Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Minutes
February 17, 2016
Present: Sam Fouse, Mike Spencer, Steve Keadle, James Shanks, Rex Deffenbaugh, Blair Deffenbaugh, Tricia Deffenbaugh, Mark Senior, Buddy Matthews, Heather Clark, John Lindquist, Bruce Dover, Eric Danielsen, Kerrigan Smith, David “Cowboy” Crumpton, Sandie Currie, Tommy Webb, and via conference call, Morgan Mehler.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by Sam Fouse, RE, at 7:24pm, on Wednesday, February 17th 2016, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC, 27707.
- Guests in attendance included Eric Danielsen, Tricia Deffenbaugh, and from VIR, Kerrigan Smith (Chief Operating Officer), David “Cowboy” Crumpton (Track Safety Director), Sandie Currie (Chief Operating Officer Resort), and Tommy Webb (Security Director).
- The regular Board of Directors meeting was preempted for this special session with the VIR management staff to discuss any issues from last season and our plans for the new season. As NCR track liaison, this portion was moderated by Mark Senior. The regular meeting was to follow as time permitted.
Issues discussed with VIR staff:
- Repaving. The track has a lawsuit against their paving contractor for a faulty job. They will be closed for a six-week period in June and July for repairs. This will mean a huge loss of revenue for them. This situation was reported in the Danville paper last week but without the information on the projected closing dates, leading to a storm of speculation on social media about what events would be impacted. Mark Senior contacted Kerrigan for the full story and other members, notably Blair Deffenbaugh, urged people on social media to remain calm and refrain from wild speculation as NCR’s events would not be affected. Bruce Dover also posted a notice on the Region website. Mr. Smith thanked the Region for its efforts in controlling the public perception. He further indicated that VIR was committed to doing the right thing and getting the pavement fixed for the benefit of its renters without waiting for the progress of the lawsuit.
- Moving the Hospitality tent. Mr. Smith said he has no problem with us moving our Hospitality tent to the center of the paddock across from the victory circle.
- Track access on test day. Mr. Smith and Mr. Webb agreed that we should be able to access the track on the test day preceding our events as soon as Registration is open. They will continue to allow Registration in the paddock for test day participants.
- Improvements to tech shed. A new roof is needed on the tech shed but it is not planned at this time, since they just replaced the much larger roof on the Pagoda. Mr. Smith said we can put up a tarp inside but not outside. There are plans to replace the barn doors with overhead doors but no date has been set for this. Mr. Smith said he is open to the idea of painting the end of the shed white to provide a better backdrop for the flag station at Turn 3.
- Addition of lights to the corner stations. Mr. Smith said he is considering running conduit for a system of signal lights at the corner stations because VIR now has several events which run in the dark. He did not give a time frame for this to happen.
- Code 35. Various Region members remarked that the implementation of the Code 35 procedure at VIR had worked quite well despite their initial skepticism. Code 35 calls for a special flag to be displayed at Start/Finish and all cars to slow to 35 miles per hour so that EV can enter a hot track more quickly to assist a disabled car. Mr. Smith indicated that he had received considerable negative feedback from others and he appreciated our positive feedback. He indicated that they were considering obtaining a speed display sign to help drivers regulate their speed during Code 35, but that these were quite expensive. It was noted that SCCA National had declined to use Code 35 for the Majors. Mr. Smith said he understood and this was all right as long as the officials knew that there would be no “hot pulls.”
- NCR tent at the IMSA event. John Lindquist made a point of thanking VIR for allowing us to have a tent with a race car display to attract potential new members at the IMSA event last year. Mr. Smith indicated that we would be allowed to continue this practice, which had been provided without charge.
- Enduro scheduling. Mark Senior and Sam Fouse spoke of the difficulties we had in attracting entries for our Enduro event, largely because of its October date, when the SCCA calendar in the Southeast is full. Mr. Smith indicated that while he understood our desire for a different date, changing dates has a ripple effect throughout VIR’s complex calendar, since the track is literally booked for every weekend from September through to December. However, he would fairly consider any proposal for a change but that it would have to be made early in the season so that the impact on other renters could be worked out. He specifically mentioned that we might consider running the Enduro during the summer months.
- Enduro lighting. It was agreed that the placement of the lights along pit road and near the start stand last year had worked very well and this placement should be continued for 2016.
- Bringing in food. In response to questions, Sandie Currie indicated that VIR would not be offended if we decided to bring in our own food rather than use their catering. But she noted that they would be willing to customize the menu and work within any budget we presented.
- Annual meeting at VIR. In response to questions, Ms. Currie indicated that other groups were holding their annual meetings at VIR in January, and that either the Pagoda or the Gallery building were available for this purpose should we want to pursue that.
- Drones. Mr. Webb inquired whether SCCA’s policy was still to prohibit the use of drones at our events. He was happy with the response that it was, but indicated that we should take note of the policy spelled out in our VIR contract should that ever change. The contract details VIR’s policy, which strictly limits the number of them and requires an additional insurance policy as well as FAA certification.
This portion of the meeting ended informally at 8:30 PM. Kerrigan Smith graciously picked up the tab for dinner for all participants and thanked us all for attending.
