Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
September 28, 2016
Present: Heather Clark, Rex Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Sam Fouse, Buddy Matthews, Mark Senior, James Shanks, Art and Nancy Sinnot, Jim Toland, and via conference call, Eric Danielsen, Morgan Mehler, Mike Spencer, and Sara Snider. John Byers, Blair Deffenbaugh, Steve Keadle, and John Lindquist were not present.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Sam Fouse at 7:26 pm, on Wednesday, September 28th 2016, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC, 27707.
- Guests in attendance were NCR members Art and Nancy Sinnott of F&S Photography, Steward and Race Chair Sara Snider, and Marketing Committee Chair Eric Danielsen via phone. Jim Toland, also present, is a member of Washington DC Region.
- Buddy Matthews asked the August minutes be corrected to give the directions to the annual dinner in Graham, NC as “Exit 150” off of I-40, not “Highway 150”. Motion to approve the August minutes as corrected (Senior / R. Deffenbaugh). Passed.
Financial Report: Circumstances prevented Treasurer Steve Keadle from being present. He assured Sam prior to the meeting that he would be present at the next one with a financial statement current to the start of this month. James Shanks announced that he had received a copy of the Region’s 2015 income tax return from Steve, and he would be posting a PDF composed of selected pages from it on the Google drive for Board members to see.
- Reimbursement Policy for Required Meetings: Tabled from last meeting, this issue was brought up again. James Shanks recapped it by reading from last month’s minutes. Basically the issue is that the RE and Assistant RE are required to attend meetings, such as the SEDIV meetings and the National Convention, which are costing them too much out of pocket. Rex and Sam would like to see a per diem amount for food added to the list of things to be reimbursed and some provision for spouses to tag along and share the room if nothing else. Sara made the point that, even though she was no longer a Board member, that she too had stopped attending many of these meetings because of the expense, and she did not think spouses should get their expenses paid, when other members, with legitimate leadership positions in the Region, were not covered. Mark agreed and said that spouses should pay for everything except a room, which they could share with the attendee. As it was obvious that there was still much discussion needed on this topic, and that Rex and Sam did not have a formal proposal to present as yet, the matter was tabled again until next month.
- Trophy policy and F&S Photography. Art and Nancy Sinnott had come to this meeting after discussing several issues in advance with Sam and Bruce. It was classified as old business because Sam wanted them to air the issues they had from previous races. Several issues were discussed.
- Sam and Bruce to be the official go-betweens. The primary issue was communication, Art said. They were often caught in the middle between drivers wanting trophies and results being held up. No one was assigned to communicate with them when this happened and they had no one else they could ask for assistance. Sam said that he and Bruce would henceforth be their go-betweens at the races and they would see to it that results were communicated promptly and that they were in the loop when results were being held up.
- Trophies to be awarded according to provisional results. It was briefly discussed whether trophies could be held until results were final and that idea was discarded as unworkable. Trophies will continue to be awarded on provisional results, and if this should result in additional expense incurred by F&S to make additional trophies or to mail them later, they should bill the Region for that.
- Trophies will be awarded publicly. Trophies will be awarded on the podium and photos taken of the winners. The Region will pay the vendor fee that VIR charges in exchange for this service. The announcer, if one is present, will be notified to announce the trophy presentations so that drivers will come to watch.
- The standard trophy is the current photo trophy. For all races and all classes in those races, except for the Enduro, the standard trophy is the current photo trophy that F&S does so well, large ones for 1st place, smaller for second and below. The only exception is the Enduro, where similar trophies will be awarded for the classes E1 through E5. And Eric is working on providing a special award to the overall winners of the 8-hour and 13-hour Enduro races, but these are NOT commercial trophies. Rather they are being made of old car parts and would not be possible without the help of many volunteer donors. F&S should not feel that these awards are cutting into their business, as these are one-time only. Nancy said she could get a better price on trophy supplies if she ordered them all the start of the year. Sam agreed she should do that and he emphasized that he would keep her in the loop with regard to trophy budgets for each event. The Board agreed by acclamation that F&S should send us a bill for any materials they are “stuck with” from prior trophy policies.
- F&S was unfortunately blamed by VIR personnel for issues surrounding the making of the video at the 2016 Majors event. Art said that several VIR personnel came to him and complained about people taking video in hot areas where photographers are not usually allowed; and that despite F&S being the official photographers for the Region, they were not consulted about the video. They had no idea what was going on. Eric explained that he had created a storyboard of all shots to be taken and had showed it to all senior VIR personnel in advance, including Kerrigan Smith, Tommy Webb, Mike Rose, and David “Cowboy” Crumpton. He apologized for not asking F&S if they wanted to be part of the production but said there was no reason for VIR staff to be upset about where the video photography was taken since their bosses had okayed it in advance. Art said he has severe restrictions about where he can go and only the photographers for IMSA and other professional groups can go where they want. Mark observed that we have a unique relationship with F&S as they are both members and vendors and that we have done a poor job in upholding our end of the relationship.
- Photography restrictions will be on agenda for next meeting with VIR management. Heather and others said we should discuss with VIR the restrictions Art works under during our events. Mark Senior took note of this and volunteered to put an item on the agenda for our next meeting with VIR management, typically before the start of the season next year. We will discuss with them the restrictions on where Art can and cannot go during our events and see whether we cannot get his restrictions liberalized. As a Region member, he is covered by our insurance, so that should not be a concern.
