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CEO Update 22 March 2022

We Need Your Help To Keep IOWA Afloat


Battleship IOWA serves as an iconic community platform for hundreds of thousands of students, service members, and community stakeholders each year. The expansion of our mission to become the National Museum of the Surface Navy enhances our ability to serve those who come aboard, and enables us to reach an even broader, multi-generational audience. 

However, without your help, none of that will be possible. 

IOWA’s hull is deteriorating. The naturally-corrosive reaction at the the surface of the water is causing craters to develop in the ship’s hull – called “pitting” – and rust has formed beneath the exterior surface, eroding its structural integrity.  

We have a goal of raising $100,000 by Memorial Day to support the preservation of IOWA’s hull and proactively address the growing damage. To donate toward this urgent need, please click the button below. 

As a Plank Owner of the National Museum of the Surface Navy, your donation will accrue Haze Gray points, redeemable for tours, event space rentals, and more. You can find more information about becoming a Plank Owner further down in this communication. 

Click the button below to donate. You can also help by sharing it with your friends!

Update from CEO Jonathan Williams



This week’s message begins with great weather on the west coast! The ship is abuzz with activity and our crew continues to remain focused on our priorities while having a good time. The preservation and maintenance of a historic ship is challenging, difficult, and enjoyable – all at the same time. The constant shifting of priorities coupled with reacting to critical needs can sometimes be daunting, but it becomes fun and exciting when you have a passionate group of staff and volunteers.

Annually, our board reviews our priorities and goals to set the path over the next twelve months and adjust for subsequent years. In doing so, the team presents plans and strategies to achieve those aims with a goal of creating a focused path with limited diversions. A focused team is a successful team, which is why I couldn’t be prouder of the crew that continues to achieve the objectives set forth for your museum.

Goal setting and priorities are driven by you, our supporters; your thoughts and comments influence the future of the organization and museum. We receive several emails weekly with input and our crew listens to each of your ideas and concerns. Thank you for sharing your insights and being a part of our museum community.

It was your feedback that incited us to identify three pillars of programming: education, veterans, and community. You provided us the inspiration to think bigger, ultimately leading us to become the National Museum of the Surface Navy.

Striving to be innovative, making smart decisions, and responsibly managing our limited resources are core to seeking alternative ways to maintain the IOWA and build the Surface Navy Museum. Being open and looking at situations from diverse views is what makes our team different – something with which you should be proud to be associated.

Our hull preservation strategy formed with the goal to be proactive versus reactive in our efforts to maintain the ship over the long haul. We explored solutions and challenges. That exploration included other industries and products that have innovated 100-year life coatings and maintenance of steel structures in salt water. We read through volumes of research, tested products, and analyzed potential solutions to not only restore but to maintain the core foundation of the ship – the hull.

Your support is critical to prevent a catastrophe from happening to your ship and museum. You can help us stay ahead of the curve and ensure that the ship remains an icon of the Surface Navy and America for the future.

It is not only your cash donation that matters, but also your in-kind, volunteer, and legacy support that matters. Underwriting support for labor and materials is essential and we are thankful to the several donors that have stepped forward with their commitment (financial, legacy gifts, volunteer, and in-kind) to date. You can support our mission by donating online. To explore different needs to support, like our hull preservation campaign, please reach out to our development team.

The same mindset fueling hull preservation has been recognized with awards and across the nation for our leadership in innovation. Over the next several months, we are hosting and participating in several events in which our crew will highlight their eagerness and expertise for our mission.

At the end of March, many of our crew and supporters will gather to share their passion, spotlight different activities, and celebrate my receiving of the Distinguished Public Service Award from the U.S. Navy earlier this year. We are grateful to the Annenberg Foundation for showing their support of this event as a presenting sponsor.

In April, our crew will be present at the Long Beach Grand Prix to connect with thousands of race fans in support of volunteer, education, veterans, and community programs. In May, we serve as the centerpiece of LA Fleet Week and have several events planned in the lead-up to and during Memorial Day weekend.

This year, we are stepping up our LA Fleet Week game with strategies focused on expanding outreach and amplifying impact, especially with our National Museum of the Surface Navy Freedom of the Seas initiatives.

battleship iowa view from 09

Needless to say, spreading the word of our work and passion has been quite a task. Connecting to potential museum supporters with legacy-driven opportunities before it is too late is our responsibility.

Our crew wants to connect with each of you and the community to show their enthusiasm for the museum and its future. Over the years, we have explored video, email, and virtual webcasts to spread this message. We are exploring ways to further amplify our outreach efforts and we want to hear from you.  Simply respond to this email and let me know what you would like to hear and what medium you would like to hear it through.

Your passionate support is the life blood of our crew, and we are thankful to each and every one of you. Please consider attending one of our upcoming events, volunteering as a crew member, donating if able, and providing us your feedback to make our museum’s community stronger for the future.

Thank you for your support and blessings for an incredible week.

Jonathan Williams
President & CEO

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