40 Under 40 Alumni: Holly Silvestri and Jon Gray

Holly Silvestri, a partner at the The Ferraro Group, Public Relations & Public Affairs company, poses Thursday July 12, 2018.

Holly Silvestri

Principal, the Ferraro Group, Public Relations & Public Affairs

Where were you when you received your 40 Under 40 award? I was owner of the Las Vegas-based PR firm Impress Communications, and received the honor in 2007.

Where are you now? I merged my former PR firm with the Ferraro Group almost 10 years ago, allowing us to have a statewide PR and public affairs agency. We also opened a Phoenix office. Our PR clients include the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, WGU Nevada, Smith’s Food & Drug Stores, Nevada State Contractors Board and Nathan Adelson Hospice, and our public affairs clients include Nevada Resort Association, NV Energy, Cox Communications and Apple.

What has been your biggest accomplishment since you were awarded? The merger with the Ferraro Group was a marked moment in my life. It allowed our combined companies to have a larger presence in Nevada and expand our expertise and service areas for clients. And I’m lucky to have such a great business partner in Greg Ferraro.

What do you want to accomplish? To be honored on a Top 50 Under 50 list someday!

What have you learned the hard way? Several years ago I learned—along with thousands of others—about the death grip of a recession. It forced many businesses, including mine, to reinvent themselves. I’ve always been a hard worker and possess a strong work ethic, but these tough times forced us all to work even harder and be more creative to keep our heads above water.

Jon Gray

General Manager of Palms Casino Resort

Where were you when you received your 40 Under 40 award? In 2010, I was vice president of revenue development and general manager of the 9Group at Palms.

Where are you now? After becoming GM of the Linq and a taking role in branding at Nike, I’m back home at the Palms, where I am the general manager of the property.

What has been your biggest accomplishment since you were awarded? Becoming a father of my two boys, Nash, 6, and Knox, 3, has been one of my biggest accomplishments personally. Professionally, it’s been an incredible honor to have been chosen by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta to help lead the Palms renovation project.

What do you want to accomplish? We’re hyper-obsessing every experience and touch-point at the Palms to create the next era of the Vegas resort. We’re rebuilding everything from top to bottom, but we’re also evolving the brand and shaking things up.

What’s your favorite spot for a lunch meeting? Lucky Penny—I seem to never have time to leave for lunch.

Who is your business hero? I’m always thankful to George Maloof for giving me my start and teaching me the ropes of the business. I also have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta; the guys are passionate geniuses and excel at everything they do.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever given? The harder you work, the luckier you get. Inspect what you expect.