Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
February 15, 2017
Present: Heather Clark, Anna Crissman, Bruce Dover, Sam Fouse, Buddy Matthews, Joedy Pennington, Heather Powers, Mark Senior, James Shanks, and via conference call, Eric Danielsen, Morgan Mehler, and Ben Tyler. Matt Decker, Blair Deffenbaugh and Rex Deffenbaugh were absent.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Sam Fouse at 7:17 PM, on Wednesday, February 15th 2017, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC,
- Guests were Joedy Pennington in person, and via phone, Eric Danielsen and Ben Tyler.
- Motion to approve the January minutes as written (Clark / Fouse).
Order of items below reflects the order of discussion; not as they appeared on the published agenda.
Treasurer Heather Powers reported that our checking account held approximately $78K, of which about $20K belonged to Solo. She said she moved some money into our savings account to avoid a $15/month fee for having too low a balance. She and Sam were still working on cleaning up the accounting classifications where various charges are posted so that our books would be more useful for budgeting in the future. Ms. Powers also said that we had received our first revenue from advertising on our website, $10 per month for an ad from John Lindquist.
- VIR Meeting. On February 8th, several members of the NCR Board met with VIR staff at the Pueblo Viejo restaurant in Hillsboro to discuss issues for the 2017 season. In attendance were Heather Clark, Eric Danielsen, Bruce Dover, Sam Fouse, Buddy Matthews, Joedy Pennington, Heather Powers, Mark Senior, and James Shanks. For VIR, attendees were Kerrigan Smith (Chief Operating Officer), David “Cowboy” Crumpton (Track Safety Director), and Sandie Currie (Chief Operating Officer). Mark’s meeting notes are posted on the Google drive. One issue that was resolved was that Sandie promised to fix the accounting problem which had led to our getting billed for food and beverages months, even years, late.
- SEDIV Convention Report. Several Board members attended, including Sam, Anna, Buddy, Mark, and Rex. Also in attendance was SARRC Representative Blair Stitt, and also Sara Snider and Ron Gentry, though these latter primarily attended the Stewards sessions, which were held in another building. Sam had been invited to address the Stewards, by Executive Steward Morriss Pendleton, but he could not fit that into his schedule. Sam reported that he had discussed the idea of a one-day driver’s school with Mike Havlick, who is in charge of driver licensing for SEDIV. Mike said that a one-day school was possible, though the day would be long, and admitted that it might even be held in conjunction with another event, such as PDX, if it were scheduled correctly. Sam said this was food for thought for our October 21st race day at VIR, for which nothing has yet been scheduled. Also discussed were ITO rules and the problem of there being too many SARRC races. In the end, it was decided that drivers would decide which races were profitable by their attendance, so the SARRC Committee opted to do nothing and allow the Regions to simply discontinue unprofitable races. It was noted that SCCA Pro Racing had lost $750K in 2016, due primarily to lost sponsorship. Mazda moved their MX-5 Cup series to IndyCar and reduced some of their other commitments to the pro side of the Club as well.
- CCPS Meeting at SEDIV Convention. The four Regions which comprise the Carolina Cup governing body, Atlanta, South Carolina, Central Carolinas, and North Carolina, met at the SEDIV Convention to discuss the series going forward. Sam reported that the series administrator, Rich Mesick, provided a spreadsheet with detailed accounting, showing how much money was received and paid out. In addition, he provided each Region with a check for $500, for each Region’s worker fund, he said, as the series had accumulated too much cash in its administrative fund. As a result, the governing Regions voted to reduce the CCPS fee from $75 to $50 per car per race. After discussion, it was decided to continue to keep the Carolina Cup separate from the Tarheel Cup Pro Series for at least another year, in order to see how well they both do in the coming year. Sam asked Rich if he would be the Tarheel Cup administrator for 2017, and Rich declined, saying that he thought it would be a conflict of interest.
