Select Page

CEO Update: March 6, 2024

March 6, 2024

Dear Friend of the Surface Navy Museum and Battleship IOWA,

We are officially fewer than 90 days away from our 7th LA Fleet Week, an event that impacts more than 250,000 people throughout Los Angeles with its exciting programs and activities. This year promises to be another remarkable one, as we plan to welcome over a thousand service members to engage with the public through community service, static displays, entertainment, and more.

Join us on the festival grounds adjacent to the Battleship IOWA from May 24th to 27th. Exhibition space and sponsorships are still available for those interested in participating in the festival.

Please check out the LA Fleet Week website for more information.

Food At Vicky's Doghouse

Last week, we hosted two town hall meetings for our crew and presented our revised strategic plan, highlighted our 2023 accomplishments, discussed the 2024 budget and priorities, provided an update on Phase 1A of the National Museum of the Surface Navy, and shared insights on the LA Waterfront Gateway Campaign. We received invaluable feedback from those who attended, which will aid us in refining our approach as we strive to become the nation’s museum of the future, inspiring global awareness of freedom of the seas.

In 2023, we experienced remarkable growth in Surface Navy Museum Plank Owners, revenue, and Battleship IOWA attendance, propelling us from #5 to #4 on TripAdvisor’s list of things to do in Los Angeles. We refined the National Museum of the Surface Navy campaign, advancing from concept to the full design of Phase 1A, and made the calculated decision to remain at our current location.

In 2024, our journey continues with the commencement of construction on Phase 1A, the finalization of architectural designs for the Freedom of the Seas park and pavilion, and efforts to sustain a 10% or greater growth. We are committed to excellence in our existing activities, the sharpening and documentation of our processes, and the nurturing of our culture of camaraderie and innovation. We aim to set an example of professionalism, community, and thoughtfulness.

To achieve these objectives, we rely on passionate advocates like you to write letters, provide feedback, spread the word, and donate. Your support has been instrumental in making the museum a key anchor of the LA Waterfront, the licensed congressionally designated museum of the Surface Navy, and a transformative force in public awareness of our Navy.

We recently sent an email requesting your assistance in writing a letters of support to for making IOWA a connection point for the LA Waterfront. We are grateful for the letters we have received, and look forward to more, as we are eager to communicate the strength of the IOWA and Surface Navy Museum community to the Port of Los Angeles.

If you haven’t already, we ask you to write an email or letter in support of the Gateway Arrival Experience Campaign to Gene Seroka, Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, and email it to Please click the button below for a sample template we’ve provided.




What Is The Gateway Arrival Experience Campaign?

A visitor exits the freeway on the north end of the San Pedro / LA Waterfront and is greeted by .6 miles of industrial property prior to reaching the Downtown Harbor (center core), which is the beginning of visitor serving improvements. It is within this .6 miles that the Battleship IOWA and Surface Navy Museum are located. This initial stretch of waterfront sets the tone for visitors and is often referred to as the “gateway” or “arrival experience.”

Food At Vicky's Doghouse

Our success since 2012 has established us as an agent for visionary change. Now that the decision to remain at our current location has been made, we MUST be innovative and visionary to become the cornerstone of the “gateway arrival experience.”

Our unique position provides us the opportunity to connect millions of cruise passengers to the rest of the waterfront and vice versa. In doing so, we become a key anchor of the gateway arrival experience, as millions of people walk through the freedom of the seas park annually and consequently a percentage of them choosing to visit the Battleship IOWA and Surface Navy Museum.

The image below shows an example of what could be done within the red area that highlights our existing property, including the area where the Freedom of the Seas park and pavilion will be built over the next few years.

Food At Vicky's Doghouse


Please write an email or letter of support no later than March 15th and send it to

We’d also appreciate it if you encourage friends and family to join the effort as well.

My continued gratitude for your support and advocacy on our behalf. My best wishes for an extraordinary March.

Jonathan Williams
President & CEO
donate today button

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 2022 donors for their generosity and support. Want to know how your donations are making a difference? Check out our ANNUAL REPORT here.

Click below to learn more and join.

donate today button
Site developed by Wicked Code, Inc. and funded by The Edward E. & Marie L. Matthews Foundation •  Photos by Rick Stipa Photography
Other photos - US Navy Archives and National Archives

Board & Crew Portal