CEO Update 14 September 2022


I am writing this note on board a Southwest Airlines flight to Honolulu, HI, where the leadership of Historic Naval Ships Association will convene for an annual conference to discuss topics of importance. This year’s theme is centered around preservation, maintenance, and planning for the future.

Our Chief Engineer Mike Getscher is leading the way as chairman of the HNSA Preservation Committee. He’s prepared a short video on where the industry is and what can be done to create sustainability going forward. I will be presenting on strategic planning and discovering our true purpose.

We were honored to welcome on board Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg last week to announce a $20 million federal grant for infrastructure to the Port of Los Angeles. Click here for a video of the press conference.

Volunteer Stan Sato, with support from Mary Ma and the operations team sanded, re-caulked, and sealed a large portion of the deck by the aft gangway prior to this special visit. Hosting events such as these, is mission critical in raising awareness on the importance of Freedom of the Seas to our nation. As a community platform, we are an essential component in support of education, veterans programming, and community resiliency – something that our crew is extremely proud of.

On Sunday, our nation remembered September 11, 2001, a day that we must never forget, as almost 3,000 lives were lost in this senseless act of terrorism. Each one of us has an important role in ensuring important events such as September 11th are never forgotten by our nation.

Unfortunately, I fear that, much like with Pearl Harbor, the lessons learned will slowly fade away rather than remaining in the forefront, preserved by museums such as ours. In preparing for my HNSA presentation, I searched “museum” in Google Trends and the top 5 related queries were “museum of dream space,” “xavier riddle and the secret museum,” “rich girls museum,” “selfie museum,” and “virtual museum tours.” Not one of them was related to history, science, or the military.

Our evolution as a community platform is based on one key priority, long-term sustainability. As the years pass, our nation’s needs and desires change and we have chosen to adapt. Your tremendous support makes this path possible.

The past two weeks included anniversaries for both the end of WWII and September 11th, and now our world will remember September 8th as the day the longest serving British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, passed and King Charles III ascended to the throne. Queen Elizabeth was one of the last of a generation that lived through significant conflict, transformational change, and ultimately a more connected world.

Without your advocacy and support, these significant anniversaries, among others, will be forgotten and I am hopeful you feel the same about our historic ships and Surface Navy. Thank you for joining us on this journey to become the National Museum of the Surface Navy at the Battleship IOWA.

Blessings for an amazing week and September!


Jonathan Williams
President & CEO

Scuttlebutt Podcast | Episode 123

Battleship IOWA is home to thousands of artifacts.  From the ship herself to a chair from NAGATO – the last Japanese battleship, from physical objects to digital images, all of these artifacts must be cataloged and stored.

Dave Way is the ship’s historian and curator, and ten-year volunteer Jim Kurrasch is his “hands and feet.” These two are the core of the team that minds our collection. They are walking encyclopedias who can spout amazing episodes from the ship’s storied past at will.

Join us for a fascinating discussion that includes the stories behind a few of the lesser-known but still intriguing items entrusted to our care.

Find it wherever you get podcasts and here:

• Spotify:
• Apple:
• Google:
• Amazon:
• Buzzsprout:

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.

Save The Date

This year’s Freedom of the Seas Awards Dinner will be held Saturday, October 22nd. Interested in attending or becoming a sponsor for the event? Click here.
NOTE: If you prefer not to donate electronically, please mail your check to:
Attention: Development Department, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90731
Site developed by Wicked Code, Inc. and funded by The Edward E. & Marie L. Matthews Foundation •  Photos by Rick Stipa Photography
Other photos - US Navy Archives and National Archives

Board & Crew Portal