About Us

We’re All about Your Mission

After serving clients together as separate businesses for 6 years, Leslie Belingheri and Hae Yuon Kim formed the creative agency Mission Critical Creative to better serve organizations who have a mission to improve lives.

Let’s brand together!


We know how important it is to have rapport and to trust the folks you work with.

Get to know us.

Hae Yuon Kim


Hae Yuon (“hey”) began her career specifying type, waxing repro onto boards, and wielding an Xacto knife in what could be called the Iron Age of graphic design. She cut her teeth at the now-defunct Macworld Magazine art department. She founded Tobi Designs in 1995 specializing in publication design and still nurtures a love of print. She graduated from Stanford in Painting and Printmaking. She is a painter, mom, avid reader, and beginner ukulele player.

» Over 30 years of experience

» Transform complex ideas into stunning materials

» Brand strategy development, creative ideation, publication design, art direction, and production management.

» LinkedIn Profile

Leslie Belingheri


Leslie has a marketing background in both client and agency sides having worked at Heidelberg USA and CKS Partners. Most recently she was the marketing manager for the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. She launched Elle Be Marcom in 2014 which serves a diverse client base of businesses and nonprofits in brand development. She graduated from Cal Poly in Graphic Communication. She is a mom, indoor-cyclist, and expert people wrangler.

» Over 25 years of experience
» Creative thinking and ability to manage complex projects
» Brand strategy development, creative concepting, digital content production, project planning and management.

» LinkedIn Profile



  • Brand Strategy Development
  • Creative Concepting
  • Art Direction
  • Digital Content Strategy Development
  • Project Planning & Management
  • Website and Video Production
  • Writing: positioning, messaging, draft copy, themes, naming
Typical Deliverables

  • Branding & Marketing Plans: Analysis & Recommendations
  • Annual Reports, CSR
  • Collateral: business stationery systems, brochures
  • Corporate Identity Systems: logos, brand architecture, style guides
  • Digital Media: social media content, motion graphics, testimonial or promotional videos
  • Naming & Taglines

As a large charitable organization, with a lot of subordinate organizations working under us, we had huge branding challenges to address. Mission Critical Creative came in, learned our culture, and quickly leveraged industry best practices to create marketing and branding strategies that scaled as we grew, and flexed as we changed.

They not only took into account our large institutional goals and needs, but the needs and goals of our subordinate organizations. I knew then that we had found a gem of a consultant, and a company who really knew how to be a true asset to their clients.

Christopher Hanzeli, CFRE

Director of Institutional Advancement, Dominican Friars, Western Province

Our Brand Values

Our Vision

Create and promote ideas which help build a world where all beings can have happy, healthy lives, free from suffering.

Our Mission

We partner with our clients to help improve lives. Through branding and visual storytelling, we strategize and design to create awareness, inspire, and engage.

We are Collaborative

Our tagline is “Let’s Brand Together” because our creative process includes our clients. We specialize in leading workshops to discover what your brand means to your stakeholders.

We are Curious

We endeavor to have long-lasting client relationships. The desire to be a true partner in building your business drives our practice. This allows us to produce creative that is informed by research and strategy.

We Strive for Clarity

As consultants, we have the ability to interpret and unscramble brands to help support your organization with clear and easy-to-understand creative.

We are Distinct

We offer both branding and design expertise in a small shop. We work for both nonprofits and businesses with many stakeholders and are experts in helping to bring about consensus. We are pragmatics who believe that design matters.

We Embrace Design Thinking

To ensure great design, we rely on proven creative process methods. We create and consider a lot of ideas, refine selected directions (repeat certain steps as necessary), pick a winner, and execute.

The Right Fit

As in most partnerships, we believe that there is a right fit when we are engaged by our clients. A foundation of trust and open communication is essential for productive collaboration. So, we know it can be a little worrying when hiring a creative agency. You may be asking yourself:

  • Will our project be as good as what they have in their portfolio?
  • Will they take the time to truly understand our organization?
  • Will they be a pain to work with?

We get it. We understand that putting out creative materials can sometimes be a painful process. We’ve produced award-winning publications where there hadn’t been personnel or processes in place to do so smoothly. We understand that different people may have differing views on what your brand should stand for. Rest assured, we’re pros and we have a process for getting to your brand clarity. We are especially adept at working with the different and sometimes conflicting demands of the board of directors, CEO, staff, customers, and donors. A phone call is a quick way to find out if we might be a good fit. Schedule a 20-minute free consultation today.

Why Mission Critical?

  • Expertise in developing brand strategy, identities, and marketing materials.
  • Proven record of being efficient & cost effective. We stay on budget and deliver on time.
  • As Mission Critical principals we serve our clients directly. We do not have layers of staff that serve you. In many creative agencies, inexperienced junior staff members often work on nonprofit accounts.
  • We are efficient and work well with large organizations and are especially skilled at consensus building amongst varied stakeholders.


Call us 415.878.6634
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