April 22, 2023 – Mellody Hobson, An Example of Black Excellence

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Considered one of the most powerful women in the business world by Forbes, Mellody Hobson is president and Co-Chief Executive Officer with John W. Rogers, Jr., of the Chicago-based money management company, Ariel Investments. Ariel manages over $18 billion in assets and is one of the largest Black-owned asset firms in the country. 

Mellody serves as chairwoman of Starbucks Corporation and is on the board of many organizations, including JP Morgan Chase & Co.  She was a contributor to financial segments on “Good Morning America” for many years.  In 2009, she hosted a show on ABC called “Unbroke: What You Need To Know About Money.”

Mellody was the youngest of six children. Mellody talks about how her mother taught her about money early and how she teaches her own daughter. She has many videos that are worth viewing.

On the cover of Forbes magazine in April, 2023, Mellody announced Project Black, a project she has worked on with Jamie Dimon. Ariel Investments formed a private equity fund to invest in middle-market companies and provide them with capital and more crucially, the contacts needed to sell to large corporations eager to diversify their supply chains. By February 1, 2023, Ariel Investments closed its first Project Black Fund with $1.45 billion in commitments. 

After the murder of George Floyd, Mellody organized Sunday Zoom calls with a cadre of top business executives to brainstorm how to narrow the racial wealth gap.

Mellody met Formula 1 racing champion, Sir Lewis Hamilton, and calls him her “little brother.” She included him in the ownership group of the Denver Broncos.

Mellody is married to George Lucas, the creator of “Star Wars.”

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