TMB E62: Danielle Benitez – Jennifer English – Paul Hardesen

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About Danielle Benitez 

My name is Danielle Gaetana Benitez born and raised in Tucson!  I am married with four children.   

I started Gaetanas Hair salon 12 years ago in a little shop on 22nd between Wilmot and Craycroft.   

Now I have gone from 3 stylists to 14 with the shop now located at 22nd and Camino seco.   

I’m in the process of building the next location out in Vail!  
I have always believed in following your dreams.   

Through the years with hard work and dedication I am achieving just that.   

About Jennifer English  

Jennifer is a multi-award-winning broadcaster, writer, Hospitality Industry consultant and culinarian who is the founder and host of the Food & Wine Radio Network, and host of Friends in The Business.  

Her in-depth interviews and intellectual musings on the craft, history and culture of all areas of food and drink have earned Jennifer the prestigious Gracie Allen Award from The Foundation of American Women in Radio & Television and The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Radio Show. 

Jennifer served on the Board of the New Orleans Culinary & Cultural Preservation Society, and was proud to participate on the very first Seminar Panel at Tales of the Cocktail.  
Jennifer is a co-founder of the World Margarita Championships, and is a Founding Editor of Tea Journey Magazine. 

Jennifer developed and launched the Let’s Make A Meal cooking segments for NBC affiliate KVOA TV-4 and the Around the Table, “Bottoms Up Radio Hour”, and R.S.V.P. Radio Shows.

Jennifer is delighted to welcome friends, old and new, to her table to cultivate conviviality. 

About Paul Hardeson

Paul S. Hardersen, Ph.D. Dr. Hardersen has a wide-range of experience in travel, start-up business, scientific research, and college-level teaching. Dr. Hardersen honorably served in the U.S. Navy, earned undergraduate degrees at Iowa State University, and graduate degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In addition, he was awarded a university-wide professional/graduate teaching award in 2013 by the University of North Dakota and was also honored by having an asteroid named after him (8140 Hardersen) by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Dr. Hardersen currently serves as a Certified Travel Associate (CTA) with The Travel Institute and has travel agency accreditation through CCRA. Business experience includes successfully completing a Newchip crowdfunding accelerator program in 2019; he is currently active in the Startup Tucson business community. Currently, efforts focus on developing Naked Pirate Travels into a disruptive, differentiable, and successful travel business.

Naked Pirate Travels is a nautically-inspired, environmentally-focused travel company that is creating a worldwide community of travelers with a passion and dedication to exploring and protecting the oceans of the world.  

Our Company Mission, which will achieve our Vision, includes the following components: 

  1. Sailing Sojourns. Thematic, tall ship experiences. Our first sail will be February 2023 and it’s a unique, pirate-themed sail in The Bahamas. Read more at 
  2. Island & Coastal Adventures. These are custom-made, hosted, small group travel to select tropical islands and coastal communities. So, far we have Maine, St. Lucia, and the Cook Islands. We’re developing a Florida Keys and New Orleans experience in the next several months. These begin Summer 2022. Read more at: 
  3. Luxury Cruises. While we can book any cruise line, we are focusing on the small ship, luxury cruise segment of the industry. Read more here: 
  4. Boat and RV brokerage services. I am a broker for POP Yachts and POP RVs, and I can help people buy and sell their used boats and RVs. Read more at:  
  5. Travel Agency Services. We are an accredited travel agency and can book people on travel wherever they want to go. Read more at: 

We began generating revenue in March and it has mostly been in the boat/RV side of the business. This is a much better start than Trouvaille ever saw. There is also some life in the travel industry, but that will take longer to rebound as the year progressed.  

I do have a long-term goal with this — which is to obtain a $25 million investment to purchase and operate a fleet of five tall ships. Our Sailing Sojourns are really going to be the public face of the company eventually and there is a real opportunity to gain a bit part of that market as it is small and has contracted due to COVID. Our thematic activities also make us unique. We do much more than just island hop across the Caribbean! 


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