John Rogers Jr.
Occupation: Chairman and CEO, Ariel Investments
When you're the head of a firm that manages $5 billion in assets, a civic connector par excellence (see "It's Cozy at the Top"), and buds with the president, you command an audience when you want one. In December, this Princeton alum used his platform to publicly scold the finance industry for its "appalling" lack of diversity. "In places like Chicago, we have gone backwards," he told a New York audience. Rogers's actions speak as loud as his words: his 80-employee firm sponsors a predominantly African American school on the South Side and gives first graders there $20,000 each year to pick stocks.
Photograph: BOB STEFKO