|L-R: Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter, Vice President of Franchise Development for CruiseOne and Cruises Inc., Tim Courtney, ‘Operation Vetrepreneur’ winners Thomas Lockett, Bill Smith, Isaac Ingram Shannon Lee and Deana Lee, Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler and Senior Vice President of CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. Dwain Wall.|
CruiseOne, a leading travel agency franchise, welcomed the winners of its 2012 “Operation Vetrepreneur - Become Your Own General” contest to Fort Lauderdale for seven days of intensive training. The program supports returning veterans by helping them start up their own businesses. The program won recognition by Fort Lauderdale Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler and Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter.
The “Operation Vetrepreneur” contest, launched Memorial Day 2012, targeted military veterans seeking assistance in beginning their civilian careers. More than 300 “Operation Vetrepreneur” submissions from 40 states were received before Thomas Lockett, Bill Smith, Shannon & Deana Lee and Isaac Ingram were named winners. One additional winner, Contrenia Fluker of Fort Monroe, Virginia, was also named a winner. Fluker will attend training next month.
“Hundreds of thousands of men and women are in the process of returning home from deployment, searching for the right next step for them, and many are looking for a unique and exciting opportunity,” said Dwain Wall, senior vice president and general manager of CruiseOne. “CruiseOne is honored to support this group by helping them find ways to leverage the resources they have acquired during their military careers as they move toward their next mission as business owners.”
The winners all have military backgrounds: Lockett and Smith served in the Army, Ingram and Fluker in the Navy and Shannon and Deana Lee served in the Air Force. Upon completion of this week’s training, each will return home to launch their own CruiseOne business, beginning operations as a full-service travel professional.
CruiseOne is also a partner with ASTA in their Joining Forces Travel Industry Coalition.