Rafael holds a Master’s in Education from Cambridge College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has been married for 18 years to Meiling Toro and has one daughter Nicole.
Rafael Toro began his career in the field of public relations in 1979 as a special assistant to Mayor Kevin White in Boston where he handled a variety of city campaigns, cultural programs and community activities as well as serving as the liaison to the Hispanic community.
In 1985, Rafael joined Goya Foods, Inc. as Director of Public Relations where he first set out to extend Goya’s community outreach to the Dominican, Mexican, South and Central American communities. As the Hispanic market grew in the United States, so did Goya Foods’ facilities, product lines and the company’s marketing and public relations departments. In turn, Rafael’s responsibilities expanded and led him to play a role in Goya’s crossover of the Hispanic market into mainstream America. Rafael currently oversees Goya’s public relations department including public affairs, media relations, community activities, corporate contributions and food donations as well as event sponsorships, production and cultural programs.
In celebration of Goya’s 75th anniversary in 2011, Rafael coordinated the launch of a yearlong media and event campaign to honor Goya’s history and success that included the initiation of Goya Gives, a national campaign to fight against hunger and to encourage others to help those in need. Through Goya Gives, the company donated one million pounds of food to The United Way on the 75th day of the year. The campaign also included a nine city concert series with Latin artists Marc Anthony, Ana Gabriel and Marco Antonio Solis where Goya donated 75,000-pounds of food to local charities in the name of each artist. In addition, Rafael has cultivated a strong relationship with the White House and the Obama administration and helped to facilitate President Barack Obama’s recognition of Goya, the only company that has been honored by the President. He also facilitated Goya’s collaboration with First Lady Michelle Obama to launch MyPlate/ MiPlato, a national health initiative to educate Americans on how to eat healthier.
Over the years, Rafael has extended Goya’s good-will by supporting organizations including The Hispanic Federation, L.U.L.A.C., The Hispania Leadership Institute, The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, City Harvest, and the Latino Commission on AIDS, as well as disaster relief efforts including the donation of 300,000 pounds of food and 25,000 hot meals to victims of Hurricane Sandy. Rafael also initiated the annual Goya Scholarship Fund and the Goya Employee Scholarship Fund to provide students with a four-year college scholarship of $20,000 in honor of Goya’s dedication and commitment to higher education.
Most recently, Rafael played an intricate role in the commissioning of a life size statue of Roberto Clemente. On June 27, 2013, Goya honored the lifetime achievements of Roberto Clemente and unveiled the statue at the Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx to celebrate Clemente’s 40th anniversary of his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The unveiling attracted over 300 members of the community, family and friends as well as press including The New York Times, The New York Daily News, El Diario, CNN Latino, Telemundo, ESPN, and Univision to name a few.