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CEO Update: 13 December 2023

December 13, 2023


Congratulations to the Army for their victory against the Navy this past Saturday. The Annapolis and West Point alumni associations hosted their annual watch party on the fantail of the IOWA and watched the game on our LED wall.

I want to extend my gratitude to the Events, Food & Beverage, A/V, and Operations teams for their support during this event and for swiftly transforming the space afterwards for a nighttime corporate event.

A warm welcome to our new Major Gifts Officer, Von Johnson, who joined us this past week. Von brings with him several years of development experience and a deep passion for the Navy.

Additionally, this week, we will be welcoming Jenny Handjian, our new part-time Executive Admin, aboard the ship. I believe that the new VPAN Program Manager will also be starting by the end of the year.

Let’s extend a hearty welcome to these new members of our team!

Food At Vicky's Doghouse

Von Johnson, Major Gifts Officer

Food At Vicky's Doghouse

Jenny Handjian, Executive Administrator

A few months ago, we sought your input to gain insights into your thoughts and opinions regarding our messaging. Shortly thereafter, we engaged a communications professional to craft our new vision and mission statements, as well as our new prospectus.

Our new vision is to inspire global awareness of freedom of the seas, and our mission is to ignite curiosity, connect communities, and enhance understanding of America’s role in maritime peace and prosperity. Just last week, a draft of the museum prospectus was sent over for our review. We anticipate finalizing this initiative in time for the annual Surface Navy Association conference in Washington DC in January.

Simultaneously, the Management Team has convened multiple times to develop a new 10-year strategic plan. The team diligently worked through our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, priorities, and objectives. On December 21st, each Department Manager will submit their annual priorities after collaborating with their teams to formulate them. Our goal is to have the plan ready for review in early January by a committee composed of members from our various boards.

To support our ongoing growth and prepare for the opening of Phase 1 in 2025, our communications and development teams recently issued a request for proposal (RFP) for marketing services. The aim of this RFP is to streamline and unify our messaging to maximize the impact of our initiatives. We expect to receive proposals by late December and make a decision on our path forward in January.

Our collaboration with the Port of Los Angeles continues as we explore the feasibility of relocating the IOWA to the new West Harbor development. The objective of this relocation is to connect the waterfront, generating economic activity through visible and walkable connections. This project involves several components, the most significant being a substantial amount of dredging. There is undoubtedly a great deal of interest and excitement surrounding this endeavor.


It’s important to note that the relocation will not affect the opening of Phase 1 in 2025, as we will be building the new museum aboard Battleship IOWA herself. As a Surface Navy icon in her own right, this ship offers the ideal setting to convey the story of our Navy’s oldest community.

We have collaborated with our designers to create an experiential concept that seamlessly combines people, assets, and stories into an impactful, publicly-focused journey about safeguarding freedom of the seas. We have also established a unique funding and building path that involves various communities in garnering support for our showcases and storylines. I look forward to sharing more details with you in 2024.

As we bid farewell to 2023, I extend my best wishes to you and your family for a healthy and joyful holiday season. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for your continued support and belief in our mission.

If you are able, please consider making a year-end donation to support your museum. Whether your interests lie in education, veterans, or the community, in the preservation of Battleship IOWA, or in the opening of the Surface Navy Museum, every contribution makes a significant difference.

To learn more about various opportunities and donate online, please click the button below.

Happy Holidays!


Jonathan Williams
President & CEO
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NOTE: If you prefer not to donate electronically, please mail your check to:
Attention: Development Department, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA 90731

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