Meet Your Smart Dating Team

Bela Gandhi - Founder

Bela Gandhi is the Founder of the Smart Dating Academy. She has an uncanny sixth sense about people, and what they need. Her intuition has been responsible for several marriages (and children)!  The Huffington Post and Steve Harvey call her "The Fairy Godmother of Dating!"

Bela has been connecting people all of her life.  Prior to founding the Smart Dating Academy, Bela worked for 12 years as a top global executive for Akzo Nobel, a large multinational corporation. Bela has two degrees from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Finance & German), and has been happily married for 20 years with 2 children.


Lindsay Anderson

Lindsay Anderson - Head Dating Coach 

Lindsay has been at Smart Dating Academy since 2013, and has coached hundreds of our clients to find happy and lasting love. She has also been a matchmaker since 2003, and set up thousands of professional clients on dates that led to marriage. Lindsay graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with dual degrees in psychology and business - and has a natural knack for understanding people and developing a strategy for success. Additionally, Lindsay is a certified dating coach, happily married to a wonderful man, and has three beautiful children that light up her world.


AJ Smart Dating Academy PhotographerAJ - Photographer 

AJ has a BA in photography from Columbia College. He has been a professional photographer since 2006, and been co-owner of his studio since 2007. His photos have been published The New York Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, Timeout Chicago, The Journal of Nature, Make Magazine, and in other venues. When not taking photos AJ owns and curates his own Gallery in the West Loop Arts' District.


Lindsey - Smart Dating Academy Stylist in Chicago

Lindsey - Writer

Lindsey's been a writer and communication coach for Smart Dating Academy since 2011. She personally (and sometimes painfully!) understands the trials and tribulations of Internet dating, but became a true believer since meeting her wonderful husband online. She received her B.S. in Education from Indiana University and Masters of Social Work (MSW) from University of Illinois at Chicago. Lindsey is a Psychotherapist and Registered Social Worker now living in Toronto, Canada.


Jennifer Brown Smart Dating Academy

Jen –  Hair & Make-Up Artist

Now with over 6 years of professional experience in the makeup industry, Jen works consistently in all forms of the media, particularly in Print, Commercial, and Video. She also has extensive experience in Theatrical, Film, HDTV, Music Videos, Runway and Teaching.

Much of her work can be seen in publications such as Time Out Chicago, Image Magazine and The Chicago Reader. Some of Jen’s celebrity clients include: Martin Short, Stephanie Izard, Leslie Hunt, and Ramsey Lewis.