Young businessman earns praise

Published 9:38 am Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FRANKLIN—Local businessman Dan Hoctor is just two years shy of the big 4-0, but this gives him plenty of reason to celebrate.

Hoctor, vice president of Southside Physical Therapy, was recently honored by Inside Business magazine as one of its “40 under 40,” described by the publication as “40 young businesspeople in Hampton Roads who are successful in their careers and are involved in the community.”

Hoctor said he was glad to represent Western Tidewater in the awards. He was nominated by Teresa Beale, executive director of the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce.

“I didn’t even know about it until Teresa over at the Chamber suggested it,” Hoctor said about the award. “We’ve never had anyone from this area who has been nominated. It’s obviously a big honor.”

“Through improving his patients’ health, Rotary involvement and his leadership in the Chamber, Dan actively promotes a better quality of life for our community,” Beale said. “I was delighted to see him receive this well-deserved honor.”

Hoctor received his doctorate degree in physical therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University, his master’s in physical therapy from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and his bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science from the University of Florida.

He came to the area in 1998 with his wife, Jennifer, for a physical therapy and athletic trainer job at Southside.

“I thought I might be here a year or two,” he said with a laugh. “We came here with two dogs and us, and now we have three kids and have been here 12 years.”

Hoctor bought into Southside Physical Therapy last year and said business has been steady, despite the economy and recent bad news for Franklin about the mill closing.

“We’ve held up pretty well,” he said, adding that there are 16 full-time and four part-time employees. “We don’t just rely on outpatient physical therapy in this building.”

Contracts with Deerfield Correctional Center, Southampton County Schools, as well as with convalescent centers and home health work help round out the business, he said.

But business prowess isn’t the only reason Hoctor was honored by the magazine. Community involvement is key, too.

Hoctor is president-elect of the Chamber of Commerce and is a past president and member of the Franklin Rotary Club and past assistant governor for Rotary District 7600 Area 10. He is a member of the Franklin Southampton Futures Group as well.

Hoctor said the Franklin-Southampton area is ideal for young professional parents.

“People downplay this community, but it’s a great place to raise a family,” he said.

One of his goals as president-elect of the Chamber is to help develop a subgroup of young professionals and offer them “subject matter that might benefit their businesses.”

In the meantime, keeping an upbeat attitude in the face of a down economy is vital, he said. The Chamber, he said, is focused on helping in any way it can.

“I just hope we stay positive and try to conduct business as usual,” he said.