BoD Minutes – January 2023
NCR Board Meeting
January 18, 2023
Attendees: Bruce Dover, Lee Hill, Chris Severt, Anna Crissman, James Shanks, Sam Fouse, Megan Tyler, Shane Irving, Al Heatwole, John Bodnar, Stephen Miller
Guests: Chuck Stanley, Ben Tyler, Rex Loden, Phillip Irving, Chris Schimmel, Mark Senior
- The meeting was called to order by Anna Crissman, NCR RE.
- Motion to approve minutes from February meeting (Shanks/Hill) Passed.
Treasurer Sam Fouse had a financial report available for the meeting. As Sam was unable to present the annual financial report at the banquet due to unfortunate circumstances, he had sent the report to the Board.
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.
As is normal with the month of January, there were no Chapter meetings held as the Region holds the annual banquet in January.
- Awards Banquet Recap: Anna gave a quick recap of the Annual Banquet, which was held in Wilmington on January 14th. The venue worked well for our event, the awards were done very well but also efficiently, and the food was great. Anna said she spoke to Elizabeth Severt and Blair Deen, who had planned our event, and asked them to start looking at annual banquet dates for the coming year sometime in November or December. They will start looking in Wilmington but will also look further out if needed. Everyone agreed that they did an excellent job planning this event. James Shanks said this was the most stressful awards banquet he has ever participated in, that he was shocked at how much it cost, and that he was disappointed in how few people attended. James said he felt the NCR membership has sent a clear message that they do not care about a banquet and do not want us to host one in the future. James also said he will not ever again be the awards committee chairperson or act as the banquet emcee. Mark Senior said he felt it might be a good idea to poll the membership about if they are interested in an annual banquet. Al Heatwole asked if we could look at having the banquet in a different part of the state. Anna said the original plan was to have an event in Wilmington for 3 years or so before moving it and Covid had changed our plans significantly. Sam said he felt our attendance was typical for an NCR banquet and that he could not remember another banquet going back 40 years where we had significantly more attendees. Anna felt there were multiple factors that affect how many people attend the banquet and that doing research into this would be a good thing. Anna said we can revisit the annual banquet in the future. Lee Hill said he felt it was a great banquet and pointed out that other regions and divisions have banquets that do not have a large percentage of their membership attend.
New Business Out of Order
- Introduction of New Officers: Anna skipped to this item due to a scheduling issue for some people on the call. Megan Tyler is the new NCR Assistant RE, Chris Severt is now the Cape Fear Chapter Coordinator, and Shane Irving is a new Member at Large. The rest of the Board remained the same as 2022.
Old Business Again
- Volunteer Incentive Program: Anna made a motion to increase our daily VIP payout amount to $50, to continue to pay camping fees for volunteers who register to camp, and to leave the rest of the program untouched. The motion was seconded by Sam Fouse. The motion passed unanimously.
- 2023 Solo Program: Shane Irving presented a proposed tentative solo program schedule for 2023, with none of those dates officially confirmed yet. Rex Loden and Abby Scher had a meeting with the MCAS Cherry Point SMP program representative the same day as the Board meeting. They are working on a new system for 2023 to support the Single Marine Program through donations, supporting the local area, and bringing the SCCA Street Survival School to the base. Shane said the March date on his proposed schedule was very tentative as we had no signed contract with the base at this time. They will need to open registration very soon as the base does have a policy of closing our event registration 30 days before the event in order to get all of our attendees base access through the Department of Defense. The Solo team will get together to make this happen as soon as possible. Shane said he has contacted NCCAR to work out having Solo events there this year in order to help fill out our schedule. He has several tentative dates set up with Sam True at NCCAR to increase the number of events and give us another site outside of MCAS Cherry Point. Shane asked about getting a tent made for the Solo program with the NCR logo on it and Sam said he had a contact that could do that for them. The proposed schedule that Shane listed had several conflicts with the NCR road race schedule, but this is something that happens often as the base controls our schedule and the Solo program does not have any option to move or reschedule dates.
Item Not on Agenda
- Al Heatwole asked about a road race and time trial event with South Carolina Region at CMP at the end of March on the 25th and 26th. Anna said the event date has been offered to CCR at this time. She said the track is now demanding full payment upfront, something that SCR is not able to do and did not want to ask someone else to pay for them. Sam said he was told that the CCR Board had rejected the event and so there will not be a race at CMP in March. Everyone agreed that this is not ideal but as CMP is not our track, we really do not have much of a say in the matter.
New Business Again
- Autocross Support Reimbursement: Anna brought up that John Bodnar has been heavily supporting the Solo program for many years, helping with timing, storing the Solo trailer, and bringing the trailer on base. Now that the Solo program is going to be having events at NCCAR and the trailer will need to be transported, John would like to be able to submit for reimbursement when the trailer has to be moved between those two sites, as NCCAR is a good distance away from Cherry Point. John said he would be interested in doing a rate per mile for his travel. Sam said he could just submit his fuel receipts for reimbursement, which is something that he does when he has to transport things to or from VIR. Sam asked John to figure out the mileage and how much fuel he would need to use to see his fuel costs. John had already done this math and had a data graph showing what his fuel costs would be. Sam said the best option would be to submit receipts to Sam. Sam made a motion that the Board should reimburse John for transporting the Solo trailer. Seconded by James Shanks. The motion passed unanimously. Anna then wanted to amend the motion that this motion should apply to anyone who wanted to move the trailer. This was not voted on or changed but as Anna is the RE this is a change she is allowed to make.
