Smita Shah Helping The Indian American Community Make Its Mark on Chicago

Smita Shah is an indian-american woman young business women should admire. In school she was known as a math geek. She remembers, in high school she often sat of the back of the class changing word problems into algebraic equations just for fun. She was definitely a nerd. In college she found her calling in electrical engineering and later earned a Master’s degree in civil engineering. Early in her career as an electrical engineer, she decided to establish her own company, Spaan Technology. As CEO of this chicago-based engineering she shows the same drive she did when pursuing her studies.

Now instead of creating math riddles, she solves engineering problems for the city of Chicago, the public school systems and for the Illinois State Highway Authority. In the last 10 years, her company has expanded to 50 employees and millions of dollars in revenue. Last year she was listed as one of the top 2,000 up and coming businesses by Inc. magazine. Many people that come into contact with her say she can come across as a very tough negotiator, but she doesn’t put up with mediocrity, and works hard to ensure that all of her projects are completed with the utmost care.

Smita Shah’s Other Interests

Aside from business, Smita Shah also participates in community development, educational projects and chairs many community projects that she holds dear. One such project is the annual Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi luncheon. Ask the Chicago sister cities International Deli committee chair, Smita Shah created this luncheon as a way of honoring the man who inspired civil rights movements. at this the 5th-year of holding the luncheon, Chicago Mayor Lightfoot issued a proclamation that would name October 2nd Mahatma Gandhi day in Chicago. This pronouncement comes as a recognition of the 150th anniversary of his birth. It is an acknowledgement of the peace legacy he left and for the Importance he holds to the Indian culture in Chicago.

Smita Shah said in a recent interview, “It was an honor for the Indian American community in Chicago to have this pronouncement made. It was an honor to me personally and a tribute to the work we have done for the Mahatma Gandhi luncheon to have this commemorative date be officially recognized.” The idea came to the group when Ms. Shah pointed out that Chicago was made of many communities and that they should all be honored. This program recognizes the Indian Community of Chicago by memorializing Mahatma Gandhi who had an impact on the world. Learn more:

The deep relationship between the city of Delhi, in India and Chicago, demonstrates the commitment of the Indian community to the city, as well as the cultural importance of this culture to Chicago. Under the leadership of Shah, the Delhi committee founded the annual Legacy luncheon in 2014 as a way of honoring the long-lasting change of ideas between Mahatma Gandhi and the United States, and of the importance of taking a non-violence stand I’m promoting the principles of Truth and peace.

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Smita Shah Recognizes Mahatma Gandhi for his great Achievements

Smita Shah was in attendance on October 2, 2019, in downtown Chicago to honor Mahatma Gandhi. The life of Mahatma Gandhi was honored by millions of people around the country on October 2 to honor his birthday. Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot was a key speaker for this event and Spaan Tech’s CEO, Smita Shah, was in attendance. 

Smita Shah is an Indian woman. She lived in the Chicago area for most of her life. She started Spann Tech in 1998 shortly after she graduated from the University of Chicago. Since that time, she has been helping people all over Chicago, the U.S. and even the world with various building and community-based projects. 

Mrs. Shah understood how important it is to honor a legendary figure such as Gandhi. He was a great leader and the first person to establish non-violent protest as a means of gaining equality and acceptance within society. Gandhi’s tactics for non-violence were emulated by other great world leaders such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and even Albert Einstein. 

His life not only influenced other great people his philosophies literally helped to transform the world. The Civil Rights movement in the U.S., the struggle of Apartheid in South Africa and the Burmese Freedom Fighters. Millions of people around the world encountered Gandhi’s philosophies and their lives were radically changed by them. Learn more:

CEO Shah knows the influence that Gandhi has on own his people. His legacy as a leader, politician and philosopher had radically altered life in India. The Indians were no longer being held under the grip of colonialism. It was through his efforts that the British government relinquished its control over the Indian people. 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago gave Gandhi accolades and great respect by honoring him with his own celebration. She had officially designated October 2 as Mahatma Gandhi day. Smita Shah and other Indian Americans in attendance were thrilled that Gandhi received this type of recognition. At home in India, Gandhi if fondly remembered for his former service to the nation. He is a great inspiration to the people and their culture. 

