Thomas Neilssen, CEOTom is the co-founder of the BrightSight Group. He has spent the past 32 years representing leading thought leaders and celebrities. In February 2005, with his long-time colleague Les Tuerk, Tom created a new company to work with great thinkers, communicators and idea generators, who can make an impact on the future of organizations and the world at large. Tom's responsibilities include implementing the vision and goals of this firm, recruitment of talent and guiding and advising on their career aspirations. In addition, Tom collaborates with senior executives on their major projects and events.
From 1985 to February 2005, Tom was one of the senior agents at the Leigh Bureau. In the early 1980's Tom was an agent at BWI, a lecture/entertainment company that specialized in speakers for the college market and represented bands for the club market. He had a short stint working at the famous Greenwich Village nightclub, The Bottom Line.
Tom graduated from SUNY/StonyBook with a B.S. in 1979. During his years there he was the Vice-Chairman, then Chairman of StonyBrook Concerts, the student run entertainment body, which presented 30-40 shows per year featuring top-name talent for the student and surrounding Long Island community. Acts presented during Tom's leadership included, Doobie Brothers, Talking Heads, Billy Joel, B.B King, Bonnie Raitt, Lou Reed, Foreigner, Jerry Garcia, Frank Zappa, Chic, Al Jarreau, Pat Metheny. Billboard magazine profiled Tom's success in two articles during this period.
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Les Tuerk, President
Les is co-founder of the BrightSight Group. His responsibilities include talent recruitment, marketing & sales, web development. Building on the skills he developed over the past three decades, Les facilitates connecting top thought leaders with business executives around the globe, while embracing new technologies and applications that will make more connections and opportunities possible.
Les was an integral part of the Leigh Bureau during its major growth, from 1976 to early 2005 (he did a brief 3 year detour into the garment business in New York during the early 1980's). At the outset Les was the catalyst responsible for successfully transitioning the company from its historic markets, Town Halls, Women's Clubs, Colleges, to the rapidly emerging corporate and association markets. During this time period, Les worked directly with senior executives of the Fortune 1000 and the largest professional service firms in the country on their worldwide programs.
In addition to his sales responsibilities, Les oversaw the major marketing plans, including, but not limited to, web design, advertising and sales materials. He was also responsible for the training and development of a number of sales associates and for an 18 month period, general manager of the Washington, D.C. office. Additional responsibilities included, of course, signing new speakers to exclusive contracts with the firm and the handling of a number of other speakers (including such notables as Alex Haley and Peter Drucker).
Les graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama 1975.
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Cynthia has spent her career managing large customer accounts in New England. She spent seven successful years with General Electric’s Industrial Power Systems and three exciting years with Northeast Utilities and their unregulated subsidiary Select Energy. Her responsibilities included marketing, sales, customer interface through project planning, contracts and work direction.
Cynthia graduated from the University of Hartford with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (1986) and Masters in Business Administration (1994).
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Christine began her career supporting sales force teams in both a publishing and a toy company. She then started teaching in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn and taught Grades K-6 for over 7 years in suburban through urban districts. She has held leadership positions both within school [Chair, Comprehensive School Improvement Plan] and professional organizations [President Central New Jersey Reading Council of the International Reading Association].
Christine graduated from Drew University, New Jersey, with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology  and from Hunter College, New York, with a Masters of Science in Education .
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Freya joined the BrightSight Group in 2008 as the Director of Event Logistics. She has since transitioned into a sales position, working primarily with our contacts at colleges, universities, and hospitals.
Freya graduated from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications (2006).
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