Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
January 30, 2019
Present: Anna Crissman, Dwight Cooke, Justin Deffenbaugh, Rex Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Jennifer Dover, Sam Fouse, Al Heatwole, Adam Miller, Stephen Miller, Heather Powers, Chris Schimmel, Mark Senior, and James Shanks, attended in person, and via conference call, Heather Clark, Eric Danielsen, Morgan Mehler, Ben Tyler, and Kit Williams. The West Chapter has not yet named a replacement for Buddy Matthews as Chapter Coordinator.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Sam Fouse at 7:28 PM, on Wednesday, January 30th 2018, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC,
- Eric Danielsen and Ben Tyler attended as guests via telephone. Dwight Cooke, Adam Miller, Stephen Miller, Justin Deffenbaugh, and Chris Schimmel attended as guests in person.
- Motion to approve the December minutes, as posted on the Google drive (Shanks / Senior). Passed.
Order of items below reflects the order of discussion; not necessarily as they appeared on the published agenda.
- Region History and Website. James reported that he had been discussing things with Bruce and that Bruce was working on updating the website Region History page with the 17 PDF copies of The Bulletin that he had received from the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, which houses the SCCA Archives. Buddy’s recent passing and the subsequent scramble to recover documents and properties from his house prompted James to reconsider how we were handing our recent history, especially online. His proposal was to create an area on the Google drive and copy everything he had onto it, so that all Region Board members would have access to it and know where it was. But he felt that this was not enough, since it was likely that should Google have a catastrophe of some sort, they would not be liable for any lost documents or images. James proposed that he also obtain a large flash drive to make the Region’s own backup. But several Board members felt that what should be obtained was a complete solid-state hard drive of greater capacity. Motion to obtain a solid-state hard drive of at least one terabyte, at a cost of no more than $150, for the purpose of backing our Google drive (Senior / Crissman). Passed.
- Awards Banquet for Next Year. In response to questioning by Eric Danielsen, the Board and those guests present roundly agreed that the recent Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner had been a success. Eric said he wanted the Board to realize just how much effort went into the planning and execution of that event, and that after consultation with James Shanks and Elizabeth Severt, he had prepared a task list organized as a timeline, which showed just how much had to be done. James asked him to share that with the Board by putting it on the Google drive and he agreed (it now resides under January 2019). James also pointed out that we had spent about $1200 on trophies and had subsidized the meal and hall to the tune of at least $4000 more, so this was an expensive undertaking to do right. Kit Williams spoke up on Elizabeth’s behalf, as she could not be present, and asked that if the banquet were to be in Wilmington again, she wanted to know as soon as possible, because the time for lining up of venues for next year was now. Sam said that our usual practice was to have the banquet in the same city for at least two years in a row, and that barring any objections, he saw no reason not to go back again. There were no objections. Motion to have the Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner in Wilmington again under the direction of Elizabeth Severt (Senior / Fouse). Passed.
- SEDIV Meeting Agenda Items and Schedule. Sam wanted to determine who all was going to the SEDIV Annual Meeting this coming weekend and to make sure that people knew that his plate would be full with the meetings he had to attend, such as the RE Breakfast. He further wanted to make sure that all the other important areas were covered, especially Tech, now that Buddy Matthews was no longer with us. It was determined that Heather Clark, Anna Crissman, Rex Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Sam Fouse, Al Heatwole, Steve Rose, Mark Senior, Chris Schimmel, and Blair Stitt would be attending. Sam passed around a copy of the agenda for those who has not seen it yet (most had) and pointed out that he would be busy with Time Trials (for reasons which would become apparent later in this meeting, he said) and the ECR. Rex spoke up and said that he, Al, and Chris would be present for all the Tech sessions. With regard to the ECR, Sam told the Board that he had asked the Executive Chief Steward of the Southeast, Morriss Pendleton, to appoint him to the ECR Committee to fill Buddy’s former seat and that had been done. He commented further that he was unhappy to learn that the ECR Committee, unlike the SARRC Committee, for example, which is comprised of all the SARRC Representatives of the Regions that put on SARRC races, the ECR Committee was just three people chosen by the Executive Steward. That seemed unfair and undemocratic to him, and it would be one item that Sam hoped to change with his participation.
Treasurer Heather Powers was late in arriving so the financial report was postponed until this point, interrupting the Old Business portion of the meeting, which continued after her report. Ms. Powers reported that the Region had a total of about $93K in the bank at this time, $75K in the money market account and about $18K in checking, after settling up with VIR and paying for all the worker credits for the year as well as the expenses for the Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner. Solo, she reported, has $6700 in their account. Sam indicated that he had to sign three checks for Elizabeth Severt at the Annual Dinner and that he wanted us to find a way so that someone in the Cape Fear Chapter, perhaps the Cape Fear Chapter Coordinator, since that person was a member of the Board, could also sign checks so that the person running the dinner would not be out of pocket for so long. This issue was tabled for now.
- Volunteer Incentive Program. Bruce sent out a survey to all volunteers from last season via MotorsportReg.com, asking how they would prefer their compensation to be paid when we switch to doing it at the event. Out of over 200 who were sent the e-mail, only 81 responded, which is about as good as surveys get, and out of those 48 said they would prefer a check over a debit card (22) or a gift card (11). So the clear preference is for checks. Now it is up to us, more particularly to Heather and Bruce, how to implement this as a process. There was some discussion about getting a signature stamp and about pre-printing the checks, but no resolution was reached. There was more discussion about where and how checks would be distributed to the volunteers. Anna said she could distribute to her workers in T&S. Other chiefs with small numbers of volunteers could the same, but the big issue would be with F&C. One idea that was floated was having the Flag Chiefs distribute them during equipment turn-in at the Speed Suite, but that was abandoned as unworkable. Finally, James suggested that the logical place to centralize this would be the Hospitality tent and that he would close down all other operations after the last race and take charge of distribution to F&C and any other workers whose chiefs could not do it for them (probably everybody except Registration and T&S). The issue of how to produce the checks was tabled until the next meeting.
