2 minutes with Ben Leinster
Ben Leinster took an oath to himself when he was a teenager helping his stepfather unload a truck filled with textiles supplies on early 1990s weekend. He was never going to be in the family business when he got older.
And, for a long, time he held that oath. He graduated from Clemson University in 1999 and worked as a civil engineer for a few years. He then went to law school (University of South Carolina), clerked for the Hon. Judge John Few (now a state Supreme Court justice) and then worked for a local law firm before forming his own form. He then worked as in-house counsel for a growing company that focused on food prep, packaging and restaurant operations.
That is a lot of things, but in 2018, he felt the pull to return to his roots and rejoined the family textile business. Rebranding and revamping as AFF | group, it is an aftermarket textile manufacturer and distributor that focuses on the transportation and retail sectors, including automotive, marine, aviation, and contract. In 2021, it launched a new division/product line called TechStyles by Design.
Learn more about Ben below:
What are your favorite things to do on your days off?
I enjoy playing golf with my three sons (even though they’ll be quick to tell you that I’m not good). I love spending time outdoors. I’ve always had a passion for flying and I recently become a pilot. So, any chance I can get in the air I’ll take it.
What is one movie you’ve watched more than five times?
They’re classics, but Braveheart and A Few Good Men are movies I’ve watched well over five times.
What are three books you would bring with you to a deserted island?
I’ll start with the Bible because I don’t think you could master it in a lifetime. Most of the other books I read are business or autobiographies, and I’m not sure how relevant they’d be on a deserted island. I’ve always wanted to write a book, so I’d probably opt for paper and a pen to write the other two books myself.
If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what album would it be?
That’s incredibly difficult because I love music and really like a variety of music. If I had to pick one album it would probably be either James Taylor’s Greatest Hits or Vince Gill’s High Lonesome Sound.
In your opinion, what’s the most rewarding part of working in your job?
Hands down interacting with the people. I’m an extrovert, so I get energized interacting with our team, and we have an incredible team.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A lawyer and President of the United States. I’m 50/50, and it’ll likely stay that way!
If you could be part of any sitcom family or friend-group, which would you choose?
I’ll date myself, but I always loved the show Seinfeld. As far as friend group, I actually love my group of friends, but I have an incredible respect for the military and I’ve always wanted to be a part of an elite military team.
Tell us a funny story about you that most people don’t know?
This is probably best coming from my wife or kids, but I one time delivered a speech to a larger group of people (and no podium) with my zipper down the entire time.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
What are some of your favorite things to do in Greenville?
Like many other people, I love downtown. I live near downtown and my office is used to be right on Main Street. I enjoy driving our golf cart downtown to eat at one of the many great restaurants. I also love the outdoor activities such as cycling, kayaking, etc.