13th Annual Scholarship Dinner

Gala Dinner Table

13th Annual Scholarship Dinner

By Omero Siller


On May 12, 2017 the 13th Annual Scholarship dinner was at the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel located at 636 S. Michigan Ave. The Renaissance is a beautiful place with historic meaning. Al Capone used to conduct meetings in the ballroom where we had our dinner.

This event was to raise funds for future scholarships for East-West students. There was a silent action and a raffle as well. For the silent auction pieces of art were sold to the highest bidder. There were also many more items like sports memorabilia and concert tickets for the symphony among other fabulous pieces of art.

Her bio provided in the dinner program states: “Ms. Iram Shah is a global corporate executive with a career across multiple industries and countries. Currently, she is Senior Vice President at Schneider Electric, a global leader in energy management and automation. … She has worked for big brands like Gatorade, Coca Cola, BP, and Zurich Financial. Her experience range from marketing, business development to general management, specializing in growth, customer management and cultural transformation. Ms. Shah obtained her MBA from UFC Booth School of Business and Advanced General Management Program Degree at Harvard Business School. She has won several awards and accolades, including the 100 Most Influential People award in the UK in 2005 and one of the top 11 international Woman Leader in Chicagoland by Chicago Women Magazine in 2017.”

Ms. Iram Shah told the guests how her daughter Sonja traveled to a remote Pakistan village which did not have a school for girls.  Sonja Shah started a school there and supported education for girls.  When Sonja died in a car accident, Ms. Iram Shah continued her daughter’s non-profit and humanitarian work.  Her bio states “Ms. Shah is very involved in nonprofit activities. She runs the Sonia Shah Organization which focuses on educating and empowering underprivileged girls and was started by her late daughter. She has also served on several other nonprofit boards. Currently, she serves on the Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity board.”