- Hospitality Plans for March. The March participant gift will be the red and black padfolios (so-called 5X7” tablets of lined paper enclosed in a fabric-covered folder, embossed with the Region logo). These were obtained last year for the Goblins Go, which was canceled twice due to inclement weather. There are enough (nearly 400) to give one to all participants, including drivers, and they promote Region-awareness because people will use them. But James wanted to know whether the Board thought we should go ahead with the “Vintage Tee Shirt Exchange”, whereby people bring their old, but clean and gently used, racing apparel to the Hospitality tent for redistribution. The consensus was that we should. Then James reminded Bruce, Eric, and the Flag Chiefs, to include that in their e-mail advertising for our March into Spring event. He can supply wording again if required. Sam interjected that we would clearly have to do a commemorative tee shirt for the Spring Sprints and that we should have some Region-branded apparel on sale for new visitors to buy, so getting rid of the old stuff was a good idea.
- March Into Spring Budget. This item was tabled until the next meeting.
- Time Trials Programs. Sam and Stephen Miller, our recently-appointed Time Trial Administrator, had recently ventured to the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research (NCCAR) facility to explore its potential as a Time Trial venue. Located in Garysburg, North Carolina, near Roanoke Rapids, this facility offers a two-mile bi-directional track with 11 turns. It also offers classroom and some garage facilities and has large open areas for paddocking and camping, complete with some power poles and porta-johns. The best part, Stephen explained, is that it can be had for just $4800 day (a discounted rate for us), which includes a flatbed wrecker and workers to staff the 7 corner stations. EMS services (2 people) can be added for $1500 per day. This brings our cost for the weekend to about $15K, and with an entry of about $200 we could break-even at 75 cars. But we would have to rent transponders (assuming we can get these from South Carolina Region, since we do not have enough) which would mean an entry fee closer to $250 per car. Stephen further indicated that he had tentatively reserved a date of June 15-16 for us at NCCAR, with another available for November 9-10, if we were successful. The real issue was whether we should do this as a stand-alone event or be part of a series. South Carolina Region was willing to join us in a series to include their Memorial Day Monster event, which we are already committed to help put on, and Stephen thought he could persuade Blue Ridge Region, which is planning a Patriot Course event at VIR soon, to join as well. Motion to put on a Time Trial event at NCCAR the weekend of June 15-16 and be part of a series (Crissman / Shanks). Passed. Having decided on a series, Stephen continued, then we should decide whether it will be part of the SEDIV Time Trial umbrella, which has slightly different rules than the national time trial set, and would cost us an additional $10 per car in a sanction fees; or create our own series. This latter course would give us more control, but would likely cause a political crisis in the Southeast, which might result in the resignation of some very good people. The downside was the additional sanction fee. Stephen was confident that SCR would go along with our decision. Motion to be part of the SEDIV Time Trial series and pay the fees (Crissman / Senior). Passed. Stephen and Sam will announce our new plans at the SEDIV Convention this weekend after meeting with all the other participants and hammering out an agreement. Then Stephen and Anna, as head of the Comp Board, will get together to decide what we can easily provide for this event and what we have to scrounge up. One issue seems to be portable scales for weighing cars.
- Spring Sprints Planning. Sam once again said we would be doing a commemorative tee shirt for all participants. This would be significant because of the expected number of them. There will be more drivers than we have ever had before, Sam said, and we face huge hurdles in getting them paddocked, registered, and “teched” in a single day. He shared with Board that a survey conducted by the National Office showed that 448 of last-years Majors drivers said they were planning to attend our Spring Sprints, and that based on results from Daytona and Indy, this number was low. He was told to expect between 500 and 600 cars in April. That makes load-in a nightmare, Sam said. The most we have ever had in recent years is about 325 cars. We will have to mark off and assign spaces. And even though Thursday is a test day, and under VIR control, we will have to get them to insist that our paddock parking rules be observed so that no one has to move when the test day is over. Also, we will probably have to insist that only “prep shops” or groups of multiple drivers can paddock in the paved areas, because there are not enough spaces to go around. We will need a plan to handle the fact that drivers who are not part of the test day, will begin showing up on Thursday, even late into Thursday night, and they will expect to set up in their paddock spaces. They cannot do that unless we register them and escort them to their spots. Sam envisions that we will need extra volunteers to work as paddock marshals and tram (golf cart) drivers to shuttle people around. He even floated the idea of roving tech inspectors, who could do “express tech” or minor gear inspections, so that drivers would not have to come to the tech shed, where space will be at a premium. Finally, he said that he had been suggesting to Charlie Leonard, who handles load-in for the Runoffs, that he come up to supervise our event in April as a kind of dress rehearsal. He further wants Charlie to buddy up with Lee Hill, former SCCA Chairman of the Board, and now NCR member, so that we have a direct pipeline and control of how this is handled. What happens in April, Sam said, will very clearly, indicate how things will go in October, so these guys have a stake in helping us. He plans to talk some more to them at the SEDIV Convention this weekend.
Chapter and Committee Reports: As of this writing, there were no Chapter or Committee reports for December 2018 posted on the Google drive. There was, however, a spreadsheet of past award winners going back to 2002 and a text list of the awards given last year.
Motion to adjourn at 9:16 PM (Crissman / Fouse). Passed.
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks