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CEO Update 5 April 2022

Hull Preservation | Gift Match Opportunity

The crew aboard Battleship IOWA is actively working to abate the deterioration of the ship’s hull at the wind and water line.

We just received a $5,000 commitment toward our goal, but we need your help to match this amount to ensure the preservation work can be done before the damage becomes too severe. 

To donate toward this urgent need and match the recent commitment, please click the button below. 

Update from CEO Jonathan Williams



A special welcome to several new Surface Navy Museum Plank Owners who signed up through our affiliation with Together We Served.

Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to hear from several of our supporters on why our museum matters to you. This kind of feedback is valuable in fine tuning our future strategy and continuing to remain innovative. Your notes led to us rebuild the development page on our website last week to more intuitively showcase the various opportunities we have. Stay tuned, as we will make new additions in the coming weeks and months.

I had the opportunity to connect with some of you over the past couple of weeks and hear your ideas. This input assists our crew in fine tuning the strategy ahead. We are grateful for your involvement and support. They will help us make a greater impact with our growth into a national museum. If you have any specific thoughts or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

My deepest appreciation to the crew and supporters who gathered to celebrate my receiving of the US Navy Distinguished Public Service Award last Thursday. Receiving the award is a special honor for me, but the credit is owed to leadership, crew, and you for your tremendous advocacy over the years. We would not be where we are today without a broad base of support throughout the nation and at home in our community.

Sincere appreciation also to retired RADM Mike Shatynski (Board Chair) and RDML Robert Nowakowski, Deputy Commander Fifth Fleet for their comments. Thank you to Annenberg Foundation for their presenting sponsorship of the event, and to CAPT Rich Abele, USN (ret.) for underwriting the gun shoot.

Not only was this event an opportunity to celebrate the award, but it was also a chance to highlight our crew. Attendees had the opportunity to engage with members of the crew to learn more about the diverse efforts we have in serving veterans, educating youth, and operating the ship as a community platform. Several elected officials’ offices were on hand to present certificates and show their gratitude for all that we do for the community. Tremendous thanks to each of them for backing the vision and the impact of our organization.

This past Saturday, our crew came together in support of a veteran’s concert promoted by the Veterans West team. Kudos goes to the entire crew for their roles in this major event, but special recognition goes to David Canfield, Janice Bowman, David Moser, George Musulin, Francesca Allison, Troy Vail, Brendan McCauley, and Cesar Olvera.  Your efforts made a difference in the lives of veterans over the weekend. Thank you!

As we begin the month of April, our crew is ramping up for one of the biggest Los Angeles Fleet Weeks yet. Fortunately, we have numerous affiliates that make it possible for this event to come together, including Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office, City of Los Angeles, Port of Los Angeles, USO, and the LA Fleet Week Foundation.

Of course, Fleet Week wouldn’t be possible without the participation of our sea services (Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard). This year, the Army will also be taking part in the event. They’ll be bringing several displays as well as soldiers. Fleet Week is an opportunity for Los Angeles to welcome our military, connect their mission to the local population, and highlight our nation’s reliance on maritime commerce and freedom of the seas. Fleet Week is made possible by several corporate sponsors and the affiliates listed above.

In addition, the crew will be staffing an outreach booth at the Long Beach Grand Prix from April 8th-10th. At this booth, they will be highlighting for the public our programs in education, veterans, and community resiliency. They will share the family-like, supportive environment that the ship provides while assisting veterans with direct services and interacting with visitors. I am proud to see these efforts from the crew to engage with our community at major events.

Additionally, the VPAN team has a mobile outreach van that connects veterans with services throughout LA County Supervisor District 4. Please email to let us know if you are interested in having them visit.

As I close this message, I reflect on a letter that is posted on a bulkhead in my office. It was written to my grandfather on October 27, 1945 by then-Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal. The message remains relevant today in recognition of the necessity of a strong Navy and those who serve.

This message remains relevant seventy-six years later, as it addresses both transitioning veterans and the role of our Navy. On behalf of our board, crew, and supporters, I am deeply honored to be recognized by today’s Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro for our accomplishments.

Thank you for being a part of our museum community.

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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