- TCPS Series.
a.) In the absence of an administrator, Sam compiled the 2016 TCPS results and shared them with the Board. These are available on the Google drive for February 2017. There were 93 entries, but the rules require that you run at least three to be eligible for a year-end trophy, and that whittled the potential class winners down to just 5. Eric Danielsen’s All-Star Impressions will be providing some nice trophies at approximately $50 each, but that still leaves a considerable amount of money in the trophy fund, which was built from a $15 fee for each entry (93 x $15 = $1395). Treasurer Heather Powers, the other member of the Tarheel Cup Administrative Committee, suggested that the remaining money be used to provide hats and T-shirts advertising the series, in order to promote awareness. Motion to spend the remaining Tarheel Cup trophy fund on hats and t-shirts (Shanks / Crissman). Passed.b.) Sam also reported that the RE of South Carolina Region had expressed interest in running a Tarheel Cup race at their March event. He gave her the go-ahead and informed the Board that per the rules, if they do so, then SCR will be eligible to appoint a person of their own to the Tarheel Cup Administrative Committee. Sam said he will contact SCR with the details of how to proceed and also send some of the hats and t-shirts that were just approved their way.
c.) After a short discussion, it was agreed by consensus to amend the TCPS rules to send only the top three cars in each class to impound in order to conform with what is now standard practice with the ECR, which runs concurrently with the TCPS. Also after discussion, it was informally decided that in the case of two drivers sharing a car, which is permitted in the rules, that there would be awarded just one trophy with 2 names on it.
d.) Finally, Sam pointed out that since we do not charge an additional fee to enter the Tarheel Cup races, in effect the Region is subsidizing the TCPS trophy fund. But he added that in light of the fact that the Carolina Cup had just reduced their fee, and because we had such a large surplus this year, that perhaps we should reduce the fee. Motion to reduce the trophy fee to $10 per entry but still have it subsidized by the Region (Crissman / Senior). Passed.
- Pace Car. As promised in the meeting with VIR staff, Bruce had received waivers from VIR which would allow our pace car drivers to drive the VIR pace cars in 2017, particularly the new Nissan GTR. He was circulating these to Joedy and the other pace car drivers so that all would be in place in time for our March event. But VIR had said that while the GTR would definitely be available for the Spring Sprints, it was unlikely that it would be available at any other times. Their other pace car, a 370Z, was also not guaranteed. It was agreed that Mark Senior should approach Kerrigan with an offer of a $200 rental fee for the weekend in order to make a pace car available. This was in addition to the refueling costs, which we already pay. Failing that, we would have to fall back on using cars belonging to our members who happened to be at the track. In the past, we had used Eric Danielsen’s Acura RSX. Eric said he liked lending us his car, since it advertised his business, and that he would make an effort to have it there, even when he was planning on driving his camper. On a related topic, Sam said he had corresponded with Janet Farwell, of SCCA Member Services, and she had arranged to issue a regional Course Marshal license to each of our pace car drivers, Ed Wentz, Mike Spencer, Tim Lyons, and Patrick Pardee, as well as a regional F&C license to each of our pace car communicators, Ericka Spencer, Fred McKinney, and Brenda Lyons.
- SEDIV Convention Reimbursement. Since so many people had gone to the SEDIV Convention, the Board once again took up the issue of reimbursement. Clearly, the RE and ARE were to have their expenses for travel, lodging, and convention fees paid in full, in addition to a $40 per diem for meals. It was emphasized that the per diem was to be backed up by actual receipts; that the $40 was a limit, not an automatic payment amount. There was discussion as to whether anyone else might also claim a per diem for food, if the rest of their expenses were shared or paid by another party. Motion to raise the expense limit to $2500 after the RE’s and ARE’s expenses were paid in full, and that all remaining NCR official attendees (Board members, Comp Board members, Specialty Chiefs and official representatives) split that amount for travel, lodging, convention fees, and a per diem of $40 per day. In additional, all expense receipts are to be submitted within 30 days of the end of the Convention (Senior / Matthews). Passed. It was pointed out that for this year the cutoff date for submission of receipts is March 7th.
