To Bless You

God Bless Everyone


Under the leadership of Smita Shah, organized 5th Annual Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi luncheon became special when the mayor, Lori Lightfoot, with the CEO of World Business Chicago, Andrea Zopp, joined the event. The mayor, Lori Lightfoot, with putting light on the inspiring life of Mahatma Gandhi and Indian-American relationships in past issued a proclamation stating October 2nd a Mahatma Gandhi Day in Chicago and made Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birthday anniversary memorable in Chicago. First Lady Amy Eshleman and Senator Dick Durbin also became the part of this event.


Smita Shah, the president and CEO of SPANN Tech, is a chairman of the Delhi Committee of the Chicago Sister City International. The Annual Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi luncheon was initiated by Ms. Shah in 2014. Ms. Shah is a professional engineer (P.E.) and LEED AP BD+C in her qualifications and in her achievements she has earned and created a streak of titles for her. While the American Society of Civil Engineers titled her as the Young Civil Engineer of the year the American Consulting Engineers Council of Illinois titled her as the Community Leader of the Year. She was claimed as the 19th most connected person in Chicago by Crain’s Chicago Business and Inc. Magazine recognized her business as one of the fastest-growing private companies in Chicago. She has been recognized by many communities, whether business or social, in every step she is taken. 


About Proclamation Issued


The mayor, Lori, issued a proclamation naming 2nd October a Mahatma Gandhi Day in Chicago with mentioning many inspiring facts about Mahatma Gandhi and about the Indian American community contributing to their economy. 


Proclamation issued acknowledged the fact that Mahatma Gandhi was an inspiring public figure across the world and was the most important public figure in the 20th century. Proclamation also stating the fact that Mahatma Gandhi had close relations with many Americans and got inspired by people like David Thoreau and also became an inspiration for many African American leaders. In that proclamation, the name of Swami Vivekanand, an Indian philosopher, was also mentioned for playing a huge role to begin Indian and Americans friendship history. The contribution of the Indian American community in the development of Chicago was also highlighted in the proclamation. 


Proclamation considered the Annual Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi Luncheon was a great initiative taken by the Delhi Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International under the leadership of Smita Shah to spread the inspiration through the examples left by Mahatma Gandhi. It also elaborates that the Chicago Sister Cities International was a great initiative of World Business Chicago to create understanding, respect, and cooperation between the citizens of different cultures. 


In honoring all these facts about Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian American community mayor Lori Lightfoot issued this proclamation, dated September 20th, 2019.


About Delhi Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International


The division named Chicago Sister Cities International was initiated by World Business Chicago to create and promote the business, education, tourism, government exchange, and cross-culture arts internationally. Learn more:

Delhi Committee is a part of Chicago Sister Cities International, which is committed to the goals set by Chicago Sister Cities International. Smita Shah, being the chairman of the Delhi Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, committed and believes in creating a united culture between different communities in Chicago.

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Revolutions of Smita Shah

Engineering is a profession like any other. The aspect that brings a difference in the sector is its complexity and high demand. Besides, it is also not an easy one to pursue, and it is also expensive. Smita Shah is one of the accomplished engineers in the world. Her career history is an impressive one, and it encourages many. To her, all humans are equal. Nothing should ever serve as a barrier to anyone’s destiny, as it is only the decisions that one makes in life that shapes their achievements in life. She is intelligence, lovely and a woman full of concern. 

To Smita Shah, the field of construction must only be pursued by detailed thinkers. Without having an orientation in detail, a thinker can decide to beat around the bushes and come up with products and ideas that are pointless. The details that one comes with the industry must be like no other. They must reflect an individual’s level of innovativeness. Most individuals serving as engineers are usually too smart. When an individual decides to venture into this field without a better level of smartness, they always keep falling, and this can bring discouragement and mental diseases. It is reasonable for one to be entirely sure of their decisions to join the industry to avoid frustrations while it is still early.

