Meet Our Core Team

Deedra Hughes

President/CEO

Deedra Hughes

      

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 search engine optimization. Deedra was an early adapter 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 developers. Deedra has put together a team of over 20 digital experts whose specialties include SEO, PPC, SEM, marketing automation, email marketing and segmentation, website design and development, and more. Her team is made up of people who are experts in their channel of marketing, and clients’ results-focused. They are trained and encouraged to do the right thing for their clients. Under her leadership, the Hughes Media team has managed over 800 domains and websites worldwide.

As a digital business consultant, Deedra advises various CEOs and presidents on their companies’ branding and positioning 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, is certified in both Google Adwords and Google Analytics, and has been trained in EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) for small to mid-size businesses. 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 has been featured as a key speaker on SEO and social media, as well as other various digital marketing topics. View my LinkedIn profile.

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Valentina Huff

VP of Client Services

Valentina Huff

    

Valentina Huff is the Vice President of Hughes Media; she joined the company in ​2011 and has proven herself to be client results-focused and ROI driven through extensive, hands-on experience and leadership across all channels of digital marketing. To ensure clients maximize their marketing potential, Val leads a dedicated team of SEO and SEM specialists, oversees website builds from inception to completion, and manages email segmentation and marketing automation projects. Working with programs like SEMRush, Google Analytics, Screaming Frog and more, Val not only oversees the digital marketing teams, but is fluent in the various software as well. She also specializes in working with CRM programs SalesForce and RockHopper, and email management programs Pardot and MailChimp. Moreover, Val is highly trained and qualified in programmatic ad buying and pay-per-click through platforms like Centro/Basis DSP and Google Adwords. In the course of her marketing career, Val has managed almost $2 million in campaigns and continues to grow this number on a daily basis.

Before joining Hughes Media, Val worked as a School Counselor for 2 years in South Carolina after completing a Masters+30 from University of South Carolina. Prior to that, she graduated with Honors from Presbyterian College, majoring in psychology and minoring in sociology and English. When Val isn’t at the office, she enjoys cooking, hanging out outdoors, and spending time at the beach with her husband and her sons.

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Stephanie Braatz

Creative Director

Stephanie Braatz

     

Stephanie Braatz is the Creative Director at Hughes Media and she oversees our exceptional team of graphic designers and all of the visual materials produced for our clients. Stephanie began her career at BKV (now known as DRUM) in 1992 and has been an integral member of Hughes Media for 15 years. She is exceptional in her ability to translate our clients’ visions from mere concepts to tangible websites, brochures, newsletters, and digital ads. Stephanie holds a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University where she has a rich family history. Her grandfather was the businessman and pharmacist who started Toomer’s Drugstore for which Toomer’s Corner is named. She has two sons, one at Georgia Tech and one at Auburn, and resides in Atlanta with her husband of over 25 years (who also happens to be her college sweetheart).

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Johanna Wilkes

Account Supervisor

Johanna Wilkes

A consummate marketer, Johanna’s experience and knowledge in branding, public relations and traditional & digital marketing allows her to advocate for her clients needs while clearly communicating her clients objectives and ensuring success. As the quarterback of the agency, Johanna’s job is to support, cheerlead and help guide the team through successful strategic implementations ranging from website development, social media campaigns and paid search.

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Angie Sawers

Sr. Graphic/Web Designer

Angie Sawers

    

Angie joined the Hughes Media team in 2014 as a senior graphic designer. Angie works closely with all clients and Hughes Media team members to strategize, create designs and consistently meet deadline requirements. In addition, she manages all clients’ social media advertising and optimization utilizing Facebook Business Manager, Hootsuite and other tools, and regularly integrates her design abilities into her social strategizing.

Angie is devoted to studying the latest market and industry trends and techniques in design and social media in order to keep her work current and fresh on behalf of the client’s output. She creates graphics that complement our clients’ brands and visually translate their business values and strategies through her awareness of color, composition, and typography. Her design work includes responsive website design, user experience, email marketing, logo designs, banner ad designs, and more.

Angie is an expert in the Adobe Creative Suite, including Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Pro, as well as WordPress, which she uses to implement quick design changes on client websites.

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Christina Powers

Graphic Designer

Christina Powers

  

Christina is a native of Michigan and graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. She recently joined the Hughes Media team in fall 2018. Christina is continuously learning something new to expand and develop her skill set and knowledge. She is creative-driven and focused on keeping up with design trends. Outside of the office Christina enjoys hiking, traveling, yoga and painting.

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Crystal McCall

Paid Search Strategist

Crystal McCall

Beginning her career in digital marketing, Crystal immediately found her niche and has continued to excel in the constantly evolving paid search marketing channel. For Crystal, keywords are key and as a PPC specialist, she creates compelling, targeted campaigns that drive traffic to client’s websites while also ensuring goals are being met through optimal conversions. Crystal also helped lead the growth of Fabric.com from a startup to over $50 million in revenue, after which the company was bought by Amazon.com. Crystal is Amazon trained to buy and compete on the Amazon channel against competitors. Crystal was responsible for a $300,000 monthly digital paid budget. She has been on the HM team for 2 years.

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Shawn Mahoney

Technical Director

Shawn Mahoney

Shawn Mahoney provides Hughes Media with technology leadership from a wide range of disciplines, including information technology support, custom software development, and workflow automation. In 1989 he founded Rockhopper Tech, an IT support company which spawned a custom software development team. Rockhopper Tech writes workflow operational software for businesses to increase efficiencies. Hughes Media clients benefit from this strategic alliance when custom or high-level development needs arise.

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Natalia Marty

Videographer

Natalia Marty

Natalia Marty was born and raised in Venezuela. She came to the U.S in 2015 and recently graduated from SCAD with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film & Television. She joined Hughes Media in August 2019 to create video content for our clients. Outside of the office, Natalia keeps growing her film-making skills by writing scripts and working on film productions.

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Steven Scarborough

Intern Graduate from Cumberland Academy of Georgia

Steven Scarborough

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.

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Frank McKay

Staff Writer

Frank McKay

Frank McKay provides writing services and consultation for Hughes Media clients. With a double major in English and business administration, Frank spent 15 years in non-profit development with a primary focus in independent schools. His ability to use the written language to connect people with a mission greatly benefits our clients’ marketing materials as they seek to inspire a lasting relationship between brand and customer. Frank also creates visually through watercolor painting and stays busy with three elementary-aged children and their pets.

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Maria Higginbotham

Accounts Receivable

Maria Higginbotham

Maria’s job as an Accounts Receivable is to ensure clients receive and pay invoices and that all transactions are properly recorded. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. They love camping and spending as much time outdoors as possible. Maria also has an associate degree in baking and patisserie from le cordon blue.

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Roy Rogers

Mascot

Roy Rogers

Roy is the furriest member of Hughes Media. His duties as Hughes Media’s mascot include barking at the printer, warming laps, greeting guests and tirelessly tail wagging. When he’s not working, Roy enjoys eating table scraps and playing his favorite stuffed animal.

Roy is a Havanese rescue from a puppy mill in Texas. There were so many puppies they had to be sent to humane societies in various states. Deedra’s family was looking for a dog for her son’s birthday and we were on an email list. As soon as they saw Roy, it was love at first sight. Roy’s charming personality has inspired others to adopt from rescues and seek out a Havanese.

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