Congrats 40 under 40 Winners

Congratulations to Pittsburgh Fitness Expo’s founder and promoter Bill Viola Jr. on making the prestigious “40 under 40” List in Pittsburgh.

bill viola jr photo

Bill Viola Jr.   [39] President, Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp.

Pittsburgh often is credited as the birthplace of a self-defense discipline known as Mixed Martial Arts.

Bill Viola Jr. is the author of the book “Godfathers of MMA,” which chronicles the life of his father, Bill Sr., and explores the world of martial arts as first developed west of the Alleghenies. The younger Viola is known internationally for his work in the martial arts industry, founding the highly regarded annual Kumite Classic in 1999.

He also was named to the U.S. Karate Hall of Fame in 2005 and was the winner of the Willie Stargell Pittsburgh MVP Award in 2011 for his work training youth in martial arts programs.

He currently is head instructor at his family’s Allegheny Shotokan Karate studio, founded in 1969, and he is the founder and producer of the Pittsburgh Fitness Expo.

The biggest thing I ever had to overcome … In 1999, I was in a car accident that ended my competitive martial arts career. Going from world champion to watching on the sidelines was complete culture shock, but the injury was actually a blessing. In rehab, I found my true passion, being a sensei (teacher). Seeing my students succeed is more rewarding than any title I won.

Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP present the 18th Annual 40 Under 40 Awards. The program recognizes 40 individuals under the age of 40 whose creativity, vision and passion enrich the Pittsburgh region.

Congratulations to the 2016 Honorees:
Dr. Ermias Shawel Abebe, 33
UPMC Medical Center

Rev. Paul Abernathy, 37
FOCUS Pittsburgh

Dean Aloise, 38

Erin M. Belitskus, 38
Changing Our World

Diana Bellini, 32
BNY Mellon

Duane Binion, 30
Kelly Strayhorn Theater

Lisa Boyette, M.D., Ph.D., 35

Dr. Clinique Brundidge, 32
Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corporation

John A. Creasy, 39
Open Door Church

Rosamaria Cristello, 27
Allegheny Intermediate Unit

Betty Cruz, 38
Change Agency

Chris Daley, 35
UPMC Health Plan

Amanda Filippelli, 30
Parity Health Services

Marteen K. Garay, 33
Urban Innovation21

Margaret (Meg) Gleason, 39
Jones Day

Heather Hopson, 39
Allies for Children

John Huckle, 38

Kristine Irwin, 31
Pittsburgh Mercy

Harry Johnson, II, 29
BMe Community

Kristy Knichel, 39
Knichel Logistics

Shinjini Kundu, Ph.D 25
University of Pittsburgh / Carnegie Mellon University

Amanda Laichak, 38
Junior Achievement of Western PA

Elena LaQuatra, 24
WTAE / Rue 21 / Miss Universe Organization

LaTrenda Leonard Sherrill, MBA, 29
Office of Mayor William Peduto, City of Pittsburgh

Ngani Ndimbie, 29

Michael Nites, 24
McKinsey & Company

Emiola Jay Oriola, 27
Investing Now Program, University of Pittsburgh

Andrew Pogozelski, MD 34
Allegheny Health Network

Dr. Allison Saras, 32
University of Pittsburgh – Swanson School of Engineering

Ryan Scott, 32
Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh

Aurora L. Sharrard, 36
Green Building Alliance

Pandemic Pete Spynda, 37

Aster Teclay, 28
Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh

Terrell Thomas, 32
The Isaiah Project & South Pittsburgh Coalition for Peace

Derrick L. Tillman, 36
Bridging the Gap Development, LLC.

Christy Uffelman, MHCS, BCC, 39
Align Leadership

Kathryn Vargas, 31
United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania

Bill Viola Jr., 39
Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp.

Luis von Ahn, 37

Latasha Wilson-Batch, 39
Best of the Batch Foundation