Smita Shah also draws a lot of wisdom from Gandhi. She is also influenced by the great example that he set for people. Shah has drawn a lot of inspiration from Gandhi and she uses some of it with her own business. How she interacts with the world around her and the projects she takes on, has been somewhat influenced by Gandhi. Smita Shah wants Gandhi to be remembered for all he has done.

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Smita Shah Talks About Entrepreneurship

Becoming an entrepreneur and the owner of your own business is never easy especially when you’re 24 and just a few years out of grad school but that never stopped Smita Shah from going for the gold. So how has she managed to have this type of success without losing sight of who she is and while dealing with the responsibility of being the head honcho? Well, she recently sat down to discuss these issues with David Cochrane. When she was growing up, she couldn’t help but notice she was one of the few girls in her math class and the only one who was not caucasian. Ever since then, she has been driven to promote diversity throughout the workplace and advocate for minorities to be given equal treatment in both their personal and professional lives. 

One of the ways she attempts to fight back against this trend is by trying to hire as diverse a staff as she can. Even though she is the owner of her own company, she has still experienced instances of bias occasionally but she is quick to brush it off as she understands that it’s usually just a big misunderstanding. When she was matriculating at Northwestern University, she quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the best students in her class. Upon graduating, she then enrolled in MIT to pursue a master’s in civil engineering. She not only had to work on her thesis paper but also complete an internship with the white house chief of staff. 

After she had concluded her academic studies, she was offered the opportunity to work at SOM and she accepted the role of a structural engineer. However, after just a year of serving in that position, she realized she was ready to strike out on her own and established Spaan Tech towards the end of 1998. Due to the discrimination, she has experienced over the years, she is constantly encouraging females in the workplace to help and support each other whenever possible to help them advance in their respective fields. When she was first putting this new company together, she had no idea if it would take off which is why she wasn’t that invested in how the company fared in the long run but she was aware of the following. Learn more: 

If the business ended up tanking, she could always find refuge under the roof of a different company but, if it ended up becoming a big success, she would have a terrific story she could use to inspire the next generation of aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs, especially those who are female. So you’re probably wondering what exactly the company does. Well, they specialize in connecting the world by building new bridges, superhighways and parking decks to help people get where they need to go. They also provide the lighting for various fixtures such as streetlights, lighthouses and the red light you see on an emergency call box. So we wish them the best of luck.

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Sergey Petrossov is Changing the Aviation Industry for the Better

Founder Sergey Petrossov has helped his company reach a $1.5 billion amount in valuation with investors including a Saudi royal family and celebrity Jay-Z.  These investors have helped the company plan for other offerings and the hotel industry is appreciative of better utilization also.  The services make it easier to arrange travel and this helps the industry with utilization efficiencies.  Sergey Petrossov has helped provide more digital innovations to make scheduling simpler and shared flights available to more people.  The lower entry-level prices are helping to build this social network as a community, which is part of the mission for JetSmarter.

Sergey Petrossov

Serving business travelers and vacationers is proving to be a smart way of building a social networking services for all of these people to enjoy.  This additional networking has encouraged Sergey Petrossov to call it all a community they are serving.  It seems the marketing efforts are catering more to the affluent but the marketplace is enjoying the value deals with better utilization and efficiency planning.  Bookings and shared travel are allowing luxury travel to extend out to others needing to go places for meetings or just leisure travel.  The services are also rather affordable and provide additional opportunities for hotel and shuttle services.  JetSmarter has reached a valuation amount that gets it to a term sometimes used in finance.  It seems this startup has risen to a unicorn and this makes it much better for providing additional ways to serve their customers.  The capital is also nicer for investments with technology and hiring.  Their engineers are hired from all over the place and this gives them more advantages for providing services.  The algorithms used to determine bookings also make it better for deals.  The pricing is part of offering a membership service at different price points.  The introductions are smart now for people that haven’t used first-class flights as much.  This new market is very large and JetSmarter knows this.

