Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
December 15, 2021
Present: John Bodnar, Cameron Conover, Anna Crissman, Blair Deffenbaugh, Justin Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Jeff Eng, Sam Fouse, Al Heatwole, Joe Lyons, Stephen Miller, Chris Schimmel, Mark Senior, James Shanks, Paul Spencer, Ben Tyler, Megan Tyler, Kit Williams, and Rob Wilmoth, all attended via Zoom video conference. Thomas Guest Jr. joined briefly mid-meeting but stayed only a few minutes.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Anna Crissman at 7:31 PM, on Wednesday, December 15th
- John Bodnar, Jeff Eng, Thomas Guest Jr., Joe Lyons, Chris Schimmel, Ben Tyler, Megan Tyler, and Rob Wilmoth, all attended as guests.
- Motion to approve the November minutes, and the Emergency Board Meeting minutes from last month, as posted on the Google drive (Shanks / Williams). Passed.
Order of items below reflects the order of discussion, as nearly as possible; not necessarily as they appeared on the published agenda.
Treasurer Sam Fouse read aloud an e-mail with the bank balances as of this meeting, which he sent in advance to outgoing Secretary James Shanks and incoming Secretary Kit Williams. Per Sam’s e-mail, we have not yet been billed by SEDIV for their sanction fees for either the May and August events. He contacted SEDIV officials about that and was told not to worry about paying those until later. Anna noted that the SEDIV treasurer has had some health issue which have probably put her behind. The scholarship fund has $8009.
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:
Kit provided a written report of the Cape Fear Chapter meeting, which is located on the Google drive under December 2021. There is still no one willing to step up to be Cape Fear Chapter Coordinator, so they will keep looking. Anna said that it was time to separate the roles of Cape Fear Chapter Coordinator and Solo Chair, if possible, in order to spread the work around. They have submitted a proposed autocross schedule for Cherry Point next season to the base and are waiting to hear back before publishing it. John Bodnar will continue as chief of timing for Solo events for 2022. Mark Senior reported that the Triangle Chapter met in person with about 12 or 13 people in attendance, and they elected James Shanks as the new Triangle Chapter Coordinator. Since James held this position for many years, prior to becoming Secretary, this news produced much chuckling and smiles among those present, along with a few jokes about railroading. Cameron reported that the West Chapter also met live, at Sarah’s Kabob Shop in Greensboro, and 12 people attended, including two new members who are interested in participating but haven’t zeroed in on what they want to do yet. They also discussed the Region’s Bylaws, he said.
- Awards Banquet Update. At Anna’s suggestion, Sam began this discussion with a report of what we had spent on the Awards Banquet in the past. In 2020, Sam said, we spent about $4000, with about $500 for the room and PA and the rest on the food and drinks. Since we reaped about $1300 in ticket sales, the Region effectively subsidized the event to the tune of about $2700; which does not include what we spent on the actual awards themselves. That came to roughly $1600. This, Sam said, would be considered a separate line item in the budget going forward, not to be confused with what we spend on the dinner. Given what we had spent before, Sam felt that we could afford to spend up to $50 person, $40 for food and $10 for drink tickets, for 50 attendees, which would be a $2500 subsidy for 2021. Anna asked whether this was enough to get us over the minimum required by the venue that Elizabeth Severt had found (revealed later to be the Embassy Suites in downtown Wilmington). Sam indicated that it was, because every dollar we spent with them included a 22 percent service charge and 7 percent North Carolina sales tax, which meant that every dollar on the proposed bill was really $1.29. He quickly went through the proposed charges, including $750 (+29%) for the room and $120 (+29%) for the bartender, and arrived at an estimated total bill of about $4354. Assuming we generate about $40 per attendee in ticket sales, that leaves the Region’s subsidy at $2354, and our subsidy would decrease if more people attend. The date that the Embassy has given us is Saturday, January 15th, Anna said, and she asked whether anyone had any objections going forward. James brought up the couples’ discount from previous years, which Bruce said was $5 person, indicating that we had charged $35 for individuals and $60 per couple. Given that, Anna proposed $40 and $70 for this year, and Sam said that would probably be okay. The Board agreed by consensus that we should proceed. Anna added that she would get with Elizabeth to move things forward and then Bruce would put an entry form in MSR as soon as possible after that, since the event was only a month away. Sam added that we needed to make sure that the Embassy was comfortable with our plan for a $10 drink ticket, good for two beers or one mixed drink or one glass of wine, and a cash bar after that.
