Dawn Schenkel ended up as a Virtuoso traveler, but her initial connections to Virtuoso came from more of a business angle. Dawn owns Premier W.E.D., a wedding and events planning company based between Nashville and Chicago. She wanted to provide a value-add to her wedding clients in terms of destination weddings or fully-personalized honeymoons, and she eventually connected with Virtuoso advisor Laura Crafton through mutual friends. Laura has Nashville ties as well, and soon began working with Dawn.
“The interesting thing you see in this space is that younger people, especially the age people are getting married, think that travel advising is a transactional thing,” says Dawn. “They think if I connect them with an advisor, that’s a person who will book their plane tickets and hotel rooms. I wanted to work with someone who would always bring that added bonus and that younger, fresher attitude. I found that.”
Laura has helped Dawn’s clients plan honeymoons and weddings in Saint Lucia, Mexico, and other locales. “She can do it all,” says Dawn.
Eventually, Dawn became a traveler as well – Laura organized a trip for her and her husband to Mexico this past summer. They stayed at Nizuc Resort and Spa in Cancun.
“I trust her so much,” says Dawn, “and she knows the properties so well. We came back and people had seen our pictures online and they’re asking us, ‘What in the world? Where WERE you?’ and we’re saying, ‘Oh, that was just Cancun…'”
Dawn admits her husband and her are different people with different interests – and busy schedules.
“One sacred thing for us is to set aside time to travel,” she says. “It helps you reconnect and see the world through a different set of eyes. When you do it with a Virtuoso advisor like Laura, the bonuses are incredible. It benefits the clients of my own business, and it’s been able to benefit me. I’m so grateful.”