SAN CARLOS – At 72 years old, Ed Hansen looks back on the long professional journey he first embarked upon as a teenager. “Basically, I didn’t want to go to school anymore, so my dad found me a job working for his friend in the flooring industry,” he remembers. “At 15, working and making money appealed to me a lot more than going to school, so I was happy. I guess I could’ve been doing anything—it just happened to be flooring, and I stuck with it.”
After reaching his mid-20s, Ed left his home country of Denmark and came to the United States, where he continued working in the flooring industry. Following 10 years in Washington, D.C., he found an opportunity for advancement that brought him to the Bay Area. Eventually, Ed found himself at Conklin Brothers Contract Division of San Carlos, which he purchased in 1992.
Today, Ed says he’s grateful to still be at it after all these years. “I appreciate the ability to go to work every day—not a lot of people my age are able to do that. I enjoy interacting with people and solving business-related problems. It’s fun and it keeps me sharp.”
A resident of Redwood City, Ed likes to stay active even when he’s not working. “I like to play golf and I also do a lot of walking, just to keep the old motor going,” he says. “There’s a wonderful park in Redwood City where I like taking walks—it’s a nice, peaceful place.” Ed also likes spending time with his wife, Jocelyn, and their three children.
In his life and career, Ed espouses the value of being a proactive problem-solver. “Believe it or not, a problem is a great opportunity to become friends with people,” he says. “A lot of business owners run and hide from problems, but if you deal with problems and take care of customers, they’ll often come back and even recommend you. Either way, if you do everything in your power to please them, you’ll know you did your best, and that’s all you can hope for.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Ed says he’d see the world. “It has certainly crossed my mind to retire, but I’m still enjoying my career. When I do, I’ll probably travel. Besides taking my wife to Europe, I’d like to see Africa and Australia, which are the only two continents I haven’t been to.”