Inspiring global awareness of freedom of the seas.

aka Battleship IOWA Museum   |   San Pedro, CA   |


To ignite curiosity, connect communities, and enhance understanding of Americas role in maritime peace and prosperity.

Notes from the nonprofit

The Freedom of the Seas campaign to build the National Museum of the Surface Navy is being spearheaded by the Pacific Battleship Center, the 501(c)3 non-profit responsible for establishing the Battleship IOWA Museum as a top 5 Los Angeles museum and an attraction. Why? The United States Navy Surface Fleet has protected Freedom of the Seas since 1775. The primary mission of the National Museum of the Surface Navy is to ignite curiosity, connect communities, and enhance understanding of Americas role in maritime peace and prosperity. The Museum will continue to serve as a community-based, veteran-focused, and STEM-enriched facility to be located at the venerable Battleship IOWA in the Port of Los Angeles. Perfectly placed at the nexus of tourism in Southern California, the Battleship IOWA is already a Top 5 destination as both a museum and a tourist attraction.

Ruling year info


President & CEO

Jonathan Williams

Main address

250 S Harbor Blvd

San Pedro, CA 90731 USA

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NTEE code info

History Museums (A54)

Museum & Museum Activities (A50)

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The United States is experiencing a dilemma in student proficiency and veterans support. The Battleship IOWA Museum provides a unique in-situ environment for memorable and impactful education, veterans, and community programs within the Los Angeles region. As revealed by the Nation’s Report Card, the nation’s K-12 grade students are found to be lacking proficiency in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), history, and civics. As STEM jobs are expected to grow over the next five years by 21.4 percent, versus 10.4 percent in the overall job market, the youth of our country will be ill-equipped to compete in the nation’s job market. In addition, the low proficiency shown in understanding civics and history creates a void in the knowledge of our nation’s history, and the action needed to be taken to keep our nation strong. The importance of providing an environment in which students find those important subjects engaging and worth pursuing cannot be underestimated.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Youth Education

Our K-12 education programs include Camp Battleship overnight program, STEAM at Sea excursion, and the innovative Day of Discovery field study program with our partner, the Los Angeles Unified School District. These programs serve over 20,000 students annually.

In order to address some of the challenges facing teachers and students today, Pacific Battleship Center utilizes Battleship IOWA as a real-world STEM experiential learning environment. Designed, built, and operated during three distinctive periods of American history, USS IOWA provides a hands-on example of the transition from manual to automated technology. Our STEM programs, coupled with a social sciences component, provide an exceptional educational experience rarely available in this or any other region of our country.

In addition, the study of the evolution of seafaring vessels and their role in American history gives on board students the chance to better develop their skills of chronological thinking and historical analysis, engendering an understanding of cause and effect. Education programs provided by Battleship IOWA encourage future generations to be productive and responsible citizens while encouraging careers in STEM-related fields.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. Our volunteers contribute over 60,000 hours annually. Two volunteers have over 12,000 hours. We hold ceremonies to honor those who reach between 1,000 and 5,000 hours on a fairly regular basis.

Thirty-six percent (36%) of our active volunteers are veterans who benefit from improved job skills, camaraderie, and sense of belonging. Fifty-one percent (51%) of active volunteers are over the age of 55, and they relish the opportunity to engage in their community by doing important work that values their experience.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people

Battleship IOWA’s Veterans Resource Center is an inviting place where veterans of all ages are welcomed and respected, where they can socialize and enjoy the camaraderie of other veterans in the unique physical environment of an iconic military vessel, and benefit from a variety of programs, activities, and opportunities to help them connect and engage in a civilian world.

Battleship USS Iowa is known to the public as a museum, but it is much more than that. The ship is natural platform for veterans and patriotic civilians to come together as a community. The camaraderie nourished and built provides an incredible support network to all involved. The three pillars of veterans programs and services aboard the museum focus on honor, community, and prosperity.

