Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
June 16, 2021
Present: John Bodnar, Cameron Conover, Anna Crissman, Blair Deffenbaugh, Justin Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Nikki Edwards, Sam Fouse, Stephen Miller, Mark Senior, Chris Schimmel, James Shanks, Paul Spencer, Ben Tyler, Kit Williams, and Rob Wilmoth, all attended via video conference, as we have not yet found a place to hold an in-person meeting, despite the fact that the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 virus is greatly diminished. Blair Deffenbaugh and Paul Spencer joined late, and Rob Wilmoth was forced to drop out for a while, due to other commitments, but returned.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Anna Crissman at approximately 7:32 PM, on Wednesday, June 16th,
- John Bodnar, Chris Schimmel, Ben Tyler, and Rob Wilmoth, attended as guests.
- Motion to approve the May minutes, as posted on the Google drive (Senior / Shanks). 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 indicated that as of this meeting, the checking account is holding steady, with an outstanding check for August track rental of about $9700 still pending, but everything else is largely unchanged. The scholarship fund stands at almost $5300, after donations from the spring races. Sam said he just saw that SEDIV has finally cashed our checks from last season, and they are included in the current balances. Various members indicated that they had not yet sent in some bills from our most recent events, and they were remined to do so. None were so large as to cause a problem with our cash flow.
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.
Mark Senior reported that he and Sam had listened in on the Tarheel Sports Car Club meeting, in order to learn more about their audit by the IRS. Sam explained that Tarheel is officially a 501c7, “social club”, while we are a 501c4, “social welfare organization”. The problem for Tarheel seems to be that for a social club to operate legally under IRS rules, then a certain percentage of their business must be with their members as opposed to outside vendors. They survived the audit, Sam said, but had to pay a nominal fine of about $2000. And their situation does not apply to us. What concerns Sam somewhat, is what the IRS thinks about them paying, or reimbursing, members for services or expenses. Stephen added that his understanding was that receipts were needed for expenses, and that, while he could be reimbursed for expenses incurred, he could not be paid for his time, nor for the use of items he owned. Sam agreed that was correct. And because the IRS does not require a 1099 for payments to individuals which total less than $600 annually, we need not provide those, Sam said. Even if you work every race day at VIR for us, you cannot reach that amount, he added. He concluded by saying that he did not think the Region’s VIP program was a major issue for the IRS, and that his investigation had shown that every Region in the Southeast was basically handing things the same. Others agreed that our $35 per day, plus meals, was not out of line with what other Regions were paying. Mark added that he thought one of the real reasons why Tarheel got fined was because they did not have good records of where the money went, who got it and how much, which is not the case for NCR, as our records are very detailed. Sam agreed that with our records going back at least ten years, we should be able to survive an IRS audit just fine.
Chapter and Committee Reports:
Triangle Chapter has a report on the Google drive for this month, but it is really just a couple photos of the 12 or so people who attended. Bruce added that they also had a Zoom call going, but no one else called in. Mark added that Al Heatwole’ s mom had passed away, and he wanted to share that with anyone who didn’t know. Kit said Cape Fear’s Zoom meeting was very small, with just two attendees besides himself and Anna. Kit also reported that they had held two successful Solo events at MCAS Cherry Point this past weekend, for the first time in over a year. Nikki reported that the West Chapter held a small in-person meeting at Wrenn Miller Park in Jamestown, just as they had last month. She needs to find a replacement Chapter Coordinator for the West Chapter, since she will be joining the SCCA national staff. There are two potential candidates for the position, Cameron Conover and Debi Popolizio from TechSport Racing. If Cameron is elected by the Chapter, then he will have to resign his current position on the Board as Member-at-Large, and Anna will appoint a new person to fill out his term, subject to Board approval. Anna said she had broken down the current NCR Membership list by area for those folks living in North Carolina, and would be distributing that to the Chapter Coordinators for them to use in reaching out to members who have not been attending the meetings, in the hope of boosting future attendance, either in person or via Zoom. It is Anna’s view that the in-person meetings should also have a Zoom call so that interested parties who cannot attend in person can still be included.
