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CEO Weekly Update 10/07/19

We kick off a new week at the Battleship IOWA with the Norwegian Bliss tied up astern of us. A beautiful ship that I hear has a go-kart course on it. This sounds like it would be a fun voyage – if only I can convince the wife (and myself) to abandon work for a week.

Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming aboard the USS Iowa Veterans Association. This is an impactful and emotional time for the veterans and today’s museum crew. They are the foundation of our organization and one of the primary reasons we educate the public on the importance of service. Thank you to each of you for supporting their visit and assisting as needed.

Yesterday we were able to spend some time with the CO, XO, and ET2 of the new USS Iowa (SSN-797). They are a great group of people and they were amazed by the efforts that each of you perform on a daily basis. They joined us for the bell ringing aboard and were deeply touched by your commitment and dedication; congratulations to the crew that rang the bell to celebrate their service! I look forward to seeing the relationship with the new IOWA strengthen going forward.

The board of directors met last week and discussed our strategic direction and our current financial crunch. They enthusiastically took on the challenge to bring alive the National Museum and strengthen our existing committee structure to sustain our organization. It is great to have awesome support from the board during our next phase of operation!

Thank you to the 17 people that joined us for the webcast on Saturday to discuss the organization and happenings. We had a few technical challenges that our capable IT team led by Chief Canfield addressed to make it happen. This was our first run and a shout out of appreciation to David and Sue for putting together this opportunity. Sue should be sending out the video shortly for your review. We have tentatively put the next webcast on the calendar for November 13th.

I have been actively adjusting online advertising spend and drilling down on conversion strategies. This past week we were up 1% in ticket revenue and attendance year over year. A special kudos to the entire team, but especially those with direct guest experience (this includes Tour, Security, Ticketing, Photo, and Retail) for continuing to give our visitors the best experience possible.

On the guest experience front, the gun tour team is doing amazing work!!! Thank you to the team for taking on this highly desirable experience and we look forward to introducing this tour in the coming months.

On the National Museum front, we are having discussions on a couple of our donor programs including the Peer to Peer fundraising plan and Founding Partners program. David’s team is putting together the architecture for the “P2P” program and plans to have this live prior to the SNA convention next year.

Did you notice the black fender is gone? The ops team with a generous in-kind donation from Bragg Crane installed the fender yesterday. Thank you ops team for your work on this project and thank you Conrad for your safety oversight and encouraging Bragg to donate to the ship. A side shout out to Mary for her painting work on the tomahawk deck!

A few additional highlights:

  • We are hosting the REBOOT Your Life seminar on Monday, October 7th for several veterans. This will be a great kick-off to this important veterans transition program. If you are interested in this program long-term, feel free to reach out to Maurice Wilson at
  • On Wednesday, October 9th at 11am we are hosting Marathon Petroleum Community Affairs team aboard IOWA. Marathon has been a major supporter of ours and I encourage you to thank them for their support when welcoming them aboard.
  • The American Legion Post 61 will be aboard for the Monthly Membership Meeting on October 10th at 6pm.
  • Please join us for the Steel Beach Picnic on October 13th. If you would like to support the event, feel free to reach out to Joleen at
  • My calendar this week has conversations with donors and staff regarding partnerships and expectations going forward. I also have a couple of meetings on the Veterans Day LA event. I will return to Northern California late in the week to spend time with family I haven’t seen in over a year.

I wish you an amazing and enjoyable week!

Kind Regards,

Jonathan Williams
President & CEO
Pacific Battleship Center – Battleship IOWA Museum
250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA 90731
Office/Fax: 877-446-9261 ext. 709

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