The Mariners’ Museum and Park – The Virginian-Pilot

Midsize companies, ranked No. 7

Finding our connection to the water and to one another is the reason employees enjoy working at The Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News.

Deemed by Congress as the national maritime center, the 90,000-square-foot museum has been displaying people’s connection to the water since its founding in 1930 by Homer Ferguson and Archer Milton Huntington, son of Collis P. Huntington, who started Newport News Shipbuilding.

For just $1, visitors can visit the galleries and explore the International Small Craft Center and the USS Monitor Center, where museum conservators work in the state-of-the-art Batten Conservation Complex to examine and treat 210 tons of artifacts from the shipwrecked Civil War vessel. In partnership with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, it is the largest conservation project of its kind in the world.

The neighboring park features the 5-mile Noland Trail and the 167-acre Mariners’ Lake where kayaks and small boats can be rented.

The 111 employees enjoy their work because of a sense of purpose. Their work is more than just displaying artifacts. They aim to have visitors experience a deep understanding of our connection to the water. They want visitors to connect both intellectually and emotionally through year-round programming. A huge focus is on what’s considered their most important segment — the school-age child, said Libby Acree Hurley, human resources director.

“We get to be a part of something bigger than ourselves,” she said. “Everything we do here is in service to the community, and it’s amazing to witness firsthand the impact The Mariners’ Museum and Park has.”

The teams have weekly coffee and doughnuts meetings. There are semiannual staff campfires and a holiday breakfast. Employees attend events such as Sips and Trips and the fall festival, Hurley added. The average employee has worked there for about eight years.

“And the other reason this is a great place to work is our team,” she said. “This is an incredible group of people that work hard every single day to make a difference. We’re far from perfect but we are all working together towards a common goal.”

The Mariners' Museum and Park is a 2023 Top Workplace in Hampton Roads. (Courtesy of Mariners' Museum)
The Mariners’ Museum and Park is a 2023 Top Workplace in Hampton Roads. (Courtesy of Mariners’ Museum)


Special award

Leadership — Howard Hoege III. Employees have confidence in the leader of this company.


About the organization

Address: 100 Museum Drive, Newport News

Phone: 757-596-2222


Top executives: Howard H. Hoege III, president and CEO; Lyles Forbes, vice president

Employees: 111

Benefits include: Medical, dental, and long-term disability insurance; term life insurance; flexible spending and health savings accounts; paid vacation and sick leave; holiday pay; 403(b) retirement plan; paid day to volunteer for a charity, paid birthday. Part-time: sick leave, holiday pay, retirement plan.

Fun factor:  Weekly coffee and donuts to catch up as a team, semiannual staff campfires, and a holiday breakfast. Employees take part in fun public events, such as The Mariners’ Sips and Trips.

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