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CEO Update September 24, 2021

Friends and Family:

This week I am writing to you from a flight between Providence, RI, and Mobile, AL. Over the past couple of days, we have had an opportunity to visit with the crew of the new USS Iowa (SSN-797) and tour the USS California (SSN-781) in Groton, CT. It was an experience that we will remember for years to come, as we met sailors that continue to serve our nation, proudly preserving our freedom and our way of life as a maritime-dependent nation. 

IOWA C-Suite aboard USS CA

My east coast trip began last week in Washington D.C. for a couple of days followed by Orlando, FL for the USS Iowa veterans’ reunion. During this trip I have had an opportunity to meet with supporters and veterans to build relationships that make today and our future bright. I attended a couple of events, met with partners, discussed growing Navy engagement, visited with several donors and supporters, and shared smiles with veterans of the ship. I have heard from each of them how impressed they are with the work we continue to do as we prepare to open the National Museum of the Surface Navy aboard Battleship IOWA in 2025.

It is always difficult to be away from the ship and the crew. Whenever I return, it is impressive to see the dramatic changes and improvements accomplished in a short period of time. The crew continues to make it possible for our organization to lead the future of museums as a community engagement platform. Your support and the passion of our crew make it possible for our museum to make a tremendous impact on youth, veterans, first responders, service members, seniors, and many more. Thank you!

During my meetings, I asked a couple of questions regarding the National Museum of the Surface Navy and what it does for Battleship IOWA. How does this new museum enhance the ship and what are our overall goals? In very simple terms, we are establishing the future of museums as a community engagement platform to ensure long-term sustainability and relevancy of the Battleship IOWA as an iconic Surface Navy ship.

Why is the museum important? 

  • There is limited public knowledge and/or connection between the public and our Surface Navy’s role in trade, commerce, humanitarian assistance, and international relations. Making this connection is especially important considering we are a maritime-dependent nation.
  • We educate the public on the role the men and women of the Surface Navy have in our daily lives, so that we never forget what it takes to remain free and enjoy the way of life to which we have become accustomed.
  • Millions of men and women have served aboard U.S. Navy ships since 1775 and are underrepresented. They are our ancestors, grandparents, parents, siblings, friends, and others and we must tell their stories. Please honor their service by adding them as a Plank Owner of the National Museum of the Surface Navy. Our goal is to recognize the largest number of Surface Navy veterans of any museum in the world!
Plank Owner Certificate

Our board and leadership team are committed to and focused on our future as the National Museum of the Surface Navy at the Battleship IOWA. Challenges will happen and adjustments will be made; I assure you that this team will not fail in achieving the objective. We owe it to those that proudly serve our nation and we hope that you will join us in this endeavor.

Thank you for your support, advocacy, and friendship. For the various donor opportunities to support your museum, click here.

Kind Regards,

Jonathan Williams
President & CEO

PS We are currently searching for a development manager and encourage you to submit your resume if you qualify and/or share with your networks to help us find the best possible candidate for the position. 


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Other photos - US Navy Archives and National Archives

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