Business, entrepreneur, Uncategorized

Smita Shah: Committed To Improving The Lives Of Others

Throughout the years, many people have worked to improve the lives of others around the world. While many have gained recognition for their efforts, perhaps none have garnered more than Mahatma Gandhi. Because of this, the city of Chicago recently held its annual Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi Luncheon, which featured a variety of dignitaries as well as Smita Shah. As the Chair of the Chicago Sister Cities International Delhi Committee, Smita Shah has played a key role in helping to improve the lives of others in Chicago and elsewhere.


Joining such distinguished individuals as Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot and Senator Dick Durbin, Smita Shah helped them and others recognize Chicago’s Indian community for its efforts in promoting inclusion and community involvement. By doing so, she was able to emphasize not only these efforts but also touch on how Chicago is working to improve its ability to spread the philosophies of Gandhi that have proven to be so effective, such as non-violence and speaking the truth regarding all matters.


Under the leadership of Smita Shah, this annual luncheon has grown in stature as one of Chicago’s most respected meetings of local, state, and federal leaders in politics, business, and other areas. As a result, a variety of ideas have been shared between Chicago and Delhi, showcasing just how much change can result when people of various cultures and backgrounds come together for a common cause.


Having achieved her current position as the President and CEO of SPAAN Tech, one of the world’s most respected engineering firms, Smita Shah knows the value of hard work and dedication. In addition, she has also emphasized building a company that is known for its diverse workforce and commitment to its community. Because of this, she has not only worked with the Gandhi luncheon, but also served on the Board of Directors for such organizations as the Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, and the Museum of Science and Industry.


Considered one of the most influential female business leaders of her generation, Smita Shah has been instrumental not only in building community partnerships between businesses and governments but also acting as an inspiration to other females who someday want to be entrepreneurs. Showing it is indeed possible for women to reach the highest levels of success in a predominantly male-dominated field such as engineering, Smita Shah regularly gives presentations to school groups and other gatherings of young people about how to defy the odds and make one’s dreams come true. Learn more:


Determined to continue her quest to make the world a better place, Smita Shah has many plans in the works. Of course, the highest on her priority list is continuing to build SPAAN Tech into an even bigger and better engineering firm. But along with this, she is also determined to continue forging partnerships between Chicago and other cities around the world. By doing so, she knows this not only makes Chicago a much stronger city, but it also spreads hope to others as well.

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Business, Uncategorized

Marteen De Jeu Offers Investment Advice to Small Investors

Maarten de Jeu is well known within the finance sector. He is the founder of SVM Business Advisory, a firm he founded in 2012. He has worked in finance for most of his adult life and currently known as a strategic business advisor in financial circles around the world. He has built a successful reputation in international business, financial services and commercial real estate investments. 

Maarten De Jeu is a respected advisor to senior executives of Fortune 100 companies. He is well respected and sought after by his clients because of his mix of technical skills, industry knowledge and extensive international experience in business in North America, Asia and Europe. 

In a recent interview Maarten De Jeu offered small investors some advice and insight on how to use commercial real estate investments to improve financial goals. He explains that adding commercial real estate to a financial portfolio is a noble goal for everyone including the small investor. 

He mentioned that commercial real estate investment opportunities are now accessible to everyone, including the private average investor, where just a few decades ago they were out of range for the smaller investor. Maarten de Jeu believes commercial real estate investments are something everyone should try to achieve, and the smaller investor can do just that by joining forces, combining financial interests, to purchase these more expensive properties. 

What is Commercial Real Estate Investing About?

Commercial real estate refers to commercial properties like office buildings, warehouses, apartment buildings and any other type of property which produces income. This type of property is much larger and more expensive than single family homes.It is the reason this type of investment is a bit harder to purchase for small investors as it can be hard to find the capital for this type of opportunity.

Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act 2012

A game changer to the real estate investment world happened in 2012 when the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act went into effect. This law eased the restrictions on small businesses and permitted investors to crowdfund to find the necessary capital to invest in commercial property. 

