BrightSight Group is a speakers bureau based in Princeton, NJ. They represent some of the top keynote speakers, thought leaders and best selling authors of today.
They represent individuals across numerous disciplines, including business, politics, arts and science.
BrightSight Group was founded in 2005 by Tom Neilssen and Les Tuerk. They had both been representing speakers for 25 years prior to starting their own firm. Together they 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.
Thomas Neilssen, CEO: Tom’s responsibilities include implementing the vision and goals of the 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, where he advised and help guide the careers of many of the top performers including, Malcolm Gladwell, Alex Haley, Bill George, Lester Thurow, Bill Schneider and Linda Wertheimer.
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 y ear 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.
Les Tuerk, President: As co-founder of the BrightSight Group, Les’s 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.