honest person I knew in the industry. He defined integrity in our industry. Whenever we reached out to him to help the industry, he took pride in being of service to it. He was a sweet soul, and we will miss him.”

Memorial Contributions:

65 W. Jackson Street
Chicago, IL 60604

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