Who We Are

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. In 2018, he was named CLIA’s Elite Cruise Counselor of the Year, their top honor.

Gary loves cruising and travel of all types, and with 15 river cruises already completed, 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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Theresa Graham

V.P. of Retail Sales

Theresa has always loved to travel. At age 21, she spent three years at Clark AFB in the Philippines. Spending most of her early travel days in the US and Canada, Theresa enjoyed Yellowstone, Glacier National 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 were in law. She worked in criminal law, business law, and personal injury law, assisting injured workers until 1998 when she began working with the Oregon Attorney General’s office as a paralegal assigned to parental rights termination cases. During her 17-year career, she was twice awarded the Department of Justice Outstanding Service Award for her work protecting children. Theresa worked hard on cases involving children harmed by alcohol, drugs, and domestic violence, specializing in cases involving horrific abuse.

While pursuing her career in law, Theresa met and married Gary 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 with marketing at trade shows. By 2014, TravelPerks had grown such that Gary and Theresa decided that it was time she make a huge career change and transition to their travel agency. Once the transition was complete, she never looked back! 

Since then, TravelPerks has grown to 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 in Summer 2021, she has completed 30 Ocean Cruises, 15 River Cruises, stayed at many all-inclusive resorts, and enjoyed several guided land tours, meaning she has a wealth of information to share with the potential cruise or land traveler! 

The Team

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!

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Read All Reviews

From Our Clients...

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

Exceptional support through delayed vacation due to COVID

"Theresa was wonderful. We had been planning this Alaskan cruise since 2019 and then COVID hit and then we were still unsure about 2021 so we waited another year. Theresa took care of everything for us, checking in with us every couple of weeks and making sure that we were getting our checklist taken care of. Thank you, Theresa and TravelPerks Dream Vacations, we had a great time and cannot wait for our next cruise."

– Donna H. - Alaska Cruise, 2022

Ready to go again!

"Words can not explain the marvelous time we had on our very first cruise. Theresa is the best travel agent!! There was not a time when I called with questions that my questions went unanswered. Great customer service, very caring travel agents, always there to help, great prices, and last but not least, I'm ready to go again!!!! If anybody ever needs a travel agent this company will be the only one that I would recommend."

– Shanda - Essex, MD

Last-minute Caribbean Christmas Cruise

"We spontaneously decided our family wanted to go on a Caribbean cruise for the Christmas holidays, and with little/no time, turned to TravelPerks Dream Vacations to help select, book and make it happen. We have cruised two times before, with TravelPerks, both times, have been exceptional experiences and this was no different. Matt Kim, my Travel Advisor, was attentive, quickly understood what I was looking for, my parameters, cruise type, our preferences, likes/dislikes and we were able to find and secure the right cruise for us (7 day Norweggian cruise). He gave great suggestions in regard to rooms, room location, meals, excursions, add-on packages and also where we could save money. Leading up to cruise day, we had many questions that came up and Matt answered them all, quickly and expertly. Matt - thank you for making this a wonderful and unforgetable experience for our family!"

– Grace T. - January 2023

Easy to Work With

"We loved how easy it was to work with Montika. She was super flexible and provided us plenty of options, even when we kept switching dates and the amount of people, etc."

– Katie D. - Disney Cruise, March 2023

Assistance every step of the way.

"Although I'm in Florida, Michael Teague assisted us every step of the way. From the beginning of the planning, through the coordinating with family members, getting excursions to fit different family members and even last minute changes to get the best out of this vacation, Michael has been key to us enjoying an amazing family (12) vacation. I will definitely seek him out again!"

– L.F. - March 2023