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CEO Update March 29, 2021


We begin this week with more optimism than we have had since the pandemic hit. Our attendance has picked up over the past seven days with our best Wednesday through Sunday since March of 2020. Although these numbers are encouraging, they are 40% below our normal attendance for this time of year.

We have experienced an increase in virtual guided tour bookings, especially from visitors outside of California. Those that have participated have voiced their enjoyment of the virtual experience and we will continue to improve on that type of programming for individuals, groups, schools, etc. in the coming months.

Although we have seen an increase in in-person visits and virtual tour revenue, continued donor support makes it possible for us to offer our veterans, education, and community programs. Joleen has been working with numerous donors and foundations over the past several weeks to make sure our mission-driven programs are sustained into the future. We have several concurrent initiatives that we are focused on, including the National Museum of the Surface Navy capital campaign. To ensure we can advance these initiatives, we are searching for the right candidate to support our marketing and development efforts.

Last Friday, we announced the annual Hull Preservation campaign, which will help fund the most critical maintenance at the Battleship IOWA. We are deeply appreciative to volunteer Rich Abele for offering the first match for this campaign.

The campaign goal is $200,000 and your support will be essential for the work to continue in preserving the hull for the long term. If you have any questions or are also interested in offering a match gift, please reach out to Joleen.


(P.S. Just in – Charles McCarthy has offered to double match a $500 gift!  $500 = $1,500  If you’re ready to help us with this match, click here to donate now!)





While the team continues to focus on generating sufficient revenue to support the ship, the accounting and finance department remains in the background focused on effective financial management. This team, especially our Accounting Manager, Nui Valletta, has performed incredible work researching and applying for the various programs available. As I have mentioned in previous emails, our industry is one of the hardest hit in the country and it has taken a tremendous amount of effort to balance resources and apply for programs that we are eligible for.

Mike Getscher has been diligent in keeping the team up to date on public health directives and leading the charge to keep both our crew and guests safe during the pandemic. We have had zero COVID-19 cases that are related to being on board the ship and we are proud of our crew’s efforts to make this happen.

This past week we had a surprise visit by the public health department and the team did a great job in demonstrating to the inspector how we have remained safe and compliant throughout the pandemic. We received an A grade! Great work by Mike and the entire team for a job well done in public health!

These efforts to keep our crew and visitors safe are important elements that help our volunteers to feel confident in returning to the ship. We have seen an increase in returning volunteers over the past few weeks and it is uplifting to see all of them. We respect the decisions of each member of the team and are extremely thankful for the dedication and support of all our volunteers.

It is always difficult to select only a few team members or departments to highlight. Please know that every member of our team is contributing a tremendous amount to the organization and although I haven’t recognized them all in this email, their efforts are noticed and appreciated. We wouldn’t be able to move forward with our initiatives, programs, and vision without the entire team giving their “ALL” including security, operations, IT, development, tour, curatorial, volunteer services, accounting, administration, radio, education, veterans, sales, and events.

In closing, our deepest appreciation for your continued support and advocacy. Have a safe and tremendous week!

Jonathan Williams
President and CEO

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