- The regular Board of Directors meeting was called to order at 8:39 PM. RE Sam Fouse announced that it would be abbreviated due to the lateness of the hour.
- Sam pointed out that Bruce Dover had recently implemented a Google Drive entitled “NCR Executive Board” with a folder for 2016 and sub-folders for each month. The reason for this was to provide each member with easy access to documents to be shared among the members and Sam urged everyone to get on board with this. Several documents were already there, including last month’s minutes, the Triangle Chapter report, a membership summary, several documents pertaining to the Majors, and others regarding our entry fees and marketing efforts.
Financial Report: Treasurer Steve Keadle announced that we are running on a razor-thin margin at the moment. He further reported that the issue of an old invoice from VIR claiming that we were delinquent in paying approximately $4000 for catering services in 2011 had surfaced again. This was supposed to have gone away last year. Several members lamented that this was not brought up while VIR management was present. Mark Senior volunteered to pursue the matter with them.
Chapter Reports: Chapter reports were skipped because of time constraints.
Membership. Skipped due to time constraints
- Competition Board. Mike Spencer agreed to hold a conference call meeting of the Comp Board one week after the March event.
- Solo. Morgan Mehler was unable to speak (or hear) very well since the conference call equipment had been forgotten and he was participating via Mark Senior’s cell phone. Mark spoke for him. The first Solo event of the year would be a school on Saturday, March 5th followed by a points event on Sunday, March 6th at MCAS Cherry Point. Registration was already open in MSR.
- PDX/Time Trials. Morgan Mehler reported that he had not been able to have any further discussions with the management at Rockingham about holding a PDX there. At this point, Morgan left the meeting since participation was so difficult.
- Marketing. Eric Danielsen had placed some documents on the Google Drive about our e-mail campaign click rates using Constant Contact. Of particular interest was the 47% click rate for our note on VIR repaving, which indicates that we are reaching the proper audience. Blair Deffenbaugh made his report on social media under New Business.
- Charities. No report.
- Banquet. No report other than Buddy Matthews has verified that Heather Powers and Nancy Wentz are heading up the event for this season.
- Awards. Sam noted as past RE Rex Deffenbaugh is the de facto committee chair for 2016. He was advised to delegate the many duties involved.
- National and SEDIV conventions. Sam wrote an RE Report and posted it on the Google Drive. He also included the first draft of the newly proposed CCPS rules agreed upon at The SEDIV conventions by the four RE’s of the participating Regions, NCR, CCR, Atlanta, and SCR. There was no time for further discussion.
- Sam noted that he had met Heyward Wagner of the SCCA National Office, who had recently accepted a new post there to expand our presence on social media and to do a better job at marketing the Club. It was Sam’s opinion that Heyward, who has plans to consolidate all web functions, including event registration, into a single website, was remaking the SCCA all by himself.
- Trophies. There was a letter from F&S, now on the Google Drive, indicating that photo trophies were going up in cost and it outlined some alternatives. Sam indicated that, despite the increased cost, skimping on trophies was akin to shooting ourselves in the foot as we had discovered last season. We will be using the more expensive photo trophies for the March race and others. It was noted that while more expensive per unit, these incur no waste.
- March entry fees. An additional discount for entering a third and fourth race had been added on MotorpsortReg.com and Bruce has sent a notice about it to all drivers currently registered. A document comparing our entry fees to other Regions was also added as a link and it shows that we are still cheaper than other Regions for similar events. This document is on the Google Drive.
- March statistics for the last three events. A document showing the results of the last three years is on the Google Drive and Sam noted that we will need about 245 drivers to enter in order to break even and we currently have about 129 signed up so far, about half.
- Bylaws Committee. Sam reconstituted the Bylaws Committee and asked James Shanks to chair it and pick his term of office (1, 2 or 3 years). He charged James with finding other members for the committee. Mike Spencer volunteered for the committee. The Board will confirm (or reject) the nominations of the Bylaws Committee members at a future meeting when all members have been nominated by Sam, as per the existing Bylaws.
- Budget and Finance Committee. Sam reconstituted the Budget and Finance Committee, and appointed himself and John Lindquist to be in it, along with Treasures Steve Keadle, as the existing Bylaws dictate. He will consider other nominations and allow the members to pick their terms before submitting the full slate to the Board for confirmation at a future meeting.
- Proposed CCPS rules. The CCPS races at the March event will be run under the final new rule set first presented at the SEDIV Convention once those have been approved. They will then be posted on the Google Drive.
- Marketing Budget. Blair Deffenbaugh reported that he ventured $30 of his own money for an additional service from Facebook which allowed him to determine the “reach” of some our recent social media posts. While we have only 750 members, the original posting by someone else about VIR repaving was viewed by 2000 people, and our posting urging calm about it reached a whopping 8000 people. 483 souls looked at the one about Registration opening for the March event. Blair made the point that his expenditure allowed us to see the extent of our influence on social media and was well worth it. He said that he was going to propose in a future meeting that we set aside approximately $100 per event to spend on this sort of thing, and perhaps even larger amounts to produce content (videos and the like) that we could include in our postings to gain a larger audience.
Motion to adjourn at 9:24 PM (Senior/Spencer) Passed