Cherokee is committed to making the world a better place. As an investment firm specializing in the acquisition, remediation and sustainable redevelopment of contaminated real estate, we do this through each real estate project and through our philanthropic outreach program, Cherokee Gives Back.

Cherokee is committed to making the world a better place through our philanthropic outreach program, Cherokee Gives Back.

Cherokee Gives Back reflects our strong commitment to nonprofit initiatives, community involvement and public service. These principles are more than philanthropic efforts—they are fundamental corporate imperatives at Cherokee. Cherokee Gives Back is active around the globe and is committed to implementing long-term sustainable solutions that positively impact issues such as health, education, poverty, orphan care and more. Since inception, Cherokee Gives Back has helped fund $25 million in nonprofit and community-based initiatives in the United States, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Romania, Russia, China and India.

As an investment firm, Cherokee proactively builds partnerships that foster sustainable development and seeks out people and organizations that share our commitments. Sustainability is integral to the site planning, design and building development of our real estate projects. We implement solutions that address multiple problems by applying a whole-systems approach centered on upfront planning and teamwork in all phases of the development process. We work with communities to define and achieve sustainable outcomes, together creating better options for future generations.

Cherokee Team

Sam Whitt, Executive Director of Cherokee Gives Back Foundation

Sam Whitt is the Executive Director of Cherokee Gives Back. Prior to joining Cherokee, Mr. Whitt served as Chief Executive Officer of Wind Channel Communications, a wireless telecom company, which grew from start-up phase in 2003 until sold to a venture-backed company in 2006. From 1999 to 2003, he worked with technology companies, serving as Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel of MediaSpan Group, a media services company with over 200 employees and 4000 media customers, where he was responsible for legal, business development, HR and public relations matters. Prior to operational roles with entrepreneurial companies, Mr. Whitt practiced law with Manning, Fulton & Skinner, P.A. and Sanford Holshouser L.L.P., focusing on general corporate, economic development, M&A, tax and finance matters. He started his professional career on the audit team at Coopers & Lybrand, CPAs. Mr. Whitt earned a BS in Accounting from Brigham Young University and a Juris Doctor from George Mason University School of Law, where he served on the Law Review.

Maurice Coleman, Managing Director

Maurice Coleman is a Managing Director of Cherokee. Prior to joining Cherokee, he worked 14 years at Delta Air Lines, where he was Director-Alternative Investments of a $1.6 billion portfolio of pension assets in real estate, private equity, oil and gas and timber asset classes for the retirement funds of Delta. While at Delta, Mr. Coleman also served as pension fund risk manager in other corporate finance positions. Prior to working at Delta, he was a commercial lending officer at Wachovia Bank. Mr. Coleman received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration from Louisiana State University, where he was a fellowship recipient. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder. He was a member of several professional associations, including The Institutional Real Estate Letter Editorial Board and the Pension Real Estate Association where he served on the Plan Sponsor Executive Committee.

Holly Fling, Associate

Holly Fling is an Associate with Cherokee, where she analyzes corporate sustainability initiatives and performance metrics and works to design and implement a data management system for all of Cherokee. Ms. Fling's previous work experience includes wildlife management and wetlands restoration research with the University of Florida and USGS, watershed management with the Charles River Watershed Association, and travel writing for Let's Go travel guides. Ms. Fling is published in the journal Wetlands and is currently working to publish her masters thesis entitled "Barriers to Collaboration and Communication in Large-Scale Ecosystem Restorations: A Case Study of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project (CERP)." She received a BA from Harvard University and a Master of Environmental Economics and Policy from Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, where she was a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow. Ms. Fling is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional with the U.S. Green Building Council.

LaToya Godley, Associate

LaToya Godley is an Associate with Cherokee, focusing on deal analysis, due diligence and asset management. Prior to joining Cherokee in 2006, Ms. Godley was a lending specialist in the Community Development Finance group of the Fannie Mae Foundation, a private nonprofit organization. She underwrote and managed debt investments for the creation and preservation of affordable housing nationwide. She began her career as an analyst with Bank of America and later served as an underwriting manager in the Community Development Banking Group. Ms. Godley received a BBA with honors from Howard University and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at Kenan-Flagler, Ms. Godley was a Consortium for Graduate Study in Management student and a fellowship recipient.

Elizabeth Merritt, Associate

Elizabeth Merritt is an Associate with Cherokee. Prior to joining Cherokee in 2004, Ms. Merritt was an Associate in the Leveraged Finance Group at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York. In this capacity, she provided financial advice for leveraged buyouts and recapitalizations and analyzed complex capital structure issues for clients in various industries. She also spent two years as an Analyst in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Goldman Sachs. Ms. Merritt received a BA in Economics and English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.