Dan Cochran, President and Plumbing Manager of Dwyer, Plumbing Heating & Air celebrated his 39th year with the company this week.
“I like plumbing, for whatever reason, I took to it,” Dan said.
He started in the field as an apprentice at 18 years old. Three years later he began working as a plumber for Dwyer, and has been with the company ever since.
“The Dwyers had people working for them 20 or 30 years,” Dan said. The company fostered a work culture that he said resembled a family, “Everyone knew each other.”
Currently living in the same house he grew up in, and has since raised his own children in, Dan knows the value of loyalty. He grew up in Annandale and has worked his entire career in the Northern Virginia community.
“I’ve seen a lot of growth in places like Alexandria,” Dan said. Driving around to different jobs, he sees how the towns and neighborhoods have evolved and grown.
Along with tracking the area’s development, Dan enjoys learning facts about the locations he’s serviced; participating in the history that lives in the walls and pipes of each building. He worked at the home of Dr. James Craik, George Washington’s trusted physician, who pronounced the former president dead in December 1799.
“It’s a good story to tell, you don’t usually like to talk about plumbing at the dinner table,” Dan said. And with each job completed, he adds his own contribution to the buildings’ histories.
Over his nearly four decades with Dwyer, Dan’s role has shifted from hands-on technician to administrative management. Fielding changes in the company and personnel turnover, Dan has stayed committed to the Dwyer name and standards. He’s proud that Dwyer technicians have a community reputation of providing quality work.
“When they can’t figure out how to fix a problem out at Mt. Vernon, they call [us,]” Dan said. Dwyer technicians do work for National Trust for Historic Preservation, providing reliable service for historically revered locations.
From jobs done in city jails, churches, homes and schools, Dan has left his mark of quality craftsmanship on his community. “I’ll pass a building I worked on 35 years ago, and know their plumbing is still working.”