South Bend, IN

From Valedictorian to Empowering South Bend: Sonya Smith's Journey of Impact and Community Transformation

The Bendr Daily

Wealth in Motion Consulting: Unleashing Financial Success and Embracing Community Support
Sonya Smith, Wealth in Motion ConsultingPhoto bySonya Smith

In a city known for its rich history and vibrant community, one individual stands out as a true trailblazer. Sonya Smith, a South Bend native, made history as the first African American Valedictorian of the city. Now, she's returned to her roots, armed with a powerful vision and a mission to ignite an economic revolution in her hometown.

The journey began in 2021, a year marked by the pandemic's challenges and uncertainties. Undeterred by the circumstances, Smith founded Wealth in Motion Consulting L.L.C., an innovative consultancy firm dedicated to propelling small businesses and fostering economic growth in the local market.

Recently, Smith's entrepreneurial prowess captured the attention of the University of Notre Dame IDEA Center McCloskey New Venture Competition, a prestigious platform for emerging business ideas. In April 2023, she made waves at the competition, introducing two groundbreaking ventures that left the audience captivated.

Among her notable accomplishments, Smith's Inspiring Business Institute concept caught the judges' attention during Round 2. Inspired by successful programming developed for the City of Mishawaka, Mishawaka Business Association, and Inspire Mishawaka, her visionary approach resonated with the panel of experts. But that wasn't all—Smith also partnered with C2 Your Health Women's Initiative Inc., an organization dedicated to empowering women, and together they achieved semi-finalist status in the competition. Their collaboration, known as the Level Up Residency Program for Women, earned them the prestigious $20,000 Social Impact Award.

Since its inception, Wealth in Motion Consulting has forged strong partnerships, amplifying its impact on the local business ecosystem. Collaborations with the IMPower Center and the City of South Bend Small Business Assistance Suites (SBAS) have been instrumental in fostering a thriving environment for small

enterprises. Through targeted strategies and comprehensive support, Smith and her team have empowered numerous entrepreneurs to overcome challenges and achieve financial success.

When asked about her experience returning to South Bend, Smith beamed with pride and gratitude. "I feel so welcomed by the community," she shared. She acknowledged the efforts of Mayor Mueller and Mayor Wood, who have tirelessly worked to attract and retain talented individuals in the Michiana area. But it wasn't just professional opportunities that drew Smith back home—it was also the exceptional educational options for her daughter through the education voucher program. She highlighted the unwavering support her daughter received at Michiana Christian Academy, expressing excitement about her daughter's acceptance into La Lumiere High School, where she will continue to flourish academically and personally.

Smith emphasized the abundance of remarkable programs in South Bend that have played a vital role in her successful transition. From The Breakers Basketball to the South Bend P.A.L. Program, C2 Your Health Women's Initiative to the IMPower Center, and the Mishawaka Business Association, these initiatives have provided unparalleled community support for Smith and her daughter, strengthening their connection to South Bend.

Sonya Smith's story is one of resilience and achievement. Graduating as the first African American Valedictorian from LaSalle High School in 1991, she set the stage for her future endeavors. Smith's thirst for knowledge led her to Butler University, where she earned a BS in International Management and Spanish. Later, she pursued her Executive MBA at Michigan State University. After an international assignment in Qatar, Smith felt a strong calling to return to her roots and utilize her expertise to make a tangible difference in the South Bend community.

Wealth in Motion Consulting, L.L.C., the consulting agency founded by Sonya Smith in March 2021, is a testament to her visionary approach and commitment to empowering individuals and businesses. Leveraging her extensive experience in managing teams responsible for contracts up to $1 billion, Smith's consultancy focuses on business coaching, financial coaching, and city program development. Through revolutionary strategies and personalized guidance, Wealth in Motion Consulting assists clients in achieving greater financial outcomes, both within the United States and internationally.

After an international assignment in Qatar, Smith's deep-rooted connection to South Bend called her back to make a lasting impact on the community. Wealth in Motion Consulting, L.L.C. was born out of her determination to utilize her expertise and experience to uplift local businesses and stimulate economic growth.

To learn more about Sonya Smith and the transformative work of Wealth in Motion Consulting, visit their website at and explore the Inspiring Business Institute at For inquiries and further information, reach out to Sonya Smith, EMBA, Founder of Wealth in Motion Consulting, L.L.C., at

In the hands of Sonya Smith, South Bend is witnessing a remarkable transformation—one where empowerment, economic growth, and community support intertwine to create a brighter future for all. As her story continues to unfold, Smith serves as a reminder that dreams can be realized, and change can be achieved, one empowered individual at a time.

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