MEET OUR FRONT OFFICE TEAM
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. Click here to meet Jared!
After 7 years in the industry, Carson is excited to be part of the Bananas front office team and dial in on Member Experiences! A proud graduate of UNC-Wilmington, Carson wants to camp in every state in America before he is 30. He will bring his wealth of useless music knowledge and curious spirit to Savannah, where he will strive to become the town’s leading expert on local eateries, Bananas tickets, and coffee shops.
Prior to joining the Bananas, Carson helped revitalize his previous team in Wilmington, NC by reinventing the game day experience for fans and doubling attendance from when he first joined the organization as a play-by-play commentator until he finished up his days with the organization as General Manager.
Patrick, a member of the OG 2016 intern squad, has been with the team since the inaugural season. He looks forward to selling out games and bringing the Bananas experience of a lifetime to different cities on the road. Patrick can be found on any and every golf course in the low country and when he’s not in the tee box, he’s most likely next to the pond with a fishing pole and some bait. Click here to meet Patrick!
Divalicious Devon interned for the Bananas in 2017 and joined full-time in 2019. Following her graduation from the University of South Carolina, Devon worked as an event coordinator in beautiful Hilton Head Island, SC. Her passion for helping create amazing experiences for people will spearhead her efforts to take care of Bananas fans throughout the year! Devon has been deemed the cat lady of the office with her two cute cats, Remy and Ratchet. Click here to meet Devon!
Kurt joined the Group Experience Team in January 2021 and has the unique perspective of seeing Bananas games from several different perspectives. Kurt brought a group from his church out to a game in 2017 (where he won the Best Bark Award at Bark in the Park), worked as Usher Team Captain during the summer of 2020, and now gets the incredible opportunity to help groups find the same amazing experience he had as a group leader. In his free time Kurt loves spending time with his two kids, Isaac and Braeden, and doing woodworking.
Originally from Cumming, GA, Nick went to school at Georgia Southern University where he gained a degree in Sports Management. Nick is super excited to join the Bananas family and create the awesome connections with the Bananas fan base! Outside of the office you can catch him putting his hammock up somewhere and jamming to a Two Friends Big Bootie Mix or watching his Georgia Southern Eagles compete as the best triple option football team in the country.
Kara joined the Nanner team in 2018 and has blessed the office ever since with her below-average jokes and useless knowledge of the now dispersed boy band, One Direction (may they rest in peace). She is a Savannah native and loves nothing more than the sweet smell of the marsh on that evening ride home. Her favorite part of marketing is being able to build relationships with fans online and get creative with content. When she’s not in BananaLand, you can find her at her favorite Mexican Restaurant, Cancun, or sitting on the couch watching YouTube videos.
Biko joined the Bananas as the Broadcast Entertainer in 2020 and is the first Emmy-Award winning employee on the Bananas team. No, we’re not joking. Hailing from Saugerties, New York, Biko came to Savannah after a couple years at MLB/NHL Network where he was a Broadcast Associate and then an Associate Producer. A Syracuse University graduate, Biko bleeds orange and prides himself a scholar of New York Yankees history. When he’s not broadcasting baseball or doing weird interviews with players, you can often find him on his dad and stepmom’s farm in Saugerties playing with the dogs or sharing baseball cards with the goats. Keep up with all of Biko’s shenanigans on Twitter and Instagram at @BikoRicoSuave!
Ivan joined the Bananas in early 2022 after spending previous years in Los Angeles. Though he only experienced two celebrity sightings, so did he really live there? He’s originally from Philadelphia but calls the Jersey Shore home. He doesn’t know Snooki, so jury’s still out on whether he actually lived there either. He studied at the University of Miami and Syracuse University, which led Ivan to the MLB Network winning an Emmy with Broadcast Entertainer Biko Skalla (we swear he knows Biko).
Ivan is also a hula hoop champion, a marathon finisher, a proud cancer survivor, and runner-up in the coveted Mr. OCHS male pageant show. Ivan credits his success and positive personality to his mother and two older sisters who showed him tough love and supported him in every decision and obstacle he’s ever faced!
