Founder's note: It is with great pleasure and excitement that I am welcome my new friend of HOPE, Mr. Michael Arougheti, president of Ares Capital Corporation, headquartered in New York City, to our Operation HOPE National Board of Directors. While not a household name to the public, Ares Capital is one of the top 100 financial companies in the U.S. and a member of the FINANCIAL SERVICES ROUNDTABLE, with whom Operation HOPE signed a national Framework Agreement in 2009, at the HOPE Global Financial Literacy Summit in Anacostia, outside of Washington, D.C. It is personal desire to work closely with Michael as we enter the equities sector, building on our solid foundation with traditional banks and financial service companies. Urban, inner-city and under-served communities are often starved for financial capital, and more often than not short-term debt is a bad but unavoidable substitute for long-term equity, compounding business failure and a dearth of business start-ups. I hope to work with Michael to open new and important doors.

Mr. Arougheti has served as President of the Company (Ares Capital) since May 2004 and as a director of the Company since 2009. Mr. Arougheti joined Ares Management in May 2004 and is a Senior Partner in the Global Private Debt Group of Ares Management LLC. He is a member of the Executive Committee of APMC, which indirectly controls Ares Management. Mr. Arougheti also serves as a member of the Investment Committee of Ares Capital Management, the Ares Management Global Private Debt Investment Committee and the Investment Committee of ACE, Ares' European Private Debt business.

From 2001 to 2004, Mr. Arougheti was employed by Royal Bank of Canada, where he was a Managing Partner of the Principal Finance Group of RBC Capital Partners and a member of the firm's Mezzanine Investment Committee. At RBC Capital Partners, Mr. Arougheti oversaw an investment team that originated, managed and monitored a diverse portfolio of middle market leveraged loans, senior and junior subordinated debt, preferred equity and common stock and warrants on behalf of RBC and other third-party institutional investors.

Mr. Arougheti joined Royal Bank of Canada in October 2001 from Indosuez Capital, where he was a Principal, responsible for originating, structuring and executing leveraged transactions across a broad range of products and asset classes. Mr. Arougheti sat on the firm's Investment Committee and was also active in the firm's private equity fund investment and its fund of funds program.

Prior to joining Indosuez in 1994, Mr. Arougheti worked at Kidder, Peabody & Co., where he was a member of the firm's Mergers and Acquisitions Group, advising clients in various industries, including natural resources, pharmaceuticals and consumer products.

Mr. Arougheti also serves on the boards of directors of Planet Organic Health Corp., Reflexite Corporation, Investor Group Services and Riverspace Arts, a not-for-profit arts organization. Mr. Arougheti received a BA in Ethics, Politics and Economics, cum laude, from Yale University.

John Hope Bryant is a thought leader, the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc., author of Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business book LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and a Member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability.

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