Marketing and events for customer engagement.

Team

Professional sports teams anchor their organizations with a star they call a “franchise player.” At 54, we have one in every position.

Jack Burris

Partner

Marketing and brand strategist, idea generator, project leader and problem solver, Jack’s owned and invested in several small businesses, bought and sold advertising, managed teams, and, after 15 years, whittled his handicap to a single digit. Prior to merging his firm with the corporate event and entertainment company in June 2016, Jack was the owner of The Burris Agency, Inc., a 32-year-old advertising agency.

In addition to working with clients, Jack has led projects on everything from international advertising campaigns to hyper-local social media promotions. When he’s not helping his clients engage with their customers and prospects, you can find him with his wife, Beth, and kids, Quinn (6) and Lucy (4), as well as on the golf course or at UNC basketball and football games.

Robert Miller

Partner

Robert is an accomplished sales and marketing professional with a 25 year track record of success in business development, sales, marketing and management. Previously serving as Vice President of Corporate Development for The PGA TOUR CLUB and later as Vice President of Business Development at Richard Petty Motorsports, where he managed sponsorship sales for the NASCAR team, Robert has orchestrated sponsor relationships for some of the world’s largest and most successful organizations. He has also started three businesses. In addition to leading business development and event management for 54, Robert enjoys golfing and spending time with his family in Charlotte.

Mark Surles

Partner

Mark is a serial entrepreneur who has started, grown and sold several successful businesses in the real estate, construction, and corporate events industries. He started his career in the real estate world developing and managing industrial, office and multi family properties. As a founding partner of 54 Sports, and now partner in 54, he is focused on working with 54 clients to efficiently engage with their clients, many of which have become friends over the years. Mark is originally from Mt. Pleasant, SC and graduated from the University of South Carolina (The Carolina) in 1988. He lives in Charlotte with wife Lydia, son Reid, daughter Lilly and dog Bo.

Lauren Barbian

PR Director

Lauren Barbian brings five years of public relations, marketing and communications experience working on high-profile consumer brands including Kellogg's, The National Pork Board, Marcos Pizza and Tutor Doctor. Her strong attention to detail, project management skills and results-driven mindset have allowed her to exceed expectations and deliver top-tier results for numerous clients. In her free time, Lauren enjoys working out, cooking and exploring new places around Chicago.

Anne Cassity

Designer

Starting her career with a New York City magazine publisher, Anne learned how to manage numerous production deadlines while wearing many hats. She quickly found her love for print design and page layout. Flash forward 32 years and Anne not only continues to crush on design, it’s become an obsession. While she enjoys wrangling multi-faceted projects and crusading for the big idea, she never loses sight of the greater goal when it comes to creating a consistent image for her client’s brand. Along the way Anne has enjoyed raising two beautiful daughters with her husband of 30 years. When not designing at her computer, Anne enjoys designing in her home, her garden and her art studio. She’s also an avid reader, a spiritual pilgrim and yogi.

Kelly Cuddihy

Project Leader

Kelly joins 54 LLC after five years of managing a wide range of projects at Golf Channel encompassing everything from events to communications and marketing to senior leadership presentations. With a background rooted in the fast-paced sports media industry, she is used to wearing multiple hats in order to successfully execute any project. She is especially excited about keeping one foot in the golf world. While she still hasn’t graduated from miniature golf, she’s an avid fan and has a deep passion for the game. When she’s not in the office, you can find her walking her Great Dane mix in Freedom Park or exploring Charlotte’s best foodie spots.

Jesse Cummings

Digital Director

He’s been in the business of creating since permanent marker hit the walls as a toddler. Thankfully, his interest and passion for design continued to develop beyond just being a nuisance for his parents. After graduating from the Art Institute of Atlanta, he’s been actively involved in the design arena for the last ten years. His experience ranges from graphic design to website development for small businesses, corporations, nonprofits and much more. His specialty is front-end web design and development. When he is not feverishly coding beautiful websites, you can find him fishing lakes and streams or meandering through the woods of Northern Michigan.

Ginny Gaylor

Content Director

She looked up from a document and realized more than 15 years had passed. Where did the time go? It was just yesterday that she was wrapping up a MFA in Creative Writing, which led to writing about weddings, then furniture, next museums and, somehow, healthcare. No matter what the topic, she still gets excited about learning new things and thrives on the diversity of shifting between the worlds of writing and editing/proofreading. When she isn’t banishing serial commas, she enjoys even more reading, cooking and baking new recipes, taking in the latest animated flick or superhero epic with her son Jeb and sharing some laughs with her husband Joe.

