CruiseOne awards franchises to five military veterans

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Vets who won CruiseOne franchises were (from left) Larkin Frazier, Curtis Regester, Mattie Johnson, James Eisenmann and Bill Wilson. Third from right is CruiseOne's Tim Courtney.

CruiseOne said that five military veterans will be awarded travel franchises after winning the fourth annual “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General” contest.

The contest was open to former members of any branch of the U.S. military who were retired, off active duty and/or honorably discharged before the contest began in May.

This year’s winners are Navy veteran James Eisenmann of Medina, Ohio; Army veteran Larkin Frazier of Nashville; Army veteran Mattie Johnson of Philadelphia; Air Force veteran Curtis Regester of Fredericksburg, Texas; and Army veteran Bill Wilson of Meredith, N.H.

Each will receive travel franchises valued at $12,700, as well as a week-long training course at CruiseOne’s headquarters in Fort Lauderdale.

In a three-part application process, each applicant had to create a business plan and participate in phone interviews. This year, there were more than 200 applicants.

“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,” said Tim Courtney, vice president of franchise development and ambassador of veteran affairs for CruiseOne.

Since 2010, more than 150 veterans have opened CruiseOne franchises, with a 90% success rate. The company is a member of the International Franchise Association’s VetFran initiative, which seeks to give veterans and their spouses access and opportunities in franchising. CruiseOne has been named a top franchise for veterans by multiple sources, including Military Times, Forbes and USA Today.

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