CruiseOne/Dream Vacations, the number one travel franchise for military veterans, celebrated Veterans Day early with a special ceremony recognizing military veterans and the 2016 winners of the fifth annual contest “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General.” Over the past five years, CruiseOne/Dream Vacations has awarded 25 free franchises valued at more than $317,000 to deserving military veterans through its annual contest.
“There are so many parallels between the military and franchising that recruiting and supporting military veterans has become a cornerstone of who we are and what we do; it is shaping the future of our organization,” said Tim Courtney, CFE, vice president of franchise development and ambassador of veteran affairs for CruiseOne/Dream Vacations. “We recognize that military veterans are driven by the core values and disciplines they learned in the military and it these values and disciplines that drive them to succeed.”
The annual “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General” contest was open to former members of any of the five branches of the U.S. military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) who are retired, off active duty and/or honorably discharged prior to the contest start date this past May. Candidates participated in a rigorous three-part application process which included creating a business plan, video essay and phone interviews. More than 1,300 people have applied for franchise ownership through Operation Vetrepreneur. This year’s winners are Air Force Veteran Jason Bloomquist of Maple Shade, N.J.; Navy Veteran Cory Jennings of Midland, Texas; Air Force Veteran James Selleh of Brentwood, Tenn.; Air Force Veteran Jay Starks of Sandy, Utah; and Air Force Veteran Chuck Wellman of Beaverton, Ore.
The winners are attending a weeklong training at CruiseOne/Dream Vacations’ world headquarters in Fort Lauderdale and were honored with a special ceremony featuring city, state and county officials, as well as South Florida business leaders and travel industry representatives.
A member of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) VetFran initiative, CruiseOne/Dream Vacations is committed to giving back to the military community and offers many incentive programs to assist veterans in transitioning back to civilian life, including a 20 percent discount off the franchise fee and additional discounts for hiring former members of the U.S. military or active-duty military spouses as associates. In addition, more than 30 percent of the home-based travel franchise owners are military veterans or active-duty spouses.
CruiseOne/Dream Vacations proudly supports military veterans and is consistently recognized by leading industry publications as a military-friendly franchise. Accolades include a number one ranking by Military Times in its “Best for Vets: Franchises” three years in a row, and by Forbes in its “Top 10 Military Friendly Franchise.” The company also has been included on USA Today’s “50 Top Franchises for Military Veterans” and recognition as a “Top Veteran-Friendly Franchise” by Entrepreneur and U.S. Veterans magazines. For the past six years, CruiseOne/Dream Vacations was named to G.I. Jobs magazine’s Military Friendly Franchises® lists, which represents the top 10 percent of the nation’s franchises that are doing the most to support military veterans.
CruiseOne/Dream Vacations is committed to being “Rich in Diversity” and empowers all owners, franchisees and employees to reach their highest potential by leveraging their broad range of talent, experiences, personalities, viewpoints and ideas to generate business growth.