John D WagnerAn entrepreneur, well-known marketing-PR specialist, and investment banker, John D. Wagner is the award-winning author of 18 books on the business of cannabis, construction, the supply chain, and corporate management. (His full CV is below; scroll down.) He has also written more than 2,500 periodical articles about home building and commercial construction, among many other topics. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Asian Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, Green Builder Magazine (which he co-founded and edited), Popular Science, LBM Journal, Newsday, Chicago Tribune, Fine Woodworking, The Journal of Light Construction, Tools of the Trade, and many other magazines and newspapers. His commentary has been heard on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. John is also a novelist and the author of a middle-grade novel for 9-12 year olds, called The Crash Crystal, and a book of poems, Fake Cities (ExOphidia Press).  (Link here to John’s recent On Work column in The New York Times.)

Link here to hear John’s NPR All Things Considered commentary: 

Investment Banking

(Since 2015) John D. Wagner is a Managing Director at 1stWEST Mergers & Acquisitions, an investment banking and M&A advisory.  Working mostly from the sell-side, taking clients to market for acquisition, John focuses on cannabis / hemp, construction materials, and technology/software sectors. Visit

Wagner Media

John is CEO of J. Wagner Media, a boutique media-relations and marketing firm, serving a-list clients in the construction sector. Wagner Media’s list of recent and current clients includes Ainsworth Engineered, Berkshire Hathaway’s MiTek, Berkshire Hathaway’s Heat Pipe Technology, Berkshire Hathaway’s SidePlate, Berkshire Hathaway’s USP Structural Connectors, BuilderMT,  Sales Simplicity, and Aterra Lighting / Luminosity, LSI Industries, and Blue Tarp Financial, among many others. Wagner Media’s clients are a “who’s who” of elite software, building product, and technology companies. Visit

Environmental Building

For years, John was managing director (with direct P&L responsibilities) of Certified Green Dealer, LLC, a national online training and certification company that he co-founded, where he wrote and performed all the training.  John was also co-founder of Green Builder Media (a venture capital-funded operation), and he was the founding editor-in-chief of Green Builder Magazine, the first national trade magazine focused on green practices for home builders.

Private Placements and Investor

Relations. John was also executive director of corporate communications and investor relations for a well-known, BuildNet, and was a leading member of the team that raised $147 million in multiple rounds of venture funding from Credit Suisse First Boston, SSB, and other investment banks. (John authored the majority of BuildNet’s PPMs and its S1 document to file for an IPO.) He has since authored multiple private placement memorandum and helped raise venture funds for other client start-ups.

Teacher, Writer

Among other current activities, John writes the M&A column for MJBiz’s Investor Intelligence publication and speaks often at MJBiz conferences, focusing on business valuations.

John taught as an adjunct at Norwich University in the School of Architecture + Art, with some cross-over to classes in business management. Courses have included Interdisciplinary Environmental Entrepreneurship and Global Issues in Design. John is the M&A columnist for LBM Journal (40,000 circ.), and was the chief content creator for the national Green Dealer Certification program, a distance-learning company.

John is (or has been) a building columnist for Qualified Remodeler magazine (90,000 circ.), a columnist for Residential Design & Build magazine, a contributing editor and feature writer for Residential Building Products and Technology News and the green building columnist for Granite State Builder and Bay State Builder magazines. John also writes monthly blog entries for CabinetIQ and WoodIQ. John also was on the launch team that created the TV show “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford,” (John served as the host’s ghostwriter), which is broadcast nationally.

Tool Inventor

John is also the inventor of the Vibe-All concrete vibrator, a Sawzall attachment that can turn any Sawzall or recip saw into powerful concrete vibrator. It is design for small pours: footers, forms, stairs, pads, and ICFs. The Vibe-All tool has been sold by the thousands worldwide.

