CEO Update: 22 November 2023

November 22, 2023


Wishing you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving week! We have much to be thankful for, and I am particularly grateful to have each of you as a supporter.

I’m also grateful for the wonderful staff here at Battleship IOWA. This team is remarkable!

Over the past few months, we’ve taken steps to deepen connections between managers and to broaden perspectives on one another’s roles. I asked each member of the management team to create a presentation outlining department duties and ethics. These presentations have provided valuable insights into each other. I’ve been consistently impressed by the thoughtfulness, effort, and dedication evident in each slide deck.

These insights not only contributed to my learning, but also highlighted the magic in our collaboration and how I can best support our crew. Our journey of understanding each other, ourselves, and optimizing our collective potential is ongoing.

I’d like to share a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes. Here are some of my asks of the staff in the next few weeks:
  • 11/28: Strategic planning session to finalize our priorities 
  • 11/29: KPI review and discussion of meeting objectives and future plans – agendas, objectives, and structures
  • 12/18: 5-year top 3 department objectives submitted following strategic planning discussion
Looking ahead to the near-term, we have several important objectives on the horizon:
  • Staffing: Hiring of a Major Gifts Officer, part-time Executive Administrator, and support for LA Fleet Week 
  • State grant: We are focused on finalizing paperwork to encumber the state grant in December
  • IOWA Relocation: Mike Getscher is working with the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) on addressing outstanding questions from a recent call with POLA engineers, and we are working on a term sheet for a 30-year extension to satisfy state grant requirements
  • IOWA Day: Planning an event at the Iowa state Capitol on February 22nd, 2024, to raise awareness and garner support for our wood deck funding, as well as celebrate the ship’s birthday.  Our Iowa board members are spearheading this first-time event
  • NMSN: We are working with the designer, who has made us a “legacy project” and is intent on creating a “wow” factor for Phase 1 that leverages our in-situ environment to trigger emotion and immerse the visitor in the experience
  • SNA Conference in January: Our marketing team is developing a booth and kiosk for easy replication at subsequent conferences.  In the past, we have created entirely new displays at each event.  Our goal in 2024, is to standardize the messaging and displays to reduce the duplication of work
  • Volunteer services: Transitioning tracking to Salesforce from Volgistics, a significant undertaking for both IT and volunteer teams
  • Ops: Progressing on activating forward heads, maintaining the hull, paint, and the new deck

New cofferdam deployment system

  • Security efforts: Always vigilant and we recently received an OES grant to build more fencing and install new cameras.  A great collaboration across multiple departments
  • Tour and Museum teams: Supporting an influx of visitors and special tours, creating new experiences
  • Education:  The outreach trailer is expected to be ready to deploy by the end of December.  Another great collaboration between the education and IT teams

Coming soon: education outreach vehicle!

This list is not exhaustive and is not meant to single out specific people or departments, as each is crucial to achieving our objectives. 

Witnessing members of our crew accomplishing extraordinary things brings me joy, and I look forward to formulating our future objectives together in the coming weeks.

Our organization stands at the forefront of the future, and I am thankful for each of you and your commitment to growth and being a critical part of our shared future.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and the future that we are building together.

Jonathan Williams
President & CEO

P.S. Save the date: Next Tuesday, Nov. 28th is Giving Tuesday. We appreciate your consideration of making a tax-deductible donation ahead of the year coming to a close.

Battleship USS Iowa and USNS Mercy
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