2021 40 Under 40 Honoree: Ashlee Yingling Wallace
“I feel like I’m serving a higher purpose in promoting Pittsburgh, and I love Pittsburgh.”
Ashlee Yingling Wallace sees herself as a storyteller and the airport as a place rife with stories.
Since accepting her position in 2019 at the Allegheny County Airport Authority — which has oversight of Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin — Wallace has been surrounded by stories of Pittsburgh and its people, and she has made it her mission to share them.
“I love what I do. I feel like I’m serving a higher purpose in promoting Pittsburgh, and I love Pittsburgh,” she says.
When the airport lost about 95% of its passengers in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wallace emerged as a recognized leader. When air traffic slowed, other initiatives picked up, including Neighborhood 91, a project to develop the land near the airport for additive manufacturing.
“Every crisis is an opportunity for growth,” she says. “On the tough days, when you look at your colleagues and your peers, that’s what really motivates and gets you through. You’re in this together. You’re never alone.”