- Update on Website and E-mail Forwarding. Bruce asked Jeff Eng to explain what our current situation is. Jeff explained that our domain name hosting is currently provided by GoDaddy, and the e-mail forwarding we do, using aliases like NCR Board, Comp Board, and so on, are free. But this is about to change. GoDaddy will be switching to Office365 and then e-mail forwarding will cost as much a $6 per email address, and we are using over 20 or so. Eventually, probably later next year, Jeff said, we will have to pay for e-mail forwarding, and the only question is how much. Anna suggested that we pare down some of our forwarding and Bruce suggested that, while using email@example.com is nice, we could use something like NCRboard@gmail.com instead and avoid the problem. Anna thanked Jeff for his work in this area and promised we would decide what to do further down the road. In response to a later question by Bruce, Jeff said GoDaddy was currently charging us $180 annually to host our website, which Sam said seemed quite reasonable.
- Live Timing Issue for Solo. Before Jeff finished, the subject changed to displaying live timing results at our Solos. Anna explained that there were issues with displaying live timing for the past three or four events, and Jeff said that he had gone back to the old server in order to resolve them. Under questioning by Kit, he added that he had given all the correct credential information to John Bodnar, Chief of Timing. As the issue got more technical, Anna suggested that they take the issue offline and set up a test. Kit, John, and Jeff agreed to do so.
- Liaison to Rockingham Speedway. Cameron saw a notice that Rockingham Speedway had received money from the State and was planning on repaving the entire facility, though no details as to when this might occur were given. Rob Wilmoth added that here was an update just 30 minutes ago to that same effect. Since this would greatly improve our ability to run an event there, Cameron felt we should appoint someone to be a liaison with them, just as we have for VIR, in Mark Senior. Al Heatwole said he was available and would volunteer, provided he could count on others to assist with technical issues, such as track certification for TT and Road Racing. Stephen observed that TT certification could happen in a weekend. It was agreed that this would be the logical way to start, with a TT, whether or not the facility was ever certified for wheel-to-wheel racing again. Motion to appoint Al Heatwole NCR Liaison the Rockingham Speedway (Crissman / Conover). Passed. Rob Wilmoth said he was going to be involved with Rockingham for the Audi Club and Racing for ALS, so that they could use that facility as soon as possible. Rob added that he knew one of the owners, but had never met the track manager, so he volunteered to get together with Al, who suggested the same thing, and they would work out a plan for the two of them to visit the facility and introduce themselves.
