Marisa Nuñez, Marisa Hair, Long Island City, NY

Monique FitzPatrick and Vince Yeck

Travursity LLC

Lake Mary, Florida

“You’re helping people create happiness and memories. Experiences are so much more valuable than things.” –Monique FitzPatrick

Planes, Trains and Gelato

“You can’t truly embrace a place until you’ve been.” This is what Monique learned in 2005, on a 10-day trip around Europe. She ate gelato in Italy, she stood on her tip toes to try to get a glance of the Mona Lisa over the massive crowds, she walked through the Colosseum in Rome, and she stood at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower and looked up. While she had learned about all of these places in school, nothing could prepare her for the reality of being there. “That trip opened my eyes so greatly to the rest of the world.”

Meanwhile, Vince had been traveling since he was a young child. As the son of an army pilot, “I spent a lot of time on planes, trains and cruise ships,” he explained. Vince attended 12 different schools in his twelve-year grade term. In third grade alone, he attended schools in Alabama, Los Angeles and Turkey. He rode in boats across the Mediterranean Sea and flew in a military plane from Turkey to Saudi Arabia. Exploring the world with his family only encouraged him to continue. “That laid the foundation for why I enjoy travel.”

A New Adventure

Eventually both found work as travel agents after their love of travel drew them away from their corporate jobs. Monique and Vince both quickly saw the need for events in which travel agents could network with and learn from travel companies. This inspired them to start a new venture together – Travursity Travel Showcase. “It was fate. We were both looking for a fulfilling venture, to branch out and find ourselves.”

Monique and Vince quickly found out that running Travursity wouldn’t be easy. While they both had experience owning their own travel agencies, this was a new kind of business. They were ready for the challenge. “Everything is constantly a new experience,” Vince explained, “it’s a new way for us to improve.” They learned to use their own travel experience to identify what their clients needed, and to strengthen relationships that way.

Monique and Vince have had support along the way. Running shows required capital, which they turned to their bank to navigate. Wells Fargo recognized them as a great fit for Ascendus, where they received a loan to cover the essential operating costs of running Travursity events, including marketing, travel expenses, and catering. “Our experience with Ascendus was wonderful. It was great, very informative, every step of the way,” Monique said of the support they received.

The Trip Never Ends

Despite the challenges they’ve faced, entering the travel industry has brought both Monique and Vince absolute fulfillment. “You’re helping people create happiness and memories. Experiences are so much more valuable than things,” Monique explained. “We’re pursuing the dream that we love.” Even with their busy schedules, the couple also still manages to travel recreationally. They’re excited to watch Travursity grow and to continue creating lasting memories, for themselves and for others.

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