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Interview with Menka Soni

Ms. Menka Soni, a global entrepreneur, life coach, mentor, a women’s empowerment ambassador, pageant director, and philanthropist with a fascinating story to share.

As the 5th daughter in a conservative family, Ms. Soni battled the traditions and completed her education becoming the only working professional in her family. She received an MBA in Finance, is certified in Investment Banking, a Diversity & Inclusion champion, and a Project Management Professional. She also served in the top 5 Info-Tech companies including General Motors, Starbucks, SAP, and Microsoft, handling multimillion-dollar global projects, all while supporting her fellow working women.

Can you give us some background on how you started Ravishing Inc. and its mission?

“In 2011, I gave wings to my enterprising venture by launching my first designer apparel brand: Ravishing Inc (now renamed AmPowering)--a non-profit aimed at empowering women by holding community events to serve them. I did all this while mentoring a group of passionate women dedicated to serving and understanding disparities.

In honor of November 25th being International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, what is AmPower doing to further this mission?

“I hosted the Ravishing Women’s first pageant of Miss. India WA, to inspire and motivate women to showcase their talents. All the proceeds from the event were donated to organizations aimed at ending domestic violence. Today, I am the state, national and international director of several pageants and using this to empower women. In my pursuit to end domestic violence, I have personally mentored and several women while advocating to stopall violence against women. Today, my organization has expanded internationally to the United States, India and Canada.”

What are some of your initiatives through AmPowering?

“AmPowering has dedicated itself to community relief locally and internationally. Some of our initiatives include”

  • Distributing biodegradable sanitary pads, free of cost, in shelter homes, orphanages, brothels, and rural areas in India.

  • Running Ravishing Marketplace--educating and coaching women of the importance of their health and well-being.

  • Providing free nutritious meals to over 700 school going kids via the Dehaat Foundation--an organization that I am the ‘Godmother’ of and is aimed at training and provided job opportunities to single mothers.

  • Cooked meals to over 600 people every week, distributed over 150,000 lb of groceries, 25000 PPEs, provided financial assistance and has helped over 250,000 people just during Covid-19.

What are some of your proudest professional moments?

“Throughout my service, I was recognized as the “Best Nonprofit & Pageant Director”- one of the finest awards given by the pageant industry. I was also recognized as the Most Admired Global Indian, World Peace Messenger, and as the Diversity & Inclusion ambassador by the Mayor of Renton. Multiculturalism and diversity is something I aim to incorporate everyday into AmPowering”

What are some things that you learned throughout your career?

“Success never comes easy nor without risk; I had to give up my promising IT job to build this organization from scratch. However, with perseverance and courage, I continued to use my experience and knowledge to grow this organization. Although I was inexperienced and lacked the financial support, I succeeded through self-learning, and my continuous efforts. Family is very important to me, none of this would have been possible without my husband Ashish Soni & my two daughters who have always encouraged and supported me.”

Do you have any other passions outside of AmPowering?

“Outside my non profit space, I am a real estate agent, CEO of North America Fashion Week, owner of event production company and wedding, & event venue and executive board member with City of Redmond – One Redmond Foundation, Board of Director with LTAC in City of Renton, & Mayor appointed special Inclusion Task force member and champion of Diversity & Inclusion.”

What Defines your Passion?

“My passion comes from my 3-core passion –Be a successful entrepreneur, giveback and help grow the community to uplift others, promote your roots and culture. So, whatever I do it has helped me to simultaneously challenge me, intrigue me and motivate me and kept me always on my toes to do more”

How can people get involved?

“AmPowering is growing and is looking for more support in all possible ways – volunteers, financial support and spreading the word.”

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