Board of Trustees
Chef Mashama Bailey (Chairman) is the Executive Chef and a partner of The Grey restaurant in Savannah, GA. While she was born and raised in New York City, her maternal roots hail from Waynseboro, GA and as a result Mashama attended grammar school in Savannah at Charles Ellis and spent many summers with her grandmother in Waynesboro. She attended the Institute of Culinary Education and has studied in France and travelled far for food. Chef Bailey spent a dozen years cooking throughout New York City, the last four of which were at Prune on Manhattan’s Lower East Side under the tutelage of her friend and mentor, Gabrielle Hamilton.
Jerald Mitchell is Director of Economic Development of Atlanta Beltline, Inc., responsible for developing and advancing the economic development strategy. Previously, Mr. Mitchell led SEDA’s Innovation Department focusing on the growth and investment for start-ups and entrepreneurs and previously managed SEDA’s Business Attraction activity as a senior business development professional. Prior to SEDA, he held roles as Regional Project Manager for the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Director of Economic Development for the Coastal Regional Commission.
John O. Morisano (Treasurer) is the founding partner of The Grey, and a principal at SLAAM Ventures, a start-up focused investment fund, also located in Savannah, GA. A CPA and graduate of Pace University, Mr. Morisano started his career in 1986 at the independent film company, Vista Organization, Ltd. and spent the next near 25-years working to build and grow a variety of startup companies across a broad cross-section of the entertainment, media and arts landscapes. Additionally, Mr. Morisano has served in an officer capacity on the boards of The National Arts Club and United Nations Women.
Chris Poe (Secretary) is the Head of Brand Marketing for Hartford Funds, responsible for leading development and growth of the firm’s brand through strategic brand management, advertising and public relations. Previously Mr. Poe was a Managing Director and Head of Global Brand Management & Advertising for BlackRock, where he was responsible for managing the Firm’s portfolio of brands and coordinating advertising activities of the business globally. During his tenure he also served as Head of Retail Marketing and managed communications planning for the Firm’s mergers and acquisitions. Before joining BlackRock, Mr. Poe spent 12 years at JPMorgan Chase managing a variety of marketing functions. Mr. Poe is President Ex Officio of The National Arts Club in New York City.