Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
December 19, 2018
Present: Anna Crissman, Justin Deffenbaugh, Rex Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Sam Fouse, Al Heatwole, Chris Schimmel, James Shanks, and via conference call, Heather Clark, Morgan Mehler, Stephen Miller, Heather Powers, Ben Tyler, and Kit Williams. Blair Deffenbaugh did not attend. Our esteemed colleague and long-time friend Buddy Matthews was not present, due to his untimely passing. He will be missed.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Sam Fouse at 7:29 PM, on Wednesday, December 19th 2018, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC.
- Stephen Miller and Ben Tyler attended as guests via telephone. Justin Deffenbaugh, Al Heatwole, and Chris Schimmel attended as guests in person.
- Motion to approve the November minutes, as posted on the Google drive (Senior / Shanks). Passed.
Order of items below reflects the order of discussion; not necessarily as they appeared on the published agenda.
- Annual Banquet Update. Kit Williams, reporting for Elizabeth Severt, said that plans for the annual meeting and banquet were coming along nicely. They were only in need of a screen to project a slide show on, and he would work on that. James volunteered his small (4’ X 4’) classroom screen as a backup. Morgan indicated that the Solo group had decided not to have a separate awards dinner in advance of the Region’s Annual Dinner, but would combine with it instead. Sam offered them the choice of presenting their awards first, since they were hosting the event, and they will discuss that and make a decision later. In response to questions, Kit indicated that it was a walk of a bit over four blocks from the Best Western to the Brooklyn Arts Center. He also dropped the bombshell that he would be getting married on this Saturday, December 22nd, at the very same venue! The Board unanimously congratulated him.
- Election Update. Bruce reported that the recent Region-wide e-mail he sent had resulted in an uptick in electronic voting. As of this writing, 62 people have voted, but this is well-below our historic norms of 100 to 150 people for an election. No one is really sure why this is so, since it is an easy thing to do, through MotorsportReg.com (MSR). It was suggested that not enough Region members have an MSR account, but others pointed out that since all racers, all volunteers, all soloists, and even all Region members involved with Tarheel Sports Car Club, have an MSR account, that cannot be the reason why those folks are not voting. The election is scheduled to conclude on December 31st.
- Volunteer Incentive Program. Sam reported that he had contacted all the RE’s in the Southeast who run races and they all said they pay volunteers at the track using cash, gift cards, or hotel rooms. He said he would not want us to get involved in hotel rooms and that CCR was going to drop that idea for 2019, leaving only SCR doing it. Their process requires personal involvement by the RE, so it is not workable for our events, Sam said; and everyone agreed. Bruce said that he contacted our accountant, who has changed his tune, and he now says that as long as we don’t compensate anyone more that $600 per year, we can use whatever we like, cash, checks, or gift cards. Heather Powers added that we will need accountability, a tracking mechanism, for who was compensated at each event, no matter what. As has been noted before, a pay-as-you-go system would provide better accounting for the costs of each event as they are incurred. Motion to adopt a pay-as-you-go volunteer incentive system, details to be worked out before the first event in March 2019, (Fouse / Senior). Passed. Such a system might be marginally more expensive to implement, since it will be easier for people to utilize, but it is the right thing to do to compensate people for their service, Sam said.
Treasurer Heather Powers was on the road driving, while participating via phone. She texted her figures to Sam, and James read them aloud. Ms. Powers reported that the Region had a total of about $116K in the bank at this time, $86K in the money market savings account and about $30K in checking, after recent expenses and refunds for the rescheduled Goblins Go, which had been canceled for the second time due to inclement weather. She expects that there are still $8K to $10K in worker credits outstanding. The only bright spot is that our $35K deposit with VIR remains untouched, so it should carry over into 2019. Solo, she reported, has $9400 in their account.
- VIR Contract. Mark had sent everyone a copy of the 2019 VIR contract some time ago. Although we were not going to have a Time Trial event in conjunction with our March event, the contract still showed using renting the Patriot Course in March for $5150 per day. That expense was one of the reasons why the Time Trial event was shelved, as it was just too high, within a few hundred of what CMP rents for. Mark said he had tried to contact Kevin Massey-Shaw for a correction, but Kevin was out of the office for the holidays. Mark talked to Kerrigan Smith, VIR CEO, instead, as he had some other issues to discuss. Kerrigan said we could drop the Patriot rental and that he would address Mark’s other concerns, which were about minor waivers and golf cart rentals, on a case-by-case basis. Given that assurance, Mark said, he saw no reason why Sam should not sign the contract after deleting the Patriot rent. That leaves us with $151,800 in track rental for 2019, including our two-day test day event in August. Our 25 percent deposit should be $37,950, but as VIR still has our 2018 deposit of $35K or so unspent, the hit to our bottom line should be minimal to start with.
- August 2019 event. Sam said that after receiving the contract from VIR, he had notified Sharon Rollow to put August 3rd and 4th on the SEDIV calendar as “TBD”, an event to be determined. After discussion about the possibility of absorbing Barber’s SARRC races, since it is closed for repaving, Sam proposed that we formally adopt the open test day formula he had suggested before. Motion to make August 3rd and 4th an open test day, primarily for Runoffs-bound cars, with the possibility of a discount for NCR members, with the exact format to be determined later (Fouse / Crissman). Passed. Anna immediately added that we should have business cards printed with our schedule on them to hand out at the SCCA National Convention. This was later amended to magnets, and Anna volunteered to make this happen. Anna further said we should put all our events in MSR immediately and open all of them for registration in January. Bruce agreed to enter all the events, but the exact date when they will open will require further discussion.
