Austin franchisee Lainey Melnick has been named the 2017 recipient of the OPAL Award for Women, a prestigious accolade given by the travel franchise as part of its March Women's History Month celebrations. As part of the biggest cruise agency in the world, World Travel Holdings, Dream Vacations uses this award to recognize a female franchisee who demonstrates high levels of performance, strong business skills and stellar leadership skills. Winners are also active in local civic organizations and the community, and they are among the top-selling agents for the brand. As part of the award, Melnick will also receive a $100 gift certificate and a three-month fee waiver.
Brand Senior Vice President Debbie Fiorino said the franchise business is proud to honor Melnick with this year's OPAL award because of her passion for helping others within her community and the company and her love for travel.
The Austin franchisee has been with the brand since 2011 and is a passionate advocate for Dream Vacations, acting as mentor for other franchisees and taking part in many activities that demonstrate her leadership abilities. She also donates travel resources to many organizations, most of which support the arts and education, and volunteers with her children.
The Executive Director of Eanes Education Foundation, Kathi Haralson, spoke of the agency's gratitude for all of Melnick's support and help. CE-Bar Fire Department Fire Chief Buddy Crain also congratulated the franchisee for her OPAL award on behalf of the department, noting that she served Travis County Emergency Services District 10 Commissioner for several years. In addition, Melnick also received the True Blue Medallion Award, which was presented to her by Congressman Lloyd Doggett at the Travis County Unity Celebration. This accolade was given in recognition of Melnick's contributions to and efforts on behalf of the Austin community.
Recognized as a top franchise opportunity for women, Dream Vacations is committed to its "Rich in Diversity" goals and is dedicated to empowering agents, employees and franchisees to reach their full potential. This franchise opportunity is available in several markets, and applicants don't need previous travel experience because training is supplied. The franchisee fee is $9,800, and those who qualify for financing may be able to begin their business with just $3,500 down.