CEO Update 12 October 2022


Your museum has experienced an incredible couple of weeks, capstoned by the check presentation from Assemblymember Mike Gipson for $6.7 million from the State of California to the National Museum of the Surface Navy at the Battleship IOWA. 

This support from State Assemblymember Gipson is incredible. It will help us continue our important mission of connecting the public with our waterfront and the Surface Navy’s mission of ensuring free flow of commerce, communications, humanitarian assistance, and a strong and vibrant economy.

I briefly returned from my family vacation to the state of Iowa for this momentous and historic occasion last Tuesday. I had an opportunity to visit with board members, supporters, and sites during my family’s visit to the state of Iowa – a state we owe a debt of gratitude to for saving the Battleship IOWA from the scrapyards. 

We decided to visit Iowa so that our oldest son could tour the University of Iowa in Iowa City, as a potential school to attend. The staff and students at the university welcomed us with open arms and were excited to learn about our connection to the ship. My wife spent a great deal of money at the Hawkeye store picking up ‘Iowa’ gear for the entire family. I would say that 50% or more of our wardrobe at this point has the word Iowa somewhere on it. I think it’s time in 2023 to create a special line of Surface Navy Museum gear to round out the wardrobe. 

A big thank you to our board members and supporters, including Riverside Casino and Resort for your generous hospitality during our visit. Of course, no trip would be complete without a visit to museums like the World War I Museum, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, Des Moines Living History Farm, and a special tour by our friends at the State Historical Building of Iowa.

I fly a great deal throughout our nation to visit with supporters and my greatest enjoyment comes from hearing your thoughts and feedback. I often hear about the incredible work that our crew continues to do and how far we have come in such a short period of time.

In the coming weeks, I will visit with a broad range of supporters and partners throughout the nation, as we formulate our strategy for 2023 and beyond. During these flights, I focus on plans and presentations to start the conversation with the team to help formulate strategy and objectives to achieve our organization’s goals. It is in large part due to the extraordinary efforts of our crew that we have made the progress we have in such a short period.

As we edge closer to our opening of the Surface Navy Museum in 2025, we continue to expand our initiatives nationally in innovative and inspirational ways. This initiative organically developed with a small team of passionate ambassadors and advocates throughout the nation, and we are looking to scale this up in the coming weeks and months with the addition of support staff. Connecting with each of you and gaining your support is a top priority, as this museum is about the impact the Surface Navy makes on all Americans across our country.

On Saturday, October 22nd, we will host our second annual Freedom of the Seas Awards aboard the Battleship IOWA at the Port of Los Angeles. We will welcome supporters from across the nation, as they come to celebrate four patriots who exemplify the core principles of the Surface Navy.

We are extremely grateful for this year’s event sponsors, which include Lockheed Martin, Marathon Petroleum, UPS, the Port of Los Angeles, Collier Walsh Nakazawa, and Surface Navy Association (for a full list, see the Freedom of the Seas page on our website).

Earlier in the day, in affiliation with the Surface Navy Association Battleship IOWA Chapter, we will have a special presentation by RADM Samuel J. Cox, Director of Naval History and Heritage Command. If you are interested in attending this event, there will be a virtual and limited seating in-person option available. Stay tuned for more details.

On Saturday, October 29th from 6:00pm to 10:00pm, we will welcome numerous families aboard the Battleship IOWA for our annual “Halloween STEMebration.” Our education team puts together this annual event which presents crafts, games, candy, and more aboard the ship. We expect that this year’s event will continue to be popular, and it is no-cost to the community, in large part due to the generosity of sponsors including Marathon Petroleum, SoCal Gas Company, and donations from our crew. 

Thankfully, we can continue offering impactful programs in our core pillars of education, veterans, and community resiliency in large part due to financial support from individual and corporate donors across our nation.  We have numerous opportunities available to support our programs and services including cash, in-kind, bequests, volunteerism, and more.  To learn more about our donation programs available, please click the button below.

My best wishes and blessings for a safe and enjoyable week!  

Jonathan Williams
President & CEO

Scuttlebutt Podcast | Episode 126

How do we think of preservation when it comes to Battleship IOWA?

There are multiple layers to the question. We’re a museum, so we have to conserve the ship as an artifact, but we need the functionality of a modern office space. We have to respect the legacies of three generations of sailors (WWII, Korea, the Cold War), who served aboard. We have to keep things relevant for future generations. And we have create connections that pique interest across wide swaths of the population.

In this video we discuss our thought process on how we care for, preserve, and plan to ensure this incredible vessel is a fascinating must-see years into the future.

Find it wherever you get your podcasts or here:

Or click below to access the YouTube version.

Support Veterans | Get Coffee

You’re just a few clicks away from supporting veterans and enjoying the rich, bold, smooth taste of Don Francisco’s Coffee!

Don Francisco’s Coffee is helping us meet our goal of raising $25,000 by the end of 2022 in support of Veterans West, the military and veterans affairs department of Pacific Battleship Center. Click the link below to learn how your donation can result in coffee being delivered to your door for a year.

NOTE: If you prefer not to donate electronically, please mail your check to:
Attention: Development Department, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA 90731

Thank you to our 2021 donors for their generosity and support. Want to know how your donations are making a difference? Check out our ANNUAL REPORT here.

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Other photos - US Navy Archives and National Archives

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