Veterans won CruiseOne’s annual “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General” contest and recognized at ceremony
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (October 5, 2015) – Five military veterans with a passion for travel were recently recognized as the 2015 winners of the fourth annual “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General” contest. Hosted by nationally recognized military-friendly cruise franchise CruiseOne®, which is part of World Travel Holdings, the world’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company, Operation Vetrepreneur awards free travel franchises each valued at $12,700 to five deserving U.S. military veterans, for a total value of $63,500.
“Every year I am impressed by the high caliber of candidates who are passionate about travel and want to open their own franchise, and this year was no exception,” said Tim Courtney, CFE, vice president of franchise development and ambassador of veteran affairs for CruiseOne. “Franchising is a popular career choice for military veterans because many of their skills and traits from the military translate well with business ownership, such as integrity, management and thinking under pressure to name a few. We are so honored to be able to host Operation Vetrepreneur year-after-year and give back to those who have given so much for our country.”
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 and phone interviews. More than 200 applicants from 45 different states submitted applications for “Operation Vetrepreneur.” This year’s winners included Navy Veteran James Eisenmann of Medina, Ohio; Army Veteran Larkin Frazier of Nashville, Tenn.; Army Veteran Mattie Johnson of Philadelphia, Penn.; Air Force Veteran Curtis Regester of Fredericksburg, Texas; and Army Veteran Bill Wilson of Meredith, N.H.
The winners are attending a weeklong training at CruiseOne’s world headquarters in Fort Lauderdale and were honored with a special ceremony featuring city, state and county officials, as well as cruise line representatives.
A member of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) VetFran initiative, CruiseOne 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. CruiseOne’s military veteran ownership has a 90 percent success rate with more than 150 veterans opening a franchise since 2010. In addition, more than 30 percent of the home-based cruise franchise owners are military veterans or active-duty spouses.
CruiseOne proudly supports military veterans and is consistently recognized by leading industry publications as a military-friendly franchise. CruiseOne’s accolades include a number one ranking by Military Times in its “Best for Vets: Franchises” two 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 five years, CruiseOne 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 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.
Photo Cutline (Left to Right): Army Veteran Larkin Frazier of Nashville, Tenn.; Air Force Veteran Curtis Regester of Fredericksburg, Texas; Army Veteran Mattie Johnson of Philadelphia, Penn.; Tim Courtney, CFE and vice president of franchise development for CruiseOne; Navy Veteran James Eisenmann of Medina, Ohio; and Army Veteran Bill Wilson of Meredith, N.H.