CEO Update 31 May 2022


As I type this message, we are preparing for the departure of the remaining LA Fleet Week 2022 displays. I am incredibly proud of the team that helped plan and execute this year’s event including those from the primary planners with the City of Los Angeles, Port of Los Angeles, USO, Battleship IOWA, and our military. 

A special thank you to the Port of Los Angeles Police, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department, and numerous other agencies that provided a safe experience for guests, visiting service members, and the community throughout the entire event. 

Thank you to our community partners, including the numerous volunteers from the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and the team from Discover San Pedro that worked overtime to greet with a smile the multitude of visitors to the San Pedro area. 

Thank you to our sponsors, donors, affiliates, volunteers, and staff that support LA Fleet Week wholeheartedly and see the tremendous value of the event – not only for the visiting service members, but the community in its entirety; each of you are patriots! You can find the list of this year’s sponsors at the bottom of this email, but this list does not include several community affiliates such as LA Dodgers, LA Angels, Petersen Auto Museum, Disneyland, Paramount Studios, Fox Studios, TCL Chinese Theater, Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club, LA Yacht Club, and others who welcomed service members with open arms.

Due to the pandemic, LA Fleet Week has been on a hiatus since 2019. We came very close to holding the event in 2021, but unfortunately a rise in Covid-19 cases forced us to cancel it as we got closer to the date. 

As we approached 2022, we set forth a strategy focused on public engagement, military engagement, and mutual knowledge sharing. The LA Fleet Week team planned and executed on approximately 170 individual events, including community relations activities, outreach, band concerts, disaster exercises, leadership engagement, public displays, ship tours, and much more. In the final lead up to LA Fleet Week, the team amounts to over 100 individuals who represent a diverse set of agencies.  

2022 LA Fleet Week began on Monday, May 23rd and will end today on Tuesday, May 31st with the final departures of the visiting ships and displays. Operating at a high tempo, many individuals are working in one capacity or another throughout the entire day and night the entire time.  It is a magical collaboration of incredible people from a variety of agencies that make LA Fleet Week possible and successful.

My deepest appreciation to each of you who supported this year’s event.

In my opinion, LA Fleet Week 2022 may be one of the best yet. The entire LA Waterfront was successfully activated, the event was focused and on point, knowledge was shared between multiple agencies, and visiting service members enjoyed an authentic Los Angeles visit. If you participated at any level in this year’s Fleet Week, you should be incredibly proud of your efforts. 

With all of this said, the team is also acutely aware of areas of improvement for 2023 and as we assemble our after-action reports, please feel free to provide us feedback.

The public event officially finished on Memorial Day with a closing remembrance planned by our Veterans West team. It was well attended and included music from the US Marine Corps band. At 3 PM on Memorial Day, the entire footprint participated in a moment of silence followed by Taps played by 98 year-old World War II veteran and IOWA volunteer Lloyd Glick. It was a touching moment in which we remembered the service personnel lost in defense of our freedoms. (Click the photo below to hear Lloyd play.)

We are now entering the summer season for visitation at the Battleship IOWA Museum. Over the next week, the team will relax and regain their strength before welcoming guests from throughout the world to experience the ship.

We have several upcoming donor meetings and are in review of the National Museum of the Surface Navy design proposals. It is only fitting that we move forward with this major design effort as we celebrate ten years of being open to the public on July 4th, 2022. I hope you will consider joining us for our 10-year anniversary in 2022.

In closing, I am extraordinarily proud of the entire team for going above and beyond in all that we do to support veterans, educate the future, and strengthen our community. I can only sum it up as ‘magic’ – the magic that occurs when great people come together to accomplish amazing things and always do the right thing. There is no doubt that we are blessed in all that we do and thank you for being a part of the magic.

Jonathan Williams
President & CEO

P.S. Our latest podcast episode is out. We stole a few minutes on the final day of LA Fleet Week to sit down with Brian O’Rourke, media relations officer for Navy Region Southwest, and get a sense of what preparation is like from the Navy’s perspective.

Click below to check it out or find it wherever you get your podcasts.

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