Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
December 16, 2020
Present: Heather Clark, Anna Crissman, Blair Deffenbaugh, Justin Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Nikki Edwards, Sam Fouse, Al Heatwole, Stephen Miller, Heather Powers, Chris Schimmel, Mark Senior, James Shanks, Ben Tyler, Megan Tyler, and Kit Williams, all attended via video conference, due to the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 virus. Stephen Miller joined late.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Anna Crissman at approximately 7:36 PM, on Wednesday, December 16th
- Chris Schimmel, Ben Tyler, and Megan Tyler, attended as guests.
- Motion to approve the November minutes, as posted on the Google drive (Shanks / Senior). Passed.
Order of items below reflects the order of discussion, as nearly as possible; not necessarily as they appeared on the published agenda.
Treasurer Heather Powers reported that things had changed little since our last meeting, except that several bills had been paid.
As the details of our finances are confidential, NCR members who wish more information should contact either the Office Manager or any member of the Board of Directors. They are also invited to attend a Chapter Meeting, where such matters are discussed in detail.
Chapter and Committee Reports:
As before, all Chapters held Zoom meetings last month, with a fraction of their usual pre-pandemic attendance. The balance of attendees were members of this Board. No reports were posted on the Google Drive as of this writing. Nikki Edwards reported that the West Chapter discussed Romain Grosjean’s fiery crash in the Formula 1 race at Bahrain and all those in attendance affirmed that he was lucky to be alive.
- 2021 Schedule. Solo has a tentative schedule which does not conflict with our dates elsewhere, but a contract has not yet been signed by the base, Kit said, so he cannot formally announce it. Anna said that she is not comfortable announcing our VIR schedule until we have a contract with them either. The tentative dates at VIR are April 9 – 11 for the Majors, May 8th and 9th for the SARRC / MARRS, and October 9th and 10th for the Goblins Go. The National Time Trial at VIR will be March 13th and 14th, while our joint event with SCR will be the weekend of March 27th and 28th at Carolina Motorsports Park. We have our own regional time trials scheduled at NCCAR on April 24 – 25 and October 16 – 17. The latter schedule is tight, just as it was this year, falling on the weekend immediately after the Goblins Go. Anna observed that, if VIR does not get us a contract by the end of this month, she would have to publish the tentative dates on the SEDIV calendar regardless.
- Election update. Bruce announced that we had just 53 votes so far, well below our usual totals from previous years. For reference, he said, we had 92 votes last year, and 80 the year before that. In 2017, when we did things completely by mail, we had 184 ballots returned; but we don’t want to go back to that again. There was discussion about how to increase participation and whether it was feasible for the Chapter Coordinators to try to notify people, but in the end, it was decided that Anna and Bruce would collaborate on another Region-wide e-mail. Anna asked everyone else to reach out via Facebook and other platforms if they can.
- Replacing Heat Pump in the Speed Suite. Sam reported that the heat pump compressor at the Speed Suite had been making unusual noises since the summer, and that he had asked Bruce to call Bagby, the original HVAC contractor, to service it. They had reported that it was on its last legs and would probably need to be replaced. They will be working on the unit next door after the holidays, and have offered us a five percent (5%) discount on a new system if we have ours replaced at the same time. They sent Sam a quote for 4 different options, and he recommends a mid-range one, since he is familiar with the brand (Mitsubishi) and the quality of their units, plus it has a 10-year warranty. After discussion of these options, a decision was made. Motion to purchase a new heat-pump system, both inner and outer units, from Bagby Heating and Cooling in Danville, at an approximate cost of $4300, less a five-percent discount (Fouse / Senior). Passed.
- SARRC Representative. Blair Deffenbaugh was approached by Ron Munnerlyn about taking over the SARRC Rep position at SEDIV, a position which has been held by Blair “Pepe” Stitt, for over ten years [since 2005, as verified later by the Secretary]. Pepe has done an excellent job, but is willing to step back, if we think it is time for new blood, since he has reduced his racing activities of late, whereas Ron has been going all over the country. Anna has spoken to them both about this. James reminded everyone that the SARRC rep, like other appointed positions, serves at the RE’s discretion with the concurrence of the Board, so it was Anna’s decision who should fill the position, subject to the Board’s approval. After considerable discussion about how Mr. Munnerlyn would need to understand that he represents the North Carolina Region as a whole and that he would need to make regular reports to the Board, Anna said that she planned to appoint Ron to the position in January, unless the Board objected. There were no objections.
