Sonali Shetty, 37 

click to enlarge sonali039.jpg

Founder and President
Spinnaker Edge

Sonali Shetty is a pioneer. She's one of the few women in India to graduate with a degree in biomedical engineering, and she followed that up with a master of science from Texas A&M University and an M.B.A. from the College of William & Mary.

She's also founded Spinnaker Edge, an international business consulting firm that's worked with Fortune 500 corporations and small local businesses. One of her latest projects is a new Web portal designed for the VCU School of Business to improve communication among students, businesses and alumni. It's set to go live when VCU unveils the new business school in December.

Shetty considers herself fortunate to be able to work in an area she's "truly passionate about," as well as "have a real life and focus on family, friends and contribution."

Such contributions include accompanying the governor's team of top business leaders -- under both Warner and Kaine — on trade missions to India, helping to make the delegation aware of possibilities that could exist between Virginia and India's businesses. Her knowledge of both countries' economies and culture made her an invaluable asset.

As a business leader not native to Richmond, Shetty sees the city as "fertile ground for new business. The city is the right size — not too big, not too small," and she thinks the future lies in small business and entrepreneurship.

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