During his career, Ray Casas has managed communications services for multi-national companies, large real estate developers, banks, food companies, attorneys and other professional firms and hospitals. Casas’ areas of expertise include strategic planning, issues management and crisis counseling.
Before Wragg & Casas, he worked for 13 years at Hank Meyer Associates Inc., where he was executive vice president. Earlier, he was a reporter for United Press International, the San Diego Evening Tribune and The Chicago Reporter.
In 2012, Casas received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Public Relations Society of America, South Florida Chapter.
Casas serves on the board of directors of the Greater Miami Camber of Commerce and is the 2015 chairman of the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, where he has served as board member for 23 years. Previously, Casas served on the board of directors of the Beacon Council and the Board of Regents of Leadership Florida, acting as Miami region chairman for two years. He was the 2001-2002 chairman of the Archbishop’s Charities and Development Drive.
Ray Casas holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University.
Jeanmarie C. Ferrara, Executive Vice President
Jeanmarie Ferrara, a member of the Florida Bar, joined the firm in 1996.
Currently, Ferrara works with a number of professional services clients as well as concentration on public affairs and community outreach.
Ferrara has been involved in creating communications strategies for local ballot initiatives involving land use and zoning, as well as event planning, multi-media presentations, media relations and legislative monitoring.
During the Florida Constitutional Amendment 4 Campaign, Ferrara coordinated more than 200 speaking engagements before local political, social, service and environmental clubs as well as homeowners, condominium and professional associations.
During a community outreach campaign to build a major-league baseball stadium in Miami, Ferrara worked to garner resolutions of support from numerous civic and business organizations.
Ferrara is a graduate of The University of Miami School of Law and holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Miami School of Communication.
Ferrara was named the “2005 Up & Comer in Public Relations” by the South Florida Business Journal. She served as the 2007 program chair for Leadership Miami and is a member of Leadership Florida, Class XXI. She received both the 1986 Broward County Miami Herald Silver Knight and Sun-Sentinel awards for journalism. She served as a judge for the 2008 Miami Silver Knight Awards.
She serves on the board of the Coral Gables Bar Association, and has served as a volunteer tutor with Project L.E.A.D, an adult literacy program of the Miami-Dade Public Library.
Melissa Lichtenheld, Group Account Director
Melissa Lichtenheld is a communications professional who brings experience in journalism and community relations to the Miami office of Wragg & Casas.
She works with clients in education, healthcare, hospitality, nonproft and technology sectors.
During the high-profile campaign to build the Florida Marlins ballpark, Lichtenheld coordinated community outreach and editorial comment from supporters while earning positive news coverage and managing website content. She also supervised social media and grassroots operations.
While at the Miami Herald, Lichtenheld was a copy and layout editor and directed copy desk production for six editions of the suburban Neighbors section. Earlier, she worked at Gannett Suburban Newspapers, based in White Plains, N.Y., as a copy editor and content editor before moving into newspaper management. Lichtenheld also worked as a reporter, covering police, education and local government, and as a food columnist for newspapers in upstate New York.
Lichtenheld’s background includes grant writing and management, securing grant awards from government resources and private foundations on behalf of art and community organizations.
A longtime resident of Miami, Lichtenheld is a native of Kansas. She is a graduate of the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas.
Gail Rayos, Manager, Central Florida
Gail Rayos is manager of the Central Florida office of Wragg & Casas in Orlando. She is responsible for issues management, media relations, public affairs, community outreach, multicultural marketing and social media for corporate clients and industry associations.
Rayos’ strategic communications expertise comes from two decades in media leadership directing award-winning news departments, spearheading business development and coordinating outreach and advocacy initiatives in roles ranging from associate managing editor, to business editor to Editorial Board member. Before joining Wragg & Casas, Rayos’ career included posts with Gannett Co. in the Washington, D.C.-area, USA Today online and print and the Orlando Sentinel. She also was a news editor at The News-Press in Southwest Florida.
She serves as president of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida and co-chairs a local council of diversity and multinational business associations from across Central Florida. She is a member of the University of Central Florida President’s Multicultural Advisory Committee. She also has served on the Executive Committee of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission. She is President of the Agriculture Institute of Florida.
Rayos earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Florida, where she also studied Latin-American affairs. A native of New Jersey, Rayos and her family reside in the Central Florida.
Mery Lewis, Creative Director
Mery Lewis is the creative director for Wragg & Casas. She is responsible for all aspects of digital media, including graphic design, web design and social media management.
Her extensive experience with both small and large companies includes graphic design work for NBC 6/Telemundo, Mega TV, World Avenue and Integrated Document Solutions. She has also owned her own company, The Ideea, working on marketing and rebranding projects for top companies such as Nova Southeastern University, PGA National and St. Andrews Country Club.
Mery is a graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, where her peers voted her as “best tutor.” She holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design along with a bachelor’s degree in web design and interactive media. Mery has been recognized by Legacy Broward Magazine’s “40 Under 40 Leaders of Today and Tomorrow” and by the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale for “Best Portfolio Interface in Web Design” and “Best Print Portfolio.” Born in Caracas, Venezuela, she is fully bilingual in English and Spanish.
Mery lives every day by her favorite quote:
“Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes.” – Napoleon Hill