Sonya Ali

Sonya Ali is a family member and Co-Owner of Ben’s Chili Bowl, Ben’s Next Door and Ben’s Upstairs restaurants where she oversees the company’s human resources department, menu development, and numerous day to day operations.

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Mrs. Ali spent over 10 years as a curriculum developer and certified master trainer for the Department of the Navy and DC Public Schools; conducting trainings nationally and internationally. Sonya is a retired United States Air Force Reservist with over 20 years of service spent in Aerospace Medicine as well as a University of Maryland alumni.

Sonya has been married to Kamal Ben Ali for 20 years. They have 16 year old twins, Jaleel and Suraya, who are rising Seniors in high school and an 9 year old Labradoodle named Cooper! Born and raised in the midwest, Sonya has called DC home for the past 29 years.

Mrs. Ali currently serves on the following boards:

  • The Ben’s Chili Bowl Foundation (founding member), Hope and a Home
  • Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, Educated Eats and
  • Imagination Stage

Some of Mrs. Ali’s organizational affiliations and volunteerism include:

  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • CHADD
  • The Barker Foundation
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
  • Jack and Jill of America, Inc
  • Sophisticates, Inc.
  • Martha’s Table
  • Miriam’s Kitchen
  • Capital Area Food Bank

A few fun facts about Sonya: she traveled to all 50 states by age 50, she is a self-proclaimed “foodie,” she walks to exercise and has completed two 3-day breast cancer walks and has a large collection cowboy boots!