River City Six: Bob Sorensen
FireGuard, Inc., which is headquartered in Omaha, and its sister company, Jacobsen Fire Equipment Company, LLC, are focused on the ultimate goal of keeping clients safe and protected at all times. Robert Sorensen (email@example.com) is the President of FireGuard and Jacobsen Fire Equipment Company.
Tell us a little about your business. – With the motto “One Call Does It All,” commercial clients in the area have access to a comprehensive line-up of products and services in the areas of fire protection and life safety. Our key offerings include fire alarm systems, fire extinguishers, fire sprinkler systems, and so much more. We also serve as a resource for any related products, services and inspections. FireGuard is a company I started 22 years ago. With over 50 years of experience in the industry as well as successfully running Fireguard for 22 years, a company that I started from scratch, when the opportunity for the acquisition of Jacobsen Fire Equipment Company, a well-established business in Lincoln, presented itself we took the opportunity to expand our operations. The acquisition was finalized in November of 2015.
How did you get started in the business? – Back in the mid 1960’s I began by helping a friend of mine who was installing different types of fire protection systems. I was in my late teens and working for the sheriff’s department at that time as a radio dispatcher, but was considering going into the military. He hired me to assist him for 3 or 4 installations, and I quickly realized that this could be for me. Fast forward 28 years and I retired as Reserve Deputy Sheriff all while I was doing fire protection.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – I’d definitely say government regulatory requirements. This presents difficulties for any small business owner.
What has been your most important achievement professionally? – Surrounding myself with a great staff, which has been very rewarding indeed. I am a big believer in a strong work ethic and the right attitude.
Tell us a little about your family. – I have three wonderful children; two are involved with the business and one is very successful in her own endeavors. I also have four grandchildren with whom I appreciate spending time.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – I had a stroke last October from an accident in which I tore an artery in my neck! It was definitely an enlightening experience. Luckily I’ve been recovering nicely.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Hunting and fishing. I also enjoy spending time working on my log cabin in central Nebraska. I have to keep myself busy!
What are you the most proud of? – The success of my business.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – My father taught me years ago through his work ethic that if you are going to do something on your own, make sure all your ducks are in line and then take a shot.
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? – We are a big supporter of Project Harmony and local winter clothing drives.
What is your favorite local restaurant? – The Drover. It’s a very small restaurant that serves the best whisky fillet anywhere.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? – Ronald Reagan. I am proud to be able to say I shook his hand years ago while he was in Omaha.
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? – Call (402) 592-1999 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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