the power behind visual engagement
Leslie Hughes is the Founder and President of VisualSteam. She describes her role as shaping the company's strategy and management philosophies with a goal to ensure that the company is always focused on creating maximum benefit for its clients and employees. Her career has focused on change, growth and scaling great image businesses. She brings digital media expertise which spans start-ups to $100MM+ corporations. Global leadership in the US, UK, France and Hong Kong; operational oversight in 12 countries, and franchise network leadership in 36 countries.
Hughes focuses on strategy, profitable growth and building excellent, sustainable businesses.
Hughes received her MBA from the Edwin L Cox School of Business at SMU and her Bachelor's degree from The Colorado College. She is the proud mother of two.
Marketing & Content
Design & Marketing
Karen D’Silva is a visual strategist specializing in interpreting lifestyles and societal shifts into images that emotionally connect with their audience. During the course of her career, she has been a top Creative Director, Editor, photographer, collection and brand manager. For the last 15 years, Karen has been collaborating with some of the world's top commercial photographers, including Christa Renee, Penny De Los Santos, Anne Menke, Elinor Carucci, Stewart Cohen, Jill Greenberg and Mathius Clamer. She has worked with top industry leaders building licensing sales, instinctively leading image collections towards tomorrow's marketplace demands, and building successful self-promotion and marketing campaigns.
At VisualSteam, D'Silva specializes in working with clients on content strategies, development, mapping, and marketing. In collaboration with strategic partner Agency Access, Karen and VisualSteam can drive your marketing strategies, internally and for client projects.
D'Silva received her Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts.
Kris Hook brings to VisualSteam a unique and valuable history of global sales and business development expertise. Having spent the majority of her career running content sales organizations, Kris has had the advantage of learning sales management and business development techniques from internationally recognized trainers including Sandler, Aslan, and Franklin Covey.
With more than 15+ years experience in corporate America, Hook has developed and executed business development strategies to drive over $100M in sales for companies including Bill Gates’ Corbis Corporation. She has hired, trained and managed multi-level sales teams in six countries; developed "The Three A's of Account Strategy" and "The Quarterly Business Review"; and has consistently delivered double-digit revenue growth.
Hook brings knowledge, experience and strong client relationships to VisualSteam. She works on east coast business development across client segments.
Gary Hopkins has a broad reaching career in visual communications managing, editing, packaging and marketing great content. He’s worked as a website founder, content producer, photographer, writer, editor, photo editor, multimedia producer, designer, and most recently, developing business for VisualSteam.
Hopkins brings VisualSteam business development and sales expertise. He works with clients large and small including BBDO, Leo Burnett, Apple, and Viacom. Gary is responsible for West Coast Business Development.
Hopkins has a Bachelor's Degree in English.
Ashley Smith sits at the intersection of marketing, communications and design. She led VisualSteam's recent brand refresh, and works on client projects that include marketing and design.
With years of advertising experience in NYC and San Francisco, Smith has a deep and broad understanding of advertising, communications, creating effective messaging, and the importance of great design.
Deciding to shake things up, Smith took a sabbatical, picked up and moved to Thailand where she became a teacher and global citizen. During her time over-seas, she became acutely aware of the high demand for, and power of, thoughtful, clever, and creative design. While in Thailand she began working with international businesses on product photography, marketing, social media, web design, and editorial. Upon returning to the U.S., Smith wanted to supplement her practical experience with graphic design training. She went back to school to study graphic design and branding at Sessions College of Design.
Smith holds a Bachelors degree from the Colorado College.
With more than two decades experience working with Fortune 100 companies including IBM, Chase Manhattan Bank, NationsBank, Microsoft, Merck, Medco Health Solutions, UnitedHealth Care, American Airlines, and Verizon. Smith brings know-how to critical functional areas including finance, technology, digital strategy/e-commerce, and operations.
Smith focuses on Digital Strategy, Analytics and Implementation, specializing in omni-channel marketing.
Smith holds an MBA and a BA in Economics.
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