Venture Connectors

CALLING ALL FOUNDERS! Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools you can leverage when it comes to establishing your startup, raising money and positioning your company for growth. Venture Connectors is excited to offer a masterclass in storytelling at our December lunch!

Join us on Wednesday, December 7, to hear from John Waggoner, Founder & Chairman of American Queen Voyages, and President & CEO of HMS Global Maritime. He will tell the incredible story of how he turned his childhood dream into a hugely successful career, growing HMS from one employee to more than 700 today. He will share the pure joy of “being able to play with boats the rest of my life so I will never have to grow up and get a real job.”

John has been actively involved in the passenger vessel industry for over 30 years. He began his career in the sport fishing industry, and has also worked in commercial fishing, offshore oil support vessels, dinner cruise and excursion vessels, casino boats, and car and passenger ferry operations. After serving as Director of Marine Operations for Hornblower Dining Yacht’s fleet of 29 dinner cruise vessels, John co-founded HMS Global Maritime in 1994.

John is a 2017 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Ohio Valley winner. HMS Global Maritime ranked No. 24 on the Business First Fast 50 list in 2017 and was selected to the Inc. 5000 list that same year.

Venture Connectors is excited to share our monthly lunches have moved to Story Louisville! Join us for networking at 11:30 a.m., with the program to follow from noon to 1 p.m. Members attend free, and guests are $40. For questions, email us at