Mali Phonpadith is the Founder and CEO of the SOAR Community Network, #1 International Bestselling author, speaker, workshop and retreat facilitator, marketing strategist, podcaster and the Executive Producer/Host of Tea with Mali Cable TV Show. In 2015, Mali was selected as a Belief Team community partner through Values Partnership for the Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network BELIEF initiative.

She has been nominated for several awards including Heroines of Washington D.C. Award by the March of Dimes, twice for the Women of the Year Award by NEW – Network Executive Women and recognized as the iBoss Capital Navigator in 2018 for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive. 

As the Founder and CEO of the SOAR Community Network, Mali leads a dedicated consortium of business experts supporting business owners, growing leadership teams, and larger organizations to map their corporate DNA, authenticate their messages, and amplify their missions. SCN does this by facilitating educational forums for leaders and entrepreneurs to lead with intention, supporting talent management initiatives to drive positive corporate culture and implementing marketing strategies to help clients SOAR in the global marketplace.


Mali has over 20 years of marketing, sales, and business development experience. Mali also ran a financial services practice for seven years where she created and implemented risk management strategies for hundreds of clients.

Mali is a community champion for several local non-profits. She runs the SCN Leadership Breakfast series, is the Founder of the SOAR Community Summit and producer/host of the SOAR Community Podcast (Named New and Noteworthy and What’s Hot on iTunes in 2014). Mali is a four-time author, including A Million Fireflies, her memoir about her voyage from war-torn Laos to America.

She is also the coauthor of Seen and Sustained: Best Practices in Communication that Increase the Visibility of Small and Diverse Businesses, a professional workbook written with Akia Garnett, Jane Lovas, and Tamecia Bradshaw. In 2017, Born to Be Me, a compilation of authentic stories written by Mali along with 18 international female authors, made Amazon’s #1 International Bestseller List. It was published by Creative Publishing Group in Canada.

She has shared her insights at The Library of Congress, Smithsonian, University of Maryland, George Mason University, SAIC, Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC), Lao American Writer’s Summit, and other national venues. Huffington Post,,  Better Business Bureau (BBB) Trusted Magazine, BBB PodcastAdvisor Today Magazine, Asian Fortune Newspaper, WJLA DC, Radio Free Asia, WHUR Radio, Voice of America, Bliss Magazine, Intentful Magazine and numerous blog talk radio programs have featured her work and journey.

The Personal Journey

Mali and her family escaped war-torn Laos in 1979 and arrived in the United States when she was 5 years old. She did not grow up with money and privilege. Her parents worked two to three jobs to support their four children. Mali and her siblings learned early in life, the importance of hard work and determination. She began working when she was fifteen years old to help with family finances. She was able to put herself through college and hasn’t stopped working since.

When Mali turned 27, she began facing a series of terrible tragedies. In 2003, she lost her fiancé and a family member in a drowning accident. Two years after this painful event, she lost her godfather and 6 months thereafter, suffered the sudden death of her father to a 3-week battle with cancer. Two years later, her best friend passed away, and soon thereafter so did her uncle and grandmother. The constant grief took a toll on the body, heart and mind but it also gave her a new and profound perspective on the preciousness of time and the value of our existence while here on Earth. Her life lessons fuel her passion for the work at SOAR.

Seeing, Owning, Articulating, and Releasing (SOAR) her journey is the inspiration behind the mission of the SOAR Community Network. The gifts that came out of her experiences include her deep appreciation for life and the importance of being present, living boldly and designing a life filled with passion and purpose. 

As she continues to shape her own legacy, she is dedicated to leading a company that helps others uncover and share theirs. With her leadership, SCN has mapped the visions, missions, values and corporate direction of hundreds of business leaders so they too can SOAR in business and in life. Their annual SOAR Community Summit attracts hundreds of business owners, corporate executives and community champions each year to the Washington, D.C. area. The summit’s mission is to develop great leaders into legacy driven leaders who build successful and socially responsible organizations. 

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Mali Phonpadith never fails to amaze me with her creativity, knowledge, spirit and most of all… heart!

She is someone who not only overcomes adversity but transforms it into a strength that drives her forward.

Her wisdom, insight and professionalism is beyond compare and she gives back 200% of everything she receives. Truly an amazing lady!

Keith Wancowicz

Senior Systems Engineer

Working with Mali has helped my personal transformation and meditation practice to be more defined and clear. She has helped me in the messaging and wording of my work in a way that it is easy to understand and for people to get what I do right away.

Her talents are beyond spreadsheets and reports – she gives you direction pulling on all of her strengths which also include a deep understanding of who you truly are and what you want in your life. She is a Conscious, Spiritually-Awakened, Marketing Maven.

Richa Badami

Consultant, Speaker, Coach,

Mali is a rare find in the business world. She offers a powerful balance of intelligence and intuition and uses both to help her clients.

I attended Mali’s retreat to gain clarity in my career and in my business. This was a wonderful experience that helped me connect with my passion for my work and the excitement for the opportunities that have already started to unfold.

I highly recommend a conversation with Mali to see how she and her team can help you with your journey. You won’t regret it!

Randall Taussig

President, Blue Core Leadership