After playing D1 baseball at Wofford, Jesse Cole sustained an injury that prohibited him from continuing in the sport that he loved. Jesse switched to the office side of the game when he became the General Manager of the Gastonia Grizzlies in 2008. There, he helped turn the franchise into one of the most successful teams in not only the Coastal Plain League, but all off college summer baseball. The Grizzlies have broken the attendance record annually, continually finish in the top 10 in the country in attendance, and have lead the CPL in attendance for three consecutive years.
Based on a philosophy of Fans First, Entertain Always the Grizzlies have been recognized regionally and nationally for unique promotions such as Midnight Madness, Tuxedo Uniforms, Dancing Players, & the Garbage Can Nachos. Cole and his team are thrilled to be bringing the same caliber of entertainment to Savannah.
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 hundred 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 YMCS, 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.
David has been a very important member of the Grizzlies family for the past three years and became the Chief Ticket Officer in early 2014. He is originally from upstate New York and relocated with his family so he wouldn’t have to shovel snow on a daily basis! David claims that it snows year round in NY, but we’re checking into the authenticity of that statistic. David graduated from Cazenovia College with a Communications Studies Major and Pre-Law Minor and also played for the Men’s Soccer Team, receiving All-Conference honors. He continued to learn as much as he could about the baseball industry and was promoted to Assistant General Manager at the end of the 2014 season.
David began to take on more responsibility by handling partnerships with community organizations and stepped into the leadership role of the front office. He was most recently promoted to Grizzlies General Manager in 2015 and is looking forward to having Sims Legion Park packed full of fans each record-breaking season! As General Manager, David is getting more and more involved with the community. He is a member of Toastmasters International, a fantastic Rotary club and he is an Ambassador for the Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce!
Jake started with the Grizzlies as an intern in the summer of 2014. He loved the family atmosphere with the staff as well as the fans and was excited to come on board full-time after his graduation from Western Carolina University. With the Grizzlies, Jake will continue building relationships with our fans through our exclusive Membership program.
He is the Grizzlies Ticket Leprechaun and you can normally find him at the ballpark dancing an Irish jig, taking pictures with fans, hanging out with our members and of course handing out lucky charms! When he is not looking for his pot of gold, Jake enjoys collection sports cards and memorabilia as well as playing pickup basketball and softball when he has free time!
After spending the 2015 season as an intern with the Grizzlies, Austin joined our sister team, the Savannah Bananas in their inaugural season! Austin is excited to come back to Gastonia where it all began and work with all of the local churches, schools, non-profits and little leagues in Gaston County and the surrounding area! Austin is a graduate of Gardner Webb University and lives in nearby Lincolnton, NC.
Austin enjoys attending Carolina Panthers games and then watching the replay the next day and considers himself to be an above-average bowler and a nationally-ranked Sequence player! On off days, you will find Austin hanging out with family and friends, talking about sports or playing video games. If you are a part of a group that would like to come out and experience the awesome show at a Grizzlies game, contact him!
Melissa comes to the Grizzlies after spending the 2016 season as an intern. Her love of sports led her to Auburn University where she graduated with a a degree in Sports Marketing. She then spent a year at Wofford College as the Marketing and Promotions Coordinator for their athletic department.
When not busy at the ballpark, Melissa can be found walking her dog Tucker or taking in a round of golf. You better look out if you decide to challenge her to a game of ping-pong, because you will lose! Her competitive nature and bubbly personality makes her the perfect addition to the Grizzlies family!
Stacey was thrilled to join the Grizzlies family in 2014 as the Office Manager! She was born and raised in Gaston County and graduated from South Point High School and UNC-Greensboro with a degree in Communication Studies with a concentration in Marketing and Public Relations. Her employment background includes finance, sales and customer service and her sixteen years of experience in the banking industry has proven to be beneficial working in the Grizzlies office.
In her spare time, Stacey enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her new hobby is driving back and forth to Chapel Hill to visit her son, Walker who is a college freshman as well as watching her daughter, Blaine dance on the South Point High School Dance Team! She is excited to be working with the best staff, host families, sponsors and fans in the Coastal Plain League and looks forward to another record-breaking season with the Grizzlies!