Mellody Hobson is everywhere.

The president of Ariel Investments LLC in Chicago and chair of the board of trustees for the Ariel Investment Trust, Hobson is a ubiquitous presence in the media, educating the public about the importance of responsible investing.

The 40-year-old is a featured columnist for Black Enterprise magazine, as well as a regular financial contributor on ABC's Good Morning America and WGN's Minority Business Report. Hobson also created and hosted a show that aired in May on ABC called "Unbroke: What You Need to Know About Money," a financial education program that featured such celebrities as the Jonas Brothers and Samuel L. Jackson.

Last year was a rough one for Ariel Investments, as it was for most investment houses, but the firm, which Hobson started as an intern out of Princeton, is staging a comeback. Its small/mid-cap Ariel Fund has posted year-to-date returns of more than 45 percent.

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