10 Years of “Operation Vetrepreneur”: 2019 Winner Don Shirley

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10 Years of “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General”

Meet 2019 Winner Don Shirley 

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. 

When Army Veteran Don Shirley and his wife Jen won the 8th annual Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General contest in November 2019, little did they know how important their affiliation with Dream Vacations would be when a few months later the travel industry would come to a virtual standstill for more than a year.  Here’s a brief Q&A with Don and Jen.

1. Why did you enter the Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General contest?

We like to travel and wanted to share that passion with other people. Being able to do both of those and own our own business at the same time seemed like a great fit!

2. What do you like best about owning a Dream Vacations travel agency franchise?

We love that we can learn about our world and help others explore those places, all from the comfort of our own home and on our own schedule. The Dream Vacations headquarters team offers great training and support, which makes a huge difference. We truly are in business for ourselves, not by ourselves.

3. What is the best part about the support you get from Dream Vacations?

The Public Relations team was a great help with articles I was writing for a local publication. Additionally, the marketing and training support cannot be matched. The Support Services team managed by Marc Kramer is amazing.

4. How do your military skills translate into franchise ownership?

Self-discipline and time management are both key to owning your own business and to success as an officer in the Army. 

5. What’s your dream vacation?

Our dream vacation is a river cruise in Europe, or to visit Ireland.