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CEO Update January 5, 2021

Surface Navy Museum and IOWA Family:

We are entering 2021 with a vision of hope towards a stronger and more positive future. My New Year’s resolution is to work towards being more resilient in dealing with challenges and always try to look at the positive side of things. I realize that this is easier said than done, but self-improvement is a daily challenge we must all take on.

Going into 2021, we are looking at a landscape that will take between five to nine months to return to some normalcy. Our finance team has been analyzing the federal stimulus programs to try and identify the best one for us to pursue. In looking at these programs, they have determined that the Save Our Stages grants would be the most beneficial for us to be able to continue growing while managing the effects of the pandemic. These grants cover up to 47% of our 2019 budget which would be approximately eight times the size of a PPP loan to cover critical costs for eight weeks.

Making this decision does come with some risk, as the total available funding in Save Our Stages is $15 billion versus PPP with $284 billion. The challenge is that we are unable to go for both programs, therefore we have to choose one and hope there is enough money to cover our request. If we are unable to receive the Save Our Stages grant, we can only pray that there will still be PPP funds available to assist. We feel this risk is worth taking and hope that it is the right move over the long-term.

The small but mighty crew continues to persevere through the challenges of operating the ship while pursuing the future National Museum. Coming from a purely civilian perspective, at times it feels like we are operating a battleship with the crew of a minesweeper while executing a major strategic mission. I am incredibly proud of this team and what they are able to accomplish. The crew executes the strategy and tasks of a ship, but it is unable to execute its mission without necessary resources. Your support motivates our crew and provides the necessary resources to continue executing our mission daily. Thank you!

In the coming weeks we will be scheduling a virtual webcast with our Chairman of the Board and me, including a special host. We believe this chat will be informative and enjoyable to say the least. We’ll discuss our top-line goals for the coming year:

• Broaden our impact to a larger, more diverse audience.
• Grow our organization’s community through unique, engaging opportunities.
• Focus on operational efficiencies and diverse revenue streams.

I realize there’s not a lot of detail to that list. We’ll cover it in the webcast. Keep an eye out for the date and make sure you join us!

Thank you to our supporters who have reached out with silent auction items over the past week. The team is ramping up our efforts to prepare the system with a launch date for the auction in late January. I think you will be excited with what we have to offer and hope you will join in on the national silent auction bidding.

Keeping to my word, I won’t be asking for donations in this email. My deepest appreciation for your support and ambassadorship!

Jonathan Williams
President & CEO

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