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CEO Update July 13, 2021


Summer attendance continues to grow despite the heat and rise in Covid-19 cases in Los Angeles County. It is great to see visitors and especially kids back on board enjoying themselves on the iconic Battleship IOWA at the LA Waterfront.

The past year has given us an opportunity to rethink how we approach things, as well as the appropriate steps forward as we grow into the National Museum of the Surface Navy. The growth rebound has been quicker than we originally expected, and I am proud of how the crew has rallied together to support it. It is impossible to name all the people that have stepped up in support of the organization as a crewmember and/or a donor, as the list would easily be several pages long. On behalf of the board, our sincerest appreciation to each of you for your dedication, perseverance, and commitment to the ship and the museum. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do!

Over the past several weeks, we have kept you updated on the progress with Vicky’s Doghouse and the Veterans Resource Center. Work continues at a feverish pace as we get closer to the end of the month, with the primary delays being with manufacturing. This coming week we will have the opportunity to taste test a few of the menu items prepared by our new chef, as construction continues. I am excited to see what he puts together and cannot wait to join each of you on the fantail for a hot dog and a beverage in August.

A quick reminder to make sure and add your name to the Veterans Resource Center welcome sign while this opportunity exists.

We are in preparations for LA Fleet Week over Labor Day weekend. The team is excited about several of the components that will be at this year’s Fleet Week and we look forward to welcoming the Navy back to San Pedro and the City of Los Angeles. I sent out a note to the crew last week inviting them to join me at the Conquer the Bridge 5k on Monday, September 5th. If you are also interested in joining us on this run as a member of the Battleship IOWA / LA Fleet Week team, please drop me a note. I am excited to take on this challenge to achieve my goal of running in a public race (I am not trying to win, only run or jog). I never thought this would happen, so I hope you will join me as well. Thank you to all the people that responded with notes of congratulations and kind words. They mean a lot!

On the National Museum of the Surface Navy front, we are having several conversations with sponsors of the Freedom of the Seas event, further improving the Plank Owner system, and are in active discussions with several donors. To date, we have commitments and/or completed over $9.5 million of projects thus far and are well on our way to the goal of $65 million. The team is in the exploratory phases of assembling the story for each gallery and exhibit, and we are considering reaching out to all of our followers to see if there is interest and expertise to participate on a volunteer committee. What are your thoughts on this opportunity?

I am going to purposely miss next week’s message, as my family and I head out on Thursday to coastal and central Oregon. I have no intent of responding to emails, but we will see how that goes…  

My best wishes for a safe and enjoyable week.

Jonathan Williams
President and CEO

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