CEO Update – December 21, 2022


With less than two weeks left in 2022, many of us are planning holiday gatherings with our families and friends. As you enjoy your time together, please remember the men and women of our nation’s military, many of whom are spending time away from their families this holiday season. We enjoy a safe and prosperous life because of their sacrifices and service to our nation.

As we enter 2023, our nation hasn’t faced a major Surface Navy conflict in close to 80 years. Thankfully, our Navy has ensured that our oceans have remained relatively conflict free and this lack of visibility is causing a wider gap in American understanding of our reliance on the world’s oceans. 

Battleship IOWA is a symbol of a strong Surface Navy and a time in our nation’s history in which Americans came together to defeat fascism through innovation, perseverance, and bravery. Today, we face a public awareness crisis unlike any seen in generations past, despite our world’s increased reliance on our oceans for commerce, farming, climate change, and humanitarian assistance. We are building the National Museum of the Surface Navy to stem this tide and expand on our already successful public awareness and support programs at the Battleship IOWA.

During December, our crew celebrates accomplishments while planning for the following year. Beginning in October, we review our accomplishments and set objectives to fulfill long-term goals including the opening phase 1 of the museum in 2025. We identify tasks that progress the organization while fulfilling our obligation to you, the community, and our nation. We review these goals and budget, accordingly, based upon existing and future support to submit to the board of directors for review and approval in December (this month).

Once approved, our management team further refines these objectives into department level goals to communicate to the entire crew. The overall budget and planning cycle includes numerous individuals in the process; our deepest appreciation to the board, management team, and accounting team for preparing the plan and translating it into numbers.

In 2023, we will accelerate our efforts to reach out across the nation to gain support for the new museum. In January, we will attend the Surface Navy Association conference to update numerous key supporters on the museum status.

The museum presentation team, for the purposes of fundraising, is targeted to grow to maximize our ability to connect to key supporters. Our new conceptual package, designed by Applied Minds, provides us the opportunity to connect more individuals, companies, and foundations to naming opportunities. We look forward to sharing some of these conceptual images with you in the coming weeks and months.

In the interim, please let us know if you are interested in reviewing the concepts for potential opportunities to support the museum by replying to this email or emailing

Engineering manager Dave Moser welding a rivet on the hull from inside the cofferdam

With your generous support and a trending increase in volunteerism, the operations team plans to accomplish in 2023:

  • An increase of 50% or more on waterline / hull preservation
  • Activation of CHT 1
  • Return removed life racks onto the ship
  • Support a growing military and veterans Skill Bridge program by providing impactful opportunities to connect and transition
  • Connect the fourth shore power cable to the ship’s system
  • Continue efforts within Turret 1 to improve the experience
  • Gunwale restoration and expanded paint touchup efforts of the incredible PPG PSX-1 coating, which has lasted us over 11-years already
  • Recoat additional steel decks with a sustainable anti-slip coating
  • Complete the 04 synthetic teak deck project and look towards expanding these efforts depending on available funding

As mentioned before, thank you for your generosity and support throughout 2022. If you are interested in supporting a specific project, please feel free to reach out to our development team. We could always use the support whether it is volunteerism, donations, bequests, in-kind, pro-bono, or a combination. This kind of involvement is what truly makes it possible to accomplish innovative and impactful things.

Those who know me best will attest: I will never rest despite the holidays. I owe it to each of you to give it my all to ensure that we never forget what it takes to remain free as a nation. Your support and messages are the motivation to keep me and the entire crew motivated.

Happy holidays and joyous blessings!

Jonathan Williams
President & CEO

P.S.  I know I sound like a broken record, but if you would like to donate, please click the button below to do so. In addition, you can learn about our various support programs including our new John Paul Jones Legacy Society. Thank you!

Matching Gift Opportunity

The local American Legion Post 560 greeted us with a wonderful holiday surprise: an opportunity to match up to $30,000 in year-end gifts!

Contributions to our programs, preservation, and National Museum efforts could have double the impact this holiday season. You can make your tax-deductible donations by clicking the link below, calling our development department, or by mailing a check (250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA 90731).

Thank you for your consideration and thank you to American Legion Post 560 for your support! 

Support Veterans | Get Coffee

The Gaviña Family – founders and third-generation owners of Don Francisco’s Coffee – is committed to supporting the veterans and families we serve. They are generously helping us meet our goal of raising $25,000 by the end of the year in support of Veterans West, the military and veteran affairs department of Pacific Battleship Center, to help us provide important, impactful programming.

Click the link below to learn how your donation to Veterans West can result in coffee being delivered to your door for a year, so that you can enjoy the rich, bold, smooth taste of Don Francisco’s Coffee.

NOTE: If you prefer not to donate electronically, please mail your check to: Attention: Development Department, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA 90731 Thank you to our 2021 donors for their generosity and support. Want to know how your donations are making a difference? Check out our ANNUAL REPORT here.
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