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Mellody Hobson

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Photo: JAMES C. SVEHLA/FOR THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE
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Mellody Hobson

Age: 51

Occupation: President and co-CEO of Ariel Investments

Hobson took a hit in 2016, when she and her filmmaker husband, George Lucas, were rebuffed after lobbying hard to make the downtown lakefront home to the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. She could have given Chicago the brushoff and invested all her time and money on the West Coast, where she serves on the board of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Instead, she has continued to pour her efforts into After School Matters, the education nonprofit for which she serves as board chair and to which she and Lucas donated $25 million in 2013. Hobson also has seats on the boards of JPMorgan Chase and Starbucks, and Lori Lightfoot recently made her vice chair for World Business Chicago, the group charged with bringing job-generating companies to the city.

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