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 son.

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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

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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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Laurie Eady

Digital Strategist

Laurie Eady

Laurie Eady oversees digital strategies and email marketing. She is highly effective in optimizing existing and new online marketing strategies for clients through email automation programs, management and development of promotions calendars, enhancement of website navigation tools, and more. Her strategies are customized, focusing on improving conversion rates and improving ROI for clients’ bottom lines.

Before joining Hughes Media 5 years ago, she helped grow Fabric.com from a startup to over $50 million in revenue, after which the company was bought by Amazon.com. Her specialization in conversion rate optimization, customer experience, and development and growth of customer traffic and online sales, has equipped Laurie with extensive corporate and mid-sized business experience, a robust understanding of digital strategy, and a deep commitment to customer service.

Laurie is highly experienced in working with the following email marketing and ecommerce platforms: Coremetrics, SilverPop, MailChimp, Bazaar Voive, Mercado Merchandising, Google Analytics, Google Adwords, Commission Junction, ShareAsale, WordPress, SLI-Systems, Fetchback, and Bronto. In addition to working with all of these platforms, she oversees software selection and developing software requirements for clients.

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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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Kyle Huffling

Developer

Kyle Huffling

Born and raised in Greenville, SC, Kyle enlisted in the US Army Reserve in 2005. In the midst of his service, Kyle earned a BS in psychology from the University of South Carolina in 2009. He then enrolled in Auburn University’s Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences PhD program conducting research in the Laboratory for Integrative and Decision Sciences. During this time, Kyle gained his first experiences writing code and scripting in order to automate his experimental procedures in the lab. He enjoyed his coding and development tasks so much, he elected to pursue a career in development and left Auburn early with his MS in Experimental Psychology. He was hired by the IT department at the Mississippi Department of Education to perform database development in support of the department’s largest web applications. At this time, Kyle also began building web sites in his spare time and developed a keen ability in this area. In 2018 Kyle moved to Atlanta to be closer to his and his wife’s family.

Today, Kyle maintains and develops websites for Hughes Media. Using his extensive experience, he contributes with the team toward the fantastic design and marketing strategies that promote content on the web. Each day, you can find Kyle performing many functions, including:
• Ensuring clients’ web sites are up to date with security features and marketing efforts,
• Interfacing on clients’ behalf with domain registrars and web hosts,
• Testing webforms and ensuring emails leads are reaching clients,
• Modifying websites to meet client and marketing team designs, and
• Translating the design and marketing team’s concepts into live web sites.

When he’s not working for clients at Hughes Media, Kyle can be found enjoying life with his wife and dog, a beagle mix, often playing recreational tennis.

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Diana Li

Web Designer and Developer

Diana Li

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.

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Jacqueline Richtman

Paid Media Specialist

Jacqueline Richtman

 

Jacqueline is an SEM/SEO marketer at Hughes Media. Her main points of focus are on-site and off-site SEO, creating email newsletters and writing press releases. Being Google Adwords and Google Analytics certified, she monitors pay-per-click campaigns daily and creates monthly analytics reports for clients. In her free time, Jacqueline enjoys running, playing with puppies and reading good books. Jacqueline graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in public relations and a minor in English.

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Anna Kelly

Marketing Assistant

Anna Kelly

Anna is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and a minor in General Business. She recently joined the Hughes Media team as a marketing assistant and works with clients to coordinate their digital marketing campaigns. Anna enjoys spending time with her dog, Chloe, exercising, snow skiing, and being adventurous.

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AJ Decaprio

Videographer

AJ Decaprio

AJ was born and raised in Clearwater, Florida and earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Florida. He currently attends the Savannah College of Arts and Design, working to obtain a master’s degree in Film and Television. He recently joined the Hughes Media team to produce, shoot and edit video content for our clients. AJ enjoys wildlife photography, building computers, hiking and playing video games.

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Wyatt Hughes

Summer Intern

Wyatt Hughes

Wyatt will be joining us for the summer of 2018.  He is a college student studying marketing.  In his free time he enjoys being a sushi chef.

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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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