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 8 of 10)

Corey Buckner  (30)
Manager of the Office of Community Affairs and LGBTQIA+ Advisory Council Coordinator, City of Pittsburgh


Corey Buckner has long been an activist, working as a grassroots organizer in his neighborhood of Garfield. He campaigned for Barack Obama and served as Bill Peduto’s deputy field director during Peduto’s 2013 run for mayor. Now, he will bring his activist and political skills to his role as LGBTQIA+ Advisory Council Coordinator for Pittsburgh. By making his advisory council as diverse as possible, Buckner hopes to keep fighting for equality for the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or questioning, intersex and asexual) community. “Marriage equality was not the end-all,” he says. Buckner was one of the people who assisted Pittsburgh City Council in passing legislation that banned mental health officials from practicing conversion therapy for minors, a practice that aims to change their sexual orientation. He also is a liaison for Gov. Tom Wolf’s LGBTQ working group. “My goal for Pittsburgh is that we become a model city that is safe for LGBTQ people, and my hope is that we create influence across the commonwealth,” he says.
 

Michael Fratangelo (32)
Founder and CEO, DiverseCity, Inc.


Michael Fratangelo was volunteering in West Philadelphia when he spotted a group of black kids on their way to play basketball. He crossed the city line into the suburbs and saw another group of white kids playing basketball. They live so close, and they all play basketball, and they would probably never interact. The Wilkinsburg native recognizes the importance of diversity and having self-awareness and empathy for those who are different from you — he was the only white student in his class at Wilkinsburg High School. Those experiences led him to start DiverseCity, which brings together kids from the city and suburbs, of varying racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, in summer and after-school programs to play sports and learn together. It started in Philadelphia and has since grown to New York, Milwaukee, San Francisco and Pittsburgh. Fratangelo says DiverseCity may look and feel like a sports program, but it’s giving kids skills to succeed and thrive in a world that’s constantly changing and becoming more diverse. 
 

Venkat Viswanathan  (32)
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University


In his first year at Carnegie Mellon University, Venkat Viswanathan made his mark on the scientific community when he won the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award. His lab, the Electrochemical Devices Lab, comprises more than 25 students and postdoctoral scholars working on developing more powerful, longer-lasting batteries for potential use in various vehicles. His lab has formed close collaborations with several Pennsylvania-based companies, including Watt Fuel Cell, Bosch RTC and Eaton Corp. He has been widely quoted on safety issues related to lithium-ion batteries, fires in hoverboards and e-cigarettes. Viswanathan’s current passion involves developing batteries powerful enough for electric planes. Through a collaborative project with NASA Ames, Glenn and Armstrong Flight Research Center, the project goal is to be able fly an electric plane powered by batteries developed in his research group. He also practices what he studies: Viswanathan drives a Tesla Model S.
 

Diamonte Walker  (36)
Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Program Officer, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh


Diamonte Walker believes that women and minorities need stronger social and economic networks to start or grow their own businesses. As the new MWBE program officer for the URA, she hopes to widen the networks for women and minorities so they can develop relationships with economic development stakeholders and others. “I call it a game-changer,” she says. She also aims to help more women and minorities through the process of applying for MWBE certification. “It can be intimidating.” She comes to her new post with a track record of community development in the Hill District, where she lives. As the former program and operations manager of Hill Community Development Corp., she was architect of the Hill District’s business leadership (BLAST Program) and Holiday on the Ave., which activated pop-up market spaces for business people selling everything from jewelry to organic skin care products. She is part of the Pittsburgh Land Bank Board and also oversaw the development of a Neighborhood WiFi network along the Centre Avenue corridor to help businesses.
 

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Man Donates a Million to College Founded by His Aunt

Man Donates a Million to College Founded by His Aunt

Entrepreneur Robert M. “Bob” Brownlee’s contribution will allow Seton Hill University to build a brand new mathematics center and establish a new scholarship.

Comments

Five Fun Facts about Pittsburgh Bridges

Five Fun Facts about Pittsburgh Bridges

With more than 440 bridges in the city to choose from, VisitPITTSBURGH shows off the most interesting bridges within the city in its new Official Visitors Guide.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Penn Cove Eatery and The Warren Open Downtown

Penn Cove Eatery and The Warren Open Downtown

The collaboration between Penn Avenue Fish Company and Subversive Cocktails contains a wine shop, grab-and-go sushi, a bar with a late-night menu and more.

Comments

First Look: Poulet Bleu in Lawrenceville

First Look: Poulet Bleu in Lawrenceville

PM dining critic Hal B. Klein takes a look at the new Richard DeShantz restaurant ... and he has the scoop on what's next from the energetic restaurateur.

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Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 5 Best Places to People Watch in Pittsburgh

The 5 Best Places to People Watch in Pittsburgh

A coffee shop, an iconic landmark, an airport and beyond — these are the best places to practice the art of people watching.

Comments

Sweet Ideas: Our Favorites for Valentine's Day

Sweet Ideas: Our Favorites for Valentine's Day

Where to eat, where to go, what to buy –– some of our favorites to make your Valentine's celebration memorable.

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Add Some Culture to Your Life with Swan Lake

Add Some Culture to Your Life with Swan Lake

If you play your cards right, the beautiful production from Pittsburgh Ballet Theater will dazzle even novices.

Comments

After Dark Hall of Fame: Stage AE

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Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

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With the NHL trade deadline looming, the Penguins are increasingly employing more forward-thinking approaches to the acquisition of future stars.

Comments

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The Quest is No Less Recognizable Even if Team USA Is Not

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The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Annihilation Is Challenging, Otherworldly Science Fiction

Annihilation Is Challenging, Otherworldly Science Fiction

Reviews of "Annihilation" and "Mute," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments

Black Panther is Marvel's Best Film

Black Panther is Marvel's Best Film

Reviews of "Black Panther" and "Early Man," plus local movie news and notes.

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Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Mothers Know Best for This Pittsburgh Couple

Mothers Know Best for This Pittsburgh Couple

For Cady Walter and Jared Henigin, happily ever after may never have happened if their mothers hadn’t acted as matchmakers.

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Cookie Table Contest: And the Winner Is ...

Cookie Table Contest: And the Winner Is ...

We introduce the winner and the runners up for our biannual cookie table contest.

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Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Our Dream Penthouse Used to be a Carpet Warehouse

Our Dream Penthouse Used to be a Carpet Warehouse

The building that now houses a $1.05 million dollar penthouse was first used for a much less exciting purpose.

Comments

HGTV Renews ‘Restored by the Fords’ Starring Pittsburgh Siblings

HGTV Renews ‘Restored by the Fords’ Starring Pittsburgh Siblings

The finale showcasing Leanne and Steve Ford airs Tuesday, and the duo already are looking for more local houses to restore for the show’s second season.

Comments