John Bauknight

Principal | Senior Associate


(864) 256-3600 ext. 3


(864) 809-9900

John received his Bachelor of Science degree (Psychology) from Wofford College in 1989. He married Laura Chappell in 1989 and they have two adult children. Daughter Ellis received her undergraduate degree in Education and History from Auburn in 2016 and is a Teacher in Simpsonville and son Chappell graduated Sewanee in 2019 and works in the Environmental field in Charleston.

John has served as President of Longleaf Holdings USA, LLC (formerly Shred First USA, LLC) since 1997. Shred First was an Inc 500 Company in 2003 and again in 2005 and helped set the tone for the future. Along with his partner Nick Wildrick, they started multiple businesses under their umbrella along with a majority investment in RJ Rockers Brewing company in 2007. In addition, they have made equity investments in many other business’ and Real Estate Partnerships’.

Along with his Partner Andrew Babb, Bauknight & Babb LLC has developed several notable downtown assets, Palmetto Belk at 100 East Main St., Magnolia Lofts at 249 Magnolia St., 252/256 W. Main St., 142 Social at 142 Magnolia St. and 111 Main St. is next up next with a projected start in 2024.

Current Community and Board Service

  • Wofford College Board of Trustees 2022-present
  • Upstate Forever Board- 2021-present
  • Liberty Fellow Class 2010
  • Member of The Episcopal Church of the Advent Spartanburg South Carolina
    • Vestry 2012-2014

Past Community Board and Trade Organization Service

  • USC Upstate Real Estate Foundation 2012-2023
  • Spartanburg Community College Incubator Advisory Board 2007- 2023
  • Virginia Episcopal School Board of Trustees 2015-2021
  • Palmetto Conservation Foundation Board 2016-2020
  • Spartanburg County Foundation Trustee 2014-2021; Chairman 2020 & 2021
  • Member Young Presidents Organization since 2004
    • SC State Chair 2014-2016
  • Wofford Investment Advisory Board 2012-2016
  • Organizer and Founding Member Spartanburg Angel Network (SAN) 2015
  • Chairman SC Brewers Guild 2014-2016
  • Board Member of Privately held Manufacturing Firm 2009-2014 (sold business)
  • BB&T Local Advisory Board 2005-2013
  • Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce- Entrepreneurial Representative 2009-2013
    • Chaired Spartanburg Entrepreneurial Partnership Council (now SERN)
  • Wofford President’s Advisory Board 2007-2010
  • Wofford Terrier Club Board of Directors 2001-03 and 2005-2009; Chairman (08/09)
  • Wofford Alumni Executive Council 2008- 2009
  • Charles Lea Center Foundation Board 2003-2010 (Chairman 2010)
  • Spartanburg Regional Fellows Class 2010
  • NAID Board (National Association of Information Destruction) 2002-05; President 2005 and Past 2006
  • Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce – Board of Dir. 2002-04 and Board of Gov. 2006-07

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