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08/09/2020 Update

IOWA Family:

We are approaching the end of the 2020 summer season. Usually during this time of year, we are in full swing of planning LA Fleet Week in front of the ship. This year’s Fleet Week has been postponed, but the team of partners is working on a virtual Fleet Week over Labor Day Weekend. September 2nd will be the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII and we will host a virtual program to recognize this important date. Stay tuned for more information.

Last week an article came out in the local newspaper titled “Pandemic pain prompts Battleship Iowa CEO to voluntarily cut his own pay”. I have to admit that it was odd seeing a story about what I feel is necessary to ensure our organization survives into the future. While this article was primarily about my decisions to ensure our survivability, I also want to recognize David Canfield for also participating in the same arrangement. This decision is representative of the commitment of the entire leadership team and yet another step in our recovery plan.

Our planning process is currently targeting spring of 2021 before we see some stability in program revenue. Our program revenue will continue to be limited until students return to the classroom, theme parks open to guests, airlines are in full swing, and cruise lines are sailing the open oceans with passengers. This is why your support is incredibly important at this juncture!

We have continued our transition to virtual programming in education, veterans, and community. We began this transition in late March, as we were tracking the impact of the virus across the world. Our National Museum of the Surface Navy Plank Owner program was released about 30 days ago with 654 people signing up to participate. Have you signed up for your Plank Owner certificate yet?

We are thankful for the tremendous support from individual, foundation, and corporate donors alike over the past several months and our Operation Crush Covid campaign. We have not only received cash contributions, we have all received numerous offers from vendors for pro-bono and in-kind products and services. When you couple this with the tremendous contributions by our volunteer crew, it is humbling to see the outpouring of support and love for the ship.

On the attendance front, we remain relatively flat week over week and still approximately 90% down year over year. This doesn’t take into account the loss of retail, events, overnights, and ancillary revenue. Thankfully our expense cuts and your contributions continue to help close the gap.

We have been tracking several articles on Covid treatment and vaccine front. Recently there has been some great progress on the treatment front. I personally hope that these come to market sooner than later for the people that desperately need them and our economy.

In closing, my best wishes for a safe and incredible week! Please let me know if I can be of any assistance and thank you for your support!

Jonathan Williams
President & CEO

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