Ray Feliz, Octavia Legal Associates

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Ray Feliz, partner, Octavia Legal Associates.

What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

I am honored to help clients transform challenges into achievements. It makes me happy when I help a client develop a business, obtain immigration relief, or clarify any uncertainty. I love being able to help clients succeed or get the assistance they need.

With the barriers to obtaining quality representation and the vulnerability to countless procedural pitfalls, even the best-meaning client can be exposed to significant risk. This combination increases not only legal risk but also frustrations and misfortunes.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

Madison is full of exceptional people who are well deserving of admiration. I look up to leaders in our community who actively contribute to the success of their business and the progress of our community. Some of those leaders include Jessica Cavazos, president and CEO of the Latino Chamber of Commerce; Jason Knutson, partner at Habush Habush & Rottier; Aissa Olivarez, the attorney at Community Immigration Law Center; Eric Zuniga, entrepreneur and marketing specialist; and Oscar Mireles, executive director of Omega School. Thank you for all you do.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

A couple of months ago, a young adult walked into my office and told me about a series of struggles he and his family experienced over the last few years. Worse yet, he described how these issues led him to bad decisions and significant ramifications. However, I was pleased to hear that he had countered such bad luck by starting to get his life together.

I was then able to help him overcome new challenges and set him off on a better path. He and his family were so thankful, that they entrusted me with an additional matter and even co-authored my new motto — Attorney Feliz; Cliente Feliz. I hope to make this true for all of my clients.

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Stay focused, stay humble, and don’t forget those who helped you through it. You will be able to overcome the obstacles that lie ahead, and the reward will be well worth the fight. Take calculated risks and stay true to yourself. Maintain those relationships you develop over the years.

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What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

I enjoy the diversity of people from all walks of life. Whether you’re a business professional, a student, or you’re raising a family, our community provides avenues for personal growth. It is hard to beat the spectacular lakes, sports, farmers markets, and summer events, which make up for the long winters.

Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I love to dance bachata, merengue, and salsa. I have taken and taught various classes in the U.S. and South America. If you can’t find me at my office, you will probably find me on a dance floor. I also used to run a phone and console repair and programming business in high school.

What are your guilty pleasures?

I love to travel, even if it means sleeping overnight on an uncomfortable bus. I once traveled with friends by bus from Santiago, Chile, over the Andes, to various cities in Argentina. My wanderlust has gotten me lost in the Amazon jungle and may lead me into more trouble. I hope I can keep finding my way back!

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