BoD Minutes – November 15, 2017

Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
November 15, 2017

Present:  Heather Clark, Anna Crissman, Rex Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Sam Fouse, Buddy Matthews, Heather Powers, Mark Senior, James Shanks, and via conference call, Eric Danielsen, Matt Decker, and Ben Tyler. Morgan Mehler and Blair Deffenbaugh did not attend.

  1. The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Sam Fouse at 7:30 PM, on Wednesday, November 15th 2017, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC.
  1. Eric Danielsen and Ben Tyler attended as guests via telephone.
  1. Motion to approve the October minutes, as corrected and posted on the Google drive (Senior / Fouse).

Order of items below reflects the order of discussion; not as they appeared on the published agenda.

Financial Report.

Treasurer Heather Powers reported that we have about $112K in the money market savings account, and just shy of $56K in checking at his time, with most of our outstanding bills paid, except for worker credits and the 25% deposit due VIR for next season. That deposit is about $36K, since the basic track rental bill for our four events next season is $143K. The deposit must be paid by December 1st. Solo, Heather said, has about $11.2K in their account at this time. Sam added that his preliminary figures show that we lost approximately $10K on the Harvest Moon Hot Laps PDX.  We needed more than 100 entries at $200 a head, but only got 62, resulting in a significant drop in projected revenue. Some of those present questioned his figures and Sam promised to circulate the spread sheet he had developed to the Board.

Old Business:

  1. Awards Banquet Update. Buddy reported that plans for the annual meeting and dinner were coming along well for the date of Saturday, January 13th at the Vailtree Center in Burlington. The event budget is based on 150 people attending. 141 people attended last year, 57 couples and 27 singles. The room will cost $20 a person ($3000), and the food $24 per person ($3600) with that number attending. As this is higher than last year, discussion of the price resulted in a consensus that it would have to cost attendees more. Motion: To set the annual awards dinner price at $35 for singles and $60 per couple (Senior / Deffenbaugh). Passed.  The menu will feature beef, chicken, and fish, potatoes, a couple of vegetable sides, and dessert. A cash bar with beer or wine will be available, but hard liquor will not be, due to the increased cost of setting that up. A live 5-piece band, headed by local musician Chris Turner, will perform. Buddy added that the SCCA’s Heywood Wagner, Director of Experiential Programs, will be our guest speaker. On the question of how to avoid the rather long line we had last year, with people registering and paying at the front table, Bruce suggested that we urge people to pay in advance via credit card.  The fee would only be about a $1.50 per transaction and the benefit would be worth it. The Board informally agreed to this. After much discussion, it was further agreed that the doors (and the bar) should open at 5:00 PM, followed by dinner at 6:00, a 15-minute business meeting (as required by the Bylaws) at 7:00, then Heywood Wagner and the awards presentation after that.  The plan is to wrap up by 10:30. Buddy agreed to publish a schedule.
  1. 2018 Schedule. As announced last month, our schedule for next year at VIR is as follows:

March 10 – 11             March into Spring

April 13 – 15              VIR Spring Sprints Majors

May 12-13                  SARRC / MARRS Challenge

October 13-14             Goblins Go

It was noted that puts the SARRC / MARRS back on Mother’s Day weekend again (where it has been many, many times in the past). This was dismissed by some as business as usual, but Sam noted that we should have increased attendance, since the Formula 1000 group had indicated to him that they wanted to come both in May and October, with October being their finale, and they said that we should plan on 15 cars each time. Their participation is predicated on them getting their own race group at least once during each weekend, and Sam said he thought we could work that out, despite it being be troublesome to schedule. Since we no longer have a stand-alone date for a PDX, the idea was proposed that we hold one on the Friday before the March event. Mark Senior agreed to talk to VIR about that possibility, since it would probably mean that they would lose their test day. It might also be difficult to staff, but that discussion was postponed in favor of determining its feasibility first.

  1. Speed Suite Loan. Sam thought it prudent to explain to the Board more thoroughly the terms of our loan on the Speed Suite. As a 501c(4) non-profit with no credit history, we could not get a standard 15-year mortgage. Instead, BB&T gave us the best deal they could, which is a 7-year note with a balloon payment at the end, common for commercial ventures, which assumes that we will apply for an extension or a new loan when the balloon payment comes due. Our current payment is about $741 / month, which amortizes the loan over 15 years, assuming we apply for an extension when our seven-year term is up. To pay off the note more quickly would take a lot more money each month, an additional $606 per month to pay the loan off in 7 years, and about $300 per month to pay it off in ten. But there is no need to put ourselves on so tight a budget in order to do that. Since there is no pre-payment penalty, we can pay an extra amount on the principal whenever we have extra cash, such as after the Majors, and not have to worry about getting additional revenue from the our “regional” races, which are run on much tighter budgets. Sam’s recommendation therefore is to do just that, make the minimum payment until after the Majors in 2018, and then see where we stand. The rest of the Board agreed by consensus. The point, Sam emphasized, was that the going rate for similar rental property was about $10/sq. ft. per year, so our 1200 sq. ft. space would likely cost us about $1,000 per month, and would be likely to go up in the future. In addition, we would never build any equity. So even if it takes us more than ten years to pay it off, we are still way ahead of renting.

