Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
November 16, 2016
Present: Heather Clark, Anna Crissman, Blair Deffenbaugh, Rex Deffenbaugh, Tricia Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Brian Eldredge, Sam Fouse, Steve Keadle, John Lindquist, Steve Martin, Buddy Matthews, Joedy Pennington, Heather Powers, Mark Senior, James Shanks, Mike Spencer, and via conference call, John Byers, Eric Danielsen, Morgan Mehler, and Ben Tyler.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Sam Fouse at 7:20 pm, on Wednesday, November 16th 2016, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC, 27707.
- Guests in attendance included Anna Crissman, Tricia Deffenbaugh, Brian Eldredge, Steve Martin, Joedy Pennington, and Heather Powers, all in person. Guests participating via phone were Eric Danielsen, and Ben Tyler.
- Motion to approve the October minutes as written (Spencer / Senior). Passed.
Financial Report: Treasurer Steve Keadle provided comprehensive reports on the Region’s financial position through the end of May, including a detailed breakdown of the first three races. The results were even better than the preliminaries, provided earlier by Sam Fouse, had indicated. Steve’s figures show that all three races made money, before the unallocated expenses are taken. Our net income as of May 31 leaves us in a very good position to absorb the anticipated losses for the second half of the year. Steve promised that he would have a report through the end of November by the December Board meeting. The remaining big expenses will be worker credits (which could be as high as $45K), the 2017 track deposit ($39K) and the annual dinner (up to $5000 including the awards). Several Board members observed that we had proved that a sensibly-priced entry fee could be found which would not scare off competitors but would still allow us to make a healthy profit.
- Reimbursement Policy for Required Meetings. Tabled from last meeting, this issue was handled out-of-order as new business. Rex had a long and complex motion to make regarding the reimbursement policy for the RE and Assistant RE, who are required to attend various meetings out of Region.
- Worker Credit Update. Bruce reported that worker credit reimbursement requests were still coming in and that he and Steve were busy writing and sending out checks. We should know by the December Board meeting what out actual liability is, since the deadline for submission is November 30th.
- Awards. The Awards Committee was planning on holding an organizational meeting following this Board meeting, so those members who were on the committee, the Members-at-Large and the Chapter Coordinators (with James Shanks substituting for Buddy Matthews), with the past RE as chair, were all asked to stay for that meeting. They did, including Morgan and John Byers, who participated via phone.
- Annual Banquet Planning. Buddy had no new issues to discuss but did observe that several new exotic cars had been added to the display at our planned venue, which should make for interesting viewing.
Topics below are in the order discussed; not as they appeared on the Agenda.
- VIR contract for 2017. Sam presented the VIR contract for 2017, which he observed, listed the cost of a standard in-season race day for the full course going up between 4 and 5 per cent, to $16,675. We get a break on the March race because it is out of season, at $11,025 per day. That brings our basic track rental for 2017 to $155,450, of which 25 per cent or $38,863 is due within three weeks of signing. The new contract also includes a second fire truck / EV vehicle which we previously paid extra for, as part of that rental fee. Sam and Mark reported that there had been a serious mix-up regarding our race dates, and that some were initially dropped by VIR, but that had been ironed out now after some serious negotiating with VIR management. The dates we ended up with are essentially what we had last year:
- March 11-12 March into Spring
- April 14 – 16 Spring Sprints Super Tour Majors (ends on Easter)
- May 6 – 7 SARRC / MARRS Challenge
- October 14 –15 Goblins Go
- October 21 A Saturday with the format yet to be determined.
It was observed that this schedule is the first in a long time in which the SARRC/MARRS was not going to be held on Mother’s Day weekend. Conversely, the Sunday of the Spring Sprints is Easter; but we knew that going in and it could not be helped. Our traditional weekend falls on Easter periodically. Sam said that VIR had assured us that the single Saturday in October could be expanded into another 13-hour Enduro involving Friday night if we chose to do that, but that at this time, we were not contractually obligated to do so. We have the flexibility to put some other kind of event there if we wish. The contract was put up for a vote after the following two items were discussed. Motion to accept the contract as written (R. Deffenbaugh / B. Deffenbaugh). Passed, with John Lindquist voting nay.
- March Date conflict with Majors at Road Atlanta. The “March into Spring” date (March 11-12) now conflicts with the Conference Majors race at Road Atlanta. Apparently, Atlanta Region was tardy in requesting their dates from Road Atlanta and their traditional date, the week following our March race, was given away to NASA. Since there is a Super Tour Majors at NOLA the weekend before, they were stuck with the weekend of March 11 and 12 as the only date available for their Majors. Despite the conflict with our race, this schedule has been approved by SEDIV. This conflict will probably hurt our March entries considerably, and may impact our ability to attract volunteers to staff the event as well. It is too late for us to get a date change at VIR, and given all the trouble we had when we requested a change earlier, Sam and Mark felt that it was not advisable. The consensus of the Board was that we should accept the conflict and just try to do the best we can with our March race.