- Tech and Scales. With the untimely and unfortunate passing of Buddy Matthews, we have issues regarding the transition to a new Chief of Tech (Scrutineering) and getting the scales ready for our busy season ahead. Heather Powers volunteered that since she writes the checks, she knows exactly whom to contact for getting the scales recertified. Rex said there was a whole process involved with using a test car for repeatability and that he and Chris Schimmel were familiar with it. Sam appointed Chris and Rex to a new ad hoc committee (the “Tech Committee”) and he wanted Dwight Cooke to be on it as well, to guarantee that a smooth transition would take place and that all issues would be resolved well in advance of our March event. Chris agreed to contact Dwight. Sam also said that he had heard from Steve Eckerich, the RE of CCR, who has a national license in scrutineering, who said that he would be willing to come up to our March event and do annual tech inspections in the paddock. Rex welcomed that idea. Anna confirmed that Chris Schimmel’s request for an upgrade to a National license had been forwarded to Topeka. Sam indicated that he planned to talk to Toni Creighton about doing Express Tech for us at the Spring Sprints, and possibly other events, if she were willing, as she had done this before.
- Time Trials and Alternative Programs. Sam explained that by Alternative Programs, he has in mind such things as Track Night in America, which, like Time Trials, cannot get a foothold at VIR because it is simply too expensive. Programs like these are vitally important to the future of our Club and to be successful here, we will need an alternative venue. One such venue might be North Carolina Center for Automotive Research (NCCAR), where others have held lapping days. It turns out that NCCAR can be had for a weekend rate of $5750 per day, which compares favorably with CMP and is only marginally more expensive than the otherwise unsuitable Patriot course at VIR. Only 7 corner stations are required to staff it, as it is very flat. What we need, Sam suggested, is someone to examine all the various schedules, the Solo schedule, the SEDIV schedule, the Tarheel Sports Car Club schedule, and the national Time Trial schedule, and come up with a date for us to run an event, the type to be determined, possibly at NCCAR. It cannot conflict with the Time Trial event at CMP over Memorial Day weekend, to which we are already committed. Stephen Miller, the Region’s new Time Trial chair, spoke up and volunteered for that job. He will work on a date and explore it with NCCAR, or suggest another venue. If we can make this work, we can apply for a partial grant from the National Office. Stephen offered to work on the application process since he was familiar with it. Justin Deffenbaugh, Kit Williams, and others agreed that they would be happy to help with this endeavor.
- Wristbands for 2019. Bruce showed us some sample wristbands like the ones we use for admittance to our events at VIR. He had some done that were very professional looking, with our logo on them, which read “North Carolina Region”. The others were the sort that we usually use, with weird patterns and colors, that are clearly generic. He proposed that we spend the money to get the professional-looking ones for 2019, although they were considerably more expensive. The generic ones he could get were cheap, on the order of $15 per thousand when on sale, and he needed 2 sets of a thousand per event, one for hot access, the other for cold. The professional-looking ones he thought would run about $600 for the 8000 he would need for the year. Justin Deffenbaugh went looking on-line while the Board discussed this, and found a cheaper source almost immediately. The Board agreed by consensus that Bruce should pursue getting some professional-looking wristbands for 2019 if he could do so at a cheaper rate, and get back to them with what he finds.
- New Award. Ben Tyler and Heather Clark proposed that we institute a new award to be given to the worker, F&C or otherwise, who does a really good job in a bad situation at the track, a sort of “Mayor of Mayhem” award. Other Regions do this and the Club has the prestigious Martin Tanner award for workers in hot areas who help drivers in life-threatening situations while at risk themselves. Motion to institute such an award (Clark / Senior). Passed. Ben also proposed that we create a unique patch for the NCR Flagging and Communications group to promote camaraderie and to reward volunteers. This too, he noted, was something many other Regions and F&C organizations have done. The Board agreed by consensus that this was an excellent idea. Ben’s initial proposal for this patch was a modification of the decades-old VIR flagger’s patch from before the track closed in 1974. This was very well-received, but many others wanted it made more generic so that it could be given to drivers too. Both ideas will be pursued in the future.
- SEDIV Annual Meeting. The SEDIV Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet is to be held at St. Simons Island, Georgia, the weekend of February 3-4, 2019. A quick survey showed that many people present were planning to attend: Mark, Rex, Anna. Sam, Al, Heather Clark, and Bruce. And it was noted that as SARRC Committee representative, Blair “Pepe” Stitt was also expected to go. As per our continuing resolution, the RE and ARE’s expenses would be fully funded and they could take companions with them if they wished. The rest would submit receipts for reimbursement of expenses for travel, lodging, attendance fees, and meals, up to the limit of some total amount yet to be determined. Motion to make the reimbursement pot $5000, the same as it was last year (Crissman / Fouse). Passed.
Chapter and Committee Reports: As of this writing, there were no Chapter or Committee reports for November 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 9:02 PM (Powers / Clark). Passed.
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks