Wise 50 Over 50 Award™
Debbie Hahn & Dan Sorensen – Speedpro Signs Fort McMurray
After starting and operating a successful small business in Fort McMurray for 28 years, Dan Sorensen knew he had the experience, acumen and community support to make the change needed to address the extremely challenging local retail environment. However, at 53, taking on a new venture, with all of the challenges associated with launching a new business, was a huge commitment for him and his wife, Debbie, to come to terms with.
Even though I’ve weathered many economic downturns over the years, I knew a change was required.
Starting over would be a huge but necessary risk to secure our future,” said Sorensen. Finding the right business and the right fit would be essential.
The Speedpro Signs franchise opportunity turned out to meet that criteria.
Although it was a risk, it was a calculated risk, because Speedpro Canada offered Dan and Debbie amazing support to its franchisees, says Sorensen. Foundational support included ensuring new team members follow proven plans and strategies; gain a solid understanding of the business model; and, acquire the proper training. “Although this type of initial and ongoing support is essential, it’s also something a lone business person does not always have available,” he said.
Armed with franchisee knowledge and support, Dan’s background in retail, photography, design and building and his extensive repertoire in local business development (including decades of senior leadership with Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce), combined with Debbie’s experience working with regional industry and aboriginal businesses, coalesced to form a solid base for the new Wood Buffalo Speedpro Signs franchise. The extensive leadership, financial and volunteer support Dan and Debbie provided to many local non-profit organizations over the long term also worked in their favour and played a critical role in their success.
Being an active community member for over 35 years allowed us to start off with a great networking circle and an inherited trust from our new customers. It’s been an amazing experience, said Sorensen. The Speedpro Signs shop in Fort McMurray has already chalked up some remarkable accomplishments very early in its tenure, including the 2018 Speedpro Signs Franchise of the Year.
Dan Sorensen (Co-Owner)
President, Past President, Director (30 years) Rotary Club of Fort McMurray
Vice Chair, Board member Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce (10 years)
Chair – Community Futures Wood Buffalo (supporting local entrepreneurs)
Debbie Hahn (Co-Owner)
Chair of the Centre of Hope (Non-Profit Organization supporting homeless patrons)
Director with Community Futures and Chair of Lending Committee
Director with Fort McMurray Construction Association
Wish Granter with Make a Wish Foundation
Founder, Chair, Helping Assist Local Organizations Society (HALOS),