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  • TheGreenvilleBlog

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?

Star Wars

  • 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.


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