- MSR Payment Options. Sam asked Bruce to change the wording in the Spring Sprints Supps in order to clarify that payment by credit card at the time of registration “was neither required nor desired.” He further asked that the Supps show payment “by check to avoid credit card fees” as the first payment option. It was discussed whether we should prevent the use of credit cards altogether, but this was rejected for two reasons. First, such a policy would be too restrictive to participants who wished to use a credit card and second, it also might unduly irritate MSR, which derives its income from those fees.
- Spring Sprints Registration Locations and Signs. Sam asked Bruce to modify the track map that he had produced, as part of the Supps, to include the locations for Registration, in the classroom in the North Tower during the test day morning, and in the Synergy building thereafter, and include the actual hours it was open. He proposed that Bruce make the map double-sided. The front side of the map, which currently shows the North Paddock in detail, should be modified to point out the classroom, and a new map of the Raceplex with the location of the Synergy building clearly marked, should be added. This was necessary, Sam said, because there would be many participants from the Northeast, and even some from the West Coast, who had never been to VIR and would have no idea what the terms “North Tower Classroom” or “Raceplex” meant, and a map with times would alleviate their confusion. It was necessary, Sam said, that we get our act together, since so many important guests from the National Office will be present. Bruce agreed to expand the map. In addition, Sam proposed that we buy signs from a sign shop which would point to the locations of Registration, and also some that said things like “Registration Closed. Will Reopen at [time]”.
- Preserving Region History. James brought up the issue of preserving our history and making it available to the members online. Bruce said he was working on re-establishing the links to the Bulletin archives which had been messed up during the recent transition to the new website. While James thanked Bruce for that, he pointed out that there was much more to be done. The current archive only covered print versions of the Bulletin and some other interesting documents. Since 2010 the Bulletin had become an online publication, and there was currently no way to access those web pages from 2010 to the present once they had scrolled off the “Recent News” page. Bruce agreed to discuss this with webmaster Jeff Eng and to look into whether those were still available. James also pointed out that in the last couple of years we had used Constant Contact to send out e-mail versions of the Bulletin and that there was no process in place to save those. The originals might be in Constant Contact, but we did not own that storage and there was no way for Region members without a CC login to view the content. In discussion, it was pointed out that we should probably move copies of everything we wanted to save to storage we pay for, such as from our web hosting company and Google. Furthermore, we should also purchase a large-capacity digital storage device and make our own copies of these pages and documents as well, since we would have no recourse should one of the hosting companies lose our documents. By consensus, it was agreed that Bruce and James should pursue establishing a process to save our documents and that the first step was to determine just what we still had.
- Charities. Bruce displayed the new Worker Parking pass he had made for 2017. As usual, it was a hanging card for the owner’s vehicle. The color he had chosen for this year was a hot pink, and he had added the “Breast Cancer Awareness” logo to the bottom. Bruce asked that we consider replacing the charity recipient for the funds collected from the lunchtime drive-arounds at the October race for this year with the National Cancer Foundation. The March race has the Diabetes Foundation. In discussion, it was pointed out that traditionally we had at least one local charity which had an animal theme. Motion to adopt the National Cancer Foundation for October and the Spirit Canine Rescue of Alamance County for the Spring Sprints in April (Powers / Clark). Passed. It was noted that Exhibit B of our VIR contract required that we notify VIR in advance who the charity would be, but that they should not have any problem with these choices.
- Swap and Sell Page on Website. Mark said that several members at his Triangle Chapter meeting had items to sell, from race car tires to an enclosed trailer, and that while this information was included in his Chapter report, there should be a “swap-and-sell” page included on our website, as had been in years past. Bruce said he would talk to Jeff about it.
Chapter and Committee Reports: Chapter Reports for the Triangle and West Chapters were posted on the Google drive under February for 2017. These were not discussed.
Motion to adjourn at 9:07 PM (Shanks / Senior). Passed.
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks