Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation
Our mission is to impact the lifesaving capabilities, and the lives, of local heroes and their communities.
Founded in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was founded in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Firehouse Subs founders, Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen, traveled to Mississippi where they fed first responders as well as survivors. As they traveled back to Florida exhausted and exhilarated, they knew we could do more and the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was born.
Provide first responders with lifesaving equipment.
Examples: Vehicle extrication tools, automated external defibrillators (AEDs), bunker gear, thermal imaging cameras, automated chest compression systems, vehicle stabilization struts, bulletproof vests, all-terrain vehicles, fire hoses.
Provide prevention education tools to the public about the importance of public safety in order to prevent disasters in the home and community.
Examples: Fire extinguisher training systems, prevention education materials, programming initiatives to focus on issues such as DUI and distracted driving education, carbon monoxide poisoning, CPR training and accessibility and other relevant safety issues.
Provide financial resources or continued education to individuals pursuing a career in public safety.
Examples: Partner with schools on scholarship programs for individuals pursuing/advancing their career in the public safety sector.
Provide assistance and resources during and after natural and man-made disasters such as fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.
Examples: Feed first responders and survivors and provide lifesaving equipment to first responders to help them better prepare for any future disasters.
Benefit men and women of the military who have served their country in any of the branches of the United States Uniformed Services.
Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation
Chris Sorensen and Robin Sorensen founded the nonprofit Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation in 2005. Since then, their commitment to philanthropy has advanced the Foundation's mission as they continue to be the largest individual donors.
Board President and Co-Founder
For Robin, his proudest accomplishment is co-founding Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation in 2005. He sits on the Foundation's board of directors and approves donations of lifesaving equipment and funding for first responders on a quarterly basis. Robin's philanthropic heart continues to advance the mission of the Foundation.
With more than a decade of experience in the fire service, Chris co-founded the nonprofit Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. Knowing personally the needs of first responders, Chris is committed to making a difference for the men and women in the fire service and public safety through his philanthropy and board service.
Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation
Bill Hart co-founded Retirement Strategies, Inc. in 1994 after working as a bank vice president and life insurance agent. In 2018, he joined Wealth Enhancement Group, one of the nation's leading independent financial planning and investment firms, through a merger with Retirement Strategies. Bill also supports his community by serving as the Treasurer for the Highlands Precious Gifts Preschool. He formerly taught as an Adjunct Professor in the college of Accounting and Finance at the University of North Florida. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife of 40 years. He has two daughters and enjoys fishing, boating and traveling
Randy White is a Florida native and has been involved in the fire service since the age of 16 where he served as a volunteer with St. Johns County Station #1. He then went on to start his career with the City of Jacksonville where he established the rank of Lieutenant and was an active member with Florida Task Force Team 5. After 26 years with the City of Jacksonville he began working for Clay County Fire Rescue as a Firefighter with the Special Operations team. Randy continues to be a member of the Task Force team 5 and is a trained Medical Specialist and Swift Water Technician. He also has all the required USAR Certifications. Randy spends his free time spending time with his wife and daughters.
Originally from the Chicago area, Ed Schultz is currently a finance executive for a group of insurance companies. He has over 40 years of experience as an accountant, auditor and consultant, including 32 years at Kemper Corporation. Ed lives with his wife of 37 years, Sue. He has two sons and enjoys golf and traveling.
Carlos Aviles proudly serves as fire chief for the City of St. Augustine, Florida. Carlos began his career in the fire service in 2005 after returning from active military service as a military police officer. Carlos is still active in the U.S. Army Reserve with combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his time in the fire service, Carlos was certified in HAZMAT, aerial operations, marine rescue, fire safety inspections, pump operations, and worked as a fire service instructor. In addition to his role as fire chief, Carlos also serves as the emergency management coordinator for the City. In his free time, he likes to fish and coach youth football, but most important to him are his wife, Jennifer, and their three children.
Robin Gainey serves the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department as a district chief for the department's technical rescue team. Robin received a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the University of North Florida in 2013. Robin is currently serving on the executive board of Local 122 of the International Association of Firefighters as Sergeant of Arms and serves on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Respiratory Protection Committee. Robin is a native of Jacksonville, Florida and has lived in the area his entire life. He enjoys spending time with his wife and three children.
