Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
January 20, 2021
Present: Anna Crissman, Eric Danielsen, Blair Deffenbaugh, Justin Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Sam Fouse, Al Heatwole, Stephen Miller, Heather Powers, 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. Cameron Conover and Nikki Edwards did not attend.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Anna Crissman at approximately 7:33 PM, on Wednesday, January 20th,
- Eric Danielsen, Al Heatwole, Chris Schimmel, Ben Tyler, and Rob Wilmoth, attended as guests.
- Motion to approve the December 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 financially since our last meeting, but that preparations were underway to turn the books over to the Treasurer-elect, Sam Fouse. For the last time, she recited our current financial position. Anna noted that we are currently up-to-date with our payments to SCCA National. The big bills pending are the VIR track deposit, now that the contracts have arrived, and the bill for the replacement heat pump for the Speed Suite, both discussed below.
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. Al Heatwole formally recognized Mark Senior as his replacement for Triangle Chapter Coordinator. The Board thanked Al for his service by acclamation.
- 2021 VIR Contracts. As VIR Liaison, Mark Senior had received and circulated to the Board, copies of the 2021 contracts for our events at VIR. Our three events, the Super Tour Majors, April 9th through the 11th, the SARRC / MARRS, May 8th and 9th, and the Goblins Go, October 9th and 10th, total 7 days, for which the VIR base track rental fee is $19, 307 per day. Thus, our basic track rental bill for 2021 will be $135,149, of which a 25 percent deposit is due by January 28th. We owe VIR a check for $33,788 on that date, when the contracts must be signed and returned. It was thought that VIR had chosen to issue three contracts, one for each proposed event, rather than their usual single contact, because it would be easier to rescind or modify the agreement for one event, should the need arise, and things were still in constant flux because of the pandemic. The State of Virginia has issued new restrictions limiting the number of people at outdoor gatherings to just 250 persons, and this would make it very difficult, if not impossible, for us to hold our Super Tour Majors in April, let alone our smaller events in May and October. We are hoping that things will loosen up by the time those events roll around, since vaccinations against COVID-19 have begun in earnest. Anna asked Mark to check with VIR and see whether there was some other group, with a smaller attendance planned, which might be willing to switch the April Super Tour date with us for a later one, should the need arise. She felt we could probably talk SCCA National into a delay as late as some weekend in July. Mark agreed to discuss this with Kerrigan Smith, but he was not hopeful about a suitable candidate being found. Anna observed that while we did not yet have actual contracts with MCAS Cherry Point for the Solo program, or with NCCAR for the Time Trial Program, she knew of no problems with either of those at this time. We are still awaiting actual contract documents from them both.
- Replacing Heat Pump in the Speed Suite. Bruce announced that he had heard from Keith Bagby at Bagby Equipment, the HVAC contractor, in Danville. They had promised us a five percent discount if they could replace our heat pump at the same time as they did the one next door. However, they have not been able to contact the owner of that suite, one Mr. Campbell. Bruce said he had reached out to the VIR staff for help in doing that. Sam said he had processed a check for Bagby so that they could go ahead and order the new unit. Bruce also suggested that we could obtain a thermostat which he could control remotely from his phone, but this would require that we also establish a reliable internet connection at the Speed Suite. He further suggested that he could add a “my-fi” unit (a wireless broadband connection device utilizing a cell phone to connect to the internet) to his cell phone plan, and leave that unit in the Speed Suite, for somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 to $45 per month. This suggestion did not sit well with the Board and several members voiced alternative suggestions that were cheaper, including using just a simple programmable thermostat. Anna tabled that discussion after awhile, when it became apparent that no consensus on the type of thermostat could be reached at this time. She suggested we bring it up again next month, after various proposals had been researched and circulated via e-mail.
- Pre-season Meeting with VIR. Mark has been soliciting possible dates for a pre-season Zoom call with VIR management, to replace the dinner meetings which have been our norm in the past. He has settled on the evening of Tuesday, February 9th as a date for the call, provided VIR agrees. In the meantime, he is soliciting questions and topics from interested parties. Those hoping to attend, or having issues to discuss, should contact him.
- Gifts for Awards Meeting Participants. Anna first opened this subject by declaring that she had received an e-mail from SEDIV that they were now intending to hold a virtual annual convention on the weekend of February 6th, which would mean that their awards dinner would be happening at the same time as the one we have been planning for NCR. She was understandably upset about this, since there had been no official word that anything like this was even being considered. Indeed, the SEDIV website still has posted on it the notice that the annual convention has been canceled. Anna’s take on this is that we should ignore them, since they are clearly in disarray, and just go ahead with what we have been planning. In regard to that, Anna said she would like to continue the practice of having door prizes for the participants of our annual awards presentation as an enticement to attend, though perhaps toned down from what we have done before. She has in mind gift cards and a few reduced, or free, entries to our events in 2021. Ben asked whether we could still afford that under these circumstances, and Sam pointed out that we usually fund about fifty percent of the actual cost of the annual dinner, as well as the door prizes, and that the banquet expense has been erased for 2021. Motion to continue gift cards and reduced, or free, entries as door prizes at the upcoming awards presentation (Crissman / Williams). Passed. Bruce said he ordered $500 worth of gift cards last year. Kit said the Solo Program had given away five separate single-event entries at approximately $25 each, and one full season pass, which would have been worth about $225, had the season not been cancelled. He added that he would be pleased to honor those free entries in 2021, should their season get underway, and he saw no reason not to give that many away again this time, even though that might mean twice as big a hit to the Solo revenue stream. It was also determined that we had given away two reduced-entry-fee certificates for our events at VIR last year, each worth $250 off the entrant’s total bill for whatever race weekend was chosen. Motion to provide ten gift cards at $50 each, two race weekend discounts of $250 each, one free full-season pass for our Solo events, and five free single solo events passes, to those attending the virtual awards presentation (Crissman / Senior). Passed. The recipients will be chosen at random and be notified by e-mail after the event, since they must be present to win, Anna said. Al added that we should be sure to include this enticement information in a new Region-wide e-mail, just before the awards presentation, and the Board agreed.
- Adding the Audi Club to our October Time Trial. Stephen Miller spoke up and said that he and Rob Wilmoth had been discussing combining our October Time Trial with the Audi Club of the Carolinas, of which Rob is a member. Rob said that the Audi club had recently been reformed, after its pervious officers had resigned, and that its members were looking for a way to get on track in a low-pressure way. Stephen suggested that the Board approve him reaching out to NCCAR, and if the date was available, adding the Friday immediately preceding our Time Trial in October, October 15th, for just Audi Club members. Then we might include those that wished to continue, in the rest of our event on Saturday and Sunday, perhaps even as an Audi-only group. This proposal was very well-received and the Board agreed by consensus. Kit Williams added that if they wanted to be part of one of our autocross events in a similar fashion, as an Audi-club-only class, he would be more than willing to entertain that proposal as well. Stephen and Rob will proceed with trying to expand our October event at NCCAR, and work out the details, to present to us at a later date.
Motion to adjourn at 8:38 PM (Senior / Williams). 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.