- Trophies for Road Racing Events. James brought up this issue as a follow-on the first draft of the new season’s Regional Racing Supps, which ARE Blair Deffenbaugh had circulated for a first look to all the Comp Board members. The Supps talk about trophies and presentations, just as they did last season; but as Bridgette and Mel of F&S Photography had resigned from that job at the event last August, we currently have no one to provide trophies nor to present them at our Road Racing events. James simply wanted us to be reminded of that fact and start developing a plan to fill the gap. Sam added that in his conversation with Bridgette, she made it clear that at that time, the issue was that she could no longer spend all weekend at the track, now that they had a new baby and Mel had a full-time job. She thought that her father Art, however, still wanted to take photos. Sam suggested then that perhaps we could keep track of the winners and she could make the trophies in the evenings and mail them out at a later date. He promised to contact her later in the week and see where she stood with that proposal. Anna suggested that, should we be unable to work out a deal with F&S, that we might be able to strike one with Clark McGinnis, who provides a similar service to Atlanta Region. Ben chimed in with the suggestion of Tradd Slayton, who takes photos at Time Trials and other events. Other Board members also knew of Tradd and his work. Anna seemed to feel that if we had a photographer, then we could undertake the job of making and mailing the trophies after the event, but she did not elaborate on whom she thought would do that job. James interjected that the job involved considerable effort, and his opinion the Region should be willing to offer F&S additional compensation to do it; something on the order of $500, he said. He added that if we were to produce the trophies in advance, and we were guaranteeing a trophy for the top three finishers in each class, then we would have needed 159 trophies for the last time we raced in March, for there were 53 classes allowed. Rob Wilmoth said he would initiate a conversation with Tradd, whom he knew personally, about whether he does trophies, but added that he charges either nothing or just a room for the night when the has done other events, and he makes all his money on the photographic packages he sells to competitors. Mark said he thought we should keep these new ideas in abeyance until we could find out definitively whether F&S would agree to a new arrangement, and Sam reiterated that he would find out.as soon as possible.
- Pre-season Meeting with VIR. Mark wanted to know whether he should schedule a Zoom call with VIR management in advance of the new season. Anna said yes, and the Board agreed by consensus. Mark said he thought this was especially important given that the August event was a new kind of joint project with the National Office. He added that he would get with VIR and arrange a mutually agreeable time and date. He will also start work on an agenda and urged anyone with concerns they wanted to discuss to pass them along now.
- Additional E-mail Urging Members to Vote in the Election. Bruce observed that we have 49 votes cast in the election to date. This is enough for it to be valid, since no minimum participation is required for anything other than an amendment to our Bylaws, but Anna and other thought we should send out another e-mail urging people to read the candidate bios and vote, even though they are running unopposed. James, as head of the Election Committee, said he thought it should be much shorter this time, and could be by putting the bios online and merely offering a link to them. Anna said she was in favor of that and urged that we send it soon so that it would not overlap the next one about the Awards dinner. Two short e-mails about separate subjects was preferred to one long combined one.
- Cars and Coffee in Morrisville. Rob Wilmoth said that the Cars and Coffee event in Morrisville is now drawing close to 3000 cars (!) per month. They meet the first Saturday of every month except January and are open to all comers for free. What is interesting to us is that they are going to start offering guaranteed spaces which can be purchased for $150 per year, and if we were to purchase one, then we would have an easy way to advertise our Time Trials to their target audience. Furthermore, Rob said he talked with the organizer, a fellow named Rob Ayers, and he is very much pro-SCCA and would like to have an exhibition of SCCA competition cars as the featured theme for a future event. Our Rob said he would like to combine that with some of his Racing for ALS cars as well, if we were interested in making that happen. We would have a large roped off space up front with plenty of room to display a couple dozen cars, as well as a dedicated spot to park trailers. Ben observed that such an exposition would be a great place to recruit new volunteers as well. Stephen suggested Rob be our liaison the Cars and Coffee and this was supported by Anna and approved by consensus. Motion to purchase the dedicated space for $150 (Fouse / Williams). Passed. Anna would like to see us get April 2nd for the exhibition day, which would be the weekend before the Spring Sprints. Rob said he would discuss that with the organizer and send more information about it and the two different kinds of spaces we were discussing to Bruce for distribution.
- Audi Club Participation in Our Fall TT. Rob said the Audi Club wants to participate as group in our Fall TT, which is October 15 – 16 at NCCAR. In return, they will promote it among their members and through their social media channels. Stephen added that we would need help getting participants for our Spring half-day TT at VIR, planned for Sunday afternoon of our March into Spring event, Sunday, March 13th. Rob said his only issue was that the Audi Club uses State borders as boundaries, so VIR was technically not in his jurisdiction, but he would discuss it with Stephen offline to see what they might be able to do for promotion.
Motion to adjourn at 8:56 PM (Shanks / Senior). Passed.
Submitted by Secretary,
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.