- VIR Meeting: Mark Senior recapped the preseason meeting with VIR between Kerrigan and Bryan of VIR and Mark, Anna, Sam, John Hunter, and Ben and Megan Tyler. They met in person at the track and John, Ben and Megan joined virtually. The meeting went well according to Mark. The track rent has increased by 12 percent over last year, which is a massive increase. They are now asking for a 25 percent deposit upfront for events. They have changed their Exhibit B to be much more detailed and specific for any changes we need to make to our event contracts. They have kept the camping buyout amount the same as 2022. Anna said in 2024 when we get our October event date back, it will likely be one of the Runoffs weekend dates. Mark said VIR also announced that in 2024 we will be required to use VIR flaggers and will no longer be allowed to use our own volunteers. This was a major shock to everyone at the meeting and will have huge consequences for our region and our events. VIR said this is the way several other tracks are going. There were many questions and comments as this was of course a major bombshell. Ben Tyler said to his knowledge no other track in the country requires an SCCA event to use non-SCCA flaggers. Anna said that as soon as VIR told her this, she reached out to Eric Prill of SCCA National to alert them to our concerns and issues with this new requirement from the track. Sam said the Endurance Racing Board had a meeting and he, Jon Krolewicz, and Eric Prill had a private meeting discussing this. Eric Prill was very unhappy with this and said he would not be letting this issue go. He had pointed out that SCCA and USAC are the only two organizations that can certify flag marshalls at the club racing level, and that he would be mentioning this to Kerrigan and Connie Nyholm when he sees them at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Sam felt we should leave this issue alone with VIR until the National office is able to speak with VIR leadership. Lee Hill said he expected this to get major pushback from stewards and race officials as he expects VIR to use their flaggers to cover the entire track, including the radio network and race control. Anna felt that VIR does not currently have the staff to cover a race event up to the standard that we would require. Sam said Kerrigan said Pit and Grid would be covered by VIR as well, but we would have our own timing and tech volunteers, but there were still many gray areas about exactly which things VIR would force us to have them cover. Chuck Stanley said it may be best not to make any statements without doing further research, especially in regards to what other tracks across the country are doing. Sam said he felt this was irrelevant as VIR is going to do whatever they want to do regardless of what we say or what other people are doing. Chuck was concerned VIR would be able to discredit us if we make false statements without doing further research. Everyone agreed with this, and Anna said she is not planning to make any statements or have conversations with VIR until we have much more information about what is going on and what the National Office will do. Anna made the point that Kerrigan told them at the meeting that it was very important for us to sell this idea to our flaggers so that VIR would have a large and talented workforce to cover their events. Kerrigan’s motivation for making this demand of us was unclear to everyone who was at the meeting. Al said it feels like VIR is trying to find new ways to make money off of us by charging us more money, taking our flaggers, and profiting off of them. It was noted that the in car electronic flagging system was not mentioned at all during the meeting. Anna said Kerrigan specifically held this announcement until the end of the meeting. Sam noted that the track rent going up by 12 percent is a huge increase and because of the new requirement to pay 25 percent of the event upfront and have the event fully paid two weeks before the event starts, we do not have the money in our bank account to have paid for the March event, which we gave to the National TT program, and the April Super Tour. Ben pointed out that Kerrigan said we could save money by selling our flagging equipment, and that he felt that VIR has been planning to do this for a long time. Sam said we will not be upfitting the Speed Suite as we have planned, for obvious reasons. Stephen Miller said we may need to reconsider having the Speed Suite in the future if this is the way VIR is going to go. Everyone agreed that we need to very much wait and see, but the Speed Suite is a very good asset to the region even without having a flagging corps. Anna said she did not expect VIR to increase their rates by such a crazy amount next year, but if they do, we will be priced out of many of our events. Anna said we would need to look at having a two or three day Majors instead of our three day Super Tour event. Anna also said they have not yet enforced us renting three days of a weekend but if they did our situation would be even worse. Sam pointed out that we currently only make money at the Spring Sprints and our other events at VIR mostly break even. He said the Super Tour entry fee would need to increase this year, as well as our other entry fees. Everyone agreed that we would need to have financial discussions next year as it was too early to plan for with so many variables. Ben asked if we could have a race at CMP, and Anna said she had already talked to Shellie with SCR about that but no plans could be made yet. Running an event at Charlotte Motor Speedway was also discussed and Sam said this did not seem likely to happen. There are many options for us to look into if VIR continues to price us out of having events at their track. Anna wrapped the discussion up and said no decisions would be made about anything tonight.
Motion to end the meeting (Miller/Fouse). Passed unanimously.
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, Kit Williams