Jared began working with Fans First Entertainment with Savannah’s sister team in Gastonia, NC. while he completed his degree in Sport Management at Belmont Abbey College. While with the Grizzlies, attendance grew to new heights for the franchise as Jared began to tap into new niches of fans in the marketplace. After the 2013 season in Gastonia, Jared became the Assistant General Manager of his hometown Burlington Royals.

Because of a relentless focus on entertainment and ticket sales, the Royals were fortunate to see tremendous growth in attendance and revenue during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Jared is now taking those experiences, along with the experiences of Fans First Entertainment, to develop a value-packed, non-stop, entertainment experience for Savannah fans. Jared currently lives in Savannah with his wife, Kelsey.

Daisy
Bat Dog

Daisy was adopted by team President Jared Orton and his wife Kelsey, after being abandoned in the Grayson Stadium parking lot.

She comes to the office to greet fans who come in to buy merchandise and memberships. She is also at every game, and training to be the team bat dog. Daisy has been featured on Good Morning America and Animal Planet, as well as Cosmopolitan magazine.

Daniel Mackerty
Vice President
Hometown:
Macedonia, OH
College:
Ohio University
Favorite Promotion: Dancing in the Dark
Favorite Spot in Savannah: Huc-A-Poos on Tybee Island

Daniel moved to Savannah in August of 2015 after graduating from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and working for the Southern Ohio Copperheads. He started working with the Bananas in November of 2015 and has enjoyed working with local schools, non-profits, youth organizations and businesses over the past two seasons. After another fun and exciting 2017 season Daniel is working towards engaging with the local business community while continuing to work with local non-profits and youth/community organizations.

Patrick Briody
Director of Group Tickets
Hometown:
Bluffton, SC
College:
Coastal Carolina University
Hobbies: Golfing, reading, and dressing up as a banana.
Favorite Song: Free Bird- Lynyrd Skynyrd

After spending the 2016 inaugural season as an intern with the Savannah Bananas, Patrick accepted the opportunity to be a full-time employee as the Banana’s Group Sales Coordinator. He looks forward to selling out games at Historic Grayson Stadium and giving local groups in the community the experience of a lifetime.

Berry Aldridge
Director of Tickets
Hometown:
Swainsboro, GA
College:
Armstrong State University
Favorite Quote: "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains." - Ebbie Calvin "Nuke" Laloosh
Interesting Fact: Was chased out of the woods by a mama black bear with cubs.

Berry joined the Banana family full time after interning with the team during the 2016 season. He is now going into his 3rd season with the team and has taken on the role of Director of Ticketing. He is originally from Swainsboro, GA, where his father coached baseball and his mother taught English Literature. He attended Armstrong here in Savannah, GA on a baseball scholarship and earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Berry’s favorite thing about the Bananas is getting to meet and build relationships with so many awesome and interesting people in this community.

Marie Gentry
Director of Partner Services
Hometown:
Greensboro, NC
College:
Gardner-Webb University
Favorite Promotion: Guess-Your-Spouse
Favorite Quote: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart." -Colossians 3:23

Marie moved to Savannah in 2015 to help Fans First Entertainment launch the new team and has been blessed to see the Banana Pandemonium unfold since day one. She’s proud to call Savannah home now and looks forward to seeing how the Bananas can continue to bring this great community together.

Liz Bushaw
Director of Marketing
Hometown:
Simsbury, CT
College:
Armstrong State University
Favorite Thing Ever: Brunch
Favorite Promotion: Bark in the Park

Liz joined the Bananas after interning during the 2016 season. Originally from Connecticut, she moved to Savannah for college and besides missing Fall, has enjoyed starting her career here. After a great 2017 season, she is excited to keep the momentum going and get even more people talking about the Bananas.

Lizzy O’Connell
Community Outreach/Merchandise Director
Hometown:
Hamilton, OH
College:
Ohio University
Favorite Promotion: Dancing in the dark
Favorite BallPark Food: Chicken Sandwiches

Lizzy moved to Savannah in the summer of 2015. She loves the southern charm and all the excitement Savannah has to offer. Lizzy enjoys helping children & families make the best memories possible at Grayson Stadium by coordinating host families, child & adult birthday parties, and both Savannah Bananas baseball camps. She looks forward to another successful season full of amazing fans and great baseball!

Sarah Olsen
Finance Director
Hometown:
Peachtree City, GA
College:
Valdosta State University
Favorite Movie: The Big Lebowski

While studying finance at Valdosta State University, Sarah met the two loves of her life, her husband Blake and more importantly, her dog Rupert. She joined the Bananas full-time in the fall of 2016 and quickly grew to love the city of Savannah and the sense of community it has. She is now actively involved with many local organizations and loves meeting new people around the ballpark. Sarah also holds the title of best baker among the staff. So come on down to Grayson and follow the smell of cookies into her office, but don’t forget a treat for Rupert.

Keke Coles
Director of First Impressions
Hometown:
Savannah, GA
College:
Stetson University
Favorite Quote:" With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." - Matthew 19:26
Favorite Promotion: Dancing in the Dark

Keke began her work with Fans First Entertainment during The Savannah Bananas inaugural season as an intern. As a native of Savannah Georgia, she is enthusiastic to be a part of fun, exciting baseball at Grayson Stadium. She is in charge of hiring and training all part-time staff and interns. She’s passionate about creating the best fan experience in the office and at the games. After the 2017 season, she is excited to continue working and growing The Savannah Bananas!

Jonathan Wood
Director of Operations/ Food & Beverage
Hometown:
Rayle, GA
College:
University of Georgia
Favortie Quote:"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." -Winston Churchill
Favorite Fast Food: Checkers

Jonathan joined the Bananas in May 2017 after graduating from the University of Georgia. He had previously interned with the team during their inaugural season in 2016. Jonathan loves working in operations, and truly enjoys making the specialty ballpark drink, the Slippery Banana. Jonathan looks forward to all the new things coming to Grayson stadium, whether it is new food, drinks, or events. He currently resides in Savannah with his wife Darcie and their dog, Calvin.

Ben Sheffield
Director of Film & Production
Hometown:
Eastman, GA
College:
Georgia Southern University
Favorite Superhero: Batman
Favorite Thing Ever: Ranch Dressing

After interning with the Bananas during the 2016 season, Ben accepted the offer to become a full time employee and create videos for the Bananas year round. He is hungry to produce more professional, viral content that will get everyone talking about the Bananas! Outside of filming and editing, Ben loves to write, record, and perform original music.

Taylor Brockmiller
Director of Events
Hometown:
Farmington, MO
College:
Indiana University
Favorite Quote: Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.
Favorite Song: Bohemian Rhapsody

Originally from Farmington, Missouri, Taylor attended Indiana University before making her way down to Savannah to join the Bananas family! Taylor loves the little things that make people happy, and is excited to bring new, fun events to Grayson Stadium for the whole community to enjoy. She looks forward to an incredible first season in her new home.

Mark “Shark” Ediss
Announcer
Favorite Baseball Movie: Major League
Favorite Baseball Movie Character: Harry Doyle (from Major League)
Mark “Shark” Ediss joins the Bananas family from Dick Broadcastings “G100-The Throwback Station”, where he hosts afternoons every weekday from 2p-7p!
“Shark” has been entertaining audiences since he was 17, whether on the radio or as PA Announcer for other Minor League Baseball teams including the Stockton Ports & former Modesto A’s of the California League and the Atlantic City Surf of the Independent League.
Mark lives in Richmond Hill with his wife Sarah and his two sons Ben (7) and Anthony (17), and also has a daughter Alyssa (18), who just started college in New Jersey!
Mark loves the game of baseball, but LOVES ENTERTAINING even more.  Our goal every night at Grayson Stadium is to make sure you’re having FUN during the game itself AND in-between innings!    There’s never a dull moment at the ballpark and you’ll see things you’d never expect to see at a ballgame.  That’s just what we do!
Finally, just because his name is Shark…doesn’t mean he bites!  Stop to say hey…or whatever you want to him (as long as it’s nice, preferably) if you see him before or after a game!

Prior to her work with Fans First Entertainment which began in 2011, Emily spent time with Ripken Baseball and the Augusta GreenJackes as well as the Vermont Lake Monsters and the Binghamton Mets. Emily graduated from SUNY Oneonta in upstate NY where she studied Communications with concentrations in Marketing and Public Relations.

While creating constant fun, Emily works with the full time staff, interns, and hundreds of game day staff workers to focus on the culture and atmosphere of each event held at their ballparks.

She loves working with many non-profits by volunteering for many organizations and serves on Boards of the YMCA, Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, and Relay For Life.

While they’ve been nominated for and won many awards, Emily’s most proud of spending every day with her husband, brothers, and amazing staff family with Fans First Entertainment creating memorable experiences for people in their communities.

Originally based out of Charlotte, NC and their Gastonia Grizzlies team, Emily and Jesse now spend at least half their time in Savannah, GA. Emily’s favorite things include guys in yellow tuxes, running, books on positivity, mac and cheese, family time, craft beers, and traveling.

Jesse is the Owner of Fans First Entertainment, who owns and operates the Savannah Bananas and the Gastonia Grizzlies.  The teams have welcomed more than 1 million fans to their ballparks and have been featured on MSNBC, CNN, and ESPN.

Cole’s teams have been awarded Organization of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Business of the Year and have won three CPL Championships.

The Savannah Bananas currently have sold out 32 straight games and have a waiting list in the thousands for tickets.

Cole is an in-demand speaker and author of “Find Your Yellow Tux – How to Be Successful by Standing Out” released in January 2018.  Cole is also the host of the Business Done Differently Podcast.

Cole believes to be successful you need to Stand Out and Be Different.  He releases blogs and videos daily on FindYourYellowTux.com.   He is passionate about creating attention, loving your customers more than your product and loving your employees more than your customers.  Cole’s mantra is “Whatever’s normal, do the exact opposite.”

Here is the feature on MSNBC to see more: msnbc.com/your-business/watch/fans-are-going-bananas-for-baseball-1017334339902