Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
February 17, 2021
Present: John Bodnar, Cameron Conover, Anna Crissman, Eric Danielsen, Blair Deffenbaugh, Justin Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Nikki Edwards, Sam Fouse, Joe Lyons, Stephen Miller, Heather Powers, Wayne Quick, Chris Schimmel, Mark Senior, James Shanks, Paul Spencer, Ben Tyler, Kit Williams, and Rob Wilmoth, all attended via video conference, due to the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 virus.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Anna Crissman at approximately 7:34 PM, on Wednesday, February 17th,
- John Bodnar, Eric Danielsen, Joe Lyons, Heather Powers, Wayne Quick, Chris Schimmel, Ben Tyler, and Rob Wilmoth, attended as guests.
- Motion to approve the January minutes, as posted on the Google drive (Shanks / Crissman). 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 reported that our check to VIR of $14,480 for the Majors is still pending, as it has not cleared yet. And they are holding our deposit checks for May and October, each one worth $9674, until closer to those events. Currently, then, we have about the same in our accounts as last month. Sam further announced that he was planning on providing some more detailed financial information for just the Board members, perhaps utilizing the Google drive as a secure platform, but that was still in process. He did share that while the 2020 tax return was also still in process, the 2019 tax return shows that we did quite well for that year.
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 just a small 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. Anna urged everyone to attend the Chapter meetings to lend support for the meetings.
- Awards Presentation Review. Those present lauded Blair and Justin Deffenbaugh for the recent Awards ceremony, which was held online as a Zoom meeting, on February 6th. Blair, who acted as emcee, said that they had learned that some of the things which they did to pull this off could really go a long way towards improving future awards ceremonies, even those held in person; most notably using video presentation of awards for people who could not attend in person. He further said that he had an e-mail thread going with a discussion of the event so that next year’s Awards Committee would have a suggested list of best practices to work with as a starting point. He invited everyone to share their ideas on this thread. Since the Region gave up its YouTube account last year in order to save money, Justin said that they were looking for some way to publish the video recording; and it was suggested that he might post a link to it from social media to the public section of our Google drive. Justin said that he would look into that. He also lauded Eric Danielsen for the great job he did producing the awards and getting them distributed. Those present agreed whole-heartedly and thanked all those who helped put the presentation together.
- March Race at CMP. Anna said that she had talked to Shellie McKee of SCR and registration for our joint event at CMP, March 27 – 28, should open this week, after they get a sanction number. Sam explained that there is a big issue which has been created at the National level of SCCA over sanction fees. The National Office has apparently decided that if there are multiple sanction numbers in a weekend, that they should be paid a separate sanction fee per car, as well as an additional compliance fee, for those classes which require that fee. Thus, getting a separate sanction for an Enduro, like the ECR, would require us to pay the National Office an additional $56.25 for each car entered, plus an additional $30 for each Spec Racer. These numbers are so high that we would have to raise our entry fees to cover them, making adding such a race prohibitive. But Sam thinks he has found a loophole in the GCR definition of an enduro. According to GCR 3.1.2.D an enduro is any race in which there may be more than one driver. It has nothing to do with length. So, since were planning on having just a 45-minute race, one with only a two-minute pit stop, combining both the Tarheel Cup and the Atlantic Pro Cup series, but not having an ECR; then we only need to prohibit a driver change and the March event at CMP does not technically contain an “enduro” under the GCR definition. Sam says he discussed this interpretation with Steve Strickland, our Area 12 representative, and Lee Hill, past Chairman of the SCCA Board, and they agree with his interpretation. So, Sam proposed that Shellie obtain only one sanction number and strike all mention of the word “enduro” from the Supps and schedule for that event, replacing it simply with “Regional” as in a “Regional race”. This was done and that paperwork submitted to Topeka. As we were discussing this very issue, Anna received a text from Shellie that the application had been accepted and that she had received a single sanction number. Thus, our race will go forward with the pricing we had agreed to previously. Sam added that we need to support this event, since it is joint one. He observed that the surface was recently repaved. Anna chimed in and said that he, Sam, was the Paddock Marshal, she was Chief of Timing, and that Ben was Flag Chief, and that perhaps the pace car folks were going as well. She urged everyone else to join in. Ben underscored the need for more volunteers, since they will be trying out a light-based flagging system, and he added that he had been asked to see whether Johnny Dunbar could be Chief of Pit. Anna said she would look into that and speak with Shellie about their other personnel needs. Mark noted during the discussion that we would have to get a handle on this new fee structure before our May race, which has always featured a big turnout for the ECR, with multiple drivers.
- Creation of New Non-voting Position of Assistant Treasurer. Sam reiterated his view from previous meetings that the job of the Region’s Treasurer had grown so large that it needed to be spread over multiple people. Accordingly, he suggested that we amend the Operation Manual to create a new, non-voting position of Assistant Treasurer. That person would share access to the books and have check-signing authority, but would not be a Board member, since that would require that we formally change the NCR Bylaws. Motion to create that position and add it to the Operations Manual (Fouse / Senior). Passed. Sam suggested, and Anna then nominated, Heather Powers, the former Treasurer to that position, and the Board accepted this nomination unanimously. Sam indicated that our QuickBooks accounting would soon be moving to the cloud, so that it could be shared, and that he had asked Bruce Dover to take charge of the Volunteer Incentive Program, since he sees all the participants as Registrar. In order to further streamline that process, Sam said that those volunteers wishing to reimbursed after every event would receive checks via mail a week after the event, and Bruce would see to that. In a point of order, James asked who would undertake the task of adding the position to the Operations Manual, and Sam suggested that he would provide some new content if he, James, would agree to insert it. James accepted this proposal and they agreed to have a new version of the Ops Manual available for the Board to vote on by the next meeting.
