Beverly J. Coover is a lifelong business leader, manager, and a retired administrative officer of the University of Kansas School of Medicine’s department of family and community medicine. Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, Ms. Coover grew up on a farm and was introduced to the value of hard work and ingenuity at a young age. Naturally outgoing, people-oriented, and always looking for a challenge, she attributes much of her success to the values she learned from her upbringing. She started to excel even in high school, becoming lead editor of the school yearbook, and was voted junior class president out of a class of 109 students.
After graduating high school, Ms. Coover worked full-time at the local Dairy Queen, quickly rising to become assistant manager, a position she held for the remainder of her four years at the store. She continued to lead in her next job with the Safeway Grocery Store in Winfield, Kansas, organizing the employees into the Retail Clerks Union and becoming a union steward. After marrying her husband, Gary, Ms. Coover relocated to the Derby, Kansas, area, where she spent three years as a payables and receivables teller at Farmers and Merchant State Bank before bringing her accounting skills to a local dentist’s office and the Kansas Gas and Electric Company.
In 1968, Ms. Coover was made the payables and receivables manager at the Southwest National Bank in Wichita, where she founded the company Employee Club, which continues to thrive even today. She took a break from the workforce in the mid-1970s after having a second child, returning to work in 1977 as an account and distribution manager for Penny Power, an area advertising firm. After shattering company sales records, Ms. Coover was selected to lead a new advertising publication covering Wichita real estate, and returned to school to earn both an accounting certification and a Kansas state real estate license in 1978 after getting the paper up and running. Ms. Coover left Penny Power to accept a civil service job with the state of Kansas as office manager for the Wesley Family Practice Residency, where she stayed for the next four years.
Building on her accounting and management expertise, Ms. Coover overhauled the Wesley Family Practice Residency’s records and practices while maintaining her own independent real estate sales business by night. Ms. Coover proudly notes that she earned enough from selling real estate at her peak to be able to purchase a new car in cash. After leaving the Wesley Family Practice Residency, she accepted what would become a career-defining position at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita. In 1984, Ms. Coover was promoted to the school campus in Wichita, becoming an administrative officer for the chairman of the medical school’s department of community and family medicine. She held this position for the next two decades, working under four different chairs and overseeing eight direct reports, eight faculty, and more than $1.2 million in grant budgets.
After more than 20 years of service to the University of Kansas, Ms. Coover retired from her role in 1997. Not content to simply retire, she transitioned to managing the Hamilton Field Airport, a privately-owned regional airfield and hangar housing 25 small aircraft that had been operated continuously by her family for more than 55 years. She continued to run the airport for an additional ten years before its closure, and her full retirement, in 2007.
Since then, Ms. Coover has published three books under the name Beverly J. Hamilton, “Saving the Farm” in 2014, “Lake House Reunion” in 2017, and was a contributing author to “Right Again” in 2018, and has donated more than 400 charity quilts to local organizations. She has lived by the credo to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and encourages others to believe in themselves and not let fear overcome their desire to challenge themselves and try new things. She enjoys painting in watercolor and acrylic and is a talented organ player, and notes that she looks forward to continuing to enrich her community and environment for many years.