Now, Non-accredited investors can put in as little as $5,000 in commercial real estate properties and with their associated investors, earn a share in the income the property produces. 


The Advantages 

Owning commercial property is different than purchasing stocks and bonds. Property offers a more secure investment and does not depend on the fluctuations of the financial market. Properties are protected against volatile markets and this is the primary reason investors choose this type of investment as a foundation on which to build other investments. 

Protection Against Inflation

Traditional stocks and bonds are often affected by inflation, and they may not appreciate as expected. Savvy investors can avoid this issue by investing in commercial real estate. Property usually appreciates in value and holding onto this type of investment can be a low-risk investment. In addition, commercial property is often associated with monthly rent which produces revenue, and this rent escalates over the years, making it more profitable than other types of investments. 

Property is a Hard Asset

Investing in property offers an investor a hard asset and maximizes the value of the investment and helps investors make revenue on the asset through rent, something that traditional stocks and bonds cannot always offer. An additional benefit to a hard asset (i.e. building) is that this type of investment can be insured. This protects the asset in a way that an investor cannot protect stocks and bonds. Learn more:

All About Diversification

Maarten de Jeu says that investing is about diversification and commercial real estate Investments offer another diversification option for investors. It is a sound type of investment because real estate does not fluctuate in price as stocks do. Plus, once an investor has this type of investment, he can start to receive monthly returns. He need not be as concerned about a dip in the stock market as you might be without commercial property Investments.

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Business, entrepreneur, Uncategorized


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. Learn more:


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. 

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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Business, Uncategorized

Maarten De Jeu Compares The Benefits Of Commercial Property To Stocks & Bonds

Drawing on several decades of experience in the sector, Maarten De Jeu is an accomplished business strategy advisor who has worked with a variety of firms during his career. Throughout this time, he has developed a significant amount of expertise in the niche, which has allowed him to offer a wealth of high-quality services to each of his clients.


For much of his career, De Jeu has advised a large number of his clients to invest in commercial real estate property, which he claims can offer a variety of benefits. Though he admits that there will be a significant amount of capital needed to take advantage of the niche initially, the entrepreneur notes that this investment can provide a considerable return, with this being seen quite quickly.


The primary reason for this is that rent from the property should start coming in almost immediately, which will mean that investors will start making their money back in the weeks following the purchase. While this may start small, Maarten De Jeu highlights that this can be quite significant over the long-term. Coupled with this is that there are a variety of regulatory allowances that enable investors to increase rent over time. Learn more:


As a result of this, he notes that the return on investment that commercial real estate owners will see should increase significantly the longer they own the property. This is something that he highlights can be considerably more than the returns that the majority of investors will see with stocks and bonds. One of the more negative aspects of the niche has traditionally been the fees that are associated with property management and maintenance.


However, Maarten De Jeu highlights that these have been reduced drastically over the past few years, with this being driven by a variety of advancements in the niche. As a result, he notes that online access to a portfolio allows investors to manage their assets in a much more cost- and time-effective manner, which could be quite an attractive benefit for a considerable number of people.


Alongside this, the strategic business advisor has claimed that there can be significantly more advantages to the niche, although many of these will be seen long-term. Perhaps the most notable of these is that commercial real estate property can provide a considerable amount of protection against inflation. The largest reason for this is that the value of a property can often increase much faster than goods and services.


As a result, Maarten De Jeu has claimed that this appreciation could ensure that investors will be able to reap a significant number of dividends over time. While the value of a property will rise and fall over time, he notes that there is typically an upward trend over the long-term.


These benefits are coupled with the fact that commercial real estate property is a hard asset, which contrasts it quite significantly with stocks and bonds. This should mean that there is a much greater potential for making a long-term profit with the niche than other investments.

