Deedra HughesPresident & Founder
Deedra Hughes founded Hughes Media in 2000 as a media buying and advertising agency. Her clients included both national and local companies like Pulte Homes and Budget Rental Car. After two years market demands required Hughes Media to begin offering website development, Google Adwords and banner ads services. Hughes was an early adaptor to internet ad buying (pay-per-click), leading her to build a full-service digital agency. Today, Deedra directs a digital team of internet marketers and website programmers. Under her leadership, Hughes Media manages over 800 domains and websites worldwide.
As a digital business consultant, Deedra advises various CEOs and presidents on their companies’ branding and position on the internet. These services have included analyzing website traffic, reviewing all digital touch points, and finding additional revenue streams. Internet consulting services has been an adjunct to Deedra’s expertise for the past ten years.
She is a graduate of Ohio University with a Communications Marketing degree and is certified in both Google Adwords and Google Analytics. She is a member of Vistage, SEMPO, and the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association. She is also the President of the Board of Directors for Cumberland Academy of Georgia. She regularly speaks about SEO and social media. View my LinkedIn profile.
Valentina HuffVice President
Valentina Huff oversees all client search engine optimization (SEO) and internet marketing projects. She is responsible for strategically promoting client websites through Google and Bing search engines. She manages a team of writers and technicians to ensure that clients are utilizing all available social media outlets including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and more. Valentina is certified in both Google Adwords and Google Analytics. Due to the constant changes in the digital world, Valentina devotes over ten hours each month to continuing education to stay ahead of trends. Valentina made a drastic career change in 2011 from the psychology field to an advertising internship, which later landed her as a full-time employee at Hughes Media; her eight years of psychological studies have made her the ideal candidate for a job in marketing.
While at Presbyterian College, her studies of human behavior included student experiments based on Solomon Asch’s theory of how people’s social identities influence them to conform to their peers, even if they believe they are wrong.
In graduate school, she spent a semester researching and writing her Master Thesis on the thought process behind the decisions that people make. At Hughes Media, Valentina applies this experience to researching a client’s target audience and determining what makes consumers invest in particular products. Valentina graduated cum laude fromPresbyterian College with honors in her psychology major and sociology and English minors. She holds a Masters30+ with honors in counseling from the University of South Carolina. She was awarded membership to the International English Honor Society, the International Honor Society in Psychology, and the International Honor Society in Counseling. View my LinkedIn profile.
Stephanie BraatzCreative Director
With over 15 years’ experience within the creative department of advertising agencies, Stephanie Braatz is highly proficient on both Mac and PC operating systems with Quark, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and other graphic design software. Additionally, she is quickly developing an expertise in front end web development and programming. She has a knack for clean, eye-catching, websites, brochures, newsletters, and digital ads. Stephanie holds a bachelors degree from Auburn University and possesses a natural talent for graphic design.
She is largely self-taught and developed much of her skill looking over the shoulders of graphic designers while working as an account executive in a previous position, eventually transitioning into the design department after demonstrating her exceptional skills. Outside of Hughes Media, her greatest passion is her wonderful family.
Laurie EadyDigital Strategist
As the digital strategist, Laurie Eady is an accomplished digital marketing and e-commerce executive who played a key role in taking a start-up online business to more than $50 million in revenue and sales to Amazon.com. She is known by colleagues and clients as an entrepreneurial, strategic and innovative leader with an unswerving focus on results and a deep commitment to excellence in customer service.
Laurie is passionate about developing e-commerce strategies that improve conversion rates all the while maintaining a healthy ROI. She brings large scale insights and experience about email marketing, affiliate marketing and partnership programs. Her 8 years of client side experience is invaluable to Hughes Media client’s.
Laurie is a graduate of Marshall University, where she studied Psychology and Marketing.
She enjoys writing and self-publishing gift books, traveling and enjoying time with her family.
As a developer, designer and project manager for Hughes Media, Christine Uyemura organizes, designs, builds and maintains client websites. She has a strong understanding of each of client and their work and is able to create engaging sites while taking industry requirements and user experience into consideration. Christine is also responsible for filming and editing videos for Hughes Media’s clients. Christine graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in May of 2013 with an engineering degree in digital media design and a minor in marketing and social psychology. During her time in Philadelphia she worked as a digital lab consultant and as a graphic designer for a merchandise production company, a student business agency, and an online startup. Her first digital marketing experience came when she worked as the Digital Content Intern at Lucasfilm where she helped increase SEO through page creation, blog management, and QA testing. She also interned in the Marketing and Communications department of Apple creating digital assets for their packaging, retail, motion graphics and interactive environments.
