(Editor’s Note: This is the first of a 3-part series on Dr. Donovan “Dino” Beckett and his work to improve his hometown of Williamson.)
WILLIAMSON – Growing up in Williamson, Donovan Beckett, better known as “Dino,” knew he wanted to one day become a doctor and move back to his hometown to make it a better place to live.
Beckett graduated from Williamson High School in 1988 where he was active in student government and played football for the Wolfpack. He then attended West Virginia University where he became the Student Body President. From that point, he went to medical school at the W.Va. Osteopathic School in Lewisburg and then did his internship at Charleston Area Medical Center.
He credits his parents, Butch and Odessa, who live in East Williamson, for their support while he was growing up in the Tug Valley area.
“I always knew I would come back to Williamson,” Beckett said. While he was still in medical school, Beckett had talked and worked with Williamson Memorial officials about coming back to work at their facility.
Beckett first came back and worked under another local doctor, Tim Kohari, at his clinic at ARH in South Williamson, Ky. He then moved to Williamson Memorial Hospital in 2004 and later started his own private practice in downtown Williamson.
“I started looking for ways to get involved in the community,” Beckett said from his renovated downtown office. “Williamson was a great place to grow up. My community always supported me over the years.”
“I lobbied to get on the Williamson Redevelopment Authority (WRA) Board,” Beckett said, speaking of his first attempt to get involved in the community. “Butch West was the mayor at the time. He appointed me, Tim McNamee and Ann Lambright at the same time. I think that was the beginning of some good synergy.”
He helped Williamson to become a Blueprint Community. (Blueprint Communities are communities where The Hub works to help convene a team of leaders from the community, set up a system that facilitates sustained community development practices, and build a plan for the future.)
“It is a way to give back to a community that has meant so much to me over the years,” Beckett added.
“One thing that I was always aware of was what a beautiful downtown area we had in Williamson,” Beckett emphasized. “Even though it had some age on it, it still had the infrastructure where it could be capitalized on.”
The WRA made several changes and painted the light poles and some other renovations. Beckett and McNamee took a Saturday and put down mulch and made some other cosmetic changes around town with plants and trees.
“These were just some little things we did to improve the aesthetic looks of the town,” Beckett said. “It was kind of nice and people were excited to see some positive things going on in downtown Williamson.”
(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)