I am writing this note as a mentor and friend to Rene Rafael. I am a retired business executive from P&G (32 years) who has worked across 35+ businesses and since retiring have worked successfully with small and startup businesses through my work at U Dayton’s MBA program, as a SCORE counselor for the Small Business Administration, and the Goodwill Microenterprise program. I have also recently partnered with my wife in a well-regarded culinary edutainment business to understand hands-on small business experience. I have known Rene for 11 years.

When you fund or support ReneRafael.com, you are IMHO investing presciently in a uniquely impactful creative genius who has developed and will continue to shape an unsurpassed penetrating, engaging and sustaining multimedia program that will deeply draw out from the hearts and minds of young adults their most individually authentic selves and then enable and empower them to discover and fully express their distinctive giftings and vocations one person at a time, one by one, one after the other (scalable).

When I first met Rene in 2012, I did so as a cofounder of a storytelling app startup intended to more easily draw into one easy-to-use platform all the visual, text, and audio digital memories of families and personal/corporate networks to automate capture, compilation, formatting and distribution of memories of key events…to focus on the why’s and the how’s, not the what’s and where’s. We won awards, some funding, and recognitions within the Ohio startup community but ultimately failed.

Soon after, in early 2014, I convened a group of 6-8 solo entrepreneurs to provide mutual support and accountability for each’s respective enterprises. Rene was then in the dreaming phase of his current enterprise and we all encouraged him in our monthly face-to-face meetings that met in my home. Our group was largely based on shared views about the nature of human work and specifically a belief that we are all called to create in some unique personal vocational way.

Rene’s calling is decidedly special. I have walked alongside him for about 10 years on his vision. From the earliest days of conceiving and cobbling pieces together, Rene has continued to add skills and insights and find resources, while doing full time related professional work in the audio-visual training mostly virtually-delivered training space. He did this well in fields as diverse as life sciences and IT, in environments ranging from higher education (where I find myself) to large tech corporations. Somewhere in there, he also led a rock band and was involved also in some thespian pursuits. About 4 years following several years of effort , through much determination, sacrifice and perseverance, he reached a point where he had saved up enough resources to allow him to go full time in creating ReneRafael.com. He’s done that. Now, it’s finally time, with your support, to cause young people to sample, chew, digest and be fueled by his life-changing and life-giving platform.

Rene is a polymath, a renaissance kind of man in the creative world. He has a deep understanding of people, their creative dreams and beliefs and desires. He is a singer, musician, a playwright, an author, a poet, a stage performer, a pray-er, a set designer, and an interviewer/moderator, all of which are now merged into his interactive audio-visual creativity and e-books for impact delivered at scale.

Rene penetrates deeply in his listening and questioning. He always listens to understand first. His responses come long after initial exchanges. Rene is a resourceful and passionate DIY learner unafraid to ask for help. He is compelled by a personal life story of descendant and ascendant phases, maybe even resurrection. His profound learnings and experiences influence and give credibility to the creation and content of ReneRafael.com. I have seen him apply these lessons powerfully to friendships, parenting, marriage always with compassion, insight, and respect. Take time to learn his story.

So over to you. I highly recommend you sample his “stuff”, take time to engage with him. Invest and connect to help him deliver ReneRafael.com to transform and improve the lives of so many of our young people as they come of age and are desperate to discover and express their unique gifts.


Capstone Manager, University of Dayton