After retiring for the second time as general manager of Loudoun Water, Dale C. Hammes this time was not permitted to ride quietly into the sunset. On Friday morning, the organization’s headquarters building was renamed in his honor.
Hammes served the organization for 40 years, joining the Loudoun County Sanitation Authority—as it was then known—after graduating from Virginia Tech in 1977. While working his way up to the top management position, he oversaw the planning and design of county’s public water and sewer system as it expanded from Sterling to serve the growth planned by county leaders in Ashburn and, later, the Rt. 50 corridor; the design and construction of the state-of-the-art Broad Run Water Reclamation Facility; and the planning for the Potomac River water intake and new Trap Rock Water Treatment Facility that is nearing completion, among other projects.
Hammes retired four years ago, but was lured back to the post when the leadership transition turned rocky. Hammes retired again in December. This time he turned the reins over to a trusted co-worker; Carla Berleson has worked at the authority for 30 years and was the long-time finance director.
During Friday’s ceremony, he was uncharacteristically the center of attention. But as others praised his leadership and dedication, Hammes reflected on the importance of his family and the lessons learned growing up as the youngest of five children on a farm outside of Middleburg.
The plaque renaming the Loudoun Water headquarters as the Dale C. Hammes Administration Building—attached to a 3,000-pound piece of trappe rock cut from the Luck Stone quarry—reads “This building is named in gratitude for exemplary service, commitment and dedication to Loudoun Water.”