Eric Gordon

Digital Director

Since beginning his design career in Ohio at that transitory time between analog and digital, Eric has always tried to keep a foot in both worlds. Nowadays, he can be found alternating between designing book covers and coding websites—all with an unhealthy obsession with typography. He also runs his own one-man shop, The Hot Brain, and writes, produces and performs in a live late night talk show.

Denise Mannoia

Event Director

A Certified Meeting Planner with 15 years experience in the corporate incentive industry, Denise brings her detail-oriented professionalism to event creation, planning, logistics and execution.

Steve Peet

Strategy Director

He has worked for newspapers big and small, ad agencies small and medium and even — gasp! — on the client side. Various titles associated with these positions, although the work never drifted far from what interests him most: How words and imagery can shape brands and drive business. “New” (not to be confused with “the latest”) is his weakness. Few things elevate his pulse like wholly original thinking and execution in art and commerce. Although tailing bonefish and a crisply struck long iron come close.

Rachael Wachstein

Strategy Director

Rachael comes to 54 with 10+ years of experience in B2B and B2C digital marketing and advertising at agencies including Leo Burnett and Fishman PR, a leading media relations firm specializing in franchising. Rachael’s passion for storytelling and big ideas are evident in the creative strategies she’s developed for brands including restaurants, professional services, technology, education, franchising, consumer goods, health and beauty and more. A self described marketing geek, she always up for the challenge of helping clients solve problems and exceed their goals.

Dean Wagner

Creative Director

Coming from a background of relationship marketing heavily focused on auto racing, Dean welcomed a change of sport at 54 with a deep dive into golf. Creative work that started with golf cars continued through to projects from clubs, grips, spikes, online services and ad campaigns for some of the top courses in the country. Work for area universities and furniture brands have kept the non-golf side honed, but aside from building things in his basement, Dean most enjoys working in golf and hopes to one day play it as much as he promotes it.

No.24 Local food/restaurants identified.
No.05 All event tickets purchased.
No.47 Staff uniforms delivered.
No.35 Luggage transfer protocols confirmed.
No.43 Aircraft seating preferences confirmed.
No.44 Tailgate party locations confirmed.
No.25 Homes inspected for cleanliness.
No.19 Security team vetted, in place.
No.51 Umbrellas/rain gear checked.
No.36 Photographers hired.
No.28 Preferred beverages ordered.
No.07 Local hospitals/urgent care identified.
No.52 Handicap access located, verified.
No.04 Dinner reservations confirmed.
No.09 Weather forecast checked, proper gear secured.
No.30 Tours and guides vetted, confirmed.
No.02 Lodging standards verified.
No.49 Reception halls booked.
No.21 Property map for guests created.
No.13 Talent booked, arrival time confirmed.
No.53 Event’s “items prohibited” list obtained.
No.03 Chefs vetted and secured.
No.45 Emergency air services researched.
No.12 Drivers interviewed, vetted.
No.39 Hunting/fishing forecasts checked/licenses purchased.
No.32 Bathroom amenities prepped and placed.
No.34 Luggage tags confirmed.
No.06 Flight info/arrival/departure monitored.
No.18 Hunting/fishing guides vetted, hired.
No.54 Event dress code noted, communicated.
No.11 Wi-Fi availability/log-in directions confirmed.
No.22 Golf clubs/guns rented.
No.17 Guests’ likes/dislikes recorded.
No.33 Home amenities prepped and placed.
No.41 Stadium maps delivered.
No.40 Pick-up/drop-off locations scouted, confirmed.
No.42 All deposits made.
No.48 Meeting spaces identified, inspected.
No.31 Linens inspected.
No.26 TV guides/local channels logged.
No.15 Taxes, gratuities, service fees tallied and paid.
No.10 Event walk-through performed.
No.01 All vehicles fueled and serviced.
No.46 Extra sunblock ordered.
No.08 Guests’ food allergies documented.
No.38 Child services/nannies vetted, hired.
No.29 Boats chartered.
No.23 Golf pairings made.
No.14 Agenda/itineraries double-checked, mailed.
No.20 Parking and passes secured.
No.16 Traffic patterns studied, logged.
No.50 Extra device chargers acquired.
No.37 Translators vetted, hired.
No.27 Community/hotel entrance codes tested.