Business Profile;NEWLN:Lucy Billingsley gives billionaire dad his due, 'We never discussed business at home'


DALLAS -- Lucy Billingsley is the daughter of one of the richest and the most successful men in the country, and as a businesswomen she must make her father proud.

Asked about being measured against her dad, Trammell Crow, the world's largest land developer, the diminutive women with the flaming red hair answers:


'I am not uncomfortable with the identity because I have no conflict with it. No matter what I do, it is never totally removed nor will it ever be. But identity is only perception. I know my priorities and my responsiblities.'

At age 31, Billingsley is the president and chief executive officer of the Dallas Market Center Co., the world's largest wholesale merchandise mart comprising an assortment of buildings occupying 7.6 million square feet in one of the choicest pieces of real estate in North Dallas.

From a small desk topped with a plain phone and a few papers at one end of a vast open office she directs a business empire that ranges from the newly completed Infomart computer center, Homefurnishing Mart, World Trade Center, Market Hall, Decorative Center, Apparel Mart and Menswear Mart.


Last month she completed a business agreement with China that took six years in the making. The venture, called Beta-Crow International, will deal directly with the Chinese state-owned North Industries Corp. in handling a whole range of manufactured and consumer goods.

'I feel I have only begun,' she said during an interview in an unpretentious room complete with framed photographs of her father and mother, her developer husband, Henry, and her three children. Trammell, 9, Paige, 5 and George 2.

Two characteristics of Billingsley emerged during the interview - she is clearly impatient with small talk, and she is an intensely private person.

Asked how much she is personally worth, she replied firmly but politely, 'I don't think that is important.'

Subsequent comments about money give credence to that statement.

'I never travel first class. Why should I do that when it costs so much? Besides I am only five feet tall and I am just as comfortable in the economy class as in the first class. It is only a frivolity you pay for.'

Is she a penny-pincher?

'I should really be more tight-fisted,' she replied.

Billingsley graduated from the University of Texas and at 21 got a job as a part-time employee in a bank.


'I grew up among five brothers and I was both beaten up a lot and loved a lot by them,' she said.

'I really had no business training as such. We never discussed business at home. But my father used to give us his favorite pearls of wisdom. They all had to do with character, personal standards, priorities and motivation.

'The father-daughter relationship was wonderful. I remember going through the idealistic and thoughtful phases in my teenage years. My father only encouraged us to think about what is right and wrong. He never set any special goal for me.

'I went to a private school for girls where I was largely sheltered from the liberal atmosphere of those years. But all that changed in college and I began developing my own belief.'

Latest Headlines