Hello, we are Eric & Erin Wilder. We have been working within the digital advertising industry for 25+ years combined between us. We both spent significant years in Chicago refining our skills working for large agency holding companies and technology/software companies. After rewarding and successful careers, we decided it was time for a change in scenery and leave the corporate world behind. One thing led to another and we packed up and moved our professional expertise to sunny Sarasota! Added bonus, leaving the brutal winters behind forever.
After settling into our new lives in Sarasota, we decided to put our digital marketing skills to use and created 81 & Sunny. Our reason for starting our own agency was to help grow the Sarasota business community by introducing new digital marketing concepts that will truly allow local businesses to reach their growth goals faster and more efficiently. Also, we really wanted to be entrenched within the local business community and be apart of the rapidly expanding commerce happening all around us in Sarasota. There is an energy and buzz all around that is very contagious so we wanted to do our a part in contributing in this incredible growth! Lastly, with everything Sarasota has to offer from the cultural scene to the beautiful beaches, we fell in love with our new home town!
President and Co-Founder
Eric Wilder, co-founder of 81 & Sunny, has more than 15 years of digital advertising experience at the executive level. He got his start in the Chicago market working for Tier 1 adtech platforms who partner with the largest agencies in the world that represent the Fortune 500 companies located in the Midwest. Eric then decided to branch out from the corporate world and open his own shop with his wife and relocated to the south to start their own business. He is bringing a wealth of knowledge to businesses in Sarasota from every angle of the industry and hopes to apply this knowledge to the local business community. In his spare time, you can find Eric on the golf course, the beach or at the local pub watching any Detroit team.
Lead Strategist & Co-Founder
Erin Wilder, founder of 81 & Sunny, got her start in Chicago with the largest agencies in the world before relocating to the south and starting her own business with her husband. Erin’s passion is the art and science that lies within Digital Advertising. Her career began working at agencies on a plethora of different businesses where she was able to touch every type of business you can think of and is why her expertise fell into Direct Response, where campaign goals are to drive conversion with the highest efficiencies and ROI. Erin believes that in a world of everything digital, we can track A TON, but there are many questions still to be answered and so many theories to be tested.
Director of SEO & Web Development
Cassie is an “OG” when it comes to SEO. During college in the early 2000s she was running marketing for a dog daycare in Chicago, on a super limited budget but wanting to get more into the digital world she taught herself Search Engine Optimization “SEO”. The thought process back then was if someone searched for a dog daycare or boarding facility, if we could be the first website to appear then we could get more traffic into the door just because we were the first site in the list (still holds true today). Fast forward 15 years, Cassie has created SEO programs and launched SEO teams for agencies, managed, developed, and executed strategies for some of the largest global companies and more recently found a passion in helping small to medium sized companies get the same strategies that the big companies have known about for years. Cassie takes a very foundational approach to search engine optimization, you’ll often hear her ask, “Did you answer the question better than every other website out there?”. Her tactics and strategies earn companies top rankings and long-term success instead of the often short-lived wins that come from chasing algorithm changes.
Leighton started her marketing career during the dot-com bubble. With that came a lot of fast paced, ever-changing and crazy times. But it was the dot-com bust that really gave Leighton her marketing chops. Working with technology companies that needed to prove themselves, B2C companies that needed to take their +70 year old brands and digitize their customer outreach to entrepreneurs wanting to take a completely new direction after leaving the technology world, she realized she loved helping people tell their stories and figuring out new ways to get people to discover and listen to them.
Senior Digital Marketing Manager
After one too many winters in St. Louis, Matt moved to sunny Sarasota to grow his career in digital marketing. He has applied his love for numbers and insights to the digital landscape in both the beer and sports industries over the past 7 years. Matt’s love for data was amplified while earning his Masters in Marketing Research. His analytical background is supplemented by his ability to use reports to tell an insightful story. Finding the hidden insights and improving performance is what drives Matt each day. When Matt’s not crunching numbers or building reports, you can find him with a cold beer on the golf course or fishing on the closest pier.
Digital Marketing Manager
Alyssa has spent her life living in the snowy, cold Northeast and after her parents relocated to Florida, she knew she had to follow them. After graduating college with a degree in Graphic Design, Alyssa spent 7 years working in the customer service, graphic design, and email marketing fields. She has experience working with companies ranging from HVAC installation to a professional New England sports team and brings her broad range of knowledge to support, and expand, 81 & Sunny’s marketing initiatives. Alyssa is always looking to enhance her skill-set and positively contribute to the company’s growth. She not only has a passion for marketing and design, but also for seeing a project through from conception until completion. Seeing the satisfied look on a client’s face is the most rewarding feeling for her. When she isn’t at work during the week, you can often find Alyssa hanging out with her golden retriever, Tuukka, watching New England sports, or enjoying a margarita on a roof somewhere.
Technical Account Manager
Brandon is a seasoned digital analyst with a passion for marketing. Originating from Miami, he brings a unique blend of creativity and technical expertise to the table. With extensive experience working at top-notch marketing agencies and high-growth startups, he has honed his skills in analytics by streamlining the process of collecting data and information from multiple sources and transforming it into actionable insights for organizations to savor. But he’s not just all work and no play, Brandon loves to explore new cultures and is an avid traveler, especially when it comes to South America. With a keen eye for detail and a drive to always exceed expectations, Brandon is a valuable asset to any team.