Conner Group celebrates move to downtown Vinton

The Conner Group celebrated the move to East Lee Avenue in downtown Vinton with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 6, followed by a street party and open house. The Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber participated in the event.
Conner Group partners (left to right) Wesley Brugh, Anthony Conner, and John Conner have relocated their offices to Lee Avenue in downtown Vinton.

The Conner Group, a financial services firm, has moved into newly renovated offices in downtown Vinton, and celebrated with the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, October 6.

Continuing the festivities, an open house/street party was held that evening with music by the Faded Travelers band, food by Mountain Grille and Master Sergeant BBQ, plus local beverages provided by Vinton’s Twin Creeks Brewing Company. A portion of the proceeds from the event were donated to the Susan G. Komen Virginia Blue Ridge Affiliate.

The Conner Group is a local firm led by partners Anthony Conner, his son John Conner, and Wesley Brugh, all financial services professionals.

Anthony Conner is a lifelong Vinton resident. He graduated from William Byrd High School in 1978 where he was a student athlete participating in football, basketball, and track. He graduated from Carson-Newman College in Tennessee where he majored in Business Administration and continued to play football. His wife Lisa is also a William Byrd graduate and his high school sweetheart. They have three children: Jackie, Jamie and John, and two grandchildren, Berkeley and Jase.

Anthony Conner is well known throughout the community for years of dedicated service in organizations such as the Lions Club, the Vinton Dogwood Festival, and the Chamber of Commerce.

John Conner is also a graduate of William Byrd in the Class of 2009. He was also a three-sport athlete at WBHS, playing football, basketball, and baseball. He went on to graduate from Roanoke College in 2013 with a major in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. He is currently a member of the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and will soon be serving as a board member with the Susan G. Komen Virginia Blue Ridge Affiliate.

Wesley Brugh is also a 2009 graduate of William Byrd. He played basketball throughout his high school career. He earned a degree in Education with a concentration in Marketing and Finance from Old Dominion University in 2013. His wife Jordan Foutz Brugh graduated from William Byrd as well. They have two children, Parker Elizabeth Brugh, who is 2-1/2, and Beckett Andrew Brugh, 9 months. Brugh will soon be serving as a board member with the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) in Roanoke.

Anthony, John, and Wesley have received individual awards in the field of finance, becoming members of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT). MDRT is known as “the Premier Association of Financial Professionals, a global independent association of over 62,000 of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 500 companies in 69 countries.”

Only 1 percent of individuals in the investment and insurance industry are MDRT members, demonstrating “exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business.”

The Conner Group was previously located on Washington Avenue, and made the move to downtown Vinton mainly because they had outgrown their space. The offices downtown also provide more visibility, more parking, and the opportunity to be part of the revitalization efforts of the town.

Their team also includes advisors– Crystal Knuttgen, Albert Smith, Frank Harman, Gretchen Beedle, and Josh Chocklett. Their administrative team includes Catherine Nolen, Phyllis Preston, and Heather St. Clair.

The Conner Group has taken over two buildings at 129 and 131 East Lee Avenue, which long ago housed the Gus Nicks Furniture store and most recently Gary and Dale Williams’s insurance business. The buildings were completely gutted in the renovations, with only the original brick walls, one interior wall, and the tin ceiling in the entryway remaining. Renovations included new architectural designs, flooring, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and a new kitchen.

With the addition of The Conner Group, Lee Avenue in downtown Vinton is once again a bustling street full of local businesses.

The Conner Group specializes in holistic financial planning, but offers other services as well, including personal life insurance, investments/retirement planning for individuals (401k, Rollovers, Education Funding, Roth, Traditional, SEP or Simple IRAs), long-term care insurance, long-term/short-term disability insurance and health insurance for individuals. They also offer business planning services through group retirement plans (401k, 403b, 457 Plans, Simple and SEP IRAs), group life insurance, Buy-Sell Funding, Key Man Insurance, and group disability and health insurance. The firm does business all over the country.

Their hours are by appointment, but generally one member of the team is in the office between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The philosophy of The Conner Group is “to take a measured, thoughtful approach; one that is grounded in reality and gives our clients the best chance of meeting their financial goals and objectives.”

More information on the firm and the services they offer are available online at or by calling 767-6669.

Anthony W. Conner, John B. Conner, Wesley A. Brugh, Frank Harman, Crystal Knuttgen and Gretchen Beedle are Registered Representatives offering securities through NYLIFE Securities LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Licensed Insurance Agency. Anthony W. Conner, John B. Conner, Wesley A. Brugh, Frank Harman, Crystal L. Knuttgen, Albert M. Smith, Gretchen Beedle, and Josh Chocklett are agents licensed to sell insurance through New York Life Insurance Company and may be licensed to sell insurance through various other independent unaffiliated insurance companies. The Conner Group is independently owned and operated from NYLIFE Securities LLC and its affiliates.

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