10 Years of “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General”
Meet 2020 Winner Veronica Loewy
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.
Veronica Loewy joined the Army because she admires her father who is an Army Veteran and a successful business owner. She wanted to do something that she never thought she could accomplish. Most importantly, she loves our country. Her father was a travel agent for Air France, her grandmother worked for Cunard Cruise Line and her grandfather organized international hunting tours in Africa and South America. They piqued her curiosity to seek different cultures and inspired her decision to transition into a new career path in the travel industry. In 2020 Loewy decided to follow in her family’s footsteps in the travel industry when she entered the 9th annual Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General contest. Here’s a brief Q&A with Veronica.
1. Why did you enter the Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General contest?
I would not be able to fulfill my highest potential unless I combined my love of travel with entrepreneurship. As a veteran, I risked my life going to war so others can be free. The American Dream is the belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in society where upward mobility is possible for everyone. To me, becoming a business owner is living the American Dream. Building my own business with the support of a highly rated and successful franchisor such as Dream Vacations allows me to pursue my dreams.
2. What do you like best about owning a Dream Vacations travel agency franchise?
What I like best is that I can turn my hobby into a business. For years, I read the travel section of the Chicago Tribune. I attended the Travel and Adventure Show’s presentations by Rick Steves and Pauline Frommer. I enjoyed a seminar at the Discovery Center called “Free Vacations-How to Travel the World for Free.” I studied international history, politics and geography. I do not have to recreate the wheel since I am able to use the Dream Vacations’ systems that they have in place in order to build a successful franchise.
3. What is the best part about the support you get from Dream Vacations?
The best part of the support is senior leadership and operations. They set the tone for the rest of the company. Any time I have attended a meeting, leadership and operations have demonstrated that they are knowledgeable, approachable and very supportive of me. Dream Vacations is an organization that makes me feel welcomed and they will go above and beyond in answering all my questions, providing technical support, exceptional training and more. I have everything that I need to ensure the success of my franchise.
4. How do your military skills translate into franchise ownership?
Owning a franchise requires discipline and determination that the military teaches you. Military veterans go through substantial training thus making it easier to train them on franchise operations and processes. Veterans are taught leadership skills; they understand the importance of systems and they can handle the stress of starting a franchise. Finally, they are committed — they gave it their all when they risked their lives for their country, and will be committed and loyal to the Dream Vacations brand.
5. What’s your dream vacation?
My dream vacation is to travel to the modern Seven Wonders of the World: The Colosseum of Rome, The Rose City of Petra, Taj Majal, The Great Wall of China, Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu and Christ the Redeemer. I have already seen The Colosseum of Rome and Christ the Redeemer. There is something majestic and magical when you are viewing such a historical and massive archeological structure.