Board of Directors
President and Founder
Mr. Michael Sutton
Infrastructure Engineering, Inc.
Michael Sutton is President and Chief Executive Officer of Infrastructure Engineering, Inc. (IEI), a leading civil engineering firm headquartered in Chicago, IL with offices in Indianapolis, IN; Peoria, IL; Omaha, NE; and Springfield, IL. Mr. Sutton oversees the planning, design, and construction engineering of highway, railroad, harbor, transit, airport, sewer and related facilities. He has 38 years of experience working in the private and public sectors, holding positions for local, national, and international engineering firms including ten years of service with the Illinois Department of Transportation.
As an active community member, he serves on numerous boards and organizations as director and committee member, and sponsors various scholarships and internships for civil engineering, marketing and accounting students. In 2009, he established Universal Agape Foundation (UAF), an entity for charitable purposes. Through UAF, Mr. Sutton has helped provide toys for nearly 1000 deserving children from economically-challenged families in both Chicago at “Christmas in the 9th Ward” and in Peoria at “Heart of Christmas”, and a food pantry for students at SENSE Charter School in Indianapolis. In 2011, Mr. Sutton founded the National Organization of Minority Engineers (NOME) to serve the needs of minority-owned engineering firms.
For his professional and civic work, Mr. Sutton has received numerous awards including the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from SENSE Charter School, ACEC Illinois 2010 Community Leader, March of Dimes 2010 Professional Award, Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce 2009 Outstanding Business Award and Chicago United 2009 Business Leader of Color.
Mr. Sutton is a civil engineering graduate of Northwestern University. He has three daughters and is a proud grandfather of two grandsons and one granddaughter.
Mr. Abe Adewale, PE
ABNA Engineering Inc.
Abe Adewale is a Principal and Chief Executive Officer at ABNA Engineering, Inc., a full service civil engineering company with office in Chicago, Southern Illinois and Missouri and operations in thirteen Midwestern states. Over the last 30 years, Mr. Adewale has made tremendous contributions to major infrastructure improvements in the Midwest, including major highways, bridges, airports, rail systems, water/wastewater projects and industrial facilities. Mr. Adewale is a licensed professional engineer in Illinois and Missouri with an I.B.S. in Physics from Clark College, a BS in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a MBA from SIU Edwardsville. He’s a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Institute for Transportation Engineers (ITE), National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Associated General Contractors (AGC), Illinois Road Transportation Builders Association (IRTBA), Illinois Society of Professional Engineers (ISPE).
Mr. Adewale is a leading voice in the engineering profession, both in the region and nationally. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Engineering Division of the State Board of Architects, Engineers, Land Surveyors and Landscape Architects (APELSLA), and Assistant Vice President of National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) central zone. He served on the board of directors for the Engineers Club of St. Louis 2010-2011. He has also served on the ABET accreditation committee responsible for University of Missouri – Columbia’s Engineering Program re-accreditation. Mr. Adewale is also a member of the State Design Alliance and a member of the American Council of Engineering Company’s (ACEC) where he served on the board of directors for 2 years.
Mr. Adewale’s community involvement includes the Chair of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Scholarship Fund, St. Louis Science Center, the Rotary Club. For the last ten years he has served as a judge and sponsor of the FIRST Robotics Competition. He also employs high school and College interns during the summer to expose them to surveying, engineering, construction management, CADD and general office operations.
Abe says that “he finds the profession of engineering most gratifying when he’s finding ways to increase the number of culturally responsible engineers in the region. For years, he has used his position in various organizations to develop strategies to promote the engineering profession in general, and the civil engineering profession in particular, to reduce the drop in the number of young people pursuing the profession.”
Ms. Smita Shah, P.E., LEED AP BD+C
Ms. Shah is the founder, President and CEO of SPAAN Tech, Inc., an engineering and construction management firm based in the Midwestern United States. She founded the firm in 1998 and has pioneered its growth into a multi-million dollar firm with special expertise in public and private infrastructure projects including transportation, aviation, and facilities. She was selected by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of Chicago’s 40 under 40 in 2008. In 2009, Ernst and Young recognized Ms. Shah as an Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, and in 2013 she received the Entrepreneur Award at the 35th Annual Lake County, Illinois YWCA Annual Women of Achievement Awards. Her firm has been recognized as an Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Company.
As the daughter of immigrants, Ms. Shah’s commitment to public service is a driving principle in her life and is evident in her various community and civic leadership roles. Ms. Shah has served as the Chairman of the Delhi-Chicago Sister Cities Committee, and led a trade mission to India with Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley to promote economic, cultural and social exchanges between the cities. She serves in leadership roles in several Indian American community organizations, both in Chicago and nationally. In recognition of her work building bridges with the Indian Community, she received the congressionally recognized 2007 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, honoring those “who changed the fabric of America. In 2011, she was selected as a National Community Leader of the Year by the American Consulting Engineers Council.
Ms. Shah earned her Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University, where she is recognized as a “distinguished alumni.” She completed her Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from MIT, where she wrote her thesis on the state of the nation’s infrastructure. She also holds a Certificate in Management Studies from Oxford University, where she completed her thesis on the Culture and Leadership of Public Private Partnerships.
Grand Events, Inc.
Diana Hennington is president of Grand Events Inc. Her company provides cost effective, high caliber and creative production and event
planning services for special events, fundraisers and meetings as well as community outreach initiatives. Grand Events has a strong commitment to service their clients which allows them to partner with the client and focus on their individual needs and goals. Her company
has serviced clients such as Chicago State University, Metra, City Colleges, SCR Medical Transportation, Black Ensemble Theater, Infrastructure Engineering, Inc., Kiewit Construction, Political Officials, Have A Heart for Sickle Cell Anemia, La Rabida Children’s Hospital and Beloved Community Family Wellness Center. Grand Events is a certified minority business enterprise (MBE) company.
Prior to starting her own company, she previously worked for a leading international relocation company, Cartus. Diana’s career with this company utilized her expertise in various departments including marketing, vendor management and account management. She promoted programs designated to increase minority business with the company, organized accredited workshops for training in a 13 state area, designed and developed quality assurance programs for broker development and negotiated real estate sales resulting in significant operating cost reductions on inventory homes for her Fortune 500 clients. Diana also created various marketing promotions and advertising plans to sell over 42 million corporate inventory homes.
Diana also serves as Executive Director of the National Organization of Minority Engineers (NOME). She is a board member of Universal Agape Foundation and a member of Women in Support (WIS) and Delta Sigma Theta. Diana served as a Board of Directors Officer for Black Ensemble Theater and member of the Women’s Board for LaRabida Children’s Hospital. She has received numerous honors including the Who’s Who in Black Chicago, Giving Back Award in recognition of her tireless volunteer work, The Women of Excellence Award and United Negro College Fund – Outstanding Support Award.
Diana is a graduate of Northwestern University with a B. A. in Economics.
Ms. Susan Handy
Susan F. Handy is the Executive Assistant to the president. In her capacity, she is responsible for providing high level support to the president and administering internal operations of Infrastructure Engineering, Inc. (IEI), the National Organization of Minority Engineers (NOME) and Universal Agape Foundation (UAF).
Susan earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University in Supervision, a curriculum that incorporated business management and industrial engineering. She also received a Master of Science degree from DePaul University in Public Service.
Over the course of her career, Susan has been active in various volunteer activities. She is currently a board member of the Women in Support (WIS) of LaRabida Children’s Hospital, and previously a volunteer at the St. James Nursing Home in Oakland, California and her most cherished services as a mentor and board member of The East Bay Network (TEN) in Richmond, California.