20 Under 40 – Lane Conner

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Fuzse
Education: SMU, University of Oklahoma

Lane Conner is following in his parents’ entrepreneurial footsteps.

As a youth, he conducted product demontrations for his family’s company at the Dallas Trade Mart.

“As I grew, I had many jobs – sales, stocking, working the warehouse, building the showroom, etc.,” he said. “I was able to watch my parents and the way that they interacted with Conner and Company. It was like it was a third child for them… I believe that my drive comes from watching what they did, how they built it, and their success.”

In his 20s, Conner worked as a sales and operations manager for Park West Gallery, which managed the art auctions on the Royal Caribbean cruise line, Holland America Line cruise line, and Sandals Vacation Club. But, the 2008 recession brought another new beginning for his career.

“When the recession hit, it hit our industry incredibly hard. I moved back to Dallas at 30 years old. I literally had to start over in a new industry that I knew nothing about at an entry-level position,” Conner said.

Within a year of joining Century Payments, he was leading the inside sales group. Conner worked as a director of business development for First American Payment Systems for a couple of years after that before starting Blue Star Payment Solutions under the Dallas Cowboy and Jones’ family umbrella in 2014.

After Blue Star was sold in 2015 and became Stack Sports, Conner founded Fuzse, a financial technology organization that specializes in working with mobile apps, custom software, and web development firms.

“I learned that working for someone else always meant that you rely on someone else to make decisions that so deeply impact your life,” he said. “I love working for myself as I am the only one to blame if Fuzse fails.”

Conner is also the president and treasurer of the Mayor’s Star Council Board of Directors. The Mayor’s Star Council is a nonprofit organization that trains Dallasites between the ages of 25 and 40 that impact the city through arts/entertainment, business, education, government, hospitality/tourism, media, religion, and the social sector, and more, on leadership.

Q: Tell us about your involvement in the Park Cities and/or Preston Hollow communities?

A: I grew up in Preston Hollow. It is home. The areas of Royal Lane from Midway to Preston were my stomping grounds growing up. I spent my summers at the Royal Lane Library, played at Cox Lane Park, had prescriptions filled at Dougherty’s, and went to Church at Northwest Bible.  My grandmother lived not far away off of Park Lane and Midway in a house that she bought in the ’60s when she moved to Dallas.  Life has taken me away from the Preston Hollow community with living in Miami for work and being closer to work, but my heart will always be in that community.  With my civic work – Mayor’s Star Council and others, we do work in and around Preston Hollow.  It is my eventual plan to move back with my wife.

Q: If you could buy a book (or rent a movie) for your neighbor, what would it be and why?

A: A Message To Garcia by Elbert Hubbard. It is about taking initiative and being accountable for your work.

Q: What do you love most about your community?

A: The people.  The people of the Preston Hollow area (and Dallas in general) are the best. I have had the opportunity with my career in my 20s to travel the world. There is nothing like being in Dallas and the people here. It really is a wonderful place that is easy to take for granted when you live here. I believe that you really don’t appreciate Dallas and the people until you move away.

Q: Where do you see yourself and/or your career 10 years from now?

A: I hope that I am having as much fun 10 years from now as I am now. I have gotten very civically engaged in Dallas over the past couple of years, and I hope that this engagement continues to grow. My wife (Sarah) and I have a daughter (Sawyer) and we hope to add more to our family. I would love to see Dallas continue to get bigger and better, and I would like to be a catalyst for this growth both in the private and public sector.

Q: What is your favorite local store?

A: My favorite store is also one of my favorite restaurants in Dallas. I have been going to Gazeebo Burger for the past 20+ years. I think that they have some of the best food in Dallas, and the atmosphere hasn’t changed since I was a kid.

 

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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