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Meet the Team

Image Gary E. Smith, MBA, ECCS, CB, HoF

Owner and CEO

Founder: Leisure Travel Benefits Specialist & C.E.O

Gary fell in love with cruising at 14 when he went on his first Caribbean cruise. At 17 he started his first business and eventually moved into the event planning business more than 25 years ago. He founded and grew a convention management firm from scratch to handling over 70,000 attendees annually, including a city-wide convention of over 20,000 each year. As an off-shoot of that work, Gary started doing events on cruise ships. 

Gary is one of the few travel agents with both a meeting planner background and an incredible resume of leisure travel experiences and sales. This varied experience makes him uniquely capable of understanding the needs and desires of his clients.

Prior to re-branding as TravelPerks, Gary grew his leisure travel business to the largest of over 920 Dream Vacations franchises (now almost 1200) in the United States. Along the way, he has won virtually every award possible - including being named one of the top 25 travel agents in America for 2013.

Gary loves cruising and travel of all types, and with 13 river cruises already completed and numbers 14 and 15 already booked, he is a wealth of information on this hot industry segment.

While running TravelPerks Dream Vacations keeps him plenty busy, he also finds time to travel with his wonderful wife Theresa. In addition, he is a college professor teaching small business management and mentoring over 100 small businesses in his community.

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Image Theresa Graham

V.P. of Retail Sales

Theresa has always loved to travel. At age 21, she spentthree years at Clark AFB in the Philippines. Spending most of her early travel days in the US and Canada, Theresa enjoyed Yellowstone, GlacierNational Park, Yosemite Park, Edmonton, Calgary and many more!  She has one amazing daughter, Kathryna Hancock, who is a fashion photographer in Los Angeles.

Theresa's background and early career was in law. She worked incriminal law, business law, personal injury law, and assisted injured workersuntil, in 1998 she began working with the Oregon Attorney General’s office as aparalegal assigned to parental rights termination cases. During her17-year career, she was twice awarded the Department of Justice OutstandingService Award for her work protecting children. Theresa worked hard oncases involving children harmed by alcohol, drugs, and domestic violencespecializing in cases involving horrific abuse.

While pursuing her career in law, Theresa met and marriedGary and so began her love of cruising. Learning more and more about the travel industry, Theresa began attending travel conferences and seminars, as well as assisting withmarketing at trade shows. By 2014, TravelPerks had grown such that Garyand Theresa decided that it was time she make a huge careerchange and transition to their travel agency. Once the transitionwas complete, she never looked back! 

Since then, TravelPerks has grownto the second largest franchise in a network of nearly 1200 agencies! Theresa's great love is talking to people about traveling and helping them realize their own dream vacations. As of this writing inFall, 2018, she has completed 24 Ocean Cruises, 14 River Cruises, stayed atmany all-inclusive resorts, and enjoyed several guided land tours which meansshe has a wealth of information to share with the potential cruise or landtraveler! 


Travel Advisors and More!

We have a wonderful team of travel advisors ready to help you plan your dream vacation. Call our U.S.-based travel agency and get ready to take the adventure of a lifetime  541-349-0036!


Read All Reviews

From Our Clients...

Not a Single Thing To Worry About

"Everything had been taken care of from beginning to end. Not a single thing to worry about once we arrived at the airport until we touched down after our week long vacation. Also, Rachel specifically, everyone was great at making sure we knew what to expect before we left and made sure all questions had been answered." 
– Matthew R. - Hard Rock Punta Cana

Not a Single Thing To Worry About

"TravelPerks was excellent and very efficient to do business with.  All our questions were answered in a timely fashion by phone and email and I liked the fact that all representatives worked with us as a team.  Thank you for organizing an amazing week for us." 
– Lucille D. - RCCL Navigator of the Seas

Booking a Vacation is FUN!

"In today’s environment, booking vacations is hard. Why? There are a million and one websites out there that all have information on them. You can look at peer reviews until you are blue in the face. Is this ship really that bad? Is it the best thing ever? Is the resort awesome? Was it an isolated incident? Who knows.And sorting through all of them and figuring out what is real and what is somebody making a mountain out of a molehill takes time.

Which is where Theresa comes in. We love working with her for our vacations. It generally involves a quick phone call giving her a budget and the vibe we are looking for. And then go on an awesome vacation. No pecking through reviews and pricing that should be written in hieroglyphics. Just straight-up advice and no-nonsense planning.

Prior to using Theresa’s team, I would spend hours planning and routing and reading. Now? I pick the phone up or I email the awesome team and they takecare of me and we get to enjoy our vacation. If you are booking a large group or an intimate vacation, I highly recommend Theresa and her team. Awesome to do business with and they make vacations FUN!"

– Ben - Atlanta, GA

Easy and Stress Free!

"I used TravelPerks to book a family vacation and had the pleasure of working with Theresa. She is very knowledgeable and goes out of her way to get you the best deals. I am a customer with lots of questions and she was extremely patient with me and was always prompt answering all my emails. I definitely recommend using TravelPerks for all your vacation needs and their bonus deals are a plus. Thanks Theresa for making vacation planning easy and stress free!"
– Linda - Sacramento, CA

Special Experience

Appreciated the desire and willingness to do whatever it took to make our trip memorable.  There are always things that can't be helped [flight delays] but it was easy to see the effort put into making the experience special."
– Janet B. - AMABella - Holiday Markets 2014

Worry Free!

"They take care of the customer and always keep you informed when you need to do something or when there is any changes - makes it worry free!" 
– Jeff R. - Crown Princess