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Business, entrepreneur, Uncategorized

How Chicago Encourages People To Work Together

Smita Shah is responsible for the creation of Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi luncheon in 2014. She was able to create the event due to her involvement in the Chicago Sister Cities International Delhi Committee (CSCIDC). CSCIDC was created from an initiative of the World Business Chicago. The declaration of Mahatma Gandhi Day on October 2, 2019, was made by the Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot at the Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi luncheon. CSCIDC is one of many boards of directors Shah is a member. Smita Shah Chicago created SPANN Tech (SPN Tech) in 1998. Shah’s leadership of the company led to her receiving many awards such as Best of Business in Chicago Engineering Services offered by the Small Business Commerce Association.


Smita Shah Chicago led SPN Tech to partner with A. Epstein & Sons International Inc to work on a $6.6 billion project for all O’Hara’s airports. Shah’s partners understood Shah did not believe in mediocrity. Shah believed SPN Tech struggled in the beginning because she was an Indian-American woman who worked in construction and engineering. SPN Tech has been able to work on projects such as making improvements worth $510 million to the Chicago Transit Authority’s Blue Line. Shah has been able to work and still be able to participate in galas and other political events. Shah is familiar with politics as she was the Vice-Chairperson of the Rules Committee at the Democratic National Convention.


The proclamation of Mahatma Gandhi Day in Chicago shows the city recognizes Gandhi’s impact on the world with his philosophy of nonviolence. Gandhi help changed education and economic opportunities. Chicago also uses Mahatma Gandhi Day to honor the Indian culture that exists in the city. Shah’s work as an engineer has not gone unnoticed as she has won an award called American Consulting Engineers Council of Illinois Community Leader of the Year. Shah’s guidance of SP Tech created growth that landed the company on 1,821st on the list of Inc. magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies. Learn more:


Shah has been a part of the Rules Committee that would decide to reinstate Florida’s or Michigan’s delegates when the states broke party rules. The party rules were broken when Florida and Michigan would hold their primaries too early prior to February 5. Shah has worked as an intern for President Bill Clinton. Shah has also been a part of trade missions to India. Shah has shown she is a role model whose professional career can be influential to any entrepreneur. She attended Northwestern University, Oxford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Shah believes people should work together. Shah has been a strategic advisor for organizations involved in public policy. She has worked with a few White House Administrations.


Shah would like to see more growth in small businesses that operate in emerging industries. Shah has served as the United States’ delegate for the APEC Women and the Economy Forum (WEF). Some of Shah’s works assists the White House Advance Team. Shah has reached a few professional milestones while helping SPC Tech generate over $9 million in revenue.

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Jack Plotkin and the Shift Toward Telehealth

Jack PlotkinThe term “telehealth” sounds like something out of the future. While it’s definitely a modern concept, that future is now. In fact, Virtual Health CPO Jack Plotkin says that telehealth has existed in various forms for decades and is more advanced today than ever. However, Plotkin also says that it must achieve better engagement, integration, and reimbursement in order to actually become an integral component of everyday health care.

The good news is that this is possible. Today’s telehealth technology already exists in the form of electronic devices that patients can wear, which take accurate readings of their current state. An increasing amount of health care providers are also adopting virtual diagnostic procedures, allowing patients to communicate with their providers via video or online chat about their symptoms. Nevertheless, people like Plotkin are still focused on bringing these different components together and create a seamless integration.

Jack PlotkinOne of the biggest areas of concern (according to Plotkin) is transferring patient information directly to providers. For example, patients may be able to wear a device that records their health information, but unless someone manual inputs that data, it will not automatically become part of their instantly-accessible patient record. Through Virtual Health, Plotkin is working to change this.

Virtual Health is, therefore, an all-inclusive care coordination platform, working to create an accessible 360-degree view of each patient’s current health status and health history. Furthermore, Plotkin aims to include insurers as well, allowing them to communicate better with patients and see which health care providers are actually providing the best treatment. Doctors and other health care providers may not currently be able to have instant access to all the information they need on a patient, but with tools like Virtual Health getting better every day, this time may come sooner than we think.

