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 7 of 10)

Steve Fleck  (39)
President and CEO, Careform


When Steve Fleck founded his first healthcare company, ClearCount Medical Solutions, in 2005, he was also pursuing an MBA at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. Nine years later, he sold the medical device company to Stryker Medical. Fleck loved being an entrepreneur, and he told himself that if he were blessed with a second startup, he would apply what he learned the first time around. He got that opportunity in 2012 and used it to start an innovative healthcare company. Careform uses a platform that allows doctors to track certain pharmaceuticals and reimbursements. Patients can access information on pharmaceutical reimbursement, access and affordability. The company has grown to over $15 million in revenue and has more than 150 employees. “I have been blessed and fortunate to run a successful business two times,” he says. Fleck, who received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University, says he was inspired by his grandfather, who founded a coal company in addition to working as a real estate developer, president of a bank, and a town commissioner. “He taught me there are no shortcuts to success,” he says.
 

Brian Burley  (31)
President and CEO, Burley & Company Enterprises


Brian Burley has mentored many minority youth and shared his own experiences as a young businessman of color. Burley, who received an MBA at the University of Pittsburgh, went on to become a successful black businessman and entrepreneur with his own publishing arm and foundation. But, Burley knew he was fighting the negative stereotypes of African Americans. So he decided to create a literal counter narrative of his own to inspire young people of color and the city at-large. He wrote and published a coffee table book called “YNGBLKPGH” after working with more than 140 young black Pittsburghers to describe their blueprint for success. Each profile includes a handwritten letter to the younger generation with wisdom, hopes and inspiration. “I wanted it to feel as genuine as a book can feel,” he says. The book was funded with the help of a BMe Community Leader grant he received in 2015 for his work as a young black man promoting positive images in the community. People ask him when a second volume will be published; he says it’s coming soon. “We can also do volumes 3, 4 and 5,” he says.
 

B. Reeja Jayan (37)
Assistant Professor (Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, Chemical Engineering), Carnegie Mellon University


B. Reeja Jayan’s expertise is in designing more efficient materials for manufacturing by lowering the energy required to produce them. When she was diagnosed with celiac disease while working on the last leg of her Ph.D., she set out to find a material that could act as a sensor for proteins to detect gluten proteins in foods and other products. “They tell you to avoid gluten and go home,” she says. “But gluten is in everything.” She says she ultimately hopes to create a product that consumers and doctors can use to test for allergens. In her work at CMU, she teaches mechanical engineering students about materials using the game Minecraft. “It was no longer learning,” she says. “It was fun.” She started with senior undergraduates, but she looks forward to current middle schoolers entering her classroom. “They love this game, and they are experts,” she says, adding that they “know much more about the game than I will ever know.”
 

Mila Sanina  (31)
Executive Director, PublicSource.org


As the executive director of PublicSource.org, Mila Sanina is passionate about digital storytelling and public-service journalism that gets to the heart of issues in western Pennsylvania. As an example, she cites the series her staff did on the inequities facing black girls in Allegheny County. “It showed how much this demographic has the deck stacked against them,” she says. When Sanina took the helm at PublicSource in July 2016, she tweaked the company’s mission to go beyond storytelling and be more focused on the community. PublicSource also hosts in-person events, bringing attention to issues such as poverty in small-town America, as addressed in a speech by J.D. Vance, bestselling author of “Hillbilly Elegy.” Sanina grew up in Kazakhstan, then part of the Soviet Union. She notes that Kazakhstan’s leaders did not permit freedom of the press or protect journalists. “I always wanted to be journalist,” she says. “I was born in the wrong country.” Sanina worked at PBS and CNN International before moving to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where her final position at the newspaper was deputy managing editor. In her short tenure at PublicSource, she has already doubled traffic to the site — but with hard-hitting stories written by the nine-member staff, not through frothy page clicks. “PublicSource is essential to making Pittsburgh a smarter Pittsburgh,” she says.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

On Trend: Add a Touch of Velvet to Your Decor

Local designers say the fabric can give a room a luxurious feel. Here’s how to incorporate it into your home.

Spring Clean Your Attic at This Reuse Festival

Just in time for Earth Day, local organizations are giving you the opportunity to recycle, learn about sustainability and get rid of unwanted stuff at home.

Dish Osteria Will Reopen This Spring

After a two-year hiatus, Michele and Cindy Savoia's beloved restaurant and bar returns to the South Side.

7 Scenic Day Trips with Spectacular Views

By car, train, bicycle or foot, head outside to take in these unforgettable vistas.

Restaurant Review: LeoGreta is a Gem in the Making

With a few tweaks and a little time to settle in, LeoGreta will be the restaurant we all wish we had in our neighborhood.

The Pittsburgh Pirates' Last World Series

Forty years removed from the Pittsburgh Pirates’ most recent championship, the “We Are Family” Pirates reflect on the myriad differences between their game and the one played on the North Shore today.

