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Firehouse Subs co-founder speaks at JAX Chamber quarterly program

Firehouse Subs co-founder Robin Sorensen shared his experiences and insights for growing a business even in the midst of difficult economic times during the GrowJAX quarterly CEO Nexus Forum.

“Companies should not underestimate the importance of the basics such as a strong work ethic and common sense,” Sorensen said.

Founded in Jacksonville in 1994 by former firefighting brothers Chris and Robin Sorensen, Firehouse Subs has grown from one location in Mandarin to 468 restaurants across 27 states, including three locations in Puerto Rico.

Firehouse Subs practices “smart growth” ensuring that each restaurant has the right franchisee, in the right location and at the right time.

Sorensen said the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, which he co-founded with Chris in 2005, is the most rewarding venture in all the years of ownership and growth. The Foundation’s mission is to provide funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to aid first-responders. Through the non-profit 501(c)(3), Firehouse Subs has given more than $3.1 million to hometown heroes, including fire and police departments and EMS organizations.

“Our ability to overcome a challenging economic time is due to making frugality a top priority. We have been debt free since 2001,” Sorensen said.

The CEO Nexus Forum brings CEOs and business executives of second-stage companies together in an effort to cultivate economic growth. The forums give second-stage business owners access to top-tier CEOs. A second-stage business is defined as a privately held, Florida-based company beyond its initial start-up growth and on the verge of expansion with 10 to 99 employees and annual revenues between $1 and $49 million.

The Chamber’s GrowJAX department hosts the CEO Nexus Forum on a quarterly basis, and the events are open to any CEO or C-level executive who meets the second-stage criteria. More information is available at www.GrowJAX.com.


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