John Shuder

1978 - Certified
1981 - Founded Underwater Connection in Menomonee Falls
1983 - Master Scuba Diver Trainer

I became interested in scuba diving in 1978 while looking for something different to do. I looked into scuba diving lessons. I was hooked, couldn't stop taking additional scuba classes, and wanted to learn everything about diving. Due to my fascination in scuba diving I found myself hanging around the dive store every weekend. Because I was there all the time, they asked if I could start helping out. I became totally fascinated with the dive industry and came up with a lot of new ideas. At that point, several friends and I got together and the Underwater Connection was born. It was suggested to have a 10 year plan, mine was to work at the store full time and dive the shipwrecks at Truk Lagoon. Both these dreams were realized after four months. (Had to learn to dream bigger.)

1979-1986 - Commercial Diving with International Marine Systems
I was contracted for several commercial jobs including Milwaukee deep tunnel project, airplane and boat recovery, body and evidence recovery. I did these jobs while starting the store. These are the most asked for stories !!!

1983-1988 - Caribbean operation in Nassau, Bahamas - New Providence Divers - now know as Stuart Cove's
With my full time job now being scuba diving, many opportunities became available. The opportunity to open a second dive store in Nassau, Bahamas was an exciting prospect I never dreamed of. Opening an international business was a very exciting experience. Because the Bahamas is a well known diving destination, this was a unique chance to meet people and make friends from all over the world. During our time in the Bahamas, movies like 'Jaws' and 'Splash' were shot on location by us. (This was really cool to see how movies are made.) After five years, I decided that I wanted to be in Wisconsin to raise a family and focus on the Menomonee Falls Store.

2002 and 2004 - opened new locations in Delafield and Hales Corners
I have been fortunate to be surrounded by great people who have the same passion for scuba diving which allowed me to open two more locations in southeast Wisconsin: Delafield (2002) and Hales Corners (2004). Full-time dedicated staff and loyal customers have been the main ingredients for the growth and the success of Underwater Connection over the last 30 years.

Additional points of interest:
Over the years I have certified many of the police and fire rescue dive teams in Southeastern Wisconsin. I was approached to help organize the startup of the new Washington County Dive Rescue Team.
Support Milwaukee County Zoo with review of Safety in regards to underwater work at the zoo.
Currently, I am working with Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin as their liaison for scuba diving education and support for their aquariums.
Lecturing at local high schools is important to me to help influence the youth of tomorrow.

The most satisfaction I have is helping someone who has had apprehension about learning to scuba dive and work with them to become a certified scuba diver. It is rewarding to me to help them succeed. I am very humbled by all of the clients who have accepted my formula for offering scuba lifestyle to them and their families. You are the reasons I am able to have 3 locations. I value the many friendships I have made over the 30 years of being in business and look forward to making many new friends over the coming years.