From left, Dream Vacations’ Debbie Fiorino; Lara Herrmann, one of two Operation Vetrepreneur winners; and World Travel Holdings’ Brad Tolkin.(photo courtesy of Dreeam Vacations)
As part of its “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General” contest – now in its 11th year – Dream Vacations awarded two military veterans with free travel franchises.
The winners are Army Veteran Crystal Ureta of Kingwood, Texas, and U.S. Coast Guard Veteran Lara Herrmann of Albany, Oregon.
Ureta was also the grand prize recipient of a complimentary stateroom for Dream Vacations’ 2023 National Conference aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Celebration.
“Our military veterans and their families have sacrificed so much so that we can live the American Dream. Therefore, it’s a privilege to be able to support their entrepreneurial dreams,” said Drew Daly, senior vice president and general manager of Dream Vacations. “As I do every year, I am amazed at the quality of candidates. With the travel industry booming, I can’t wait to see what this year’s recruits accomplish.”
The franchise contest was available to U.S. members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Space Force and Coast Guard who are retired, no longer on active duty and/or honorably discharged prior to the July contest start date.
“Candidates participated in a rigorous three-part application process which included creating a business plan, video essay and phone interviews. Nearly 4,000 people have applied for franchise ownership through Operation Vetrepreneur since 2012,” Dream Vacations said.
“I am ecstatic that I was chosen as one of the winners of a Dream Vacations Franchise,” said Herrmann. “It’s great to know that my military service is appreciated and that my years of being an entrepreneur helped get me to this point. I love travel, and I already feel so supported by the Dream Vacations staff to propel this opportunity into a huge success. I can’t wait to get started.”
“All military veterans who purchase a Dream Vacations travel agency business receive a 30 percent discount off the initial franchisee fee,” Dream Vacations said. “Veterans also receive an enlistment package valued at more than $5,000, which includes waived administrative fees valued at $1,350.”
Dream Vacations is part of World Travel Holdings.
For the latest travel news, updates and deals, subscribe to the daily TravelPulse newsletter.