Zack Breaux, pronounced “bro”, is just a bayou boy from South Louisiana navigating the big waters of the world. You can find him anywhere there’s good food and live music. He loves cooking for friends and family and believes you can solve all of the world’s big problems over a 3 course meal at family dinner time. A lover of the swamp and salt water marshes, he grew up on the water. Literally, they don’t call him “Bayou Boy” for no reason. You can refer to Zack as: Bro Bro, Bayou Boy, Bayou Boy Breaux, ZB, or just Zack Breaux! His loyalties will always be with the New Orleans Saints and is a firm believer that the only thing to beat Saturday nights in Death Valley are ball games at Grayson Stadium.
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 also runs our Merchandise Department! You can always find her in the Banana Stand during games. She looks forward to another successful season full of amazing fans and great baseball! Click here to meet Lizzy!
PEOPLE & OPERATIONS TEAM:
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. Click here to meet Marie!
Johnathan has lived in four different states in his life, but has lived in Savannah for over a decade now. He graduated from a local high school, Benedictine Military School, in 2016. He started working for the Savannah Bananas in 2017 as one of the first ever parking penguins. He worked the following two seasons as a bartender at Top Deck and in Stadium Club. He was offered a seasonal full-time position for the 2020 season which then led him to a year round full-time position as the Stadium Operations Coordinator. He is thrilled to continue on this journey with the Bananas and to continue putting smiles on the faces of our fans!
Matt accepted the opportunity to join the Bananas family as a seasonal Ticket Experience Coordinator during the 2018 season and recently accepted the position full-time. Matt spent his time at the University of Georgia yelling and cheering on the Bulldogs. Now in Savannah, he looks forward to bringing his passion for entrepreneurship and love for sports to ensure the greatest fan experience at Historic Grayson Stadium. Click here to meet Matt!
I cry your mercy, for today… today, you find yourselves equals.
For you are all equally blessed. For I have the pride, the privilege, nay, the pleasure of introducing to you to an employee experience coordinator, sired by employee experience coordinators. Hailing from the great State of North Carolina we are joined by a husband, a brother… a son. A Packers and Crimson Tide fanatic. He’s a runner he’s a track star, and he’s been hit by a car attempting to bike across the country. In Greece he spent a year in silence just to better understand the sound of a whisper. And so, without further gilding the lily and with no more ado, I give to you, the seeker of serenity, the hirer of seasonal staff, a disciple of the Lord our God himself, the one, the only, Tucker (Buddy) Brooks.
BASEBALL OPERATIONS TEAM:
Berry joined the Banana family full time after interning with the team during the 2016 season. He is now going into his 6th season with the team and is transitioning into a new role, Baseball Operations Coordinator. 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 is excited to work with the coaching staff to teach the Bananas’ players our brand of baseball and help them receive national exposure to further their careers.
Richmond Hill, GA
Jacksonville State University
University of North Georgia
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’s biggest passion with the team is working with the full time staff, interns, and hundreds of game day staff workers to focus on the culture,service, and logistics of events held at the ballpark.
After the birth of their son, Maverick, Emily stepped back a little from every day operations to raise Mav and the other children in their care (Jesse and Emily are foster parents) but can still be found often around the stadium. She also oversees their Airbnb rentals on Tybee and is the local Savannah community mom for Bambino, an app that connects parents and babysitters. Emily wrote the team’s first children’s book, titled Go Bananas! which you can read more about here.
Jesse Cole is the founder of Fans First Entertainment and owner of the Savannah Bananas.
His teams have welcomed more than one million fans to their ballparks and have been featured on MSNBC, CNN, ESPN and in Entrepreneur Magazine.
The Bananas have been awarded Organization of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Business of the Year and won the CPL Championship in their first year. Fans First Entertainment has been featured on the INC 5000 lists as one of the fastest growing companies in America.
The Savannah Bananas currently have sold out every game since their first season and have a waiting list in the thousands for tickets.
Jesse released his first book “Find Your Yellow Tux – How to Be Successful by Standing Out” in January of 2018 with a World Book Tour…at Epcot.
Cole has been featured on over 500 podcasts and is an in-demand keynote speaker all over the country sharing the Fans First Experience on how to stand out, be different and create raving fans of both customers and employees.
Cole is the Host of the Business Done Differently Podcast and has interviewed over 100 of some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, authors and speakers. Click here to meet Jesse!