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.


Rebecca - Coach

Rebecca works with Smart Dating Academy in various capacities and currently coaches clients on dating/writing/communication for online dating. Her direct and active approach towards creating personal change helps others gain the tools to find and attract the right connection. She is a strong believer in the power of healthy relationships to bring happiness and satisfaction to one’s life. Rebecca graduated from Northwestern University with a masters in counseling psychology and has been in practice for several years. She also has experience developing programming for a non-profit that supports women experiencing life transitions.


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.


Emily - Writer

Emily is an editor who inspires her clients to write about their best selves - and she is Smart Dating Academy's chief profile writer!  She draws out captivating stories through active exploration in profiles to help dating clients find their perfect match.  A former book editor at the Stanford University Press and Houghton Mifflin, Emily graduated from Wellesley College with a B.A. in Architecture. She has been married to her husband for 15 years, and when not on date nights with him, she can be found taking care of their three children, writing book reviews, or at the theater or the climbing gym!