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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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  1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

  2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. Well...you guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

  3. It's empowering for this niche community to know that they have an advocate on their side in case things go awry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrst9VXVKfE

  4. Apparently the settlement over Angie's List "bundling" charges hasn't stopped the practice! My membership is up for renewal, and I'm on my third email trying to get a "basic" membership rather than the "bundled" version they're trying to charge me for. Frustrating!!

  5. Well....as a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).

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