“Why Maarten De Jeu Is Qualified To Teach Corporate Development”

Maarten de Jeu is a business advisor to Fortune 100 companies in the insurance and finance sectors. The year was 2012 when he started SVM Business Advisory. The objective is to teach individuals good decision-making skills that fit into the strategy for corporate development. Maarten de Jeu use uses his business consulting skills to teach individuals about mergers and acquisitions. An acquisition may occur when the larger company finds appealing qualities of a smaller business. The appealing qualities of the business may include business knowledge and cash flow of the business. People interested in corporate development are taught to create a list of targeted businesses. Businesses who are on the list will be evaluated for risk and value. Maarten de Jeu will teach negotiation, a skill that would be useful for anyone who works with mergers and acquisitions. The negotiation will be used to negotiate terms for acquiring a business. Corporate developers should ensure the integration between business entities goes well.

The role of a corporate developer will vary based on the size of the corporation according to Maarten De Jeu. The corporate developer would need to understand how to conduct research and analyze data. The company is able to the corporate developers able to provide projections to help determine the value of a company. The information gathered by a corporate developer will be used to create offers that are competitive. A corporate developer will create a strategy and identify potential partners for business. 

A corporate developer must have the skill to evaluate the performance of a business. Forecasting and creating presentations are skills required to become a good corporate developer. Maarten de Jeu has expertise in international business that makes him a good teacher of corporate development. Maarten de Jeu understand the skills required to become a good corporate developer. A corporate developer needs to understand technical modeling have good communication skills to explain finance to people who may or may not understand financial terminology. A corporate developer needs to set priorities and have good time management. Corporate development also should see a person who is creative and show focus on the tasks at hand. Learn more:

Maarten de Jeu please to excel in corporate development person must be creative and have a willingness to think differently than in other people. A person must be innovative to excel in corporate development. Maarten de Jeu still believes expertise is important for a corporate developer to succeed. A good corporate developer will be able to build business relationships. The order persuasion in his spine an individual are qualities necessary for a corporate developer to perform well. A person was able to build a relationship that allows a person to come to the corporate developer directly when considering a merger or acquisition. Maarten de Jeu feels it is important to form a relationship with businesses that support the corporate developer.

Maarten de Jeu believes more corporate developers should coach other corporate developers. A person must have the desire to learn as strategies for corporate development changes. Maarten de Jeu has used many of the skills he has taught upcoming developers to form business networks in North America, Europe, and other locations globally.

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Teach to One Helps Teachers Set And Meet Math Goals

It can be difficult to get students to understand math and all of the instructions that go along with learning that subject. Teach to One was created to help those who are teaching math to students so that they can get those students to learn well. This program offers digital resources that can be used by those who are leading students in learning math so that the students can see how the math that they are learning is used by real professionals as they live out their lives.

When a teacher is working with the Teach to One program, they receive a schedule that they can use at the start of their day. This schedule helps them know what their students need to learn and what they should focus on teaching. This schedule also helps a teacher know who they will be working with and the specific skills that that group of students needs to learn.

Each student will learn in their own way, and Teach to One can help teachers know how to teach each of their students. There are different options available with this program so that a teacher can find the instruction that is best for each one of their students and that student’s unique learning style.

There is a portal that can be accessed by those teachers who are working using the Teach to One program. This portal allows them to track the learning that their students are doing. This program also allows teachers to figure out which types of goals they would like to set for the future. The teach can then get those goals set in stone so that they will try hard to work toward them with their students.

