October 2, 2019, was the day that many well-known leaders gathered with Smita Shah to commemorate the memory of Mahatma Gandhi. This was the fifth year that the Chicago Sister Cities International Delhi Committee gathered in recognition of Mahatma Gandhi, however, this gathering differed from previous years. This was due to the fact that Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that October 2 would be known as Mahatma Gandhi Day in Chicago from that day forward. This proclamation was put in place to remember one of the greatest nonviolent leaders of all time as well as to recognize the 150th year since his birth. The day was also marked to remember the deep cultural roots of India that are imbedded in Chicago.
Smita Shah is the committee chair for the Chicago Sister Cities International Delhi Committee, and she is responsible for founding the Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi Luncheon. She is also the President and CEO of SPAAN Tech; the company focuses on the construction and engineering management. Smita Shah stated that the idea for the Luncheon grew from the understanding that there is a diverse community that makes up Chicago. Her goal is to honor each other’s culture and make sure that none are excluded. She also believes that the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi can greatly impact the people as well as the community simply by working together as a community.
The proclamation stated that due to the 150th year of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, that he was one of the most important figures of the 20th century, and he was highly regarded due to his nonviolent philosophy and passive resistance; therefore, from that day forward the people of Chicagoland would celebrate his life and practices on an annual basis. The commemoration also signified that Chicago was welcoming to international communities as well as their practices. This proclamation also allowed for the celebration of the long-lasting friendship that Chicago has had with India since 1893.
Ms. Shah attended MIT, Oxford University, and Northwestern University; she has a Professional Engineer license and is licensed in many states. Smita Shah launched SPAAN Tech in 1998, and in 2014 she helped to launch the Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi Luncheon. She has been highly revered in the business world as well as within the state of Chicago. She is considered an influential business leader, and since the founding of SPAAN Tech, she has received many honors and rewards recognizing her work. She has worked under many White House administrations, and she currently serves on many different Board of Directors committees for various businesses and organizations. Learn more: https://www.crunchbase.com/person/smita-shah#section-overview
Smita Shah is a civic leader as well as a strategic advisor who works with leading public policy organizations. She is dedicated to strengthening international partnerships as well as promoting economic and cultural growth. She enjoys every mentoring opportunity that comes her way, and she works hard to inspire future leaders.