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Business, Uncategorized

Business advisor Maarten de Jeu details the career of a corporate development professional and how to have a successful career in the field

In an article from Ask Reporter, an advisor named Maarten de Jeu defines what corporate development is, what corporate professionals do, and tips on how to advance in the career. Who is Maarten de Jeu? What are his credentials? According to a biography from, he is known as a strategic business advisor and a managing director. He launched SVM Business Advisory back in 2012 and has a lengthy education background being a graduate of the University of Oxford and Leiden University. The businessman has been successful in multiple industries such as international business, real estate, and finance. He also brings a lot of skills to the table and has a deep understanding of different cultures. The individual enjoys some other activities like tennis, spending time with his family, and working with several organizations. Maarten de Jeu is based out of Chicago and has helped out many startups, companies, and clients throughout his career as an advisor. The businessman explains that corporate development goes hand in hand with decision making and working together as a cohesive team. Employees work on ways to expand a business and form new deals, partnerships, and more. He explains that in the world of business, bigger companies have interest in acquiring smaller ones with the goal in mind to expand, gain more customers, make more money, or learn more. He reflects that corporate professionals create lists, evaluate risks, negotiate terms, help run a company and assist people with the transitioning period. The advisor notes that corporate professionals must understand business ethics and financial modeling. In response, Maarten de Jeu displays what a corporate professional career entails and what their duties are. However, he does state that it can depend on the size of the company. Corporate development professionals have a lot of responsibilities that consists of attending meetings, analyzing data, sourcing partners, and evaluating performances. In some instances, they also make presentations, do financial projections, and help with the transition process when acquiring different companies. The qualifications of becoming one are typically someone with a background in investment banking with some experience in the business world. Computer skills can be a must and understanding, finance models. Some firms could require an MBA, while a bachelor’s in science in accounting can be enough. Some of the essential skills can range from being able to communicate ideas well, have persuasion techniques, and an understanding of technical modeling and finances. When it comes to the interview process, people might have to take a test, answer questions, and evaluate a specific target. Now, Maarten de Jeu lists tips for how to take a career in corporate development to the next level. The first is being able to innovate, which is learning more and analyzing different scenarios. Next is building relationships. Corporate professionals will have to build rapport with employees and network at work events. The last tip is to stay connected to what is going on in the industry. Individuals will need to know the current technology and keep up with trends. In conclusion, Maarten de Jeu notes that a career in corporate development can be exciting and that individuals with a background in finance tend to be a good fit. Being able to effectively communicate and persuade can both go a long way. Once in the industry, de Jeu recommends employees build relationships with others at work, stay on top of the latest news, and innovate. Learn more:


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Jack Plotkin: Medicine’s ability to Traverse Space and Time

Jack PlotkinThe future of medicine will not be measured by the precision of instruments, but the ability to bridge space and time. Technology has evolved to a point that people can communicate around the world, in mere seconds. It was only a matter of time that similar technology had come to healthcare. The rise of Telehealth is a perfect example. Medicine is in the process of going through a massive overhaul. Jack Plotkin, CTO of Virtual Health is the architect behind the scenes. His work is uniting the world and the advancements of medicine on levels never seen before.


Healthcare professionals are now able to see, speak, and analyze their patients in some of the most remote regions of the world. Normally, a patient goes to the doctors’ office, with a series of symptoms, but when they arrive the symptoms are not present. Telehealth will allow doctors to have the first-hand experience with the symptoms whenever, wherever, they arise.


The best form of medicine is proactive medicine. It is getting ahead of a treatment plan, diagnosis, or condition before it gets to the point of no return. Telehealth is helping doctors fight back. As a result, it is helping reshape the financial structure of healthcare. The majority of costs associated with healthcare comes from reactive medicine. This is when patients react to symptoms rather than prevent them with routine care. Telehealth is making healthcare accessible and affordable, which means more proactive.


