Military Heritage Museum Inc
1200 W Retta Esplanade
Suite 48
Punta Gorda FL 33950
The mission of the Military Heritage Museum is to promote an understanding and respect for the rich military heritage of the United States and the sacrifices made by our country’s veterans, living and dead, emphasizing that freedom is not free. 
CEO/Executive Director Mrs Lori L. Howard
Board Chair Mrs Marilyn Smith-Mooney
Board Chair Affiliation Community Volunteer
General Info
Former Names
Military Heritage & Aviation Museum, Inc.
Florida Military Heritage Museum, Inc.
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2002
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt 0
State Registration Yes May 2018
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
501(c)(3) letterView
Other Documents
Annual ReportView
Annual ReportView
Annual ReportView
Annual ReportView
2011 Annual ReportView
Impact Statement

The Military Heritage Museum continuously seeks ways to attract more visitors and to make sure that new and repeat visitors have a great experience.

For 2017, we had many changes, all positive:
1) After nine years, a new Executive Director took the helm and brought in fresh perspective, ideas, and energy. A new administrative assistant was also hired to replace the retiring one, also with new ideas and energy.

2) A part-time curator and part-time artifact administrator were hired for displays and cataloging of artifacts. A volunteer librarian, who has  PhD in Military History, came onboard and reorganized our vast collection of books, newspapers, and movies.
3) New cases and signs were acquired for a more professional look. A life-sized statue of WWI aviators (appraised at $25,000) from a private donor has become the centerpiece of our museum.
4) A new partnership with Florida Gulf Coast University has sparked interest in students to visit the museum, as the seminars are held here.
5) Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott accepted an invitation to visit the museum, and spent a couple of hours enjoying our artifacts and giving guidance for possible partnerships. This visit also prompted the First Lady of Florida to invite the Executive Director of the museum to the Governor's Mansion for a Community Leaders dinner. 
In 2018, we have a lot to do:
 1) As we face non-renewal of our lease, we are looking for a new home and will need to move all of our artifacts, cases, library, and offices.
2) There are currently no members for our organization, so we are having a huge membership drive. We will start a newsletter for our members and have events just for them.
3) We need to recruit more volunteers to keep our staff fresh and able to help with visitors.
4) We are recruiting active, invested board members who want to participate, not just sit on a board and observe.
5) We are partnering with local businesses who want to invest in us, not just write a check once in awhile. We want partners.
Needs Statement
1) When we find our new home, we will need to move all of our artifacts and cabinets. Approximate cost: $1500
2) The planned new space will need wall and door modifications. Approximate cost: $4000

3) New signs will be needed to direct the foot traffic into our new location. Approximate cost: $2000

4) All business cards, pamphlets, etc. will need updating when we move. Approximate cost: $1700
5) More mannequins are needed to display our uniforms, but we need specific smaller ones due to the small stature of past soldiers and sailors. Approximate cost: $1800
Background Statement

In the year 2000, the local VFW and American Legions had closets overflowing with military artifacts in their facilities.  Other veterans’ organizations had similar collections, but no place to display them.  On July 18, 2000, the Veterans’ Museum Action Committee met to consider ways to share these military treasures with the world.

Soon, an 830 square-foot storefront site, located in Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda, a place where many tourists visiting the area and locals go for dining and shopping, was acquired to exhibit the artifacts. News articles about the group’s endeavors and dreams brought volunteers to help build display cases, lay carpet and paint walls.  The Florida Military Heritage Museum was organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2001 and opened its doors on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7.

Damage to Fishermen’s Village in 2004 from Hurricane Charlie facilitated a move for the Museum to a slightly larger facility on Madrid Boulevard in Punta Gorda, where it remained for the next three years.  While the new location provided more room for exhibits, the number of visitors dropped dramatically, prompting a move back to Fishermen's Village.

In time, talks with the Charlotte County Airport Authority created the potential to build a museum on five acres of airport property.  Plans for a capital campaign resulted in the 2004 name change of the Museum to Military Heritage & Aviation Museum.  Building a new museum ultimately proved to be unrealistic and the project was abandoned. In September 2008, the name was changed to the current Military Heritage Museum, Inc.

