2019 Greetings from the President

We’ve had another good year with some noteworthy highlights:

• We had 1700 adults and 750 children (500 of those as school visits) visit the ship this past season. We provided special tours for over 600 hundred people throughout the year, but we recently had more than 100 people tour the ship on Boast the Coast Day on October 5 and another 45 on October 9.

• In the interest of improving educational outreach this year, we collaborated with the Lewes Historical Society and hosted 3 successful family events with over 30 children to teach them about nautical flags.

• We had another successful Opening Benefit Party in May and generated over $17,000 in profit.

• Our Web-based systems continue to improve our visibility - The Overfalls Facebook page has been viewed over 10,000 times this year and through our web-based email service, we’ve sent 19,000 individual emails.

• The Dirty Hands gang continues to maintain the ship - this year’s large projects included repainting the interior decks, scraping and painting of the pier bulkhead cap, cleaning and painting of 4 ballast tanks and a replacement of the Stephanie Ann roof. This winter, they plan to replace the floor in the museum store.

• Speaking of upcoming work, some of you may have noticed we have some erosion taking place along the canal bulkhead. We recently contracted with Evelyn Maurmeyer of Coastal and Estuarine Research, Inc. as a consultant to help us address this and will be getting cost estimates once the project scope is determined.

• We awarded $750 Maritime Studies Scholarships to two very deserving 2019 Cape Henlopen High School graduates. (Vienna Iacona and Morgan Schwab - click here to review their accomplishments)

I’m halfway through my term and there are some key things I’d like to tell you about that the Board is looking into that I’d like to see us get accomplished this coming year:

• We have started the development of an Overfalls Foundation Strategic Plan that will help guide our future and keep us focused on our priorities. Our historian Ray Glick and our new Vice President Mike Safina are facilitating this for us and my goal is to have this completed and agreed by the Board by the end of my term next year. Strategic Plans are important not only in the regular business world but in the non-profit world as well. Grant giving organizations like to review strategic plans before they make decisions to issue funds. They also help keep us focused as an organization as personnel changes occur from year to year. We’ve had a couple of work sessions so far and have identified 3 major strategic priorities to be addressed with the standup of the following special committees:

Membership & Volunteering Committee - We’re looking to grow our membership and volunteer community as well as to improve use of our volunteers. We’d like to consider new ideas and investigate options that will improve our ability to recruit and retain younger members.

Strategic Leadership Committee - The Board has had several discussions about the need for an Executive Director. We’re going to take an overall look at the Board structure and make sure the Board is appropriately designed, however we’re going to move forward now with the creation of an Executive Director’s position. For now, our plan is to “pilot” the position using Tracy Mulveny, our outgoing VP, as our first non-paid Executive Director. Once we sort out the details, develop a position description, and see how the non-paid position works out, we will make a decision on whether to proceed with hiring someone for the position. There are a lot of details to be worked out here, but stay tuned.

Fundraising Committee - We do a reasonably good job of raising money throughout the year, but the Board collectively agreed that we can be more organized about it and need to increase our fundraising efforts if we want to remain a viable organization. This is also necessary if we decide to move forward with having 1 or 2 paid positions in the future.

In addition to these strategic priorities, another challenge we’ve faced is that we lack an office to conduct business. We’ve been very good at using electronics to serve as a primary communications tool and getting a loan of meeting space, but the lack of a regular place to conduct Foundation business and to hold meetings continues to make accomplishing our work difficult. We will need an office if we hire an Executive Director and an office will help us make better use of summer interns. So I’m standing up a 4th Overfalls Foundation Office committee to look into finding us a temporary office space for the near term and to look at options for establishing a permanent office, preferably on our property near the ship. I know there are a lot of issues we’ll have to deal with, but that’s why I’d like to stand up the committee to identify and explore the options available to us.

We will continue our ongoing efforts to improve public outreach, education and to make infrastructure improvements, but these 4 areas require the efforts of new special committees.

Finally, I want to personally thank all our members and volunteers for another great year. Without your contributions of time and money, we would not have an Overfalls Foundation. I appreciate your participation in the events we hold throughout the year.

William E. Battista
President Overfalls Foundation

219 Pilottown Road - P.O. Box 413 - Lewes, DE 19958 - Telephone 302-644-8050
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