October 27, 2011
Christopher Kyte, President
The American Queen Steamboat Company
brings not just the expertise of many people who are intimately involved with river cruising together in one company, but we also have the support of the best firm in the nation when it comes to the actual operation of America Queen
. I had asked our Chairman, John Waggoner, if he wouldn’t mind writing a blog about HMS Global Maritime, a company he founded and for which he is Chairman and CEO, but modesty preventing him from penning this week’s entry. I realized that the reputation of his company and his own deeds would have made it quite awkward to speak of his own considerable achievements. So I will happily do so on his behalf.
John founded HMS Global Maritime after serving as Director of Marine Operations for Hornblower Dining Yachts, a fleet of 29 dinner cruise vessels. 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 since been involved in many and varied segments of the industry including Commercial Fishing, Offshore Oil Support vessels, Dinner Cruise and Excursion vessels, Casino Boats, and Car and Passenger Ferry Operations.
John’s continuing dedication to safety and furthering the development of marine transportation has placed him at the forefront of the industry. He was awarded a Commendation from the Commandant of the US Coast Guard for his substantial and lasting contribution to promoting passenger vessel safety.
He received a Master of Business Administration in June of 1989 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology in June of 1979 from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. He was nominated outstanding MBA of the year, and selected by his peers as the MBA with the highest stress tolerance, a highly appropriate personal trait in the marine industry.
As Chairman of the American Queen Steamboat Company
, John still lives his childhood dream of “playing with boats the rest of his life, so he would never have to grow up and get a real job.”
The company behind the man and the driving force behind our operations is HMS Global Maritime. The HMS Global Maritime management team has deep experience and a long history of success in executing new ventures in the passenger vessel industry. They understand the dynamic nature of the industry including vessel design and construction, stringent ever-changing safety regulations, and the operational mandates that can impede a successful start-up. At the inception of the American Queen Steamboat Company
, HMS Global Maritime provided critical services such as concept development, business plan development, financing, operations planning, vessel conversion and operations management.
With John’s guiding hand, we know we are interviewing and hiring the best-qualified marine crew and assuring the safe, reliable operation of the American Queen
by complying with all federal, state and local agencies.
Both the American Queen Steamboat Company
and HMS Global Maritime have the same overarching goal: to set the marine industry standard for ethics, professionalism and performance. And it is our belief that the only way to accomplish this is to establish an environment that ensures our employees look forward to coming to work each day. This means honoring several core values.
Our crew members and our passengers are our most important assets so we take every possible measure to ensure their safety. Every day. Every voyage.
Every employee has an important role in our success. But only with all employees working together can that success be realized at its highest level which is why we expect every employee associated with the American Queen Steamboat Company
to act with the utmost professional and corporate integrity.
We encourage fresh, new thinking and processes in every aspect of our business as a means of driving our competitive advantage and making certain that every guest is afforded the highest level of service that can be provided in every aspect of our contact with them.
These values are supported by a daily code of conduct that embraces respect and dignity for crew members, travel agents and passengers; the practice of enthusiastic friendliness; and a dedicated work ethic.
The HMS Global Maritime management team's experience and passion for the industry has resulted in a number of unprecedented accomplishments. I know John would be too modest to make a big deal out of their humanitarian efforts which is why I feel it’s my duty to mention them. On January 19, 2010, as activated by the Maritime Administration on a 90-day contract, John’s company was pushed into service aboard the Huakai, a high-speed catamaran that was used in assisting in the Haiti relief efforts after the January 12, 2010 earthquake. HMS crews deployed the vessel in just ten days and began transporting troops, supplies and goods to the people of Haiti. I can’t think of any other company that could have achieved such results. These are the reasons that we’re not only blessed to have John as Chairman of the American Queen Steamboat Company
, but also to have his company, HMS Global Maritime, powering our marine operations.