On October 1, 2007, the Museum returned to Fishermen’s Village, and our attendance has continued to grow. In 2016, the Museum welcomed 66,975 visitors and in July 2017 we welcomed our 500,000th visitor since returning to Fishermen's Village.

The Museum's Board of Directors maintains a majority percentage of military veterans. There is a full-time Executive Director and Administrative Assistant, as well as a part-time Artifact Assistant and part-time Curator.

Currently, the Honorable Sean O’Keefe, a former NASA Administrator and Secretary of the Navy and immediate-past CEO of EADS North America serves as the honorary chair. 

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Charlotte
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments The Military Heritage Museum operates in Punta Gorda, Florida.  Beyond the physical location of the facility, this organization serves all of Southwest Florida, and tourists visiting the area from all across the United States and many other countries.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
As the Executive Director, I have a responsibility that others may not quite understand. I try to teach more than history; I try to teach a perspective and a respect for what our past service members did to protect our freedom and way of life. With visitors from all over the country, and some from other countries, the diversity of experience and knowledge that they bring in the door with them is incredible. We are tasked with filling in gaps and evoking pride, using static displays and written descriptions. When we take in artifacts from the public, we attempt to capture as much information about the artifact, and always ask for a picture of the person who owned it. This allows us to make it personal, and that is what our visitors identify with. That is what gives the depth of appreciation.

Memorial Day, POW/MIA Recognition Day and Veterans Day Ceremonies take place at Laishley Park in Punta Gorda. These free programs include well-respected keynote speakers and activities such as formal presentations of the colors, a vocalist singing the National Anthem, a gun salute, a bagpiper's performance of "Amazing Grace" and a bugler's performance of "Taps." With the POW/MIA Recognition Day, there is also a presentation of a special "Remembrance Tree" and the "Missing Man Table" with explanations of their meaning.

At the museum, we also have a Women's Reception, Purple Heart Ceremony, and Pearl Harbor Commemoration Ceremony every year.

The Museum collaborates with the Charlotte County Veterans Council and other veteran and community groups to present these programs.  

Budget $20,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Celebratory Events
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Families US
Short Term Success This program does not lend itself to pre- and post-testing or surveys, as it is a commemoration of those who sacrificed, sometimes everything, to preserve freedom.  We consider the program a success if it continues to draw interested individuals.  As audience grows, we feel it is indicative of the success of our programs.
Long Term Success The goal of the program is to remind people of the price paid for freedom and to honor those who paid the price.  It is also an opportunity to educate younger attendees regarding what the military is about, and how it protects their freedom, as well as instilling respect for those who served. In the long-term, the goal is to get attendees at our ceremonies to become visitors to the Museum, if they haven't visited already, or to return if they have. 
Program Success Monitoring The success comes in counting attendance at events, as it indicates interest. If attendance increases each year, we see the event as successful. If it decreases, we look at what we can improve and make changes.
Program Success Examples Each year our crowd grows larger at these events. For Memorial Day 2017, our crowd was almost too much for the space. There were no seats available and the sound system could barely reach all the participants. 

Our education programs take many forms, including presentations to various community groups upon request; tours through the Museum for boy scouts, girl scouts, home-schooled and other children; sharing artifacts at various community events to educate attendees; partnering with Florida Gulf Coast University to have their seminars at the museum.

