Meet Pittsburgh's 40 Under 40 Honorees for 2017

We present this year's class of 40 people under the age of 40 who are making Pittsburgh a better place.



(page 4 of 10)

Anqwenique Wingfield  (30)
Education Director, Pittsburgh Festival Opera Studio Manager, BOOM Concepts


Anqwenique Wingfield grew up singing jazz and soul music and fell in love with opera in high school. But the classically trained soprano knows that many young people find the art form of opera intimidating. “Opera is not part of our everyday pop culture life,” she says. “Kids are not watching opera on TV or listening to it on the radio.” In her role as educational director of the Pittsburgh Festival Opera, she manages programs that expose youth from early childhood to elementary school to opera, making it fun and educational. “Making opera accessible is about presenting culturally relevant models so that kids have something to latch onto,” she says. Wingfield also is studio manager at BOOM Concepts, where she works to connect artists representing marginalized voices to space, resources and mentorship to help build their artistic practice. In 2013, she founded Groove Aesthetic, an interdisciplinary artist collective creating performances through collaborations of classical music, jazz, poetry, visual art and dance.
 

Andrew J. Brennan (32)
Founder and Executive Director, Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation


After serving in the Army in Afghanistan, Andrew J. Brennan ran into a group of Vietnam veterans who make an annual motorcycle pilgrimage to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. “I was absolutely floored with the camaraderie of the group,” he says. The Vietnam veterans started the tradition because of their connection, but they’re soon going to start retiring their motorcycles. It then occurred to Brennan that veterans like him had nowhere to go. “What’s my generation going to ride to?” And so the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation was born. After years of bureaucratic challenges, Brennan in August secured the authorization needed to build the memorial on the National Mall. The foundation is now fundraising the $30 million to $40 million needed to design and construct the memorial, a five- to seven-year process. After that, the foundation will have served its purpose, and Brennan isn’t sure what he’ll focus on next, but it should free up time for hobbies — long-distance trail hiking and “watching the Pens win Cups.”
 

Jen Harrison Fleming (37)
Executive Customer Representative, Merck & Co., Inc.


After Jen Harrison Fleming met her now-husband, Ryan Fleming, in 2004 and learned he has cystic fibrosis, she knew she wanted to get involved with the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “I was eager to find a way that I could contribute and help,” she says. Since then, she’s worked on a variety of fundraisers, including chairing The Wine Opener, a yearly event at The Priory Hotel on the North Side that, on average, raises $50,000. This year, she joined the A-Team, which focuses on government advocacy, meeting with legislators and their staffers to educate them about the needs of the Cystic Fibrosis community, especially amid ongoing changes to health care legislation. “When you just see the tangible output of your efforts — I genuinely believe we will cure CF,” she says. “That will happen.”
 

LaRae D. Cullens (34)
Girls Activities Director and Program Coordinator, Andstep Inc. 


LaRae D. Cullens believes she was “put here to help people.” She does that by helping at-risk girls see their potential, mostly working with kids who are “programmed not to trust people or believe in themselves.” In many cases, the girls’ parents didn’t attend college, and Cullens’ job is to make sure they’re exposed to career options that might not have occurred to them. Cullens started a program at Andstep called Dream 2 S.T.E.A.M., which focuses on mentoring and career guidance, making sure girls know they have options in the fields of art, science, technology, medicine and mathematics. She brings in working professionals to talk to the girls and show them, with hands-on activities, how to get on the track to college. She says it’s rewarding to see girls who go from being unaware of potential careers to dreaming of being a doctor. “It’s nice to see someone come into something not trusting you, and then they trust you with their life,” she says.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

The Other Moving Documentary About a Curious Pittsburgher

In "Will Work For Views," the video artist and musician Weird Paul is a little bit Dr. Demento and a little bit Mister Rogers.

Pittsburgh Might Mow Your Lawn for Free

The city is launching a free grass cutting service for the elderly, disabled and veterans.

PPG Paints Unveils 2019 Color of the Year: Night Watch

Paying homage to the restorative power of nature, this deep green shade is one to watch in the coming year. Here’s how to use it on your walls.

Influx of Red, White and Blue Coming to City of Black and Gold

The National Flag Foundation is bringing the Star Spangled Banner’s history and colors to the Koppers Building –– and on some nights, it will be visible for miles.

Toppers That Take the Cake

Over the traditional bride and groom standing on top of your cake? Try some of these different ideas for cake toppers.

Renting in Pittsburgh? You're Getting a Great Deal

The Steel City ranks first in Zillow’s 10 Most Affordable Markets for Renters list.

Iconic Pittsburgh Meteorologist Joe DeNardo Dies at 87

DeNardo was well known in Pittsburgh long before a series of promotional TV spots cemented his place among the city's broadcasting icons.

Olczyk Embraces Awareness, Understanding to Fight Cancer

Olczyk found out last August, in the wake of a six-hour surgery that removed 14 inches of his colon and “a tumor the size of my fist,” the severity of what he was suddenly confronting.