Jack PlotkinThere are still many challenges being overcome when it comes to virtual medicine. Presently, Jack Plotkin is working to increase integration between virtual and existing data. The process is tedious but has come a long way. New platforms have already begun connecting existing data with new virtual data. As the processes get more efficient one can expect the cost to become more affordable. As a result, Virtual Health is slowly reshaping the future.

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Biotechnology, entrepreneur, Finance, People, Uncategorized

Marc Beer

Marc Beer’s Journey to Renovia

The most impressive entrepreneurs don’t come from money; they’re self-made. Marc Beer is the type of entrepreneur that’s always been talented, but he didn’t let it go to his head. Beer had a tough path leading him to his current success, but he came out stronger than ever.

Marc Beer’s illustrious career began after he graduated from Miami University with a B.A. in Business. Immediately upon entering the workforce, he realized he had a natural talent for pharmaceutical sales and marketing. His unique skills quickly led him to be named VP of Global Marketing at Genzyme.

While at Genzyme, Beer was responsible for promoting the company’s latest product line to more than 350 million people across the world. All these people were considered medically underserved; as they had rare diseased most companies didn’t produce products for. Under Marc Beer’s leadership, Genzyme reached the afflicted suffering from more than 7,000 kinds of rare diseases.

After seeing what kind of an impact he could have using someone else’s business strategy, he wanted to strike out on his own. More than anything, he wanted to up his game and help more people. The only way he saw fit to push himself further was to launch his own business.

In 2000, Marc Beer invested in his first venture, Viacell. The biotechnology company blossomed into a huge success, and by 2007, Beer was at the top of his game. Viacell went public in 2005 and became one of the most in-demand stocks.

On top of the world, Beer sold his company to PerkinElmer for $300 million. He had one successful company sold under his belt, and things never looked brighter. Sadly, his happiness ended with the death of his wife, who died from a pulmonary embolism; she was 42 years old.

He spent the next two years focused on raising their three children. Rejoining the workforce was the last thing on his mind, but his 14-year-old daughter reminded him of something he said to her every day while dropping her off at school: “live with a purpose.” Marc Beer wasn’t living the life he was destined to live. Learn more:

Following his daughter’s advice, Beer began looking for his next venture opportunity. As if by fate, Dr. Ray Iglesias reached out to Beer with an idea on how to help women avoid pelvic floor surgery. Along with Yolanda Lorie, the trio co-founded Renovia, which produced the most effective therapeutic and diagnostic devices for women.

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How Jack Plotkin and Telehealth are Shaping The Future

Jack PlotkinJack Plotkin is always tracking various trends in the medical field but lately, there is a new one that promises to revolutionize the way we go to the doctor. It goes by many names but most people just refer to it as telehealth. It’s the concept of consulting with your physician without being in the same room as them. As such, it has become widely available thanks to the new invention known as wearable health devices. Coming in different forms such as armbands, pendants, bracelets and watches, these gadgets are capable of tracking your vital signs and sending your biometrics to the doctors for analysis and examination. They then attempt to use this information to successfully diagnose and treat whatever type of illness you may have.

Of course, this has proven to be rather difficult in recent years due to the fact that many of these medical professionals have found themselves limited in the access they have to their patient’s medical records. Nurses too have also found themselves unable to obtain the electronic medical records of their patients. However, there may be hope for them as they are currently attempting to develop a new platform known as virtual health. Designed to be launched within a year or two, this system is attempting to combine the EMRs with the rest of the medical information in the database making it easier for doctors to successfully diagnose and treat the illnesses of their patients.

Jack PlotkinOf course, should this new system prove to work well, there is still the issue of this new treatment costing the average consumer an arm and a leg. Jack Plotkin recently discovered that these new treatments aren’t covered by Medicare or Medicaid and all the major insurance companies are refusing to subsidize the costs of this system. As such, it is only available for those who are able to afford the inflated cost of this new system. Back in the ’50s, the only way to use telehealth was over the phone but it was difficult for the doctor to diagnose it due to the limited knowledge they are provided.