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CEO Update November 2, 2020

Surface Navy Museum and IOWA Family:

This Tuesday November 3rd is Election Day, a day on which each of us (18 years or older) exercises our right to vote. The right to vote is a fundamental protected by the United States Constitution and fought for by generations of proud Americans regardless of race or gender. Each of us has an obligation to our fellow Americans and our future to vote.


While Election Day is about voting for our representatives and ballot measures, I think about service members and veterans that fought to ensure our freedom to vote. It is fitting that Election Day is 8 short days prior to Veterans Day.


2020 will be a transformational year for many of us. It will change the way we do business, the way we interact, and how we adapt to a new way of surviving. For some of us, the COVID-19 pandemic has created hardship unlike we have seen since the Great Depression and my heart goes out to each of you that is struggling as we speak.


As you know, our organization is no different. We have lost crew members and loved ones, reduced paid staff positions, and drastically cut non-critical expenses to strive to weather this pandemic until the end. It is estimated that 1/3 of existing museums will no longer be in existence at the end of this pandemic. This statistic brings us concern when analyzing the future of our museum and how we must adapt to remain relevant for future generations.


Several projects the crew is tackling will help us become more efficient, broaden our impact, and increase much needed revenue. We continue to ask for contributions to help bring these changes along and we are grateful for your support. What specifically are we focused on to transition into the next evolution and how can you help?


  • National Museum of the Surface Navy. Our transition and development of this important museum helps us tell a much wider story to a larger audience. It helps us connect the story of international trade and commerce, humanitarian assistance, and anti-piracy. It is the story of freedom of navigation for merchant vessels to deliver the goods we rely upon. Your support as a Plank Owner will help spread the word and mobilize the community to advance this important story. Become a Plank Owner today.
  • Virtual Museum Experience. The Digital Innovation team is hard at work on creating an entirely new virtual museum experience that rivals some of the best in the marketplace and will allow website visitors of all ages to experience the museum as if they were standing here in-person. Stay tuned, as there is more coming this month and we will need your help to get the word out to your friends and family!
  • Education, Veterans, and Community programs. Many of our programs have transitioned to a virtual platform, allowing outreach to schools, veterans, and the community. We will be introducing subsequent programs in the coming months to help support this new direction. We are also working on a potential web/podcast project to provide some insight to our crew, donors, Plank Owners, board(s), and members in the coming month.
  • Changes are coming pier side! Members of our board(s) have generously contributed to help us clean up the pier and make it more presentable for arrivals. The crew is also developing a more permanent fencing solution and has strengthened our security measures. Become a member of the crew today. Sign up to volunteer with us!


There are exciting things afoot and we are grateful to each of you for your support. Your financial contributions, volunteer hours, and advocacy on our behalf are deeply appreciated.



Thank you for your support and don’t forget to vote!


Jonathan Williams
President and CEO

P.S.  Keep your eyes out for our Annual Appeal campaign for year end support!  Help us continue our programs into 2021.  Donate today




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