John D. Wagner's CV

Work History

  • Currently and since 2001: President of Wagner Media, a boutique PR and marketing consulting firm. For CAD/BIM, building product, and technology providers in the construction and homebuilding sectors, Wagner Media is widely recognized as a leading media-relations and strategic marketing firm. WagnerPR’s recent and current clients are elite providers to the home building and construction industries – all market share leaders, including Ainsworth Engineered, Berkshire Hathaway’s MiTek Industries (CAD/BIM & component systems providers), Berkshire Hathaway’s Heat Pipe Technology, Berkshire Hathaway’s USP Structural Connectors, Berkshire Hathaway’s SidePlate, BuilderMT, Sales Simplicity, BlueTarp Financial, and BidClerk. For these and other companies, Wagner Media has orchestrated highly effective media relations and marketing campaigns which have resulted in the generation of low-cost / highly qualified leads and the placement of hundreds of stories in leading trade media, including magazines like Builder, Big Builder, JLC, Professional Builder, Residential Design and Build, LBM Journal, ProSales, Constructech, and many others.
  • Currently, John D. Wagner is a Managing Director at 1stWEST Mergers & Acquisitions, an investment banking and M&A advisory. Working mostly from the sell-side, John focuses on lumber and building material, technology/software, and housing sectors. Visit  John’s M&A and private placement work reached back to 1999.  John currently writes the M&A column in LBM Journal.
  • Over many years, John has served as a columnist / magazine writer for trade publications/blogs, including LBM Journal, WoodIQ, Cabinet IQ, Residential Building Products and Technology News, Residential Design and Build, Tools of the Trade, the Journal of Light Construction, Granite State Builder, and Qualified Remodeler, among others. John was editor of the Journal of Light Construction and a founding editor of Tools of the Trade magazine.
  • 2008-2018, John served as Adjunct Instructor of Architecture, Norwich University, School of Architecture + Art, Northfield, VT. Classes taught include a graduate seminar Global Issues in Design, Building Materials, and Interdisciplinary Environmental Entrepreneurship, among others.
  • 2004-2006: Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Green Builder Media; Editor-in-Chief Green Builder Magazine. After preparing the company valuation and writing a fundraising private placement memorandum, he helped raised nearly $1 million from VC sources for this national, monthly green building magazine (circ: 100,000). Served as managing partner with direct P&L responsibility. Also served as editor-in-chief, in charge of start-up operations, staff hiring, and ongoing magazine operations.
  • 1999-2001: Executive Director of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations for Generated worldwide press and enormous brand equity for, a privately held, $147 million supply chain optimization and construction software company, with $85 million in annual revenue, which held the exclusive North American Graphisoft license. Through increasing levels of a responsibility (brought on by BuildNet’s 12 acquisitions, record private fund raising rounds and revenue that increased from $3.5 to $85 million in 18 months) oversaw all corporate positioning, public relations, investor relations, media relations, financial communications with Wall Street firms, fund raising documentation, and analyst relations as BuildNet grew to 1,200 employees. Guided company communication through record-setting fund-raising rounds, filing of SEC S1 documents, withdrawal of the S1, and highly publicized work force reductions.
  • Previous to 1999: As a communications consultant, corporate ghost writer, author, and journalist, published work in multiple Times Mirror media properties, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Asian Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Popular Science, Computer World and many trade magazines; spoken commentary heard nationally on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.


  • MFA, Creative Writing & English, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL. (48 graduate credits) Attended on a Dean’s Scholarship. Won the Teaching Writing Fellowship. Awarded Best Teacher, English Department (1986)
  • BA, Philosophy, St. Michael’s College, VT (1981) (30+ credits each in Science and English)
  • Author & Teacher: Award-winning author 2,500+ articles and 18 books. Past associate professor of English at the university level, having taught at multiple colleges & universities in the U.S. and Thailand.

Awards, Recognition & Fellowships

  • Teaching Writing Fellow, University of Alabama, recognizing the finest writer at the distinguish University of Alabama Master of Fine Arts program.
  • Best Teacher Award, University of Alabama English Department, recognizing the best English professor at the University.
  • Bread Loaf Waiters’ Fellowship, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, recognizing the 25 most promising young writers in America.
  • Individual Fellowship: Creative Writing, Vermont Council on the Arts, recognizing just two of Vermont’s best young writers each year.
  • Special Merit Award, Non-Fiction, Vermont Book Publishers Association, for Building a Multi-Use Barn (Wagner’s first book) (Williamson Publishing).
  • Featured Selection, Business Week, recognizing the nation’s best business books, for The Interactive Marketplace (McGraw Hill).
  • Independent Weekly’s Poetry Prize, First Place, yearly recognizing the best poetry & poet in the Raleigh-Durham area.
  • Vigil Honor, Order of the Arrow, BSA

Teaching History

  • Norwich Univ. Adjunct Instructor of Architecture and Business, Norwich Univ. School of Architecture + Art, Northfield, VT. 2008-2018.
  • Guest Day-Lecturer (1999 & 2002): Kenan Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina; Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Durham, and, NC State University’S MBA Program, Raleigh, NC.
  • Suan Suannatah College in Bangkok, Thailand, (1990-91) taught as visiting faculty in the English Department. Courses taught included Introduction to English.
  • Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, (1988) taught as an Assistant Professor in the English Department. Courses taught included Freshman Composition, Introduction of Literature, and Romantic Literature.
  • St. Michael’s College, Colchester, VT, taught three years (1986-1988) as adjunct faculty in the English Department. Courses taught included Freshman Composition, Introduction of Literature, Romantic Literature, and History of the English Language. Also during this time, taught as an adjunct at Vermont Community College (State of Vermont system) and Burlington College (Burlington, VT).
  • University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, taught three years (1983, 1984, 1985) as a graduate teaching assistant in the English Department. Courses taught included Freshman Composition, Introduction of Literature, Romantic Literature, and, as the Teaching Writing Fellow in 1985, Creative Writing Workshop.

Other notable items: John has traveled widely in Iceland, England, India, Vietnam, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok, Haiti, Mexico, Spain, France, Morocco, Bermuda, the Caymans, and the Netherlands, as well as all 50 U.S. States and most of Canada. He has spoken conversational French, Spanish, and Thai.

John is a mountaineer with notable ascents: El Capitan, The Nose; Mt Kala Patar, Nepal (18,521 ft.); winter ascent Mt. Washington. He has climbed inside the smoking calderas of two semi-active Indonesian volcanoes (Mt. Bromo and Mt. Batur). John is also a PADI certified SCUBA diver.

Married with two children, John is an accomplished blues guitar player and a cancer survivor.