CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - It was a special ceremony Thursday night at the USS Lexington as Executive Director Rocco Montesano steps down from his position. Montesano position will be taken over by fellow retired Navy captain Steve Banta.
"Honor to represent Navy and to represent the City of Corpus Christi and to represent the USS Lexington," Montesano said.
Montesano has now been the Executive Director of the USS Lexington for the past 20 years.
"The staff, the tourists, the veterans, being able to talk to those folks and getting their stories,"
Montesano has also been there for major improvements to the museum and keeping it up with modern technology.
"To go to static displays to interactive displays with holograms and a laser 3-d projection system," Banta said ."The reason why this ship is successful is because of him."
The new Executive Director, chosen by the Board of Directors, has a similar background to Montesano both attended the United States Naval Academy and both served as a Commanders of NAS- Corpus Christi.
"As Naval Aviator to get to be here on the USS Lexington it's such an important part of the community," Banta said.
While serving as Commanding Officer of the local base Captain Banta was able to work alongside Montesano and said one of the qualities that stood out the most was Montesano's leadership.
"He was somebody who always mentored me and mentored me," Banta said.
Banta hopes to be able to continue on that leadership.
Over 400 guests attended Thursday nights ceremony including State Representative Todd Hunter, Congressman Blake Farenthold, and Mayor Joe McComb.
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