The Legacy Of Telehealth and Jack Plotkin

Jack Plotkin

Jack Plotkin has seen many different medical fads come and go but this time he thinks he’s finally found one that is here to stay. It is commonly known as telehealth and it is specifically designed for people who are unable to make it to the doctor’s office. However, it can also be used for people who are merely too lazy to get in their cars and drive to their annual physical. The practice involves using your wearable health device to track your biometrics and wirelessly send them to your physician without ever having to leave the comfort of your home. When it was first invented, it was rather difficult to employ as they had to use the phone to answer a bunch of yes or no questions regarding the type of condition that they were suffering from.

Jack Plotkin

The doctor’s challenge was then to try and determine what kind of illness the patient may have but, needless to say, it did not always have the best of outcomes. Of course, thanks to the advent of wearable health gadgets, the telehealth system is now much easier but physicians still face the obstacle of not always being able to look at the electronic medical records necessary to diagnose the conditions of their patients. This is also a common problem at call centers throughout the nation but virtual health is set to fix this issue forever. Set to initiate within a year, this new platform will combine all the medical records into one database making it easier to access. Even if it is successfully implemented, Jack Plotkin is well aware that these kinds of procedures are not particularly cheap and none of the major insurance companies have agreed to pay for it. So it seems only the affluent can afford this new system.

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Smita Shaw: A Prominent Advocate For Women In The Workplace

About Smita Shah

Smita Shah saw herself as a Math Geek. However, you see her or I see her; she is a dedicated advocate for helping women achieve success in male-oriented careers. Smita is renowned engineers and entrepreneurs and is a known advocate for women in business. She has achieved her ambition through education, career and her commitment to public service and women causes. Learn more:

Smita grew up in Chicago. She excelled student and was active in her local community. With hard work and perseverance, she received an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, a graduate degree from Massachusettes Institute Technology, and finished an Advanced Management Program at Oxford.

In 2007, Smita Shah founded SPAAN Technolgy, an engineering firm that provides alternative engineering solutions to complex technical projects. The company started with three employees. Today, it has expanded to 55 employees in nine years.

Smita was presented the Ellis Island Medal Honor Award for her work, dedication and commitment to women causes and her efforts in strengthening international relations. She is a notable businesswoman, philanthropist and activist. 


Smita Shah goals are to promote and guide female entrepreneurs. Her life’s ambition is to be an instrument in women success. 

Below are her tips and guide to getting ahead in the male-dominated business industry. Some of the tips include:

1) Self Belief 

Having a positive image is essential to female entrepreneurs. Your skills got you where you are today. Whether its bad or good experience, it can grant wisdom. Your experiences make you confident. You should give yourself the same credit and recognition as you do your employees. 

2) Closely review your abilities

-You should believe in your abilities and your worth because they are the same. 

-Passive traits are no longer a positive trait in the business world. 

-It is necessary sometimes to be assertive. 

-Shaw believes insight to nature can make celebrating accomplishments and rebounding from disappointments easier.

3) Exert strong presence

-The first impression are hard to overcome, so make the most of it. 

-You should adopt a business appearance. 

-Your posture and attire are just as crucial to making a first impression. 

4) Credit where it is due

-Women are normally passive. But you should not let others take your credit. 

-Build your story because it can inspire others. 

-Do not shy away from sharing opportunities and accomplishments. 

5) Short-Term Goals

-Do not focus on the mistakes of the past. 

-Do not worry about the future because it will strip you of energy needed to succeed now.

-Everyday experiences will provide you with opportunities to explore your abilities and help you succeed.

6) Feminine Stereotypes

-Do not comply with stereotypes.

-Special treatment must not be accepted for any reason. 

7) Cultural Factors 

-Do not take secondary roles. 

-Remember, to get recognized women must work harder. 

-Women must be able to grow inside and outside society’s comfort zone.

8) Respect from others 

-Women feel obligated to corporate and collaborate whenever possible. 

-Do not accept disrespect to your authority because it will make others think less of you.

-Exert your influence and authority if needed to be respected.

