Vernon L. “Cap” Conner (1902-1988)
Florida Citrus Mutual
Florida Citrus Commission
Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association
Florida Citrus Exchange
Citrus Central, Inc.
Mt. Dora Growers Cooperative
Fertilizer & Pesticide Central Committee
Fertilizer Technical Committee
Plant Industries Technical Council
Vernon L. “Cap” Conner was born on December 3, 1902 in Floyd County, Virginia. Moving to Mt. Dora, Florida, in 1941 to become a fruit broker, over a 40-year career Conner eventually became a citrus grower, processer, and packer.
Conner served on the Board of Directors for Florida Citrus Mutual for 23 years. The first elected director from Lake County, Conner served as chairman of the organization for over four years. Conner also served on the Florida Citrus Commission, the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, the Florida Citrus Exchange, Citrus Central Inc., and the Mt. Dora Growers Cooperative, where he served for nearly 30 years as the President and Chairman of the Board.
Conner also worked with the fertilizer and chemical industries. He was a member of the Fertilizer and Pesticide Control Committee, the Fertilizer Technical Committee, and the Plant Industries Technical Council. Conner’s leadership is remembered for helping to guide the industry through some turbulent times. He was lauded as a peacemaker in maintaining good relations between various segments of the citrus industry. His down-to-earth people skills helped the industry create a “unified front” to take on challenges and problems. Gene Mooney spoke of Conner, saying: “Vernon is considered by his peers to be the most effective peacemaker the industry has known.”