QUINCY —The golf clubs will go back in the garage. The honey-dos around the house will be put on hold.
Phil Conover has accepted another interim position.
The Board of Directors for the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce announced Monday it has selected Conover to serve as the organization’s interim director, beginning Monday, Aug. 2. The Chamber sent an email to members on Monday announcing the move.
“The Board of Directors believes Mr. Conover is the right person to lead our organization through this period of transition,” read an the email signed by Chaka Batley, chair of the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. “With Phil in this interim role, the search committee will have the ability to conduct a thorough search to ensure we find the person to lead our organization. Phil provides us the luxury of time in making our selection, and his relationships within our community will be an added benefit for our members.”
Conover most recently served as the interim athletic director at Quincy University, taking over for Marty Bell in December and holding the job until Josh Rabe took over on June 15.
“I was just beginning to settle into a retirement mindset,” Conover said with a laugh. “I’ve been playing a lot more golf, doing things around home and reaching out to old classmates and friends who I have not been able to see for a long time. But that’s OK. I can resume all of that once the (Chamber of Commerce) search is over.”
Conover believes the search for a replacement for LaTonya Brock, who resigned earlier this month, will take about 90 days.
“You can have goals in mind as to when you think you want to complete the search and have somebody in place, but their main focus is to get the right person,” Conover said. “Ostensibly, we’re looking at 90 days to have a replacement. That’s the goal, but I’ve been through this enough times to know that doesn’t necessarily always hold up.”
He accepted an invitation to serve as interim chief operations officer at QU in 2016, and then became acting president in May 2017 after the resignation of Robert Gervasi. He stepped down when Brian McGee was named president in July 2019.
Conover was interim vice president of instruction for John Wood Community College in 2008. He also was interim president of the Great River Economic Development Foundation between Jim Mentesti and Marcel Wagner.
“This is sort of a sentimental thing for me, because my dad taught me to always be willing to give back,” Conover said. “This will sound like a canned speech, but it’s actually the very truth. The community has been very, very good to me, and when organizations like the chamber need somebody to step in and help out, and if they feel I have the skill sets to do it, well, it’s very difficult for me to say no to that.”
Conover attended Illinois State University and graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling. He taught history at Quincy High School and coached in several local high schools during his career. He became the basketball coach at Quincy Notre Dame in 1973 and later was dean of students. He also served as assistant principal.He joined Blunt Ellis & Loewi as a financial advisor in 1978 and eventually retired from Wachovia Securities.
Conover served as Quincy University’s Annual Fund chair with his brother Joe in 2004, and served as a member and vice-chair of QU’s Board of Trustees. He has served the Quincy community as a board member of John Wood Community College, GREDF, Quincy Notre Dame High School and Blessing Hospital.
Conover was the 2015 recipient of the Quincy Exchange Club’s 63rd Golden Deeds Award, an honor signifying selfless commitment and tireless work on behalf of the community. He also was inducted into the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business Hall of Fame in 2019.
Brock, 48, is taking a position as a management consultant withInclusity, a minority-owned and woman-owned companyin the Toledo suburb of Perrysburg, Ohio. The company, founded by Maria Arcocha White, focuses on building and sustaining initiatives for diversity and inclusion, culture change and leadership development.
Brock said she plans to remain in Quincy. She also will become a mentor and coach for personal development.