 In engineering, there is usually no standardization of products. In most industries, people consider all products to be almost identical to the differences they portray are not noticeable at times. Quality is a major feature that differentiates most of the products. As noted, in engineering, it is either a product manufacturer becomes too unique in their work, or they can only leave the industry. Besides, those doing construction work must be inventive in every aspect. It is among the most competitive industries in the globe. People in this industry are always serious and well informed on all the processes that can make the industry prosper. Learn more:

Smita Shah is a frugal person. To her, being economical is always right for every entrepreneur. Most materials and products in the engineering sector are always expensive as they require high capital to purchase. Besides, the entire process of establishing a building r a road or any other product elated to construction must attract a lot of commitments from all parties. She tries to give options to every customer to make them make their plans accurate. Her first step entails connecting them to companies that sell products affordably. She also tests the products to identify if they attain the exact quality that other expensive ones attract. With prior contentment, she advises her clients to purchase them by directing them to the exact seller. Besides, she is always fair on her charges. She has a team that is experienced just like her. She does not find herself or her employees too special to help people. She gives out some construction services at a fair price that can allow a client to set aside more funds for the next process of construction.

Smita Shah Chicago

How Smita Shah Keeps It Together

There have been many different business owners and entrepreneurs over the years but none have been quite as young as Smita Shah was when she first became the founder and CEO of Spaan Tech. So how has she managed to keep a level head while managing her own business at such a young age? She recently did an interview on the radio where she discussed her career trajectory and what she would like to do in the future. It all started in grade school when she noticed she was one of the few girls in her math class and the only girl who wasn’t white in her science class. As such, she has dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of women in the workplace, especially in the fields of math and science where they are particularly underrepresented. 

When she first set foot on the campus of Northwestern University, she knew she was destined for great things and she clearly excelled throughout her college career. This was evident by the fact that she graduated in the top tier of her class and received a scholarship to pursue a master’s at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During her time in grad school, she was offered the opportunity to complete an internship with the office of the chief of staff in the white house. Afterward, she went on to receive her degree and began her career as one of the structural engineers at a company known as SOM where she worked for a little over a year. 

After leaving this position, she decided to finally make Spaan Tech a reality and they first opened their doors towards the end of 1998. When they were just getting off the ground, she wasn’t sure if they were going to do well which is why she wasn’t that invested in the potential of the business. She knew that if things went south, she could always salvage what was left of her career by moving on to another company. If they succeeded, however, she would have an amazing story to tell her children and future grandkids. Even as the founder and CEO of her own company, however, there have still been instances of people mistaking her for an assistant or simply one of the members of the marketing team. Learn more:

Of course, she was never one to hold grudges but these types of experiences have since led to her trying to get other professional women to support each other in the workplace so they can have the same amount of success as her. One of the main missions of the company is to construct various toll roads, bridges and superhighways to help people safely arrive at their destinations. They have also made sure to install proper lighting in lighthouses, airport runways and call boxes that are only used for emergencies. After two decades, they now have over 500 people working for her and she is firmly invested in the success of each and every one.

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Sergey Petrossov and JetSmarter

Sergey Petrossov

The private jet company JetSmarter is led by the founder and CEO Sergey Petrossov. Innovating for the affluent market is a strong focus on travel opportunities and hotel accommodations that make it nicer for their growing base of customers. The company has been successful in securing capital with more than $105 million already raised from investments secured by Sergey Petrossov. JetSmarter as a Fort Lauderdale-based private company has seen interest from some big names including a Saudi royal family and celebrity Jay-Z. The capital is helping JetSmarter provide additional services for the affluent to enjoy travel accommodations with better deals offered through the successful company.

Sergey Petrossov has helped his company reach a $1.5 billion valuation by providing services with private air travel. Customers enjoy being able to travel with others as they book their flights and share jets with members of the service. The innovation with this luxury area is supporting a marketplace that encourages better efficiency with bookings. Better utilization is cost-effective for the marketplace and enjoyed by additional travelers. JetSmarter is also able to offer additional product lines with this efficiency and cost savings. The sales proposition is attractive as they build a new market and improve the utilization of existing services.  Increased capacity is helping both the supply and demand sides with these markets.

Sergey Petrossov

Offering additional distribution channels is attractive with arrangements from this model as a brokerage. Sergey Petrossov is providing more options to customers and encouraging more of a social network for those involved. This is also attractive as people have an opportunity to travel with others more affluent with their choices of enjoying tourism or business meetings in another location. With the added services for hotel accommodations, Sergey Petrossov is also working on simplifying the planning for travelers and those needing services once they arrive in another place. Hotel capacity is able to be improved as the members see price deals and options for additional enjoyment.

Maarten de Jeu Is An Individual Who Can Help The Growing Field Of Corporate Development By Way Of His Significant Insights:

For renowned strategic business advisor Maarten de Jeu, the creation of SVM Business Advisory in 2012 was a part of a constant professional progression within the scope of his career. He has worked tirelessly and with great passion to become a figure that the leaders of the international business sector turn to when they need to find new and innovative ways to grown their companies and achieve higher profitability. Maarten is a resident expert in the field of corporate development and the skills have has built up over the years have only helped to serve the interests of his clients while also helping to make him a massive success.


The field of corporate development refers to those professionals that work to add value to their company and grow its business model through several different points of methodology. This includes work in the area of mergers and acquisitions as well as the area of divestitures. It is also closely tied to the world of joint ventures and business partnership creation. Maarten de Jeu always highlights the need to be an effective communicator who can put on a quality presentation. Those who can do this, along with thinking outside the box, can achieve great things when it comes to the corporate development topic.


A few of the key points of importance that are routinely highlighted by Maarten de Jeu on this corporate development topic include the aforementioned need to innovate and they also include partnership creation and continued education within one’s field. Innovation is needed to be able to see things in new ways. This is critical when it comes to successful corporate development. The ability to think innovatively provides a corporate development professional with the ability to see the kinds of opportunities that can make a difference. This is a major reason why Maarten de Jeu stresses this. He also stresses the importance of communication. This helps to create the kinds of partnerships that can give a business the ability to take its model to the next level and add new depth. It is equally important that a corporate development professional is always working to learn more about their industry and to do all that they can to have a handle on where the current competitions are at. Maarten de Jeu stresses all of these points when he is providing advice to the next generation of professionals within the field of corporate development. Learn more:


Maarten de Jeu is educated through both Leiden University and the University of Oxford. He also has past professional experience at TVDK Management Consultants and Aviva. In his personal time, he is devoted to his family as well as to supporting leading organizations in the Chicago region that he calls his home. He is a huge fan of Chicago’s legendary Museum of Science and Industry and has supported many of the organization’s valuable programs over the years. These points add up to showing the complexity of character that is present in Maarten de Jeu and it goes a long way toward explaining the reason that he has been so successful over the years.

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Gulf Coast Western Drilling in the United States

Gulf Coast Western

In the field of managing joint ventures for development, exploration and obtaining oil and gas reserves Gulf Coast Western is one of the best. The company obtains these reserves in the United States. The States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma are their main areas of operation for getting to and extracting these oil and gas reserves. Gulf Coast Western has access to thousands of acres in these regions. They help to manage these areas for development along with their joint venture partners. They plan to expand their drilling and extracting operations in these areas and they are expanding the business.

Gulf Coast Western is also taking into account other areas of the United States to explore for oil and gas reserves. They go over in great detail the geophysical and geological aspects of an area that they select to ensure that their joint venture partners will have success when they drill for oil and gas in a given area. The company was founded in Texas in 1970. They have been doing well over the years because they have been able to develop a sense of trust with their venture partners. They do this by striving to be honest and transparent with the businesses that they work with.

Matthew FleegerIn 2016, Gulf Coast Western was able to acquire more oil in South Western Louisiana. They decided to partner with a Dallas based company called Northcote Energy Ltd. to expand the drilling operations in the area. Also in 2016 Gulf Coast Western planned to develop a large area in South Louisiana for oil and gas extraction. To accomplish this they partnered with a company called Orbit Gulf Coast Exploration, LLC. They are acquiring rights which will allow them to have access to hundreds of square miles in the area so they can drill for oil and gas there. They have now also acquired drilling rights in many other new areas. There are currently many different forms of tax advantages that companies can take advantage of by drilling for oil and gas in the United States. Gulf Coast Western is doing this.

Read more from Matt Fleeger.

Smita Shah a Role Model, Mentor and Source of Inspiration to Women

Smita Shah is a role model, mentor, and source of inspirations and strength to many women who are aspiring to join the entrepreneurship world. Shah is a symbol of success, and many women look up to her for advice and guidance in their career fields and business. Shah is a renowned math guru whose deep understanding of the subject made her flourish in a field that is considered as a male field. Shah is an engineer by profession and an entrepreneur. She founded her engineering firm over two decades ago, and she is doing amazing things in the industry. Her engineering firm is known as SPAAN Tech and is regarded as the fastest-growing company in the US. Shah is a highly qualified engineer and holds a bachelor and a master of civil engineering degrees from Northwestern University and MIT respectively. Shah besides is an alumnus of the Ivy League university Oxford University where he pursued a certificate in management studies.

Smita Shah has been very vocal about women empowerment issues. She is an advocate for gender equity and has been using each opportunity to encourage women to join the entrepreneurship world. Shah has achieved all he ever desired career-wise, and in business and instead of resting on her successes, she instead is committed to helping other women experience success in male-dominated industries as she did. Shah is actively involved in advocating for women empowerment through participating in making policies and laws that will help create more opportunities for women. Smita Shah in as much her and other women leaders are trying to advocate for women issues women too must up their game and be ready to compete with men. Shah offers a few guidelines that will help empower women at the workplace and in the world of entrepreneurship. Learn more:

One empowerment guide from Smita Shah to women is that they should first above everything else believe in themselves. Shah says if a woman cannot believe in herself, then nobody else will. Women, according to Shah, need to realize their self-worth and believe that they possess a strong and healthy self-image. After believing in themselves, the second thing that women need to believe in is the skills and talents they possess. Women, just like men, are equally skilled and talented. Women should appreciate their skills and talents as it is what has made them reach the far they have reached and made them attain their current position. Shah says women no matter how far they have to go must respect the little skills they have as it is what has propelled them to greater horizons. Shah also says that women should always appreciate themselves for their little achievements as it is what will motivate them even to work harder.

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Pushing The Envelope Even Further: Smita Shah

Smita Shah is a woman who is not afraid to take chances. She learned early on that she was very smart and had an aptitude for math and science. She was able to put those talents to good use in college where she graduated with degrees from Northwestern, MIT, and Oxford. She went on to found one of the premiere technology companies in 1998. The company is called SPAAN Tech and it was a breakthrough in the industry. Now Smita Shah has been running the company for more than twenty years and wants women to know that they can do anything if they set their minds to it. In a recent interview, she gives women advice on how to make their business dreams a reality.


One of the key things that Smita Shah talks about when it comes to female entrepreneurs is self image. In a business world that is dominated by men, women need to take a step back and take a look at themselves in a positive light. One of the ways that women can conquer the world of entrepreneurship is to connect with other women who were in the same position they are. Being able to realize that one woman can make it in the business world, maybe they can make it too.


Another thing that Smita Shah points out is that businesses owned by women are on the rise. The first thing that she tells women who want to be entrepreneurs is to believe in themselves. If they have a great idea that could work well in the market then they should go for it. Being able to believe in yourself will make the employees feel good about their work as well. This is why staying positive is such a crucial element to making it in the business world today.


A third thing that Smita Shah discusses is examining a women’s abilities in the workforce. This means that women can focus on what they know best instead of trying to stretch themselves too thin in a very competitive business environment. Not everyone can run a business effectively but if a woman has a talent for keeping excellent accounting records then she can contribute to a business in that sense. She knows that her talent will be used to the utmost effectiveness and that is how a woman can get ahead in whatever field she chooses. Learn more:


These are just a few things Smita Shah uses to help women succeed. She has made a blueprint for how to be successful. Now the next generation of female leaders can look to her for inspiration. Helping women realize their potential to succeed is what it is all about for Smita Shah.

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Sergey Petrossov Made It Big In Business At A Young Age

Sergey Petrossov

JetSmarter may be known for providing private flights for their thousands of users, but it’s become a social community as well by providing services on the ground as well. The founder of the company, Sergey Petrossov, is wanting it to grow into a community for travel and lifestyle that delivers an experience that includes where you go and the people that you will meet. The company started as just a side project and he wasn’t sure how it would be received when he launched the beta of the mobile app and it immediately started getting the interest of investors in different parts of the world. Users were able to get real-time pricing for many different options of chartering private jets. About a year later after releasing the beta, JetSmarter was launched in March of 2013 and it is now estimated to be worth more than a billion dollars.

There are people who use JetSmarter for the social effect that it has instead of the flight itself. During a time where many people choose their flights based on how much they cost, Sergey Petrossov has created a community of flyers that are enjoying their experience instead of just viewing it as a mode of transportation. He hopes to make flying something that is fun again. Recently, they also launched a service through ThirdHome that allows their members to rent luxury residences that usually require being part of a club to access.

Sergey Petrossov and his family moved to the United States when the entrepreneur was four and he spent his time between California and Colorado until he moved to South Florida during his preteen years. He showed an interest in being an entrepreneur from a young age by washing cars, helping with garage sales, and running lemonade stands. In 2016, he was named to the 30-Under-30 list put out by Forbes Magazine. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and finance and it was during this time he became interested in being a tech entrepreneur.

James River Capital tips for getting funding

James River Capital Corp. is an independent investment firm based in Richmond, Virginia. It started as a department at Kidder, Peabody & Co., Inc. James River was acquired by Paul Saunders and Kevin Brandt, two executives from the department. Kevin Brandt is president and principal of James River and Paul Saunders is the chairman of the board, chief executive officer, principal, and portfolio manager.

James River invests in alternative asset classes. This includes equities, corporate credit, futures, and asset-backed securities. It is registered with the SEC as an investment advisor, commodity trading advisor, and commodity pool operator.

Paul Saunders enjoys talking to people who are thinking of starting a business. One question invariably asked of him is how to get the money to do so. He has shared myriad ways of raising funds, including both conventional and creative ideas. These funding strategies can be used solo or in concert.

The first way of raising money is called “bootstrapping”. This is using your sources of money including savings and credit cards. You can also borrow money from people you know. Paul Saunders says this is the best way to raise money. The major benefit is that you don’t have to give up equity in your new company to an outside investor.

Crowdfunding is a relatively new way of raising capital for a small business. Kickstarter is a major crowdfunding site. You can set goals and tiers for people willing to give you money. The people who give you money don’t expect to get their money back. Some Kickstarter campaigns do give things like t-shirts to their supporters.

Money can be acquired from business loans or the Small Business Administration. Paul Saunders says that getting a bank loan is a lengthy process but interest rates are good. SBA loans have a higher rate of interest but they aren’t as difficult to qualify for. Both require that the applicant has a good credit score.

A business line of credit is another option. This provides you with a pool of money to tap into. You only pay interest on the portion that you use. It depends on the bank when it comes to the approval process used and what the interest rates will be. Learn more:

Another option is getting a local loan. Paul Saunders says this resource is often overlooked. The best source of information on these is the local Chamber of Commerce. Another resource is the local business development center. These can often be found at a university. This is a great way of meeting other people who want to start or have started a company. This resource can show you how to apply for a loan and what the terms are.

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