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40 Under 40: 2016

Meet our 2016 class of 40 Pittsburghers Under 40 who are changing our region – and the world – for the better.



(page 11 of 11)


 

Dean Aloise   [38]
Global HR Consulting Leader, Head of Buck Consultants, Xerox


Pensions might be the dullest of important issues. Nationwide, hundreds teeter on insolvency. In Pennsylvania, taxpayers are strapped with $60 billion in unfunded liabilities. The near-sorcery required to make sure your money doesn’t run out before your time on earth does falls to a rare species.

Dean Aloise leads Human Resources Consulting for Xerox HR Services, with more than 1,500 employees across the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

Before that, he was the U.S. Wealth Practice Leader and co-inventor of a nifty tool called the Pension Risk Navigator, which helps companies manage the risks in their pension funds. He took that skill set to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, where he helped to design a health plan for its members.

His other skill set is music. Some days he rocks out on his electric guitar at the Peters Township location of The Bible Chapel, a 3,000-member church.  

My favorite Pittsburgh thing is ... The family-friendly, down-to-earth culture of our neighborhoods and communities. Pittsburgh is the greatest place on earth to raise a family while also pursuing a successful career. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
 

Aurora Sharrard   [37]
Executive Director & Vice President of Innovation,Green Building Alliance


A framed print sitting on Aurora Sharrard’s desk at the Green Building Alliance seems to explain it all. A young woman is leaping over a bridge, the sun in her face, the wind at her back, and above a caption that announces: “I am in the world to change the world.”

That captures the woman who has been leaving her fingerprints all over the most exciting new buildings in Pittsburgh.

The David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the Center for Sustainable Landscapes at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and others reflect Sharrard’s determination to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

With a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering with an emphasis on green design from CMU, Sharrard helped to launch the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative, working to cut down greenhouse emissions in a city once renowned for smoke and now best known for bridges that all but challenge idealists to cross them into the new century.

You’d be surprised to know ... My sons are named Angstrom and Faraday.
 

Kristy Knichel   [39]
CEO, Knichel Logistics


The shipping business is tough — hypercompetitive, unforgiving and male-dominated.

So Kristy Knichel had to prove herself, first to her father when she took charge of the family business and then to the industry at large. And she is doing it while showing that, at least in her case, nice gals can finish first.

Friends describe her as someone with a genuine concern about the safety, welfare and happiness of her employees. The idea of work as a place of fulfillment is a standing commitment.

Knichel Logistics has been around for 13 years and, under her leadership, revenue has climbed to $50 million yearly — a far cry from its first-year revenues of $2 million.

A Pittsburgh Steelers fanatic, Knichel has been an active sponsor of Hines Ward’s Positive Athlete program, and for several years she annually awards the Title IX scholarship to a female high school athlete in the region. She also serves as a mentor to women entering business.  

You'd be surprised to know ... I have a full back tattoo.
 

​LaTrenda Leonard Sherrill   [29]
Deputy Chief of Education, Office of Mayor William Peduto


When Bill Peduto took over as Mayor of Pittsburgh, he decided on new approaches to confronting the city’s problems. In one of the most vital — making sure the city’s youth reach adulthood prepared for the new economy — he turned to a Texan.

LaTrenda Leonard Sherrill left a corporate job at pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to join the mayor’s office, later taking the newly created post of deputy chief of staff for education.

Her portfolio includes youth development, creating a culture of inclusion and being a voice for opportunity in the City of Pittsburgh.

She has helped to implement two White House initiatives, TechHire and My Brother’s Keeper, and she has quadrupled investment in summer youth employment from less than $1 million to $5.3 million in one year.

She credits much of her success to a patient husband, Tracey Sherrill. That patience has received a new test this year: The couple recently welcomed their first child.  

My favorite Pittsburgh thing is ... Fries on salads! The best concoction ever!

Dennis B. Roddy is a freelance journalist and former special assistant in the Pennsylvania Office of the Governor. A longtime staff writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he also has written for a number of regional and national publications.
 

 

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