Outside of the digital world, one of Christine’s greatest passions is food, both cooking and trying new restaurants. She also loves football (Go Falcons! Go Jackets!), dogs, TV shows, video games, and playing softball. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts in Visual Effects at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta.
Angie HendrixGraphic Designer
Angie Hendrix graduated from Georgia College & State University in 2013 with a major in fine arts and a minor in marketing with a concentration in advertising and consumer behavior. She worked throughout college as an event photographer and after college as a freelance photographer and graphic design intern. Angie quickly discovered a passion for working with clients and learning to create graphics to mesh with their brand identities and visually carry their messages using awareness of color, composition and typography. Angie’s responsibilities at Hughes Media include website design, email marketing, banner ads and photography, as well as social media marketing and advertising. Angie devotes her personal time to studying the latest market and industry trends and techniques in design to keep work current and fresh.
Diana LiWeb Designer and Developer
As Web Designer and Developer, Diana Li is responsible for creating and maintaining all aspects of a website for Hughes Media’s vast list of clients. She has extensive knowledge of both computer programming and graphic design in order to ensure websites are both visually appealing and technically proficient. After she finishes developing a client’s website, Diana is responsible for solving any technical issues and updating the site when necessary. Diana also works as an Effects Technical Director for some of Hollywood’s most exciting and action-packed films, like Godzilla, Thor: The Dark World and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. She also worked on Life of Pi, a film that was both critically and monetarily successful and was awarded several Academy Awards including Best Visual Effects and a BAFTA for Special Visual Effects. This work has taken her all over the world; she has lived and worked in Los Angeles, London and Vancouver.
Diana began working for Hughes Media in 2006 after creating and designing websites since age fifteen. Diana attended the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, pursuing a BFA in Visual Effects with an Animation minor. She graduated from Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom with a MA in Digital Effects with Merit. It was here that she won the award for Best Art Direction for a film called Athena at the Landcrab Film Festival in Bournemouth, England. When she isn’t working, Diana enjoys lifting weights to stay healthy.
Becky SweatSenior Writer
With 25 years experience in the journalism and advertising fields, Becky Sweat has written thousands of articles and advertisements for hundreds of different magazines, newspapers and websites. Her experience runs the gamut from writing and editing short, newsy press releases and advertising copy, to conducting extensive interviews with experts to write very well-researched, informative articles targeted to specific audiences.
Becky is a graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied advertising and journalism.
When she’s not writing, Becky enjoys gourmet cooking, baking, planning large get-togethers for friends, photography, and travel, especially to international areas.
Noopur LuthraMarketing & Social Media Specialist
Noopur Luthra graduated from the University of Georgia with a major in biology and a minor in studio art. At UGA, she was part of the honors program and the graphic designer for one of the largest multi-cultural organizations on campus. After an internship at Hughes Media, Noopur found her passion in digital marketing. She is certified in Google AdWords and Google Analytics, and she has completed the IBM Explorer Marketing Cloud Fundamentals certification. Noopur’s duties at Hughes Media include social media outreach, website analytics, email marketing, and drip campaigns. In her free time, Noopur enjoys working on personal graphic design projects, drawing, photography, trying out new restaurants, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Romane VernetLead Developer
As a lead developer for Hughes Media, Romane Vernet is involved in all aspects of website development, including project management for websites, creating staging servers, deploying new website projects, and keeping websites up-to-date and virus free. Before coming to Hughes Media, Romane held various positions with IBM, BellSouth, and MetroKitchen. He attended Kennesaw State University, but believes 95 percent of his job skills are self-taught and also considers himself an entrepreneur. When he is not at work, Romane enjoys playing video games, listening to music, playing the saxophone, going to the beach and hanging out with family and friends.
Abbey KolodziejMarketing Assistant
Abbey Kolodziej graduated from Georgia College with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Marketing degree. At Hughes Media, Abbey is responsible for creating all social media calendars and managing social media accounts for multiple clients in various industries. In addition to social media monitoring and management, Abbey is also involved in public relations and SEO strategy. During her time at Georgia College, she not only worked hard academically, but also sought to give back to the Milledgeville community by getting involved with many different service organizations. Abbey also participated in multiple Georgia College Leadership Programs. In her free time, Abbey enjoys volunteering at the Atlanta Food Bank and Atlanta Humane Society, watching movies, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Steven Scarborough is a high school graduate from Cumberland Academy of Georgia. As an intern at Hughes Media, Steven works on speed testing for websites on multiple different platforms. In addition, Steven is involved with quality assurance for clients’ websites and ensures that contact forms are always working properly. At Cumberland Academy, he participated in soccer, basketball, and rock band. Steven’s interests include cars, trucks, and heavy metal music. During his free time, he enjoys hanging out with friends, playing video games, and researching cars.