Best of the 'Burgh 2018: Readers' Choice Poll Results

Diners, food trucks, dive bars and more. Here's the most popular stuff in town.

Conor Lamb Doesn't Want to Know How You Voted for President

The new congressman discusses his upset victory –– and his thoughts on the state of the Democratic Party in 2018.

Restaurant Review: The Twisted Frenchman is an Ambitious Endeavor

Andrew Garbarino moved his fine-dining restaurant into a multimillion-dollar new home. Does it live up to its new digs?

Vietnam Vets – The Warriors No One Wanted to Thank

When veterans returned from Vietnam, they didn't often hear the phrase “Thank you for your service.” But now, Pittsburgh veterans think people are learning to separate the war from the warrior.

Web Exclusive: Pittsburgh Vets Recount Their Time in Vietnam

From a medic who fainted when his blood was drawn during his physical to an Army nurse, area Vietnam veterans share stories about their time in country.

Sadie's Tree: A Plea for Kindness in Memory of a Bullied Teen

In an obituary read round the world, the family of Bedford, Pa., teen Sadie Riggs called out those who had bullied her and pleaded for people to be kind to one another. A year after Sadie’s death, lessons remain to be learned from her suicide.

What Anthony Bourdain Meant to Me

Reflecting on the loss of a person so many of us admired.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Pittsburgh Might Mow Your Lawn for Free

Pittsburgh Might Mow Your Lawn for Free

The city is launching a free grass cutting service for the elderly, disabled and veterans.

Comments

Influx of Red, White and Blue Coming to City of Black and Gold

Influx of Red, White and Blue Coming to City of Black and Gold

The National Flag Foundation is bringing the Star Spangled Banner’s history and colors to the Koppers Building –– and on some nights, it will be visible for miles.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
What Anthony Bourdain Meant to Me

What Anthony Bourdain Meant to Me

Reflecting on the loss of a person so many of us admired.

Comments

Northeast Kitchen Brings Northeastern Chinese Cuisine to Pittsburgh

Northeast Kitchen Brings Northeastern Chinese Cuisine to Pittsburgh

Chef You Shan Pei comes to Pittsburgh after cooking in Flushing, N.Y. restaurants for 18 years.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Five Best Spots to Get Pittsburgh-Themed Merchandise

The Five Best Spots to Get Pittsburgh-Themed Merchandise

Looking to show off your Pittsburgh love? Get your favorite city printed on basically anything at these local shops.

Comments

7 Best Pittsburgh-Area Places You Should Try for Doughnuts

7 Best Pittsburgh-Area Places You Should Try for Doughnuts

When you're craving the real deal, these local spots consistently churn out the very best.

Comments


The Other Moving Documentary About a Curious Pittsburgher

The Other Moving Documentary About a Curious Pittsburgher

In "Will Work For Views," the video artist and musician Weird Paul is a little bit Dr. Demento and a little bit Mister Rogers.

Comments

Man, There's a Lot Going on at Zone 28

Man, There's a Lot Going on at Zone 28

The relaunched entertainment complex in Harmarville is casting a wide net, with some success.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Olczyk Embraces Awareness, Understanding to Fight Cancer

Olczyk Embraces Awareness, Understanding to Fight Cancer

Olczyk found out last August, in the wake of a six-hour surgery that removed 14 inches of his colon and “a tumor the size of my fist,” the severity of what he was suddenly confronting.

Comments

The Inspiring Power of Shazier’s Hope

The Inspiring Power of Shazier’s Hope

Ryan Shazier appeared at the Steelers’ South Side facility today to confirm that he has no intention of leaving the game behind.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Won't You Be My Neighbor?

The 400-Word Review: Won't You Be My Neighbor?

The documentary about Fred Rogers' work and philosophy inspires even more wonder about the television legend who called Pittsburgh home.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Ocean's 8

The 400-Word Review: Ocean's 8

The spinoff to the early-2000s heist series is nothing if not mediocre.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Toppers That Take the Cake

Toppers That Take the Cake

Over the traditional bride and groom standing on top of your cake? Try some of these different ideas for cake toppers.

Comments

Couple Shares Photo Spotlight With Four-Legged Friends

Couple Shares Photo Spotlight With Four-Legged Friends

This Pittsburgh couple is using their engagement photos to raise awareness about one of their most passionate causes.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
PPG Paints Unveils 2019 Color of the Year: Night Watch

PPG Paints Unveils 2019 Color of the Year: Night Watch

Paying homage to the restorative power of nature, this deep green shade is one to watch in the coming year. Here’s how to use it on your walls.

Comments

Five Pittsburgh-Based Etsy Shops You Need to Know About

Five Pittsburgh-Based Etsy Shops You Need to Know About

From furniture to wall art and beyond, these local makers created one-of-a-kind pieces for your home or office.

Comments