We are proud to host numerous active and reserve military ceremonies, retirements, commissionings, pinnings, and volunteer service days annually. Job fairs, transition services, education programs, guidance, volunteer and other opportunities are hosted by Battleship IOWA and its strategic partners to make a profoundly positive and lasting impact on the lives of our veterans. The ship utilizes its vast space and structure to function as a community center that hosts programs, events, and services. Veterans report that Battleship IOWA is a “safe space” to come aboard and comfortably communicate with civilians and other veterans, resulting in a more assured and optimistic outlook on life.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people

Battleship IOWA is a community anchor on the L.A. Waterfront, generating tourism and economic activity which results in a better quality of life for local residents, many of whom are small business owners. Our community events, the majority of which presented free of charge, are designed to bridge the gap between communities, generations, and beyond.

We understand that in order to build communities that are successful at improving conditions and resolving problems, we need to appreciate many cultures, establish relationships with people from varied backgrounds, and build strong alliances with diverse community groups. One of the ways we achieve this goal by offering year-round events such as movies, concerts, performing arts, holiday and historical themes, and the annual VADM Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. Leadership & Service Awards (held during Black History Month).

We have increased our appeal to different audiences with new displays like our interactive “Lost at Sea” exhibit of undersea shipwrecks and gallery Alpha Romeo Tango – the only art gallery aboard a battleship! Visitors to Battleship IOWA Museum can download our award-winning app and select from seven different languages, an option that further engages multicultural audiences.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work


Museum Ship of the Year 2013

Steamship Historical Society

Governor's Historic Preservation Award 2017

California Office of Historic Preservation

Gold for Mobile Apps/Sites-Education; Silver for Mobile Features-Best Streaming Audio 2018

13th Annual W3 Awards

Certificate of Excellence 2013


Certificate of Excellence 2014


Certificate of Excellence 2015


Certificate of Excellence 2016


Certificate of Excellence 2017


Top 10 Regional Attraction 2018


Best Exhibits to See with Your Kids in Los Angeles 2017

CBS Los Angeles

Top 5 Regional Attraction 2019


Travelers' Choice 2020


Affiliations & memberships

Historic Naval Ships Association 2019

Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce 2019

American Alliance of Museums 2020

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Goal 1: Provide an engaging, interactive, multicultural, and memorable guest experience that focuses on all ages.
Goal 2: Maintain a sustainable process for the long-term preservation of the organization and Battleship IOWA.
Goal 3: Deliver high impact educational programs which serve our visitors, crew, and the community.
Goal 4: Be a key anchor of the LA Waterfront to generate tourism and economic activity resulting in a better quality of life for local residents.
Goal 5: Provide a positive crew experience that creates a bond with our guests, the ship, and each other, particularly our veterans.
Goal 6: Educate and inspire 500,000 people annually as a National Museum.

Goal 1:
-Maintain a consistent presentation beginning at the arrival and continuing through the community.
-Provide a safe and comfortable experience regardless of age, race, sex, or disabilities.
-Create an interactive educational environment that tells the story and engages the visitor in memorable activities.
-Provide an authentic American experience that relates to our vision that begins at main entry and continues through community.
-Engage the visitors in an interactive experience that creates a bond between the guest, crew, and ship.
-Create an emotional sense of arriving at something very special and American. The same type of feeling the crew had when they first arrived on board the premier Battleship in the Navy.
Goal 2:
-Create a financially stable situation through numerous revenue sources that permits for long term preservation of the battleship, artifacts, and stories related to it.
-Create a brand that is memorable with minimal impressions, is fun to follow, and has long-term engagement.
-Develop and implement a plan that maintains the hull of the ship under all circumstances to extend the definite life of the vessel.
-Create and build on solid business foundations that provide for stable and focused growth.
Goal 3:
-Develop and implement an education program that is S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) focused and engages today’s youth in an interactive educational experience. An experience that utilizes components that are utilized in the day to day operation of a ship.
-Develop a program that focuses on pride in leadership and has a component that engages at-risk youth in positive behavior and results.
-Create and implement a multi-layered history program that allows all ages to engage in specialized battleship and maritime topics.
-Bring Victory the Dog alive in telling the story of the American spirit and the Battleship IOWA.
Goal 4:
-Develop and maintain the LA Waterfront Passport program and unify existing stake holders behind project.
-Develop and maintain cooperative relationships with the entire L.A. Waterfront community to focus on sustainability of the entire initiative.
-Develop and implement a special events program that permits all levels of participants and brings IOWA to the forefront of being a community asset.
-Work as a team with our partners to better the community and tell the stories of the Battleship IOWA and the American Spirit in a positive and supporting manner.
Goal 5:
-Maintain consistent communication and programs that keep the vision& mission in mind at all times.
-Always stay unified as a crew by maintaining focus on the contributions of every member and not creating divisions based on tasks, jobs, and compensation.
-Recognize efforts that go above and beyond in supporting the American Spirit.
-Provide training and engaging opportunities that create fun growth opportunities.
-Create an efficient environment utilizing just-in-time.

The Battleship IOWA has a number of significant assets that can be leveraged to help reach our goals. They are:

1. Significant achievements in American history that include being the Battleship of the Presidents, engineering achievements, thousands of US sailors that served aboard, and a worldwide record of protecting democracy.

2. Victory the Dog as a mascot that was actually on board from 1943 to 1949. We currently utilize Victory the Dog in child-friendly scavenger hunts.

3. Volunteers and staff that are passionate about telling the story of the IOWA and service that provide a memorable experience.

4. A natural STEAM learning environment that will establish the IOWA as an educational platform in the Greater Los Angeles region. Our Day of Discovery Program in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District has been underway for several years and is growing.

At the end of 2017:
-We began plans to transition into the National Museum of the Surface Navy.
-We welcomed over 425,000 guests between museum visitation and LA Fleet Week to celebrate the American Spirit.

-Since 2012, over 150,000 veterans have been impacted by our programs aboard Battleship IOWA.
-Military veterans make up 50% of our crew and benefit tremendously through improved job skills, camaraderie, and a sense of family.
-The Pacific Battleship Center utilizes the in-situ environment of Battleship IOWA to address national deficiencies and spur interest in STEM, history, civics, and leadership through innovative education and museum programs. Our "Day of Discovery" Program in partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District continues to grow.

In 2018:
-We launched our proprietary "STEAM at Sea" Program and aligned our curriculum with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to provide a unique and relevant learning experience for students as well as NGSS teacher training aboard the IOWA.
-A new exhibit, Lost at Sea, in partnership with Dr. Robert Ballard opened in late fall highlighting many of the world’s historically noted underwater ship wrecks found by the explorer.
-We have increased attendance and interest in community events and festivals especially Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Movies Under the Guns, the annual LA Fleet Week, and concerts on our pier featuring major musical acts.
-We have had volunteers become employed due to their experience gained at Battleship IOWA.
-We have increased our membership as a revenue stream and added additional benefits.
-As part of our Community Giving Program, we donated thousands of tour tickets to local nonprofit organizations to support their own fundraising efforts.
-We enhanced our Veterans Programs with several local and regional partners. One of our ongoing objectives is to support strong economic outcomes for Veterans, transitioning Servicemembers, and their families through elements such as a connection to meaningful career opportunities. To leverage best practices, tools, and technology for this population, IOWA is establishing collaborative partnerships with premier private- and public-sector organizations dedicated to furthering veteran employment.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 01/18/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Mike Shatynski

Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

Rebecca Beach

Puppy Jake Foundation

Dan Kehl

Riverside Casino & Golf Resort LLC

Craig Johnson

Crail-Johnson Foundation

Douglas Herman

The Strategy Group

Vanessa Lewis

Independent Financial Consultant

Jonathan Williams

Pacific Battleship Center

Scott Palmer

Palmer, Hunter, Hall LLP

Bruce DD Mac Rae


Tanya Acker

Attorney, Television, and Podcast Host

Jeff Link

Link Strategies

Ken Hagihara

Integrity Public Relations

John Morgan

Vice Admiral, US Navy (Ret.)

JoAnn Ortloff

Surface Navy Association

Ross O'Brien

Servatius, O'Brien, & Fong LLP

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/18/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/18/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.