CEO Update – December 7, 2022


I write this on a plane to the annual Navy outreach summit in Memphis, where I’ll be learning more about objectives for next year in reaching the public, especially in regards to LA Fleet Week. We focus daily on raising awareness on the importance and value of a strong Navy, especially the Surface Navy. 

Since 1775 our Surface Navy has protected our oceans for the free movement of commerce, communications, and rapid response across the world. Today, as he world becomes more connected and reliant on our oceans, this protection is more important than ever. IOWA and Surface Navy Museum are gateways for the public to understand why a strong Surface Navy is important to the future of our nation.

As mentioned in prior updates, we are well on our way to evolving into the National Museum of the Surface Navy. Our crew is passionate about the new museum and has achieved numerous goals in 2022 including upgrading the electrical infrastructure, conceptual design drawings, space tear out, virtual museum software, Haze Gray benefits system, John Paul Jones Legacy Society creation, the Freedom of the Seas Awards, a test section of wood deck replacement, and securing funding for the Freedom of the Seas Park and Pavilion. 

These accomplishments were made possible due to generous donations and advocacy from supporters like yourself. My deepest appreciation to everyone that has supported our organization in 2022. Americans have stepped forward and contributed generously, introduced us to potential supporters, and become Legacy Society members by leaving bequests. 

If you haven’t made your annual gift yet, you can do so by clicking the button below.

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

NMSN conceptual drawing

The crew will focus on measurable improvements and growth within our existing core program offerings such as overnight programs, field trips, veterans’ services, tours, retail, event rentals, virtual museum, ship preservation, information technology, volunteer services, LA Fleet Week, and more. One of our greatest strengths and advantages is the passion of the people involved.

We will continue to provide growth and coaching opportunities to staff and volunteers, in addition to morale boosting activities such as the recent crew party during the Holiday Boat parade. If you have any ideas on other opportunities to support our crew, please let me know.  If you are interested in learning more about joining our crew, please reach out to our volunteer manager Sue Schmidt.

Firing Mount 56 during the crew holiday party

This will be my second to last email of 2022. I am thinking of each of you during the holiday season, but especially those that are experiencing hardships and challenges. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if we can ever be of assistance.

Blessings for a joyful holiday season.

Jonathan Williams
President & CEO

Scuttlebutt Podcast | Extra

Back in July, we had author Dale Jenkins on the podcast to talk about his upcoming book, Diplomats And Admirals. Last Thursday, we were privileged to host the release party for the book.

We also sat down with Dale and a panel of speakers for a preview of this fascinating new work. From failed negotiations and tragic misjudgments to powerful leaders and heroic deeds, Diplomats and Admirals tells the untold story of the Pacific War from Pearl Harbor to Midway.

Today is the 81st anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks. Appropriate time to learn more about this thought-provoking work in this week’s Scuttlebutt!

Or click below to access the YouTube version.

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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