To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General” business plan contest, Dream Vacations is highlighting one winner from each of the past 10 years.
In 2014 Navy Veteran Marci DeWitt found that with an empty nest on the horizon, it was time to pursue her passions. Marci joined the Navy to see the world, and by entering the 3rd annual Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General contest, she could not only sell something she loves, but help others see the world too. Here’s a brief Q&A with Marci.
1. Why did you enter the Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General contest?
My son was graduating high school and it seemed like the perfect time to sell something that I love.
2. What do you like best about owning a Dream Vacations travel agency franchise?
I love everything about travel. I love talking to people about every facet of their trip — be it the flight, hotel, sights, tours and any other part of a trip you can imagine. The job is never boring, and each day is always a learning experience.
3. What is the best part about the support you get from Dream Vacations?
If I find myself in over my head, I can count on the Dream Vacations team to help me find my way out. Technology escapes me most of the time and there is plenty of support to make the learning curve easier, or at least shorten the timeframe. There are so many learning opportunities that I always feel like an expert after I complete the intensive training. Finally, the Dream Vacations executive leadership team is very well thought of in the industry. Every time I attend a travel industry event, I hear people comment about how much they love our CEO Brad Tolkin, our COO Debbie Fiorino and our General Manager Drew Daly. The reputation of our company and our business is so well thought of because of the leadership’s transparency and honesty with the franchisees.
4. How do your military skills translate into franchise ownership?
I worked as a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy. There are many parallels between the healthcare and service industries – always put the patient or customer first. It was an easy transition.
5. What’s your dream vacation?
My dream vacation is always my next one! I love the planning and anticipation of getting away and creating new memories. It doesn’t matter to me if I plan a trip to the next state or halfway around the world, I love to travel.