David McDonald
General Manager

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 Brewer
Ticket Leprechaun

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!

Justin Koenig
Groups Director

Justin was an intern with the Grizzlies for the summer of 2017.  He returned for the 2018 season taking over stadium operations and plans to do everything he can to make the fans experience the best it can be! Justin recently graduated from Gardner-Webb University with a major in Sports Management and a minor in Business Administration.  During the offseason, Justin jumps in to the ticketing world, working with Small Businesses and local groups to bring their employees, clients, or members out to the ballpark!

Justin is a huge University of Georgia football fan, and considers himself to be a very mediocre fisherman. On his days off, he likes to stay active by hiking or playing sports!

Matt Perry
Owner and President, Gastonia Family Entertainment

Since 1998, Matt has served as President of National Sports Services.  Matt provides a multitude of services for the firm, including new project development, facility development, financial and market feasibility, lease negotiations, securing project capital, and venue and team consulting.   He co-owns the Wilmington Sharks franchise, a member of the Coastal Plain League, with Bill Davidson, his business partner at National Sports Services.

Matt is one of the ownership partners with the Grizzlies, and National Sports Services is providing day-to-day management services for the franchise, in conjunction with the team’s front office staff.   Matt is currently working on other team and stadium development projects in the Midwest and recently concluded successful representation for a client’s sale of an ECHL professional hockey franchise in Greenville, South Carolina.

Prior to forming National Sports Services, Matt served as a top executive in all areas of day-to-day operations for the Midland Angels (as a California Angels Double A affiliate), Columbia Mets (as a New York Mets Single A affiliate) and the Fayetteville Generals (as a Detroit Tigers Single A affiliate).

Matt earned his BS degree in Advertising and a Minor in Business from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and secured his Master’s in Sport Management from Ohio State University.  Perry resides in Topeka, Kansas with his wife Kelly, while their three sons are enjoying their adult lives in Colorado and Virginia.

Sean Churchill
Co-Owner/Co-Manager, Gastonia Family Entertainment

Sean also is the Medical Director for Genesis Innovation Group which is a product development company specializing in advancing early phase medical technology from conception to FDA approval and use.

He and his wife have had a lifelong dream of owning and running a baseball franchise after retirement from the medical field.  Sean is currently in the process of completing his Masters in Business Administration in Sports Management from the University of Massachusetts.  He previously earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from Colorado State University, a MD from University of Michigan and completed his Orthopedic Residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Sean enjoys running, climbing, and ocean swimming.  He and his wife have been married 31 years and have 4 adult children living in Colorado, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

Prior to her work with Fans First Entertainment which began in 2011, Emily spent time with Ripken Baseball and the Augusta Green Jackets 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.

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.

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.”