New Business:

  1. Refund for Goblins Go Driver. Bruce circulated a printed copy of the e-mail exchange between an entrant from the Goblins Go and himself, in which the driver says he was so despondent after his car’s transmission failed after the Saturday race that he withdrew and that he forgot to notify us of that fact. As his sanction and insurance fees were covered by his Saturday racing, Bruce calculated that, once his multi-race discount was backed out, that the most he could expect would be $210 of the $445 he had paid.  Since he had paid by credit card, and we had already paid nearly $30 in credit card fees and could not recover those after this much time had elapsed, the Board voted to retain those. Motion: To refund this driver $180, $210 less $30, (Senior / Crissman).
  1. 2018 VIR Contract. Mark had circulated the VIR contract for 2018 via e-mail several days before the meeting and some concerns had been raised by the Board members. Sam pointed out that there are several places where it makes us, as renter, responsible for things that are very hard to police, such as how much fuel a competitor may bring to the track (no more than 20 gallons), and yet it imposes a financial penalty for each breach. Additionally, it now specifies which stations must be staffed for various kinds of events, and provides that a Controller (a VIR employee) to manage the corner works is included in the basic track rental. No one has any idea what this person would do if we are not also renting corner workers from VIR. The Flag Chiefs would like to have a face-to-face discussion with Kerrigan and show him how we conduct events because they believe that he does not know how we operate. Several people were also unhappy that the contract no longer specifies any specific VIR policies in detail, but instead just points to a web link and makes the renter responsible for checking that link up to the day of the event. Sam and Eric pointed out that this conflicts with the statement that only what is spelled out in the contract shall be considered as part of it. Sam asked Mark Senior as track liaison to pursue these questions with Kerrigan.  Mark agreed, but suggested that we send in our deposit as soon as possible as a gesture of good faith. The Board agreed by consensus that should happen. Bruce will hand-deliver it in a few days. Anyone with additional issues not covered in the e-mail exchange should send them to Mark.  
  1. 2018 Majors Letter of Agreement (LOA). Sam reported that he had received from the National Office the LOA for our Majors event to be signed and returned by us. He promised to circulate it before he signs it so that we might address any concerns. The gist of it, he said was that there will be 8 race groups, but a bit different from last year. Only SRF3 cars will be included; SRF will be gone. Open wheel is to be split into a big-bore group and a small-bore group to address their vastly differing performance potential. B-Spec will be combined with small bore production cars.  Express Tech and Express Registration are gone, as those did not work well. And compliance fees will be collected only from Spec Miata (SM), Formula Enterprise (FE), and SRF3. A provision for allowing the use of a virtual safety car (which VIR implements as Code 35) may be in the GCR by then.
  1. Post-event Reconciliation on MSR. Sam, Bruce, and Anna, are having difficulty getting their numbers to match using the reports in Motorsportreg.com (MSR). Anna indicated that she is using a set of reports set up by someone in SEDIV, called the SEDIV Group Report. This apparently doesn’t match what Bruce and Sam have been using, and that creates a problem because there are fees assessed per car. They discussed this briefly and then decided to pursue it offline among themselves.
  1. SEDIV Annual Meeting. The SEDIV annual meeting is to be held on St. Simons Island again, February 2 – 4, 2018. Since this will follow the elections and the annual dinner, it was agreed that we should postpone discussion of who should go and how much reimbursement would be provided by the Region until a future meeting. 
  1. Annual Awards. Per the Bylaws, the Awards Committee is composed of the Chapter Coordinators and the Members-at-Large. They are to elect a chair person among themselves. As before, since Buddy was handling the arrangements for the dinner personally, he asked that someone else take his place. James Shanks agreed to do that, and later, he agreed to be the chairman when no one else volunteered. Eric Danielsen agreed to produce the awards via his business All-Star Impressions, as he had done in years past. Sam also asked him to produce the Tarheel Cup year-end awards and he agreed. Eric further agreed to produce a slide show for the annual dinner, similar to the one he made last year, which was so very well-received.
  1. Nominations for 2018 Election of Officers. As Secretary, James announced that he and Sam were running unopposed. There were three nominees for the two open Member-at-Large seats. Incumbents Heather Clark and Morgan Mehler both submitted nominations, as did William J. Pennington II, or “Joedy” as we know him. Bruce Dover will prepare a ballot to be mailed no later than Wednesday, December 6th. He asked that those running send him short biographies that he might put on the web site, as is his usual practice. Sam pointed out that Mark Senior had announced his intention not to run again for Triangle Chapter Coordinator, so that seat would be vacant until the Chapter elected someone for 2018. Board might be short a voting member until that happened. It would depend on what the Triangle Chapter members did at their next meeting, scheduled for December 6th. 

Chapter and Committee Reports: As of this writing there were no Chapter reports for November 2017 posted on the Google drive.

Motion to adjourn at 9:07 PM (Clark / R. Deffenbaugh). Passed.

Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks