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CEO Update November 16, 2021


This past Saturday, our Veterans West Manager, Janice Bowman planned an event honoring those who served. It was well-attended and from all the pictures and reviews, it looked like people enjoyed it. Thank you to Janice and the rest of the crew for your efforts in supporting and hosting this event.
This week our Veterans team welcomes aboard our new VPAN Program Manager, Jess Mendoza. Jess will be going through orientation and meeting the crew, as they prepare to welcome veterans to the Rally Point on board the Battleship IOWA and expand our reach into the community through our mobile Community Access Point (CAP). Thank you to David Canfield and Remi Lafayette for their efforts in coaching and bringing VPAN along to support and serve Supervisory District 4 veterans. If you are interested in becoming a Squad Leader or Battle Buddy, please email David Canfield at

Next week, we will be announcing our annual fundraising campaign, which will focus on remembering our friends and loved ones. This campaign will be driven primarily through the Surface Navy Museum Plank Owner system. It will give you an opportunity to donate toward the new museum and receive special remembrance items for the holidays.

Over the next couple of months, we will accelerate our work in space preparation and infrastructure build-out for the new museum, as the support from the community has been generous. I am proud of our crew, donors, and supporter base for recognizing the need to honor Surface Navy veterans since 1775 with their first national museum. Please help us honor these forgotten heroes during our annual campaign by remembering a friend and loved one (whether alive or deceased) with a Plank Owner listing and donation.

We just released a posting for an Events Manager. This job will be fun and dynamic, with the responsibility of planning and coordinating activities including Freedom of the Seas, LA Fleet Week, stewardship events, and private events aboard the Battleship IOWA. If you are interested in this special opportunity, please email Chief of Staff, Jenny Sova, at to request a job description.

Over the coming year, we will be hyper-focused on our priorities, which include necessary improvements for the national museum, staff and crew development, efficiency, improvements on several existing processes, and working together as a team of proud patriots to accomplish amazing things once again. We hope that you will continue to support us on this amazing journey as we plan to open the new National Museum of the Surface Navy on the 250th birthday of the U.S. Navy in 2025.

This past Saturday, I was honored to be invited to the USS Lucid / Stockton Maritime Museum annual volunteer and supporter gathering. There were several passionate supporters in attendance, and it was exciting to see their passion in support of “their ship.” It made me think of our days in Richmond, ten years ago, and the beginning of our crew DNA that has created the culture we have today.

My wife and I sat next to our former Operations Director, Dan Pawloski, who still proudly supports the museum ship community. It was great to catch up with Dan and share old stories. It reminded me of how important it is for all of us to be thankful for what we have achieved and the relationships we have developed and built.

As we go into Thanksgiving week, let’s all be thankful for having our freedom and the ability to cherish time with our loved ones. I ask you to remember those who may not be as fortunate during the holidays and to consider how we can make sure we do our best to remember every forgotten hero. I will be thinking of each of you and your families during Thanksgiving. Thank you for supporting us over the past several months and seeing the vision to become a national museum. The best is yet to come.

Now for the weight loss update…  Thank you to each of you who reached out to me and joined my challenge to lose 12 pounds. I desperately tried to control my consumption of food over the weekend and I must admit that I over ate. I didn’t eat dessert and stayed away from bread, but nonetheless it was incredibly difficult to keep my portion size in control. There is no doubt that I love food and portion size is often my downfall.

I did accomplish a couple of strong rides on my spin bike despite heavier than usual meals. When I weighed in on Saturday morning, I was at 213 lbs. – 4 lbs. lost since my last update. I probably put on a pound or so by today, but I will weigh in again after Thanksgiving. My goal over the holiday is to not eat sweets and keep to one plate of food during Thanksgiving dinner. Hopefully I make it through the holidays without gaining again. My best wishes to each of you that is participating in this challenge.

Heads up… We will be closing Vicky’s on Mondays and Tuesdays beginning December 1st. This schedule will give Vicky’s team an opportunity to take a couple of days off every week and refresh.

We are also in the process of preparing a reception menu in support of events (internal and rental) on board the ship. Please let your friends and family know that we are a great location to host a variety of events with food and beverage options available.

In closing, my best wishes for an amazing week and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Jonathan Williams
President & CEO

NOTE: If you prefer not to donate electronically, please mail your check to:
Attention: Development Department, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90731
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