Contributed by Paula Huband, Executive Director of the Florida Air Conditioning Contractors Association (FRACCA). This past month we celebrated a one of a kind in our Industry. May 1st, 2023 marked 50 years in the HVACR Industry for Robert “Bob” Cochell, and we are so very thankful that he is a part of our Organization. Read below to see why we hold Bob in the highest esteem and appreciate his dedication and passion for the Industry:
Bob was born in Michigan and is a graduate of Western Michigan University. He has degrees in both marketing and mechanical engineering. In the 1970’s, he worked for the General Electric Co. central AC department in application engineering, product planning, and equipment sales.
In 1981, he became a co-founder of Gulf Coast Air Systems in Valrico, FL, eventually becoming the sole owner in 1985. Gulf Coast Air has grown a lot since then, building a solid reputation as a company that performs both residential and commercial work the right way, with utmost respect for their clients and employees.
Bob’s professional accomplishments include:
· Past President of RACCA (Refrigeration Air Conditioning Contractors Association, Tampa Bay).
· 4-time RACCA C.J. Dillard “Outstanding Contractor of the Year” Award recipient (1992, 1996, 2001, and 2005).
· President of FRACCA, the Florida state contractor’s association for two terms.
· In conjunction with FRACCA, Bob teaches CEU (Continuing Education Units) courses state-wide on all subjects concerning air conditioning, code compliance, and application of equipment.
· Conducted CEU classes for FAPMGI (Florida Association of Plumbing, Gas and Mechanical Inspectors) to various inspector groups statewide.
· Taught CEU classes at the BOAF (Building Officials Association of Florida) convention. Topics include the nuances of the energy code and the application of mechanical systems while effectively
dehumidifying in Florida’s humid environment.
· Appointed as a voting member of the Florida Building Commission (FBC) Energy Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) since 2000. He evaluates and recommends changes to the Florida Building Code to the FBC Commissioners on matters concerning energy, heating, cooling, ventilation, efficiencies, and building practices.
· Contributing author of the Florida Contractors Exam. He composes new questions for the test and critiques existing questions to make sure all information is up to date.
· Hillsborough County – City of Tampa Mechanical Board voting member, since 1986, including as Chairman. This board hears cases concerning contractors, inspections, and code interpretations throughout Hillsborough County.
· HVAC Insider – Since 2001, Bob has contributed numerous articles to this publication. Topics ranging from contractor’s business practices, technical energy code questions, refrigerant supply issues, and mechanical installation.
Bob’s outside interests include work as a missionary in Africa, and he has served in Uganda,
Zambia, Kenya and Botswana. He conducts pastor’s conferences to bring Christian training to local pas-
tors who may not have the opportunity to travel for education elsewhere.
Bob also has a passion for flying, just ask…
Thanks Bob for your dedication to the industry! 50 Years and Going Strong!