9) Private and personal lives should be separate

-Learn to delegate work. 

-Divide responsibilities to keep business life and personal life separate.

10) Time Management 

-Learn to prioritize your time and energy.

-Make time for family, personal goals, fitness and business demands.

-Use time management effectively and do not burn out.

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Maarten De Jeu: Respect Is Important With International Expansion

When you begin considering expanding your business internationally, things can get complicated quickly. This is why many people enlist the help of corporate development specialist and international strategy advisor Maarten de Jeu when making these kinds of decisions so that they can maximize their company’s potential during this process. Maarten de Jeu founded SVM Business Advisory in 2012 where he works as Managing Director. In 2001, he earned an MA in Public Administration from Leiden University before earned an MBA in Business Administration in 2005 from Said Business School. He has helped multiple businesses grow during his career. He strives to help his clients find solutions to the challenges that they are facing that are sustainable while potentially helping their companies grow.

A diverse and strong team is important in business and Maarten de Jeu values the people that he works with at SVM Business Advisory. In addition, he speaks multiple languages which can make it easier to communicate with his international clients that may not speak his native language. Having strong partnerships throughout the world is also something that Maarten de Jeu has been able to find useful when helping businesses expand. The business network that he has grown during his career expands across Europe, North America, and Asia. Currently, the entrepreneur and business expert is based in Chicago, Illinois.

When making international expansion efforts, Maarten de Jeu stresses the importance of keeping the culture of your potential customers in mind with every business decision that you make. While certain things may seem completely acceptable and normal where you are currently doing business, there could be issues in other countries based on cultural differences that you had not considered previously. While having a translator that can speak the language is an important tool, it’s just as important to have someone within your company that is familiar with the region that you are wanting to start doing business in. He recommends talking to representatives of the local communities in order to know the impact that your brand would have on your potential customer base. Learn more:

Getting the help of an international business advisor could help to make your expansion efforts go much smoother in many different aspects. Not only does Maarten de Jeu point out the importance of gaining interest in a new country, but he also says a focus must be made on the staying power of your company as well. By committing to long-term relationships in the region, it can show customers the potential loyalty of your company to their needs. Maarten de Jeu also states that it’s a good idea to try to hire local employees instead of just transferring employees from a different location. Actions like these can show good faith and dedication.

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Fortress Investment Group Keeps Up Their Tradition Of Trendsetting

Fortress Investment Group has gained a reputation for innovation over the last two decades and this tradition looks like it could continue for years to come with the big things that are taking place at the company. In 1998, the private investment firm was co-founded by Randal Nardone, Wes Edens, and Rob Kauffman. Kauffman went on to retire from Fortress Investment Group in 2012, but Randal Nardone and Wes Edens remain on as Principals. The founders of the company brought with them several years of experience in big firms in the financial industry. The investments that Fortress Investment Group makes are known to be very diverse and based in different countries around the world. Recently, they even got into the natural gas and oil industry to help fuel one of their other projects.

One of the big events in which Fortress Investment first started making headlines was back in 2007 when they released the Initial Public Offering to the New York Stock Exchange. A large private equity firm like them had never made themselves public before and it served them well for several years. They thrived so much as a public company that other private firms joined them with their own Initial Public Offerings. Like all good things, that particular market came to an end and the company realized that it was time for them to look towards changing things up significantly.

In 2017, Fortress Investment Group accepted an offer for $3.3 billion from Softbank to purchase the company. After becoming a subsidiary company of SoftBank, they were able to stop trading as a public company on the New York Stock Exchange. The company was wanting to look towards the future instead of just trying to make shareholders happy during the next quarter. Fortress Investment Group has already been able to make some big moves with long-term plans such as railways, energy companies, and other large-scale endeavors. Only time will tell if other companies like theirs will attempt to go private like they had been in years before the changes in the market. It will be interesting to see what the trendsetters do next.

A Force of Innovation: Two Decades of Fortress Investment Group