In 1985, Grand Circle Travel was a small travel company with $27 million in sales that was losing $2 million a year. Then entrepreneurs Alan and Harriet Lewis acquired it. Today Grand Circle is one of the largest and most successful tour operators in the world with $500 million in annual sales, more than 115,000 travelers each year, three travel brands, and a worldwide organization that is headquartered in Boston with 34 overseas offices and 2,200 people supporting it from 60 countries. Grand Circle’s charitable foundation has donated or pledged $91 million to more than 300 educational, humanitarian, and cultural causes around the world, including 100 schools in 60 communities in 30 countries.

Few companies in this business have managed ...

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