BoD Minutes – June 15, 2016
Present: Heather Clark, Blair Deffenbaugh, Rex Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Steve Keadle, John Lindquist, James Shanks, Mark Senior, Mike Spencer, and via conference call, Buddy Matthews, Eric Danielsen, and Jeff Eng. Sam Fouse, John Byers, and Morgan Mehler were not present.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by Past RE Rex Deffenbaugh at 7:04 pm, on Wednesday, June 15th 2016, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC, 27707. Rex had been designated by Sam to chair the meeting while Sam was out of town.
- There were two guests in attendance via phone. One was Marketing Committee Chair Eric Danielsen, and the other Region Webmaster, Jeff Eng.
- The May minutes were corrected by Eric, who noted that the West Chapter report was available before the meeting last month, although it had been posted late. Motion to approve the minutes as corrected (Spencer/Clark). Passed.
Financial Report: Treasurer Steve Keadle was not able to give a full financial report at this time, but he promised a detailed accounting of our first three races for next month. He was able to state that our cash in the bank to date was a healthy again for both club racing and Solo.
- Region Tent at VIR IMSA event August 26-28: This item was John Lindquist’s, tabled from last meeting. The basic idea was a Region tent with 3 cars on display to attract new members. This would require rental to VIR for a 10×40 space and additional passes purchased to accommodate multiple workers. There would also be expense associated with creating banners and promotional materials. A series of e-mails had passed between the Board members discussing this proposal in advance of this meeting. Blair Deffenbaugh asked to speak first. He said that his recent degree in marketing had instilled certain things in him about such activities. First we needed a plan, and John’s proposal for a 10×40 space under a tent with 3 cars and multiple workers to handle the crowd provided such a plan. He also indicated that we needed to do three more things to make it successful. One was internet access so we could sign up people on the spot once they were convinced to join and second was something physical to hand them, a combined gate pass, calendar, and flyer pamphlet with attractive graphics, which entitled them to entry to any race in the next two years. Then he said we should also collect their names and contact information, especially e-mail addresses, and follow up with regular e-mails, perhaps as many as 7 or 8, to remind people what they had been given and how they could use it. Other folks chimed in about adding the website address and additional information. Some suggested that we could get by with spending less money and using a smaller space, but John pointed out that we were cramped for space last year and he had already been informed that space would be tighter this year as more vendors had signed up. Motion (Spencer/Shanks) to grant John up to $1000 to implement the full version of his proposal. Passed.
- Advertising on Region Website: Jeff Eng had been specifically invited to this meeting to speak to this issue. He said that there were basically three sizes of ad space available on our website and that there were a couple of different ways that advertisers might pay for them. One was “pay by click” which charges a fee based on the number of visitors to the website, and that a typical fee in the industry was around $10 per thousand clicks. This would not yield us much revenue, even if we charged that much per month, as our NCR website only sees between seven and eight thousand clicks per year. Charging by how many people followed the link to an advertiser’s website would also not yield much for a similar reason. Eric Danielsen spoke up and indicated that, as he had stated in his Marketing Committee Report (on the Google Drive), he had spoken with Bob Crawford of WDC Region about their advertising rates. Bob said they had no set rates but negotiated a fair price for each vendor, since most of them were Region members. John Lindquist allowed that we should probably consider advertising on our web site to be a donation to the Club, since based on Jeff’s numbers, it would probably not result in increased traffic for the advertiser’s business. Nevertheless, the Board wanted to know what a professional web hoster would charge for advertising. Rex asked Jeff Eng if he could produce a rate plan of sorts for the Board to consider at the next meeting and Jeff agreed to do that.
- Enduro Class Structure and Preliminary Budget for 2016: This item was postponed since Sam Fouse was not present. His proposed budget remains on the Google drive from last month.
- Mid-Year Meeting Plans: Steve Keadle asserted that since the Mid-Year meeting was next month, before the next Board meeting, that we should determine who was going to go to Atlanta, as they would have to be reimbursed. James Shanks indicated that Sam had told him the week before that he and Rex were going and travelling together. Rex seemed surprised by this but indicated he would discuss it with Sam. No one else indicated a desire to go. Motion (Senior/B. Deffenbaugh) to pick up expenses for 2 people, Sam and one other. Passed.