- Brainstorming Ideas for Recognizing Member Contributions to the Region. Mark Senior said that it had occurred to him, while discussing potential award recipients by the Awards Committee, that perhaps we did not do enough to honor those people who served the Region well, time after time, but did nothing outstanding enough that would merit a trophy. In other organizations he is familiar with, Mark said, they often had a pizza party or similar event, in which those people were feted with recognition and free food. He suggested we could do something like that and have a special party, or perhaps cover their admission to the annual dinner, or even provide them with modest gift cards. Specialty chiefs, and the folks who volunteer in that capacity at solos and time trials, people without whose dedicated help we could not hold our events, were the logical choice for such recognition. However, some Board members said that they were concerned about the optics of such a recognition event, since many of the Board members fell into the category of those who would be recognized. It might look as though we were throwing a party for ourselves using the Region’s money. It was suggested by Anna that perhaps we could choose a number of days worked as the criterion for being so recognized. Various other suggestions were made for how we might make this work, especially for the folks who are not on the Board. It was also suggested that Board members might choose to exclude themselves. Then the issue was raised again, of using gift cards, capped at $20 each, in lieu of a party, for this year. Mark started to make a motion, but did not finish it, and there was not a second, when it became clear that we did not have consensus. Anna asked that the discussion be tabled for future consideration, since it was clear we could not reach an agreement at this meeting.
- Pre-season Meeting with VIR. Mark indicated that he would like to set up the usual pre-season meeting with VIR for some time in January, though this year it probably would be a Zoom meeting and not in-person. He said that he would send out an e-mail for Board members and Comp Board members to respond to, and that interested parties should indicate to him that they would like to participate and any issues that they wanted to discuss, as well as their availability for a week-night meeting. In turn, he would set something up with VIR that could accommodate everyone as much as possible.
- Upgrading the Hospitality Trailer. Mark raised another issue that needed consideration for 2021, he said, which was upgrading the Hospitality trailer to something larger, which would allow the printer and the merchandise to stay dry in inclement weather. He also pointed out that the current trailer was packed to the roof and had to be completely emptied and repacked after every event. It was noted that this is much the same situation with the Solo trailer. Justin made the suggestion that Solo get a new bigger trailer and theirs be handed down to Hospitality, since it has side windows that open up. Kit described the upgrades Solo had made to that trailer and said that a new one was not in their budget, but he was willing to listen to proposals or shop around if that was what the Region wanted to do. Sam said he thought that Solo should keep their trailer and we should look for a new or used one more directly suited to Hospitality. Anna pointed out that we should not be spending any real money on this until we get our racing revenue stream back for 2021. James asked whether we could spare $2000 for adding side curtains to the current tent instead, but the consensus was we should just save the money for a new trailer. Sam promised to look into some alternatives, new and used trailers, and as well as side curtains, and report back. Heather Powers once again emphasized that such an expenditure would have to wait until after the Majors, and probably after the SARRC / MARRS. Everyone agreed that this would be a summer project.
- Work Day at the Speed Suite. Mark also brought up the need for a work day at the Speed Suite to clean out some of the unnecessary stuff which had accumulated there. After some discussion, it was decided that Saturday, January 2nd would be the target date. It was not clear who would be heading up this activity or what we should do with the old traffic lights that we used for our enduros, except sell them, should anyone make us an offer. [Note: Since the time of this writing it has been determined that VIR will be closed until January 4th so a new date, probably some Saturday later in the month, will have to be chosen.]
- 2021 SCCA National Convention. Bruce brought to everyone’s attention that the SCCA National Convention this year would be wholly on-line and that any member could register and attend for free. Apparently, the sessions will be going on for an entire month, beginning in late January. Anna said that, in that case, all the Board members and Comp Board members should sign up and try to attend some sessions.
Motion to adjourn at 8:50 PM (Fouse/J. Deffenbaugh). Passed.
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks.
Please note that all NCR members are welcome to attend NCR Board of Directors meetings.
If any member should have a question about the Region or its activities, please contact the Office Manager or any member of the Board.