As Co-CEO, Mellody is responsible for management, strategic planning and growth for all areas of Ariel Investments outside of research and portfolio management. Additionally, she serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ariel Investment Trust—the company’s publicly traded mutual funds. Prior to being named Co-CEO, Mellody spent nearly two decades as the firm’s President. Outside of Ariel, Mellody is a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy. Her leadership has also been invaluable to corporate boardrooms across the nation. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Starbucks Corporation, and is the incoming Chairman of Starbucks, effective March 2021. She is also a director of JPMorgan Chase. She previously served as Chairman of the Board of DreamWorks Animation until the company’s sale and was also a long-standing board member of the Estée Lauder Companies. Mellody’s community outreach includes her role as Chairman of After School Matters, a Chicago non-profit that provides area teens with high-quality after school and summer programs. Additionally, she is vice chair of World Business Chicago; co-chair of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art; and a board member of the George Lucas Education Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies. She also serves on the board of trustees of the Center for Strategic & International Studies, and of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Mellody is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Rockefeller Foundation Board of Trustees, and serves on the executive committee of the Investment Company Institute. Mellody earned her AB from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy. In 2019, she was awarded the University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, presented annually to a Princeton graduate whose career embodies a commitment to national service. She has also received honorary doctorate degrees from Howard University, Johns Hopkins University, St. Mary’s College, and the University of Southern California. In 2015, Time Magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential People” in the world.
John’s passion for investing began at age 12 when his father began buying him stocks as Christmas and birthday gifts. His interest in equities grew at Princeton University, where he majored in economics, and over the two-plus years he worked as a stockbroker for William Blair & Company, LLC. In 1983, John founded Ariel to focus on patient, value investing within small- and medium-sized companies. While our research capabilities have expanded across the globe, patience is still the disciplined approach that drives the firm today. Early in his career, John’s investment acumen brought him to the forefront of media attention and culminated in him being selected as Co-Mutual Fund Manager of the Year by Sylvia Porter’s Personal Finance magazine as well as an All-Star Mutual Fund Manager by USA TODAY. Furthermore, John has been highlighted alongside legendary investors Warren Buffett, Sir John Templeton and Ben Graham in the distinguished book: The World’s 99 Greatest Investors by Magnus Angenfelt. His professional accomplishments extend to the boardroom where he is a member of the board of directors of McDonald’s, NIKE and The New York Times Company. John also serves as vice chair of the board of trustees of the University of Chicago. Additionally, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a director of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. In 2008, John was awarded Princeton University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, presented each year to the alumnus or alumna whose career embodies a commitment to national service. Following the election of President Barack Obama, John served as co-chair for the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2009, and more recently, he joined the Barack Obama Foundation’s Board of Directors. John received an AB in economics from Princeton University, where he was also captain of the varsity basketball team.
Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, CFP®, is a leading advocate for financial literacy and one of America’s most trusted sources for financial advice. She has devoted her career to helping men and women from all walks of life achieve financial security. In addition, she oversees Schwab’s corporate philanthropy and employee volunteer programs, which aim to strengthen the communities where Schwab operates.
Schwab-Pomerantz has served two White House administrations on financial capability policy. In 2010, she was appointed by President Obama to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, where she chaired the Partnership Committee until early 2013. In that role, she led the Council’s efforts to strengthen coordination between the public and private sector. She also advised the Council on Financial Literacy under President George W. Bush. From 2017 to 2020, she was appointed and served on the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, which fosters the advancement of women and girls through policies and programs throughout the city.
Under her leadership, Charles Schwab Foundation has made important strides in promoting financial literacy. Through its national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Foundation created Money Matters: Make It CountSM, a best-in-class financial education program that has been completed by nearly one million teens nationwide. With AARP Foundation, Charles Schwab Foundation developed a program to improve financial outcomes for low- and moderate-income seniors. And most recently, the Foundation has partnered with DonorsChoose.org to support financial education in classrooms across the United States.
Schwab-Pomerantz speaks and writes extensively about personal finance. Her latest book, The Charles Schwab Guide to Finances after Fifty (Crown Business, 2014), was described by The New York Times as “overwhelmingly appealing” and “an excellent personal finance book.” With her father, Charles R. Schwab, she co-authored It Pays to Talk: How to Have the Essential Conversations with Your Family about Money and Investing (Crown Business: 2002). She also writes a weekly column, Ask Carrie, which appears on schwab.com and schwabmoneywise.com, and is syndicated through Creators News Service and Parade. She is on Facebook and Twitter (@CarrieSchwab), and is a LinkedIn Influencer, offering insights on personal finance, leadership and philanthropy to a worldwide audience.