- Annual Picnic: Mike Spencer said he had asked Mark Senior to contact the right people at VIR concerning us holding our picnic there in July while the track was undergoing repaving. Mark said he had been in contact with Sandie Currie, head of Special Events and Catering, about that, and that while she had promised to get back to him before the meeting today, she had not. He will continue to pursue this and inform us all via e-mail. At this time there are no other alternatives being considered for a picnic location.
Chapter and Committee Reports: Multiple reports had been posted to the Google drive on the day of the meeting, some of them quite late, and not all members had read them yet. However, it was decided that if the authors had items they wished for the Board to consider, or others had questions about a particular report, then the Board would use the remaining time to consider them.
- Marketing: Eric Danielsen recapped the Marketing Committee report he had alluded to earlier about his conversation with Bob Crawford of WDC Region concerning advertising on their Region’s website. They do not have a formalized rate structure but negotiate with each advertiser individually. He also reported that after working at Mid-Ohio and seeing the “goofy” problems they had to deal with at their Majors event, he was very happy that our Majors went so well.
- Comp Board: Mike Spencer reported that the most recent Comp Board meeting had only focused on the issues raised at the first three races and that another meeting would be needed to hammer out Supps for the remaining two races. Rex wanted to know in particular what had been proposed to deal with the issue of cars racing through the paddock to get to the grid for qualifying. Mike said he had proposed a generic formula to assign qualifying grid positions by date of entry whenever the number of entrants in any group exceeded a certain percentage of what could be on the track at one time. Other members felt that there was no need to be so complex, as the issue was confined to Spec Miata. It was pointed out that the account of the incident at the SARRC/MARRS event, as reported in the previous minutes of this Board, was incorrect. No one had actually been struck by a speeding car; only forced to halt and remain frozen in place as cars whizzed by on both sides of her. Rex said he had witnessed the incident and reported it to the Chief Steward. Two drivers were singled out and sent to the back of the grid for violating the pit road speed limit. Rex said others were also guilty but he had been unable to get car numbers. The upshot of the discussion is that there will be language in future Supps to spell out when grid positions will be assigned by date of entry rather than first come, first served.
- West Chapter Report (trophies): James Shanks brought up this report because it took issue with Comp Board’s decision back in January to award trophies for all our events using the same structure that the GCR outlines for the Majors. In particular, for small field races, trophies for third place are not awarded unless there are more than 3 cars. He pointed out that he had never heard of any Region or organization giving trophies for third place when there were only three cars entered. Mark Senior concurred. Buddy Matthews countered that his Chapter members were more concerned about the fact that the third-place finisher was not permitted to stand on the podium and have his picture taken with the others. The Board members agreed by affirmation that this should not happen. Mike Spencer agreed to talk to F & S about that before the next event.
- PDX at Rockingham: Mark Senior reported that this idea is still up in the air while Rockingham Speedway management regroups after their recent auction.
- Banquet: Buddy Matthews reported that Heather Powers had dropped out of the role of coordinating this event and that a new coordinator must be found immediately. As of this moment, we have no reservations at any location for the proposed event next January. Whoever takes this over will have to start from scratch.
- Alternatives to the 13-8 hour Enduro: Rex wanted to revisit the issue of the 2016 Enduro which we had tabled before, but others resisted because Sam was not present. However, it was pointed out that the West Chapter report indicated that their members had voted to alter the format of that event or replace it with something more appealing to NCR drivers, or else be cancelled. James Shanks felt that it was incumbent on those members to say exactly what kind of event would be better since our choices were extremely limited by the date we had and the fact that it is essentially a one-day event, The Board had been discussing this issue for some time and had yet to find a suitable alternative. John Lindquist brought up SCCA Bracket Enduro, which is similar to Chump and Lemons races, as a possibility. There ensued a rather fractious discussion about whether we should cancel the event with VIR for 2017 now or at least make it known at the SEDIV meeting that it would be unlikely to continue next year. Various members thought this action was precipitous. Others wanted us to more vigorously pursue finding a new date, which meant we would have to contact current renters and propose a switch. VIR is not eager to help us with that despite their earlier assurances that they were “willing to work with us.” Mark Senior put an end to the debate by saying that we should be have a solid alternative to consider on the day after the Enduro finishes for this year and be ready to go forward with that, should this Enduro not do well. Others agreed. The final consensus was that it is up to the proponents of any alternatives to research them before October and make a case to the Board.
Motion to adjourn at 8:56 PM (Shanks/Senior) Passed.