Foreign Investment: Pittsburgh's Business with Israel

Pittsburgh has a robust Jewish and Israeli community, with scores of programs, both social and academic, bridging the ocean. The relationship, however, is increasingly about business.

Grandstand Gear: The Ultimate Baseball Scoring Pencil

A Pirates fan says she designed the perfect pencil for keeping score at baseball games — and it’s a hit.

Giving the Little Ones Room to Learn

An expansion at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf will allow the storied institution to better serve the needs of its youngest students.

Scrapbooks Share Pittsburgh's Subterranean Secrets

Beneath a longstanding Strip District church, visitors could once descend into catacombs.

Pat Toomey and President Trump: Not Always on Same Page

The Republican Senator from Pennsylvania discusses his differences with the President, avoiding another government shutdown and how to further combat the opioid crisis.

Hiking Through the Northern Suburbs with Rachel Carson

The Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy seeks to bring more people into the natural world via an increasingly interconnected network of suburban trails.

Our 50 Years: A Look Back at Ads You Won't See Anymore

An “In Memoriam” segment for those products and services that are unlikely to ever advertise again.

Rolling Pepperoni's Doughy, Delicious Dialogue

Katt Schuler serves West Virginia’s iconic pepperoni roll with a side of storytelling.

Brown and Bell are Gone – What the Steelers Need to do Next

Whether the Steelers are better or worse off, whether they’re culpable or deserve to be applauded for finally resolving two of their biggest problems remains to be seen.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Spring Clean Your Attic at This Reuse Festival

Spring Clean Your Attic at This Reuse Festival

Just in time for Earth Day, local organizations are giving you the opportunity to recycle, learn about sustainability and get rid of unwanted stuff at home.

Comments

Broadway in the 'Burgh: “Mean Girls” on Tap, “Hamilton” Returning

Broadway in the 'Burgh: “Mean Girls” on Tap, “Hamilton” Returning

Tony award winners, big-screen tie-ins and jukebox musicals are all slated to make 2019-20 stage appearances in Pittsburgh.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Dish Osteria Will Reopen This Spring

Dish Osteria Will Reopen This Spring

After a two-year hiatus, Michele and Cindy Savoia's beloved restaurant and bar returns to the South Side.

Comments

Feel The Groove, and Fill Your Belly, at Fet Fisk

Feel The Groove, and Fill Your Belly, at Fet Fisk

The bi-weekly pop-up weaves vaguely Scandinavian cuisine and communal vibes for a transportive experience.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 5 Best Seats at PPG Paints Arena

The 5 Best Seats at PPG Paints Arena

From ultra-premium experiences to bargains with great views, here are five perfect places to watch the Pens.

Comments

Fitness: Five Great Trails to Run in the Fall in Pittsburgh

Fitness: Five Great Trails to Run in the Fall in Pittsburgh

Don’t resign yourself to the gym treadmills just yet – fall is one of the best times of the year to get outside and pound the pavement, surrounded by falling leaves and the possibility of grabbing a hot latte on the way home.

Comments


It's 2019. We Need a Modern, Dine-In Cinema

It's 2019. We Need a Modern, Dine-In Cinema

Pittsburgh is long overdue for a new movie palace where you can get an actual meal brought to your seat.

Comments

Unexpected Concerts with the Warhol

Unexpected Concerts with the Warhol

The museum’s “Sound Series” creates a setting for intriguing, intimate performances.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Brown and Bell are Gone – What the Steelers Need to do Next

Brown and Bell are Gone – What the Steelers Need to do Next

Whether the Steelers are better or worse off, whether they’re culpable or deserve to be applauded for finally resolving two of their biggest problems remains to be seen.

Comments

‘The Most Exciting Sporting Event in the Country’

‘The Most Exciting Sporting Event in the Country’

“March Madness” is as cruel as it is compelling. Just ask Robert Morris Head Coach Andy Toole, who has been there and hoping to go back again.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Triple Frontier

The 400-Word Review: Triple Frontier

Netflix's action flick is pretty good. It's also exactly what the streaming service should be providing.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Five Feet Apart

The 400-Word Review: Five Feet Apart

The teen drama is a feeble knock-off of similar tales with no goal but mining cheap tears.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
The Big Fake Wedding Offers Everything But the “I Dos”

The Big Fake Wedding Offers Everything But the “I Dos”

This nontraditional wedding showcase gives couples real-world insight into planning their big day.

Comments

Sweet Designs: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner and Runners-Up

Sweet Designs: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner and Runners-Up

These Pittsburgh couples certainly know how to bring the cookie table tradition to life.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
On Trend: Add a Touch of Velvet to Your Decor

On Trend: Add a Touch of Velvet to Your Decor

Local designers say the fabric can give a room a luxurious feel. Here’s how to incorporate it into your home.

Comments

Leanne & Steve Dish on Season 2 of "Restored by the Fords"

Leanne & Steve Dish on Season 2 of "Restored by the Fords"

Siblings Leanne and Steve Ford talk renovating Steve’s new warehouse, Leanne’s new baby — and their two new HGTV shows.

Comments