CEO Weekly Update for 09/30/19

I send out a weekly email to our crew with our current updates and wanted to share these updates with our greater audience.  I hope you enjoy.

The short period away allowed me to press the reset button. I have found this is critical after remaining focused for a long period of time. After a couple of weeks, I begin to lose focus and spend too much time checking email on my handheld device. On one hand our handheld devices have done wonders for communication, yet they also cause heightened anxiety and alertness when we spend too much time on them.

We have a lot going on right now and so let’s get into it…

  • Surface Navy Museum. We have brought on a pro-bono designer from New York to review our logo and font for this museum through our Annenberg Catchafire grant. The Master Plan went through final design and a big thank you to Linda Ayers, Chris Malburg, and Mike Getscher for their work on this. This document will help us maintain focus during this important transition. The Capital Campaign package arrived in print form and we had a great meeting with a new Presidents Advisory Board member to discuss our community fundraising plan.
  • Events. We hosted the following events last week: 40’s on the Fantail, American Legion Post 61, Blue Angels flyover.
  • Education. We hosted numerous students last week between our daytime and overnight program. Additionally the Sea Cadet troop was aboard. Craig Post is focusing on school outreach to build our daytime programs. We are still awaiting word on an annual grant from a long-term supporter for the LAUSD program. This grant is incredibly important for is to continue offering this program to area youth.
  • Veterans / Military. I had a meeting with a partner for our Veteran oriented program to get that kicked off. REBOOT will be hosting a one day program for Veterans and Military transitioning on October 7, 2019. This program is for no-cost to participants.
  • Of greatest current focus is revenue, expenses, and attendance. In 2019, we have been trending slightly down in attendance and revenue year over year. This has an impact on our overall operation. We reached out to some of our regional tourism partners and this appears to be occurring across the board, with a few minor exceptions. Primary impact is in international tourism with a secondary impact from a retraction in local spending. I don’t want to use the “R” word, but it appears that we may be teetering on a minor downturn. We are looking at boosting revenues through the potential of guided tour options, contributions, and a concerted outreach effort on overnights and events. The team is also looking at reductions in power costs, advertising, and a few other options.

This takes a toll on each of us and we all react differently. Those of you that know me well, know that any impact on people is something I carry deeply in my soul. It pains me when someone may be affected by our business, no matter how minor it may be.

A few additional highlights for this coming week(s):

  • Please join us for more discussion during our live webcast for the crew this coming Saturday, October 5th at 4pm. Sue will be sending out the link this week and I hope you will join us. This will be our first try at this, but we hope it is the beginning of our new outreach opportunity.
  • The annual USS Iowa Veterans Association will be gathering this week in Long Beach and aboard the ship. If you are interested in attending the Saturday night dinner, you can find more information on their website at www.ussiowa.org.
  • Please join us for the Steel Beach Picnic on October 13th. This is one of the few opportunities to join us for a fundraiser annually and we hope you will attend. More information on our website at pacificbattleship.com.
  • My personal calendar includes: IOWA and LA Fleet Week Board Meetings, Veterans Day meetings, potential LA Fleet Week sponsorship development person, and working on development and National Museum.
    In closing, thank you to each and everyone of you that supports us. We truly appreciate your support! Have an amazing week!

Jonathan Williams
President & CEO