Meet Pittsburgh's 40 Under 40 Honorees for 2018
For two decades, Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP have presented the annual 40 Under 40 list. And every year, 40 people who have been alive for less than four decades are chosen because of their career accomplishments, dogged volunteer work and commitment to the Pittsburgh region. This year is no different. Read on to learn more about some of our very best neighbors.
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Simon Huntley (35)
Simon Huntley grew up on a small farm about 70 miles south of Pittsburgh, so after earning a bachelor’s degree in information sciences and technology from Penn State, he sought to use his education to help farmers.
“How do I help farms succeed using my technology background? I saw that as my unique contribution, to be able to pull these things together,” Huntley says.
Twelve years ago, he created Small Farm Central, now called Harvie, a digital platform that connects farms in the U.S., Canada and Australia with consumers. Huntley has evolved Harvie into a CSA-like program that he describes as “Blue Apron meets local farms.”
Farmers have trouble attracting and maintaining memberships for farm shares, but Harvie aims to simplify things by including recipes based on the contents of the box and making it easy for consumers to swap out items and customize their box or put a hold on their membership if they go on vacation.
Dan LaVallee (30)
Director of Government & Business Relations, Government Programs, UPMC Health Plan
Dan LaVallee says his life’s work is inspired by two people — his father, who “committed his life to serving children in need,” and Fred Rogers, a role model — and one loss, the death of his brother when LaVallee was 6.
“Losing my brother at an early age forced me to deal with adversity in life,” LaVallee says, adding that “having Fred as a role model helped to shape my desire to have a positive impact on society and always focus on how those in need are treated.”
In his role with UPMC, LaVallee helps underserved groups such as the Medicaid population, the LGBTQ community, the homeless and those with unstable housing or disabilities. He also led the recent merger of United Way of Butler County with the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
“This merger ensured a structure that will be responsive to the needs of seniors, children, families, those with disabilities, veterans and underserved communities for years to come — several of which are very personal to me,” he says.
Dr. Kirsten D. Lin (38)
Founder, Family Matters Direct Primary Care
After earning a medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Kirsten D. Lin looked at the state of family medicine in the city and decided to try something different.
“I believe that high-quality healthcare should be simple, affordable and easily accessible for everyone,” she says. So less than a year ago, she opened one of the region’s first direct primary care practices, “an up-and-coming model of healthcare that allows doctors to provide care directly to patients without the inflated expenses and red tape.”
This model allows Lin to spend 30 to 60 minutes with each patient; see homeless and uninsured patients; and communicate in “unconventional ways,” such as texting and home visits.
Alyssa P. Lyon (28)
Manager of Membership Engagement and Community Outreach & AmeriCorps Supervisor, Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group
A native of the Bronx, Alyssa P. Lyon moved to Pittsburgh and immediately noticed something was amiss when she compared the lives of residents in her Greenfield neighborhood to those in Squirrel Hill and Hazelwood, a stone’s throw away but often worlds apart.
She describes the differences between the neighborhoods as “baffling.” With Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, she works to ensure stakeholders — everyone from residents and community groups to banks and foundations — are engaged in government processes.
“The ability to bridge gaps between policy and pragmatic community concerns, and putting a voice to the policy — a voice that rightfully belongs to the people of Pittsburgh — is the most rewarding part of this work,” Lyon says.
In addition to her work with PCRG, Lyon works with the Hazelwood Initiative on its efforts to revitalize the long-vacant Gladstone Middle School into an asset for the community and serves as co-director of the Pittsburgh chapter of the New Leaders Council, which works to identify and train progressives to run for office, start businesses and serve as advocates.