About Rafael

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Who is Rafael?

Because he digs deep into his Conservative principles and refuses to toe the party line, Rafael Rivadeneira is NOT endorsed by the machine politicians who've jacked up your taxes, blown through your money and indebted generations to come. Instead, Rafael has been called a "fresh, diverse face and strong Conservative voice” as well as, the “ZAP the IL GOP’s cardio system needs” (Illinois Review ). And he's gained the endorsements from voters like you — who are fed up with the Good Ol’ Boys Club and eager for new Conservative leadership.

While the “zap” may be his own doing, Rafael credits his Cuban-born mother and father for his face and his voice. When his parents fled Castro’s Communist Cuba in the late 1960s, they escaped with no money, no jobs and no certainty. They left poverty, tyranny and oppression of Communist Cuba for the hope of freedom and opportunity in America. When their son was born a few years after they arrived, they instilled in him a deep gratitude and admiration for that same freedom and opportunity afforded in this country.

Rafael grew up in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. He attended St. Ignatius Grammar School in Rogers Park and went onto Loyola Academy in Wilmette. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Finance.

At age 23, Rafael and a friend founded a money management firm. They ran the highly successful company together for over 10 years. Today, Rafael is president of Epiphany Portfolios, an off-shoot of that firm. Epiphany Portfolios specializes in low, flat-fee based passive money management for individuals, not-for-profits, foundations and other organizations seeking sound, prudent investments.

A lifelong Republican, Rafael has been active in politics since 2000, Rafael is president of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Illinois (RNHA), as well as the immediate past president of the DuPage County chapter of the RNHA. Membership in both the RNHA of IL and of DuPage blossomed under his leadership. An elected precinct committeeman in York Township, he is actively involved in the York Township Republican Committeemen’s Organization, the DuPage Young Republicans and the Illinois Republican Party.

Rafael is an official surrogate speaker for the Republican Party and reaches large segments of various communities as a regular contributor on Telemundo, several appearances on Univision, and on such shows as PBS’ “The Professors.” Rafael also takes place in various debates and panels across Illinois.

Active in his immediate community, Rafael sits on the Board of Directors of Hinsdale Humane Society where he serves as Treasurer and finance committee chairman. He serves as a commissioner on the DuPage County Regional Planning Commission and as a member of the York Township Blue Ribbon Committee for Long Range Planning. Rafael is also active at Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church, where he has helped lead teams to launch several new ministries and campaigns.

With all this, perhaps his favorite part of life is his family life. Rafael lives in Elmhurst, Illinois, with his wife and three children. His wife, Caryn, is a writer and popular speaker whose first book, Mama’s Got a Fake I.D.: How to Reveal the Real You Behind All That Mom, launched in the spring of 2009. She also writes about women’s issues at her blog, The Mommy Revolution, and at Gifted for Leadership, a site she edits for Christianity Today International. They both enjoy working from home where they each take hands on roles in raising Henrik, Greta and Fredrik.