Author

Terry Kraft, President and CEO

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For me, every day is a chance to learn something new. What I always loved about carrier aviation is that each flight presented a different challenge. Whether it was carrying a new weapon, leading a strike or just dealing with mother nature, flying off a carrier presented something with every catapult shot. So it has been during my first eight months as your CEO.

I never stop learning and my role here gives me an amazing opportunity to do just that. Below are some of the things I have filed away so far.

I’ve learned that there are so many people in San Diego who support our mission here on Midway. I have had a chance to sit down with almost every leader who takes care of this region, including at the federal level. Each of them has expressed, and demonstrated, their willingness to be involved with Midway. This museum has an outstanding reputation in San Diego and beyond.

I’ve learned that our volunteers are truly dedicated to keeping this iconic ship “alive” through their unwavering commitment of time, talent and energy on a daily basis. Last month we welcomed our largest new docent class in years and I am so happy to have them on our team!

I’ve learned that we have an amazing and growing list of partners who want to be part of Midway Magic. Southwest Airlines, Home Depot and so many other companies help us execute our mission to inspire and educate future generations. 

Most importantly, I have learned how much I depend on our team every day. I do not have all the answers – nowhere close – but I have found that our experienced staff and volunteer force can provide the support I need to stay in the middle of the channel!

Things look great for the rest of 2023. We are very excited to host the San Diego Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 12 with more than 90 participating organizations. It will be an amazing comeback for this iconic and important parade. On Midway, expect a new exhibit to open up in our engineering spaces and a first-time holiday light show from Thanksgiving to Christmas. We call it “Jingle Jets” and there will be activities on board for the entire family. See you on board. 

It’s a great day on Midway!

It’s been an amazing first four months on Midway. This year, we are noting so many critical milestones honoring those who served starting with the 50th anniversary of the end of the
Vietnam War and the return of our prisoners of war from that conflict. Additionally, we are commemorating the 50th year of women in naval aviation and the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. Finally, our amazing gala in August will celebrate 100 years since the founding of the iconic Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. Whew!

I have enjoyed marking those milestones on board Midway while also attending some of our amazing events such as Top Gun Movie Night, Steel Beach Party for our members, and the 4th of July fireworks viewing event. If you have not made it aboard for an evening event here, you are missing out. I love meeting so many of our members and guests while experiencing an amazing view of our city and a cold beverage.

Another fun part of my job is working with so many local leaders that support our museum. Sharon Cloward, president of the San Diego Working Waterfront, and Julie Coker, president and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority, have been particularly helpful in solving problems and helping me get started with this enterprise. I very much appreciate their help and all who support this museum every day.

Finally, we have taken the first steps in our capital campaign for Freedom Park at Navy Pier. This unmatched public/private partnership will culminate with the construction of the largest veteran’s park on the West Coast which will be an amazing community asset in the heart of Embarcadero. We are very excited to team up with the Port of San Diego in making this a reality.

My first few months serving on Midway have been as fun and challenging as they were when I first flew off this ship in 1989. I am happy to report that Midway Magic is alive and well.

It’s a great day on Midway!