CHARLOTTE, N.C. (January 21, 2021) – Falfurrias Capital Partners, a Charlotte-based private equity firm focused on growth-oriented middle-market companies, today announced the promotion of four longtime team members to the position of partner, and another teammate who has been promoted to vice president.

JJ Schonberg was promoted from managing director to partner and will continue to lead the firm’s finance, risk and integration teams. Chip Johnson, Geordie Pierson and Wilson Sullivan were each promoted from the position of principal to partner, where they will continue to lead sourcing, transactions and strategic support for the firm’s diverse assortment of portfolio companies. In addition, Katie-Rose Higgins has been promoted from senior associate to vice president and will also lead sourcing, transactions and strategic support.

“We’re very proud to promote these five outstanding individuals who have each made meaningful contributions to our firm, our portfolio companies and our investors,” said Ed McMahan, managing partner of Falfurrias Capital Partners. “Their growth and success are interwoven with the trajectory of our organization, and each of them are deserving of their new roles.”

Schonberg joined Falfurrias Capital Partners in October 2006 after serving as chief financial officer of Mangan & McColl Partners, a Charlotte-based, event-driven hedge fund. At Mangan & McColl, Schonberg was responsible for the accounting and financial reporting of various domestic and offshore investment funds. Prior to that Schonberg worked for Price Waterhouse as a manager in the Personal Financial Services (PFS) group, specializing in individual income tax and financial planning for high net worth individuals. He holds a bachelor’s in economics and political science and a master’s in accountancy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Johnson re-joined Falfurrias Capital Partners in 2016, focusing on the food and beverage and industrial technology sectors. Previously he served as chief financial officer of North American T&D Group, a Falfurrias Capital Partners-backed holding company for investments in the power transmission and distribution industry. Prior to that Johnson was a senior associate with Falfurrias Capital Partners and before that was a financial analyst for McColl Partners, a Charlotte-based middle-market investment bank. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Johnson also served as founding curator of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper Initiative in Charlotte, and currently serves on the board of Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas.

Pierson joined Falfurrias Capital Partners in 2014, spending the majority of his time focused on the marketing, media and information services space. Previously Pierson was an associate at Pamlico Capital, where his work focused on the execution of middle-market growth equity and leveraged buyout transactions in the business and technology services and communications industries. A graduate of Wake Forest University, Pierson began his career working in investment banking with Wells Fargo Securities (formerly Wachovia) as a member of the Financial Sponsors Group.

Sullivan joined Falfurrias Capital Partners in 2007, serving as an associate until 2009 before returning to business school. After receiving his MBA, Sullivan served as an associate at middle-market investment bank Edgeview Partners before re-joining Falfurrias Capital in 2012. He focuses on technology-enabled business and financial services companies for the firm. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with an MBA from Dartmouth College, Sullivan served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps prior to joining Falfurrias Capital in 2007.

Higgins joined Falfurrias Capital Partners as an analyst in 2016, was promoted to associate in 2018, and to senior associate in 2020. Prior to joining the firm she served as an analyst at Charleston-based Sherman Financial Company, a global investment company in the debt purchase and services industry. Higgins earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of South Carolina and a master’s at Vanderbilt University, playing Division I intercollegiate golf for both schools. She is a graduate of the Arts & Science Council’s Cultural Leadership Training program and serves on the board as treasurer of The Arts Empowerment Project.


About Falfurrias Capital Partners

Falfurrias Capital Partners is a Charlotte-based private equity investment firm founded in 2006 by Hugh McColl Jr., former chairman and CEO of Bank of America; Marc Oken, former CFO of Bank of America; and Managing Partner Ed McMahan. The firm has raised approximately $1 billion across four funds and invests in growing, middle market businesses in sectors where the firm’s operational resources, relationships and sector expertise can be employed to complement portfolio company executive teams in support of growth objectives. Falfurrias Capital Partners employs a proprietary, research-based process called “Industry First” to identify markets with durable growth trends, construct a thesis based on research findings, and partner with management teams to create strategic value. For more information, visit