- Spring Sprints and Runoffs Qualification. Sam noted that Regions who had agreed to put on one of the ten Super Tour Majors, including NCR, had been thrown under the bus, so to speak, by a recent decision of the SCCA Board of Directors, to ease the qualifications for attending the 2017 Runoffs. There are no points to be earned any longer, and thus no special reason to attend a Super Tour event over a Conference event. Instead, racers must simply compete in three U.S. Majors Tour weekends, either Conference or Super Tour, and they now have the additional option of substituting any two Regional race weekends for one U.S. Majors Tour event. The only thing a Super Tour event has over the others is prestige, and the skill of the hosting Region at providing a quality event. Sam indicated that he had sent an e-mail expressing his displeasure to Deanna Flanagan in which he said that the SCCA BoD had been guilty of “bait-and-switch” by asking us to sign our agreement with them based on one set of criteria and now changing it, which would surely impact our entries. While we have no intention of reneging on our agreement, Sam said he felt that we were entitled to do so. The consensus of the Board was that we would aim for the highest quality event we could and try to keep our reputation as having the best Majors in the Southeast despite this setback.
- Comp Board meeting and Sanction Deadlines. Bruce reminded everyone that we must request a sanction for our events no less than 45 days in advance, and that given the dates we had just agreed to, we had to have our sanction request for our “March into Spring” race into the National Office by January 25th. Since it would have to be circulated and approved by SEDIV officials, and before that by our own Board of Directors, it is imperative that the Comp Board meet soon to hammer out the Supps. To stay on schedule the NCR Board would have to approve those Supps at our next meeting. As head of the Comp Board, ARE Mike Spencer reported that he was working on producing a template of common elements that should be identical in the Supps for all our events. This would ensure consistency between events, which had been sorely missed a few times last season. Mike said he would be calling a Comp Board meeting before the December Board meeting, to present this template and to complete the Supps for the March race.
- Race Chairs. Sam said it had been made clear to him over the past season that the responsibilities of the Race Chair are huge and that each Race Chair should therefore have an assistant. This would also help ensure a growing supply of future Race Chairs. He announced that he had appointed Eric Danielsen as Race Chair for March into Spring and Mark Senior as Race Chair for the Spring Sprints. They will each appoint their own assistants. In keeping with the Operations Manual, he asked for Board approval of these appointments. Motion to approve the foregoing appointments (Spencer / R. Deffenbaugh). Passed, with Mark Senior humorously voting nay. It was then brought up that the race chair should not “wear two hats” and serve in another official position at the race where he or she was a race chair, even if there were an assistant. Sam asked that we make this part of the description of duties in the Operation Manual. Motion to amend the Operations Manual to specify that a Race Chair cannot also serve in another official capacity at an event where he or she is chair (Spencer / B. Deffenbaugh). Passed.
- Specialty Chiefs for 2017. Sam announced that he had contacted all of the Specialty Chiefs who had served last year in order to determine whether they were planning on continuing in that role. The three Flag Chiefs, Eric Danielsen, Mark Biamonte, and David Turner, had already stepped down in favor of Brian Eldredge, Heather Clark, and Ben Tyler. We had already discussed at the last meeting that Walt Michael would be unavailable to serve as Registrar, and that Bruce Dover was working on getting his licensed updated. Bruce attended the ARRC two weekends ago and said he had learned a lot there. He was recommended for an upgrade to a Divisional license in Registration by Sharon Rollow, and that has been approved by the D.A., Lori Vitagliano, so he will be able to chief our Regional races, but not the Majors. Sam said he had contacted Ginny Condrey, but had not heard back from her, so we need to find a nationally-licensed Registrar to handle our Majors in April. All other appointments remain the same for 2017.
- Funding Requests for Region Assets. Sam announced that since we had done so well this year financially, now was the time for specialty chiefs to make recommendations on obtaining new assets before the old ones were no longer useful. Heather Clark had sent the other Board members an e-mail concerning the state of our fire bottles, a number of which were now too old to be recertified. She then discovered a cache of fourteen more that were not in her inventory located in the Region garage at VIR. These had been discovered in one of the Region’s old trailers when it was repurposed as the Hospitality trailer. They had been left forgotten in that trailer from the last time we held an event at Rockingham, around 2009 or so. She said she would get these tested and prepare a comprehensive proposal for recertification and replacement of outdated units. It was suggested that any outdated ones which still held pressure should be used at the next Crash and Burn School, where, if they failed in use, they would provide an even better training opportunity for the attendees. Sam asked her whether David Turner had purchased any of the additional radios he had been authorized to buy and Heather agreed to check with him. Since David would still be continuing as the radio tech, Heather agreed to talk with him about any additional radio needs as well and about the purchase of a pair of two-channel headsets for Grid, similar to those he had purchased for Pit Road. John Lindquist indicated that we should be presented with a budget proposal for anything new. Sam also reminded James Shanks that he was on the hook for a proposal for adding a wireless laser printer and a tablet or laptop computer to the Hospitality inventory to be used in printing results on-site. Motion (Lindquist / Senior) that James be given up to $1000 to cover a printer, computer, additional cartridges and paper for next year. Passed.
