Mellody Hobson Becomes First Black Woman To Chair Economic Club Of Chicago
Hobson, who also serves on the Starbucks board, will chair the 90-year-old Chicago organization.
May 03, 2017 at 2:00 pm
Another black woman making historic moves!
The Chicago Tribune reports that Ariel Investments president Mellody Hobson has been named the new chair of Economic Club of Chicago! She is the first African-American woman to chair the Economic Club of Chicago and the second woman in a row to chair the 90-year-old organization, following CEO and president of Ingredion, Ilene Gordon.
As per tradition, Hobson was selected by past chairs of the members-only organization, and is set to serve a two-year term. She joins the ranks of fellow Ariel colleague, chairman and CEO John W. Rogers, Jr., who was named the first black chair of the club in 2009.
Hobson, 48, is set to assume her new position July 1 and will join the board of 47 members, 16 of whom are women and 13 of whom are minorities, per president and CEO of the Economic Club, Donna Zarcone. Hobson has been a member of the Economic Club, which works to connect Chicago's leaders, for almost 21 years
"When you have great diversity on the board, you have better decision-making and better results," Zarcone said.
Hobson is quite the versatile leader. Not only does she helm the minority-owned investment firm Ariel, which has approximately $11.7 billion under management, she also serves on the boards of directors of Starbucks and Estee Lauder. Additionally, she is a regular contributor on finance and economic trends for CBS News, is a chair of Chicago education nonprofit After School Matters and sits on the boards of several other organizations.
Hobson is a self-made multi-millionaire and wife of Star Wars creator George Lucas. Beyond all the above, she also has major negotiating deals under her belt, including the $3.8 billion sale of Dreamworks, whose board she chaired, to Comcast.
"She has extraordinary energy and passion," Zarcone said. "She has very high standards in terms of how she holds herself and others to task, which we value."
Wow, Hobson is such a boss! Congrats!