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Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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Culture 2020 40 Under 40 Laken Avonne Rapier

2020 40 Under 40 Laken Avonne Rapier

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Paul is a lifelong journalist with experience in wire service, newspaper, magazine, local and network television and digital media. He was vice president and editor of the editorial page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and editor of Fort Worth, Texas magazine before joining the Business Press. What he likes best is writing about people in detail and introducing them to others in the community. Specific areas of passion are homelessness, human trafficking, health care and aerospace.



Laken Rapier is responsible for media relations and community engagement for the City of Fort Worth’s elected officials.

In addition to overseeing all communications efforts for Mayor Betsy Price, she also supports all community engagement efforts including town halls and civic engagement initiatives throughout the city.

As part of her role, Rapier works closely with both community leaders and stakeholders to drive citizen engagement, align strategic initiatives and elevate Fort Worth’s national profile.

Rapier started her career on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Previously, Rapier worked for Justin Boot Company bringing communications and public relations in-house and creating an internal communications team.

She earned a bachelor of science in journalism from the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications.

– Paul K. Harral

Where did your first paycheck come from?

Technically, my first paycheck came from refereeing soccer games in high school between my own games. However, my first source of income was a wildly successful lemonade stand that I co-owned with my childhood best friend in kindergarten.

What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?

I am not one to binge watch movies or a TV series. All clichés aside, I appreciated the comedic message behind Legally Blonde – breaking down stereotypes, addressing the double standards women face, defying expectations and doing it all in style.

What other profession would you like to try?

I always wanted to be a professional chef. Growing up, I watched Food Network and always wanted to be on Emeril Lagasse’s show. A far cry from a professional chef, I make it a personal goal to cook at least one new recipe a week. While I find cooking to be extremely relaxing, I also enjoy trying new restaurants around town.

Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or she was important.

My mom, Stacey, has always been the most influential person in my life. As a little girl, my mom was my superhero who had all the answers. I always looked up to her and idolized strength. However, as I grew older, I realized how much she took on and grew to appreciate her ability to balance managing a household while building a successful professional career.

My mom calmly and confidently managed the chaos of running a household, from last minute school project supply runs to carpool for soccer practice – all while breaking glass ceilings as a respected female executive in male-dominated industries before it was “cool.” She never missed a board meeting or a soccer game. My mom has taught me countless life lessons and instilled values in me that I carry with me today – and is still inspiring me to be the best version of myself.

When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

My professional career and the future path continue to evolve as I grow both personally and professionally. However, it wasn’t until college that I realized how I could combine my passions for storytelling and writing to have a bigger impact.

What is your favorite song?

Shake It Off, Taylor Swift

Tell us about your photo shoot prop.

You will always see me with at least one of my props – my phone, laptop or dog. Often times, I am juggling two of the three. One of my favorite things to do is explore Fort Worth with my dog, Shuffles. We go on walks on the trails and take advantage of pet-friendly Fort Worth. Shuffles patiently listens to me read speeches and statements aloud, while occasionally barking when a call goes too long and it’s time for her walk. And on any given day at City Hall, you will see me juggling my phone and laptop.

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