River City Six: Rob Sorensen
Serving clients across Nebraska from locations in Omaha and Lincoln, FireGuard, Inc. (www.fireguardusa.com) is focused on the ultimate goal of keeping buildings and the occupants inside safe and protected at all times. Rob Sorensen is the Vice President of Operations at FireGuard.
Tell us a little about your business.
With the motto “One Call Does It All,” we provide commercial clients with 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 inspections.
How did you get started in the business?
My dad, who has been in the industry for 50+ years! Growing up, he worked for a company called Anderson Fire Equipment, and I technically got my start as a little guy washing fire extinguishers. From a young age it sparked my interest, and as luck (and plenty of hard work!) would have it, ended up turning into a family business.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
With the combination of family and business, working together can be very challenging at times. There are over 45 of us currently employed at FireGuard, including my dad, wife, brother, uncle, and brother-in-law. In turn, we end up discussing work every family function, so it can also be hard to turn off outside of the office.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
The immense growth of FireGuard in the last couple of years. During what’s been a time of significant transition for our company, I’ve been able to create a positive atmosphere where people want to come to work and feel comfortable there. I take great pride in both.
Tell us a little about your family.
My wife Jill is an absolutely amazing woman. I also gained two great kids, Tyler (12) and Morgan (10), when we got married. They both attend Catholic school here in Omaha.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
When I relocated back to Omaha in 2011 to work for my dad. After moving to St. Louis to be closer to be with my mother, I ended up living there for quite some time. I’d forgotten how nice it was to have so many friends and family around, and also came back to a job that I enjoyed and gave me a sense of purpose. Plus I was able to reconnect with the lovely lady who became my wife. A lot of great things happened that year.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Doing absolutely nothing! I suppose it’s more accurate to say that I enjoy when I get the chance to do something that doesn’t revolve around work. Spending time with my family is a big one. Or whatever allows me the opportunity to shut down and reboot.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
One I consistently turn back to is ‘Life is short, don’t sweat the small stuff.’ There are so many things that go on each day that are out of our control. It’s important to be able to forget about it and move on.
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
We work with Project Harmony quite a bit, and are beginning to do more with the Heartland Food Bank too.
What is your favorite local restaurant?