- Spring Sprints Preparation and Budget. At our pre-season Zoom meeting with VIR on February 9th, we learned that VIR had convinced the Virginia Governor’s office that our events were different from NASCAR and involved mostly participants rather than fans or spectators. Accordingly, the 250-person limitation for an outdoor event did not apply to us. Thus, we can go ahead with a three-day Super Tour event, so long as we keep the event closed to the public and allow (members only). To achieve this end, we have decided to cap registration for workers at 175 and drivers at 300, allowing no more than three additional persons per car as crew or entrants. In addition, all participants must be SCCA members, either full or weekend, so that we can claim all of them as club members adhering to our regulations. The Region will, of course, pay weekend membership fees for any volunteers. Sam has looked at the numbers of participants from prior years, and these caps should be sufficient to allow our usual level of participation for non-Runoffs years. We are hoping to open Registration for workers on the 20th and for drivers on the 23rd. Sam’s projections show that with an entry fee of $695 for this 3-day event, we will break-even for the weekend at 225 to 235 cars, which leaves us a little wiggle room to make a surplus if more show up. That surplus, he emphasized, will be used as it always is, to subsidize the things this Region does which do not make money, such as the annual awards dinner. The $695 entry fee, Sam noted is more than Atlanta’s ($650) and Sebring’s ($670), but their tracks don’t cost what VIR does to rent, so it is right in line with what others are charging, he said. For the benefit of those new to race accounting, he explained that a Majors required a fee of $59.25 per driver to be paid to the National Office, and a Super Tour requires an additional $70 on top of that, for a total of $129.25 per car out of the entry fee. But he added, we get a few perks from that, such as an announcer and trophies, which we do not have to pay for. We need to have a Super Tour, he explained, because it is expected of us, as one of the premier tracks in the country, and especially since the State of Virginia will allow it to happen.
- Time Trials at NCCAR. Stephen Miller explained that he has not received a contract yet, from Sam True, the manager of NCCAR, for our events at that facility. The hold-up, he said, seems to be political, with the county commissioners, who control the facility, dragging their feet because of the pandemic and politics. He added that he intends to run the same event schedule, groups, and price, as he did last October, for our event scheduled for April 24 – 25. The only issue, he said, was whether we should open Registration on March 1st if we still don’t have a contract. He added that he expected that our attendance might grow, since Time Trial in general was seeing a surge in popularity, what with the National Tour event at VIR on March 13 – 14, and a lot of buzz surrounding a proposed a hillclimb in Kentucky coming in May.
- Radios and Fire Bottles. Flag Chief Ben Tyler announced that he had received a quote from a company in Fayetteville to replace out three lost radios at $897.56 including shipping. He added that he was going to ask Al Heatwole to pick them up, if we purchased them, and avoid the shipping charges. It was observed that this price was much below that charged by other dealers. They also gave him a quote of approximately $160 to repair one radio which had been accidentally dropped into a deep mud puddle at the October event, but that this repair could wait until after April. Anna and Sam asked Ben to see whether he could get the company to invoice us so that the payment could be made after money started coming in from entry fees for the Spring Sprints, and Ben said he would look into that. Motion to purchase the three radios at this price (Senior / Fouse). Passed. Ben also said that he had asked the company in Danville that services our fire bottles to hold up that service until late March in order to have money coming in before he had to spend it, but he wanted to let the Board know that this expense was coming up. There was a side discussion about Washington D.C Region possibly getting rid of its fire bottles and Ben thought we should purchase them in anticipation of the Runoffs coming to VIR in 2022 and 2023, but this issue was tabled as a long way off, and Anna said she would pass along Bob Crawford’s e-mail address to Ben so that he could confirm what their plans were.
- Solo Report. Kit Williams tried to give a report on the current state of the Solo Program, but he had computer issues and dropped off. Anna continued for him, saying that the planned March date at MCAS Cherry Point had been cancelled by the base, and that they were looking at future events one at a time as they drew near. In order to have some kind of an autocross event, NCR was partnering with South Carolina for an event at Darlington Raceway, in Darlington, SC, on Saturday, March 20th and registration is already open on MSR. The event will be our annual SCR vs. NCR competition, so members are urged to attend.
- VIR meeting minutes. Mark Senior announced that he had sent all our participants at that Zoom meeting with VIR on February 9th his recap of what had transpired and that he welcomed feedback from them before sending it to VIR.
Motion to adjourn at 8:43 PM (Senior / Edwards). Passed.
Note: There was a post-meeting informal discussion about Region advertising and the need for us to develop a strategy for reaching potential drivers who are not currently engaged with Time Trial.
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.
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks