Smita Shah, the president, chief executive officer, and founder of SPAAN Tech in Chicago, IL, completed postgraduate work at Oxford University and MIT. Dedicated to her Chicago, IL, community, Smita Shah is a member of several professional organizations including the National Organization of Minority Engineers (NOME).
Founded by Dr. Michael Sutton in 2011, the National Organization of Minority Engineers is dedicated to removing the economic, social, and political obstacles faced by minority engineer-owned organizations throughout the country. Standard membership is open to MBE-certified businesses that are at least 51 percent owned and operated by minority members, with different tiers depending on annual revenues. Associate membership is open to MBE-certified businesses that have less than 51 percent minority ownership. Finally, the NOME is open to corporate and governmental organizations with any level of minority ownership or participation.
Membership in the National Organization of Minority Engineers offers a number of benefits, including admission to the annual NOME Leadership Summit held every June. Members also have the opportunity to join one of the organization’s 13 special interest committees as well as different regional projects. Additionally, NOME gives its members a voice in constantly-evolving matters like legislative representation and offers opportunities to keep current on business trends through continuing education.
A Chicago, IL, resident and entrepreneur Smita Shah serves as the president of her construction management firm SPAAN Tech, which specializes in public and private infrastructure projects. A well-recognized professional and engaged community member, she was recently listed as one of the city’s 40 Under 40 by Crain’s Chicago Business, which also recognized her as one of the the “100 most-connected” people in the city in 2016.
First issued in 1978, Crain’s Chicago Business is a weekly business newspaper owned by Crain’s Communications Inc. The Most Connected in Focus and 40 under 40 are just two of several lists the newspaper develops each year. Other annual lists include Best Places to Work, Who’s Who in Chicago business, and Fast Fifty.
The 2016 issue of the most connected individuals pointed out multiple well-connected individuals and organizations, including the Museum of Science and Industry and the Economic Club of Chicago. The listing indicated Smita Shah held sixteen organizational connections at the time. In addition to nine governmental organizations, her other connections included Loyola University Chicago’s Council of Regents, MIT’s development committee and many others. In addition, the list covers individuals and organizations that did not make the most connected list and explains why.
An accomplished engineer who resides in Chicago, IL, Smita Shah has holds credentials from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, and Oxford University. Smita Shah founded the Chicago, IL-based engineering and construction management firm SPAAN Tech, where she serves as president. In addition, she holds a position as a board member of the National Organization of Minority Engineers.
The National Organization of Minority Engineers is a professional association that works to advance the interests of minority-owned engineering firms. These engineering firms include those that are at least 51 percent minority owned. The organization provides a range of benefits that focus on improving opportunities and removing barriers for its members.
In addition to ongoing advocacy and lobbying efforts that advance the economic opportunities for members, benefits provided by the National Organization of Minority Engineers include legal representation, professional development through seminars and workshops, and reporting on current events. Moreover, membership enables networking opportunities with organizational partners and other members. This networking encourages joint ventures and collaboration that further benefit members.
Smita Shah serves as the CEO of SPAAN Tech, a Chicago, IL, engineering and construction firm offering design engineering, information technology, and energy management solutions. In May 2014, Smita Shah was selected to join the Board of Directors for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation (ALPLF). The ALPLF supports educational and cultural programing for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM), located in Springfield, IL.
Comprised of two buildings—a library and a museum—, the ALPLM is the only presidential library and museum supported dually by a nonprofit private organization and a governmental state agency. The library and museum utilize immersive exhibits and displays to educate the public about the life of the United States’ 16th president. In her new position, Shah will assist ALPLF board members in preserving the history of President Abraham Lincoln through fundraising initiatives, conferences, and publication of documentary materials.
The museum offers a two-part “journey” exhibit as one of its keystone displays. The Pre-Presidential Journey immerses guests in the life of Abraham Lincoln before his time as president. Guests begin the journey in front of a full-scale representation of Lincoln’s boyhood cabin home and follow the man into his teenage and adult years. The journey ends with his first presidential campaign in 1860, wherein guests then enter the second part of the journey.
The Presidential Years Journey continues Lincoln’s life story, picking up at the White House where guests enter a re-creation of the Whitehouse “Blue Room” to meet Mary Lincoln. Visitors are lead through the remainder of Lincoln’s life as president and complete the journey at a re-creation of Ford’s Theater, the place Lincoln was assassinated. Additionally, the exhibit’s exit includes information concerning the aftermath of his death and a Treasure Gallery where visitors can view dozens of artifacts from the president’s life.
Smita Shah is the founding president and CEO of SPAAN Tech, Inc., a Chicago, IL engineering and construction management company. In addition to leading her firm’s operations and development, Smita Shah is also heavily involved in the community of Chicago, IL.
Recently, the Chicago City Council and Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Ms. Shah to the Chicago Plan Commission. Currently, she serves as the vice chair of the commission, which meets once monthly to review proposals related to the zoning and development of the community.
One of the commission’s tasks is to manage proposals for Planned Developments (PDs), a designation that is required for a number of projects, including power plants and airports, as well as large industrial, commercial, and residential projects. The PD designation serves to ensure that large construction projects with significant community impact are appropriately planned, economically beneficial, and do not pose a threat to natural resources.
The commission also handles proposals related to Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts and Planned Manufacturing Districts (PMDs). Additionally, it is responsible for reviewing proposals regarding the sale and purchase of public land.
Chicago, IL, resident Smita Shah is the founder, CEO, and president of engineering and construction management firm SPAAN Tech, Inc. In addition to leading this multimillion-dollar company, Smita Shah supports various nonprofit organizations, both within the Chicago, IL community and on a national scale. Recently, she was chosen to serve on the Board of Directors of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation (ALPLF).
Established in 2000, the ALPLF supports the educational efforts of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum through fundraising initiatives and events. The foundation offers various opportunities for individuals to support the museum, including programs that allow donors to have their names displayed near framed exhibit pieces. Benefactors may also be honored on the Gateway Wall, a brass and glass structure recognizing the foundation’s most generous philanthropists.
The ALPLF also sponsors the annual Lincoln Leadership Prize. Since 2006, the prize has been awarded to leaders who representing various fields and embody the strong leadership qualities and character of Abraham Lincoln. Past recipients include Sandra Day O’Connor, Steven Spielberg, and Bill Clinton.
SPAAN Tech’s founder and president, Smita Shah, directs the company’s business administrations and operations. Based in Chicago, IL, Smita Shah believes firmly in her responsibility to give back to the community. For this reason, she currently serves as a board member of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
One of the largest pediatric care providers, the hospital offers the latest innovation in medical technology in providing treatment for pediatric illnesses and diseases. Being a charitable, tax-exempt organization, the hospital relies on donations and philanthropic funding to maintain its services and programs. One fundraising event that the hospital organizes is the Chicago Dance Marathon.
Aiming to raise funds for the benefit of Lurie Children’s Hospital patients, the dance event encourages each participant to raise $500. Aside from raising funds, this event aims to raise awareness as families of patients share their stories. Participants can expect an inspiring and fun-filled event as they dance along with other supporters of the hospital.