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Laura White, President of the Midway Foundation

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What a wonderful welcome so many have extended me in my nearly first year – thank you! As the daughter of a Vietnam War veteran and a San Diego native, it is an honor to be a member of the USS Midway Museum family. 

The spirit of giving that I’ve experienced in my first year at Midway has been phenomenal. Your membership and generosity support Midway’s exceptional education programs, restoration projects, and new exhibits. Thank you for your on-going, unconditional commitment to Midway.

Yet mine isn’t the only new face in the department. Katie Andersen, who spent the last six years as Midway’s guest services manager, joins our team as the new membership manager. Previously with the San Diego Padres and New Children’s Museum, Katie is excited to begin building relationships with our members. We are truly thrilled to have her on board.

Karen Garst recently completed her 13th year as our membership coordinator – as a full-time volunteer. Yes, you read that correctly, a full-time volunteer. Karen is the heart and soul of this department and regales us with stories from Midway sailors, whom she loves connecting with every day. She is also the office baker and is adding to our waistlines with her amazing homemade goodies.

When my Foundation president predecessor, Dan Beintema, retired last year, he shared some insights with me that I’m seeing ring true every day – you won’t find a better culture of kindness, teamwork and selflessness among the staff, volunteers and members. 

What Dan did not share with me was our museum CEO’s affinity for the classic Disney song “Heigh Hi, Heigh Ho, It’s Off to Work We Go,” every time our world-famous docents head off on their daily shifts. And I mean every time. While that song may no longer be a “classic” here in our offices, it still motivates us to ensure the finest guest experience for all our visitors.

There’s no question that the pandemic has made the last two years on Midway more challenging, but it has also brought us new opportunities. We’ve had the chance to evaluate our resources, reimagine guest experiences, and take a fresh look at our fundraising priorities. One thing, however, that has remained constant during this time has been the incredible loyalty from our Midway Members. We can’t thank you enough.

I’m delighted to be part of the Midway Magic and I look forward to getting to know you.

Laura