She was also recognized by SIFMA Foundation in 2018 with its Education Champion award in recognition of her efforts to advance youth financial education. And in 2015, she was nominated by the San Francisco Chronicle for its inaugural “Visionary of the Year” award, recognizing Bay Area leaders who drive social and economic change through innovation. For more than ten years, The San Francisco Business Times named her one of the Bay Area’s 100 Most Influential Women in Business, and in 2015 included her in its “Forever Influential” Honor Roll. In 2011, Schwab-Pomerantz received the William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award, Jump$tart Coalition’s highest recognition for contributions to financial education.
Schwab-Pomerantz is also chair of the National Board of Governors for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the nation’s leading youth development organization serving nearly 5 million kids annually. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.
Schwab-Pomerantz earned a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from George Washington University. She holds FINRA Series 7, 23, 63 and 8 securities registrations, and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certificant. She lives with her husband, author Gary M. Pomerantz, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Together they have three grown children.
Kelly Johnson is a Portfolio Strategist with Charles Schwab Investment Advisory, Inc. (“CSIA”) supporting the ThomasPartners and Windhaven Strategies. Kelly has over 27 years of experience in the financial services industry. He has experience in institutional investor relations, client portfolio management, and financial advice and planning.
Previously, Kelly came from Charles Schwab and Co., Inc. where he provided financial advice and planning as a V.P., Financial Consultant on the Executive Services team. Prior to Schwab, Kelly served in several capacities at different firms in the industry, including 13 years at PIMCO as a Senior Vice President.
Kelly earned a B.A. in Accounting from Strayer University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Charted Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations.
Sharon Epperson, named one of “12 to Watch in TV News,” can be seen regularly on CNBC television and other media platforms.
As CNBC’s senior personal finance correspondent, Epperson covers the many facets of how people manage, grow and protect their money. Her expertise includes saving and investing for retirement, paying for college, managing mortgage, student loan, credit card and other debt, and building a financial legacy through estate planning.
Preparing your finances for the unexpected is another critical (and personal) aspect of her reporting. In September 2016, Epperson sustained a ruptured brain aneurysm and she nearly lost her life. She has become a staunch advocate for health and wellness issues, raising awareness about brain aneurysms and funding for research. In September 2018, she and her family established “The Sharon Epperson Chair of Research” through the Brain Aneurysm Foundation to provide grants for research on early detection and innovative treatments.
Epperson is a lead contributor to “Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow.,” a multi-platform financial wellness and education initiative at CNBC in partnership with the micro-investing app Acorns, and developed its companion 8-week learning course and weekly newsletter, “Invest in You: Money 101.” She also contributes to NBC’s TODAY and NBC Nightly News as well as Today.com and NBCNews.com.
Her book, The Big Payoff: 8 Steps Couples Can Take to Make the Most of Their Money-and Live Richly Ever After, was a finalist for the Books for a Better Life Awards, honoring works that have “changed the lives of millions.” She also was a contributing writer for The Experts’ Guide to Doing Things Faster. Her personal finance expertise has been featured in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, USA Weekend, Self, Essence, Ebony and TIME, where she had covered business, culture, social issues and health as a correspondent prior to joining CNBC.
Epperson has numerous industry and civic awards, including the Special Achievement Award from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Savvy Inspiration Award from the non-profit, financial empowerment group Savvy Ladies. She won an Alliance for Women in Media’s Gracie Award for Outstanding Online Host for her “Financial Advisor Playbook” video series on CNBC.com. She has received the Vanguard Award for her distinguished career in business and personal finance reporting from the National Urban League Guild, and the All-Star Award from the Association of Women in Communications. She also has won awards from the New York Festivals, the New York Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists.
Epperson is committed to improving financial literacy, particularly in underserved communities. She was invited to the White House during President Obama’s administration to speak about financial literacy and to moderate a public meeting of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability at the U.S. Treasury Department. She also speaks frequently at conferences and events for local and national organizations, colleges and universities about many facets of personal finance.
An adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Epperson has also taught courses at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. She enjoys teaching the importance of budgeting and building long-term savings as part of her professional development courses for graduate students.
Epperson received her bachelor’s in sociology and government from Harvard University, a master of international affairs degree from Columbia University, and an honorary doctorate from Carlow University in Pittsburgh. A Pittsburgh native, she has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame at Taylor Allderdice High School, her alma mater.