Woman To Know: Mellody Hobson

It is a testament to the beauty, power and strength of black women that I am always able to find a new successful woman to admire no matter what field she is in. Mellody Hobson is someone I came across this morning while reading CNN Money’s list of “Executive Dream Team: The Startup Edition“. Lists like these always alert me to new women of every color doing the most amazing things and heading up the most prominent businesses and companies all over the world.

Mellody is a Chicago native who graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy at Princeton University. This immediately struck a cord with me as I had originally intended to study International Relations at my alma mater, Tufts University, but instead just chose to study French and Arabic, as I have always loved language and decided that it was a good stepping stone for any career path. From Princeton, Mellody started right away at Ariel Investments as an intern and went on to become the investment firm’s Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing. In 2000, she became the President of the company and is now the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Ariel Investment Trust as well, speaking to her persistence, dedication and amazing skill set. This is something that sounds strange to our generation, as we up and move positions every one to two years. Mellody gives me inspiration to be more focused in my efforts and see them as possible long-term journeys with each step, instead of just short-term moves to my long-term goals.

Ariel Investments, LLC is a great company in itself: an investment firm based in Chicago which manages over $3 billion in assets. It is one of the largest African-American owned mutual fund and money management companies in the United States. Black-owned businesses are few and far between and definitely do not get as much notoriety and praise as they should so this is really a great feat.

You might already recognize Mellody’s face from her numerous red carpet appearances with boyfriend, George Lucas, or her appearances on ABC’s Good Morning America as a financial contributor. She sits on the board for a number of amazing organizations including the Field Museum, the Sundance Institute, the Chicago Public Library and many others. Mellody is also a director for Estée Lauder, Starbucks, Dreamworks and more.

Mellody is truly an inspiration to me and I cannot wait to see what other projects she has in store for the future, as well as what other companies she helps to foster and advise.

Visit www.arielinvestments.com to get more information on Mellody Hobson’s background.

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