Budget $10,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults Families
Short Term Success It is difficult to gauge success, as our mission has to do with creating respect and is subjective. The outcomes may not be immediate, but may lead to an appreciation over time.
Long Term Success This program provides opportunities for youth, particularly, to see the reality of military life, not just what they experience through movies, TV and video games.  We do not test or survey youth and families, so our outcomes are based on reactions to our information-sharing opportunities.  
Program Success Monitoring Calculations/counts taken at the events, plus feedback that we may receive from students or families.
Program Success Examples One young woman came in and expressed that she did not know we had been in a war with Japan, and another read "WWII" as "World War Eleven." Some children come in and see what their grandfathers wore in Vietnam or share their excitement when they see Abraham Lincoln's bust in the Civil War exhibit. Explaining and educating has an immediate impact.
Program Comments by Organization
Letting people know that the Military Heritage Museum exists is probably our biggest and most important challenge.  While the executive director takes advantage of all the free "press" available, there are still many people who live locally who say, "I never knew you were here." 
We are in the process of updating our web site and becoming more involved with Facebook and Twitter. In addition, when finances allow, we plan to advertise in more publications and rent billboards in strategic areas.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mrs Lori L. Howard
CEO Term Start Dec 2016
CEO/Executive Director Email
Marine Corps veteran
High school teacher of French/English
Veterans' Services analyst
State Police analyst
Retail sales/manager
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Ms Tammi Cash Feb 2007 - Sept 2007
Kim Lovejoy Ross Nov 2007 - Dec 2016
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 75
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
The Military Heritage Museum collaborates with local veterans' organizations on events throughout the year, including the American Legion and the Charlotte County Veterans Council.
American Association of State and Local History2017
Arts & Humanities Council of Charlotte County Punta Gorda Historical Society2015
Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years 3
Strategic Plan Adopted Oct 2012
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Management Comments by Organization There is a struggle to find a balance as the Executive Director is given responsibility but not the authority needed. As we reorganize our board, that balance is more likely to happen naturally. Finding the necessary funds to run the museum is a challenge as we work to make sense of the past chaos and catch up with accountability and organization, but still have to organize and host events and fundraisers.
Planning & Policies Comments by Organization As we have had multiple turnovers in the past year (most board members, all staff members) our organization is in the process of rebuilding and developing new strategies. We are launching a membership campaign and working on new Strategic Plan and Fundraising Plan, and expect all of those to be in place by mid-2018.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs Marilyn Smith-Mooney
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Term Jan 2017 to Jan 2020
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mr. Larry Brown U.S. Air Force, retired
Mr. Frank Campagne U.S. Army veteran
Mr. Robert M. Dickinson US Army, Retired
Mr. Gene Geronime US Navy, Retired
Mr. Michael Goff Community Volunteer
Mr. Chuck Kersch U.S. Army veteran
Mr. James Mallonee Esq.James Mallonee, Esq.
Mrs. Marilyn Smith-Mooney Past President
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 7
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 10
Board Meeting Attendance % 81
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 50
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 15
Standing Committees
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Governance Comments by Organization Our all-volunteer board consists of 8 members, 3 working full-time jobs and 5 retired. We struggle with engaging them in our events or activities, and often have no board presence at our events. We continue to seek more board members, as our bylaws allow 15, but we only want to invite active and engaged community members. In a largely retired community, that is a huge challenge.
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month Jan
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2018
Tax Year End Month Dec
Tax Year End Day 31
Tax Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $190,459.00
Projected Expenses $184,207.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $1,000,000.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$15,000$15,000$17,406
Individual Contributions$160,228$158,433$260,548
Investment Income, Net of Losses$11,159$9,585$6,338
Membership Dues$200$0$1,109
Special Events$31,204$31,185$37,158
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$144,083$64,657$5,371
Administration Expense$26,939$123,263$178,622
Fundraising Expense$13,249$2,129$11,964
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.571.531.70
Program Expense/Total Expenses78%34%3%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue6%1%4%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$590,736$466,609$379,555
Current Assets$39,047$27,923$51,649
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$3,554$1,097$114
Total Net Assets$587,182$465,512$379,441
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $160,228Contributions, gifts, grants $158,433Contributions, gifts, grants $260,548
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountDonation Box Museum $61,597Donation Box Museum $64,256Fundraising $37,158
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $31,204Fundraising $31,185Government Grants - Unspecified $17,406
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $0 - $50,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities10.9925.45453.06
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization In August, 2011, a benefactor left her estate, approximately $1 million, to the Military Heritage Museum, for us to receive on a matched basis. In February of each year, we receive a dollar-for-dollar match of the money we raised the previous year. We then invest this in Wells Fargo through Landsberg Bennett.  
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from IRS Form 990.  Individual contributions include foundation and corporate support. Financial statements (unaudited compilations for 2010, 2011 and 2012 and unaudited reviews for 2009) do not reconcile to Federal tax returns as Schedule D, Parts XII and XIII were not completed.
Nonprofit Military Heritage Museum Inc
Address 1200 W Retta Esplanade
Suite 48
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Phone 941 575-9002