Erwin Raphael has advocated for support for military veterans and started veteran related employee resource groups at Fiat Chrysler (FCA) as well as Hyundai Motor America. He also established a program within his company to find jobs for over 750 service members who were returning to full-time civilian life as a way to counter veteran related depression and the high suicide rate associated with it. Erwin also contributes over $10,000 per year of his personal money to fund scholarships for students entering his alma mater, The Ohio State University. This year, with growing awareness of the effects of racism on young African Americans, Erwin decided it was time to form The Lantern Network, a charity organization with the expressed purpose of strengthening America by providing vision, examples, resources, opportunity and guidance to young black Americans so they can more fully contribute to building our more perfect union. Erwin and his wife have already contributed significantly to the foundational work of this charity and will officially launch this work in October, 2020.
Raphael holds Bachelor degrees in chemistry and applied math from The Ohio State University, where he is a member of the Advisory Council to the Executive Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of UCLA Health Systems. He is a decorated veteran of the US Army for 8 years, most recently with the 416th Engineer Command. He continues as an appointed Army Reserve Ambassador for the State of California.
He has served as a mentor to many minorities throughout his career in Corporate America. He repeatedly receives letters, cards, phone calls, and emails thanking him for the impact he had of the lives of his mentees. Erwin has groomed many others to become the best professional possible. Erwin is an advocate and corporate leader for hiring, retaining, and growing diverse high performing teams (women, minorities, LGBTQ+, as an inclusive member of society.