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2013 Forty Under 40: Corey L. Wilson

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“I have a strong passion for figuring out a way to [create] a systemic program where the next generation is able to be mentored by those who are more seasoned leaders in the community.”

Age: 35

Director of Supplier Diversity and IND Aerotropolis, Indianapolis Airport Authority


Corey Wilson ensures that minority- and women-owned companies have a fair shot at doing business with Indianapolis International Airport. That business amounts to $20 million annually.

“I am a department of one to ensure that that happens,” said Wilson, who has worked for the Indianapolis Airport Authority eight years. His success, he said, relies on his ability to build and maintain relationships.

“You have to be able to lead without having direct managerial authority over others who are the decision-makers,” said Wilson, who did his undergraduate work at Indiana State University and earned an MBA at Purdue University.

Wilson also leads IND Aerotropolis, which brings together governmental entities surrounding the airport to collaborate on long-term economic development.

“When you work for an airport, I don’t know if it’s the jet fuel or what—but it gets in your blood,” said Wilson.

Leadership and community service are also in his blood—and in his immediate family. His wife, Nichole Wilson, was in last year’s Forty Under 40 class.

Wilson is honing his professional skills in the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership program, an experience he describes as intense.

One of his earliest volunteer projects was at age 17, when he served as chairman of his church’s Shoes for Children program, which collected and donated 3,000 pairs of shoes to local children.

Today, he is on the boards of Eskenazi Health Center Inc., the Airport Minority Advisory Council (vice chairman), and 100 Black Men of Indianapolis, for which he is chairman of the Beautillion Militaire Scholarship Program that mentors young men.

Prior to joining the airport, he worked as a constituent relations director for Lt. Gov. Kathy Davis.•

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