- Bad behavior will not be tolerated. Art said that several times he had been told by his people or had witnessed bad behavior by some SCCA members, specifically rude or bullying behavior, during our events and that this was giving us a bad name. Some of this was even directed at him. The Board was emphatic that he should report these incidents to Sam or to Bruce as soon as possible so that the bad actors can be singled out and disciplined.
- The vendor fee for F&S will be paid at the track before we leave. Sam said that henceforth he would sign a check to VIR to cover the F&S vendor fee before leaving, just as we do for the balance due at the end of a weekend. That way there would be no impact to F&S.
- Complimentary entry of IMSA event car donors. Eric Cruz, David Knoche, and Dan Robson all towed their race cars to VIR and put them on display to draw people to our tent as part of our recruiting drive for that weekend, which covered three full days and part of another. Motion to provide car donors at the IMSA event with a free entry of up to $200 at one of our races (Senior / Fouse). Passed.
- Budgets for Goblins Go and 13-8 Hour Enduro: Sam reported that because of his trip to the Runoffs, he had not completed the Goblins Go budget. He was confident, however, that we would at least make some money, as we already had 145 SARRC and 33 Tarheel and Carolina Cup entries, with over two weeks to go. The Enduro budget remains as he posted it before. We have only 34 entries for the Enduro to date, so it appears that, as expected, we will lose money, even if we get a few more. We will lose money even at 50 entries. The best thing we can hope for in his opinion is that the profit from the Go will wipe out the loss from the Enduro, but this is not certain. What is certain is that we will not hold the Enduro again in this format nor on this date, a week following the Goblins Go, in the future. Sara asked whether we would then move the Go forward to the weekend that the Enduro is on now. Sam said that this was our second priority after moving the Enduro weekend and that it all depended on what VIR was willing to do, but for certain we would not be holding another 13-hour Enduro in October of 2017.
- FV 55th Anniversary Update. Sam spoke with Fred Clark (owner of Caracal cars, an FV builder, and in charge of the previous FV Anniversary celebration) at the Runoffs. Fred gave him a check for $500, money he said was left over from the on 50th Anniversary celebration at Roebling Road in 2013. Fred also pointed Sam to Stephen Davis as the leader of the FV drivers who would participate. Mr. Davis informed Sam that the previous celebration gave the FV drivers the run of Roebling for three whole days for an entry fee of only $135. The rest of the cost was borne by Hoosier Tires. He was not happy when Sam explained that we could not come even close to that price at VIR, which cost 6 times as much per day to rent as Roebling Road. He was even less happy about other cars being involved on the same weekend. Sam concluded that we would have a lot to do to pull this off and that in the end we might not be able to do it.
- Majors Update. Sam announced that he had received an e-mail earlier in the day from Deanna Flanagan that he would be forwarding to the Board members tomorrow. The Majors program next year would be two-tiered. There will be 12 Super Tour Majors events, and we will be one. These will be Majors-only events such as we have been used to. The others will be Majors Conference events, which will feature Majors races in conjunction with some regional-level races. These will be held primarily at tracks and by Regions which cannot accommodate a Super Tour event.
- Update on Renting Rockingham: Morgan Mehler reported that his contact at Rockingham called him just that morning to express their interest in renting to us in 2017. It was confirmed that the rent would be in the neighborhood of $3500 per day, which was just for the facility and did not include any services. Sam asked whether Morgan knew whether the track had been repaved since we were there last, and whether it had lights. Morgan did not know the answer to either question for certain, but said that he doubted that either of those were true. There will have to be more investigation and a discussion about what we might want to do there. A racing event will probably require a track inspection by SCCA.
- October Board meeting date changed. Sam observed that the scheduled date fell between the Goblins Go and the 13/8 Enduro. Motion to change the October Board meeting to Wednesday, October 26th (Senior / Clark). Passed. Bruce Dover will see about getting us a location.
Chapter and Committee Reports: There was some time left to discuss committee reports and the following were reviewed. There were reports from all three Chapters, Cape Fear, Triangle, and West, on their most recent meetings on the Google drive for September, which were not discussed. Bruce was in the process of uploading these to the NCR website.
- Membership: James Shanks reported that our membership was up a little from 764 to 772 over last month. This was attributable to the IMSA recruiting event, he said.
- Region Tent at VIR IMSA event August 26-28: James reported on this event in John Lindquist’s absence, as he had just written a Bulletin article on it. A copy of that article is out on the Google drive for September, along with his Membership report. James indicated that he was initially skeptical of this event having any effect, but after participating he was now a believer. With two 10X20 canopies, both our new and our old Hospitality tents, and three race cars, we had the largest display on the skidpad, save for IMSA’s title sponsors Weather Tech and Continental Tire. In effect we showed VIR and the public that we were “a big deal”. We were able to offer a $35 discount to new members who signed up at the event, $15 from the National Office and $20 in the Region dues we waived. And thanks to over a dozen eager volunteers who staffed the display, we signed up 15 new members. James believes that this was the single most successful recruiting drive the Region has ever had. Jim Toland later asked that his company, Wisko, which rents Radical sports racers at VIR, be considered for inclusion next year. He said his company would love to help new drivers get started, and as someone who grew up the track, he likes to convince others to join.
Motion to adjourn at 9:03 PM (Senior / Shanks) Passed.