Chris Holmes joined the Firehouse Subs team in 1998 as a franchise owner in Tallahassee, Florida. In 2001, Chris became a Firehouse Subs Area Representative for the Northwest Florida, South Georgia and Southeast Alabama regions. Prior to Firehouse Subs, Holmes spent over 15 years in a variety of leadership roles with different restaurant concepts. Chris enjoys spending time with family including his wife, Lisa, his three children, and two grandchildren.
Don Fox is Chairman of Firehouse Subs®, where he supports President Mike Hancock and the rest of the brand. A restaurant industry veteran of 50 years, Fox has spent two decades at Firehouse Subs, including serving as President and CEO from 2009 to 2023. Under his leadership, the restaurant brand grew to more than 1,245 restaurants in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, and is recognized as one of the best franchises in the country. Prior to his time at Firehouse Subs, Fox worked for sister brand Burger King® for 23 years. Fox sits on various boards in the business and non-profit communities, including Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation and National Restaurant Association. Named Operator of the Year by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2011, Fox joined a long list of restaurant luminaries. He was also ranked No. 1 on FastCasual.com’s 2013 Top 100 Movers & Shakers list, receiving the prestigious Silver Plate award from the International Food Manufacturers Association.
Passionate about traveling to baseball games with his family, Fox is also a trumpeter, historian and a published author. His most notable works are Patton’s Vanguard – The United States Army Fourth Armored Division (published in 2003) and The Final Battles of Patton’s Vanguard (2020).
FAVORITE SUB: Engineer®
Mike Hancock was appointed President of Firehouse Subs in 2023 following a year with the brand as its Chief Operating Officer (COO). Prior to joining Firehouse, he was the COO of Tim Hortons from October of 2018 to April of 2022. Hancock first joined RBI in 2013 holding various leadership positions for Burger King. In Europe he led the Southern Europe, Turkey, and Africa business, and in the United States he led both field operations and restaurants development. Hancock has an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and received his undergraduate business degree from Florida Atlantic University.
Shawn McCormick is a Lieutenant for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Emergency Preparedness Unit. During his 27 years of service with the Sheriff's Office in addition to working in the Patrol and Enforcement Division, he has served as the Lieutenant over several Homeland Security Division Units. He also coordinated the start up the Department's Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS/Drone) Unit and was a part of the Florida Regional Domestic Security Task Force (RDSTF). Shawn holds a certification as a Marine Facility Security Officer and currently coordinates the Sheriff's Office secondary employment security assignments for the Jaxport Marine Seaports and Cruise Terminal. He is a certified instructor for the Department in Firearms, DISC and Situational Leadership.
Prior to starting his career with the Sheriff's Office, he graduated from Florida State University and worked as a Fraud Investigator with the state of Florida. He has been married for 27 years and has four children. He and his family enjoy a variety of sports and outdoor activities as well as volunteering for several community organizations.
Brady Rigdon has served as the Nassau County Fire Rescue Department Fire Chief since 2017. Prior to becoming Fire Chief, Brady spent 26 years with the Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department, retiring as a Division Chief. During that time, he spent four years working as the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation’s Procurement Specialist. Brady received a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the University of North Florida in 2013. Brady enjoys spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren.
Windy Griffin joined the Firehouse Subs team in 2010 as a franchise owner of multiple locations in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area. Prior to Firehouse Subs, Windy spent 15 years operating a medical practice management company. Windy enjoys spending time with and working alongside her husband Jerry, as well as supporting her local community.
Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation
As Executive Director, Robin Peters helped establish the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation as a highly respected and effective national non-profit entity. Known as the “heart” of Firehouse Subs, the Foundation provides lifesaving equipment and resources to the first responders in communities served by the restaurant chain and beyond through a quarterly grant-making process.
Director of Foundation Development
Meghan Vargas holds a B.S. in Communication, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the University of North Florida. With nearly 10 years of experience with the Foundation, she has advanced from Community Programs Manager to Development Manager to her current position, where she works to increase donations through development campaigns, public relations, special events and strategic partnerships.
Director of Marketing & Communications
Jacquelyn Kotos graduated with a B.A. in Communications from Flagler College in 2011. Since joining the Foundation team in 2012, she has held many positions, including Senior Manager of Foundation Programs, Foundation Programs Manager and Foundation Coordinator. Prior, she interned with the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation.
Director of Finance & Compliance
Gina Brown received a degree in Finance from Lindenwood University in 1998. Since joining Firehouse Subs in 2011, Gina has risen from a financial services accountant to her current position, where she can exercise her skills in finance management, budgeting and nonprofit organizations.