Business and community leader Smita Shah has always been a trailblazer. Ms.Shah’s illustrious career has spanned the technology, engineering, construction, and political sectors. For instance, according to Crain’s Chicago Business, Ms. Shah became the youngest person to serve as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1996. Not long after leaving graduate school Ms. Shah decided to become an entrepreneur. When most young professionals complete their graduate studies they search for the certainty of a full-time job at a company that is run by someone else. However sometime after completing her graduate studies Ms. Shah decided to strike out on her own and start her own business.
Ms. Shah attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts where she graduated with a Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Sometime after completing her master’s degree Ms. Shah decided that she would launch her own engineering and construction company in the late 90s. Today the company that she started is known as SPAAN Tech, Inc. and boasts dozens of employees and millions of dollars in revenue. Not only is Ms. Shah a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but she has also attended the University of Oxford’s Said Business School as well as Northwestern University. These educational experiences no doubt prepared Ms. Shah to run a successful company and be an engaged member of Chicago’s civic and business communities.
The milestones that Ms. Shah has reached as an engineering professional and executive in the construction industry illustrate her expansive business acumen. While Ms. Shah’s professional background shows her deep interest in mathematics and designs her interests outside of the boardroom paint a picture of an ambitious person who is invested in making Chicago be the best city that it can be.
In the midst of her busy schedule running a construction and engineering firm Ms. Shah somehow always finds the time to give back to the various communities that she is part of. Ms. Shah lends her expertise to a local professional association that is known as the American Society of Civil Engineers. Ms. Shah helps to promote the American Society of Civil Engineers’ mission by playing a role in planning programs for the organization. Ms. Shah has also spent nearly two decades as part of the Chicago Sister Cities International Delhi Committee. She is currently the chairwoman of the Chicago Sister Cities International Delhi committee and in her capacity as Chairwoman has overseen the organization of the Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi Luncheon. Learn more: https://shiakapos.com/long-before-stem-was-chic-there-was-smita-shah/
The Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi Luncheon is an event that is organized to commemorate the world-changing work that Mahatma Gandhi did during his life as an activist committed to non-violence. The year 2019 marked the fifth time that the Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi Luncheon was held and the first time that the legendary activist Mahatma Gandhi had been granted his own holiday by the city of Chicago. During the event, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a proclamation that established the date of October 2nd as Mahatma Gandhi Day. Arguably the establishment of a day to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s life and legacy serves to both recognize Gandhi and the important contributions that people of Indian descent have made to the city of Chicago.