- Reimbursement Policy for Required Meetings. The Board next took up this issue which had been tabled for the last two meetings. Past RE Rex Deffenbaugh said that the purpose of his motion was to make the necessary travel required of the RE and Assistant RE more comfortable and to remove obstacles from their attendance at function required for Club management. Travel to some of the meetings is tedious and a chore, and management should be adequately compensated for it. He then read aloud the following motion.
- SEDIV Year-end Banquet and business meeting: For the RE and ARE any form of travel; i.e. air fare, mileage or car rental, is to be covered by the Club (NCR). A $40 per diem will be covered by the Club for food. A room for two for people each will be covered if a traveling companion is to attend. Banquet fees for both members of management and their traveling companions will be covered by the Club.
- SEDIV Mid-year meeting: For the RE, any form of travel, $40 per diem for food, if food is not supplied at the meeting, and a room for two are to be covered by the Club.
- National Convention: Any form of travel for the RE and ARE, a room for two for each, $40 per diem for food, and a room for two for each will be covered by the Club. Club management (RE and Assistant RE) has the option to take anyone as a traveling companion and if no companion is to attend, they may combine rooms. If either the RE or the ARE are unable to attend, they may recommend someone else to attend as a proxy, subject to Board approval. Since the National Convention is especially expensive to attend and requires such long lead times, the treasurer shall issue a check for $1,000 to both the RE and the ARE (or approved alternates) to help with reservations as soon as registration for the convention is opened. After the convention, management will provide receipts to cover same, plus any additional expenses to be reimbursed. Up to two additional attendees may request support for attendance in advance in writing. Funding of $500 in advance may be awarded, with remaining expenses being reimbursed on a shared basis, up to the limit of the remaining budget after the RE and ARE expenses are covered.
Motion (R. Deffenbaugh / Lindquist). After discussion, passed.
- Nominations for Board Positions 2017-2018. Sam announced that per the Bylaws he was required to appoint an Elections Committee of at least three members, none of whom were running for office, to oversee the upcoming election. He asked Bruce to be the chair, since he would be doing much of the work of actually producing and disseminating the ballots. Bruce agreed, and James Shanks and Heather Clark volunteered to serve on the Committee. Their appointments were approved by consensus of the Board. Sam pointed out that they were charged with sending out ballots by the third Wednesday in December, December 7th, which was just three weeks away. Vacancies to be filled are Treasurer (incumbent Steve Keadle), Assistant RE (incumbent Mike Spencer) and 2 Member-at-Large positions (Blair Deffenbaugh and John Lindquist incumbents). As Secretary, James read aloud the names of those people who had submitted nominations for Board positions for 2017-18 term:
- For Assistant RE, Michael Spencer.
- For Treasurer, Steve Keadle
- For Treasurer, Heather Powers
- For Member-at-Large, Anna Crissman
- For Member-at-Large, Blair Deffenbaugh
Bruce will prepare the actual printed ballots and envelopes to be mailed. When those are ready he will send out an e-mail blast to the entire Region which will inform them of the election and the candidates. He will solicit biographies from those running to be included in the e-mail. Ballots must be returned by December 31st per the Bylaws.
- Race Engineering Invoice. Bruce reported that he had made a note at the end of the last meeting about an unspecified invoice for Race Engineering and asked who was involved with that and what it was about. Rex replied that he had made a deal with Race Engineering to display their banner at the Pagoda during the Goblins Go in exchange for a $500 subsidy for the social. He said he had given Bruce the note to remind him by this meeting in case the money had not been forthcoming. Treasurer Steve Keadle suggested we send them an invoice for that amount. Sam spoke up and said that we had agreed to pay them $2 apiece for the James Buckberry “Don’t Violate Me” stickers they gave us. We received 93 of them, so we owed them $186. Rex said he would contact them and discuss settling up.
Chapter and Committee Reports: There was no time left to discuss committee reports. There were reports from the Triangle, and West Chapters on their most recent meetings on the Google drive for November, which were not discussed.
Motion to adjourn at 8:48 PM (Lindquist / Keadle). Passed.