SEAWOLF PARK, GALVESTON, TEXAS – Galveston Naval Museum announced its Board of Directors has appointed Ann E. Hobing as Executive Director. She has joined the leadership team of the Museum after the departure of Master Chief Ross Garcia, USN (ret.). Hobing previously held the position of president & CEO of the National WASP WWII Museum in Sweetwater, Texas, where she led the Museum into the second phase of a multi-million dollar expansion project, including an exhibits master plan.
“We are delighted Ann has joined our team to help preserve these historic naval vessels and the legacy of those who valiantly served our nation,” said Captain Gary Bell, USN (ret.), Chair of the Board of Directors of the Cavalla Historical Foundation, which manages and maintains the Museum. “I know Galveston Naval Museum will be well served with her at the helm”, Bell added.
Hobing is an advocate for historic preservation and lifelong learning, beginning her museum career at Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal where she served as senior director of business growth. During her tenure, Ann dynamically engaged the museum’s guest services team to focus on delivering premium guest experiences to impact member loyalty, fundraising growth and earned revenue operations. Then, at the National WASP WWII Museum at Avenger Field, Hobing hosted a transcontinental air race, created the museum’s most successful online fundraising campaign and headed a victorious national crusade to keep Women Airforce Service Pilots in Texas schools.
“After careful evaluation of the qualifications for this position, we determined the best candidate is one with extensive museum expertise to serve our vision of innovation and growth,” said Commander Bryan Lethcoe, USN (ret.), president & CEO of the Cavalla Historical Foundation. “Ann has tremendous passion to share the legacy of WWII heroes and shape the future of our Museum. She understands the scope of our operations and the impact we want to have on our community and across Texas. We are confident
that she is the right person at the right time to lead Galveston Naval Museum into the future,” stated Lethcoe.
Located at Seawolf Park on Pelican Island, the mission of Galveston Naval Museum is to preserve historic naval vessels, to remember the enduring legacy of those who served during WWII and to educate generations about naval heritage and innovation. Through a partnership between the Cavalla Historical Foundation and Galveston Park Board, Galveston Naval Museum is home to the submarine USS Cavalla (SS-244) and the destroyer escort USS Stewart (DE-238), the only surviving ship of its class in the world.
Each of these vessels is on the renowned National Register of Historic Places.
“I am delighted the Cavalla Historical Foundation, our partner at Seawolf Park, has chosen Ann Hobing to become the next executive director of the Galveston Naval Museum,” said Kelly de Shaun, executive director of the Galveston Park Board. “Ann shares an engaging enthusiasm for learning and community impact, and I have developed tremendous regard for her leadership, her intellectual grasp of the key
strategic issues, her decisiveness and her energy. The Museum could not be in better hands.”
Joining the team at Galveston Naval Museum are Captain Keith Roberts, USN and USCG veteran, as maintenance coordinator, and Rick Ehler, Ed.D., as education coordinator. Roberts is a former submariner and brings extensive expertise in ship preservation, including serving in his previous position with the National Historic Landmark, Elissa. Dr. Ehler earned a doctorate in education and shares a passion for inspiring students of all ages to embrace their curiosity and deepen their knowledge.
“We will continue the remarkable work of the volunteers who have tirelessly donated their time, talent and treasure for decades to preserve these ships which symbolize the bravery and modernization of the Greatest Generation. The impact of naval heroes on science, marine technology and engineering continue to inspire today and empower all to pursue their aspirations,” said Hobing. “Our museum has limitless potential to generate appreciation for those who served our country in astounding ways. I am
deeply honored to accept this position and am grateful to be surrounded by a talented and passionate team.”
The new team recognizes the unique breadth and depth of knowledge the Museum’s collections represent. They are challenged with developing a design to showcase these artifacts and to enhance community knowledge and national appreciation for these vessels and their legendary impact on our nation’s military and maritime heritage. Through these two historic naval ships, the stories of sailors and submariners of WWII will be honored as future content, exhibits and programs are kept relevant, fresh and abundant for generations.
For more information, visit galvestonnavalmuseum.com or follow @galvnavalmuseum on Facebook.