- Bylaws Committee Update. As chair of the Committee, James reported that while they had reached agreement on some issues, they were unable to do so on all of them, and thus had no choice but to find out what the Board would support. The Committee was charged with simplifying the nomination process so that written statements of intention to run for office from the nominees, as well as written endorsements by others, were no longer required, and this they could agree on. They agreed that-e-mail notice was sufficient, but they disagreed as to whether notice by text or phone call to the Secretary was also sufficient, especially when it came to members of the Executive Board. They were divided on whether additional Region members must endorse the nominees, as well as how many; and they were unable to decide whether the nominees needed to be vetted by the Board to determine whether they had the experience and qualifications to do the job, especially where the position of Treasurer was concerned. It was suggested that our practice of only electing half of the Board at a time, and requiring nominees to submit a bio for publication helps reduce our exposure to many of the bad things that people wanted to avoid. Anna took an informal poll and the consensus was that nominees should have other members endorse them. After lengthy discussion, the Board agreed by consensus that e-mail was an acceptable method of notification but that text and voice were not; and that the current number of endorsements by other Region members in good standing, which is three, was sufficient vetting for the purpose of deciding who can run. James said that the Bylaws Committee would carry these provisions forward into the proposed revisions. Several members suggested possible ways to guarantee that the person who ran for Treasurer was suited to the task. Cameron suggested, based on his experience in a club which saw its Treasurer embezzle funds, that in addition we might institute a legal contract between the Region and a new Treasurer, as a means of legally binding them. This idea was noted, as were the others, but the Board agreed that any further restrictions on the office of Treasurer would not be pursued at this time.
- TT Timing Equipment. John Bodnar made a proposal that we obtain some new timing equipment for use at our Time Trial events. John produced a spreadsheet, which Anna shared, about wireless timing equipment that was being used by the National Office with their TTs, which allows for better operation of the track sprint portion of their events. In addition, purchasing this hardware would mean that the TT program would not have to borrow equipment from our Solo Program, except perhaps for the wireless display that John said they seldom use. Anna pointed out that this system gives us the flexibility to set up a track sprint anywhere on course we choose and are not be limited to the front straight. Motion to approve up to $2000 to purchase this system and ancillaries (Senior / Miller). Passed. Stephen then offered as an amendment that the amount be increased to include a PA system, so that we would not have to borrow that from Solo either. Mark accepted this as a friendly amendment and the amount was raised to $2500 to cover a PA, plus taxes and shipping. The amended motion passed. Kit raised the issue of where this equipment would be stored between TT events, and Stephen volunteered to do that at his house for the time being. Since we were taking about equipment for TT events, Ben interjected that his radio provider in Fayetteville said that if we could borrow one of NCCAR’s radios and get it to them, they then could reverse engine ours to operate on the same frequency.
- August Race Preparations. Blair said that the Supps are in progress, with a preliminary schedule, and he is working with Sam on determining entry fees. Blair wants to bring back Sunday qualifying, and to accommodate that he wants to have just one enduro “packet” (an ECR plus concurrent, though shorter, APC and TCPS races) on Saturday, but that it be of longer duration, with a 90-minute ECR. Thus, the fee structure has to change as well. Once he and Sam have worked out the numbers, then Blair thinks the Supps and schedule are ready to go to the Stewards, most notably Chief Steward for the event, Ron Gentry. The lengths of the SARRC races all have to adjusted and checked against the SEDIV minimums, though this is not likely to be a problem. Ben asked that they plan for an afternoon worker break of at least ten minutes and use that time to distribute popsicles, lemonade, or other similar refreshments, to the corners. Mark has been talking with Kerrigan Smith of VIR about some of the issues we had in May, especially about the negative attitude of some of the staff, and Anna added that she had asked Mark to start the discussion with Kerrigan about dates for next year as well, since she needs to give SEDIV some idea of our plans for 2022 at the upcoming mid-year meeting. Mark went on to explain that while Kerrigan agreed that participants for our events who are on a list should be able to get in whenever they get there, he acknowledged that his staff doesn’t always follow through and he currently blames the pandemic for having difficulty find qualified staff. Many Board members scoffed at this suggestion, and Justin asked whether it might be possible for us to produce a document that VIR management could sign that we could show the gate guards and others how things are supposed to work when they seem perplexed. Mark said he hoped to produce such a document of understanding before the next event, but it would have to be done by working through Kerrigan, Brian, and Joey, and it would be their responsibility to communicate it down to their staff, because at the end of the day, we are just another renter of the facility. Kit observed that having a document doesn’t necessarily mean they will stick to it, as he has found from painful experience at Cherry Point. Mark added that the sheer size of our group also poses a challenge for VIR staff, who generally deal with far smaller groups of renters. Anna summarized the discussion by saying that it was unfortunate that we are were still working through these issues but there seemed to be no other way forward. Finally, James said that someone needed to contact Bridgette Sinnot of F&S and tell her that we were back to having podium presentations for trophies, and that someone also needed to contact Jim Creighton and get more of the silver foil SARRC winner stickers. Anna assigned Bruce to contact Jim and get enough stickers to cover the races for both days, plus a few extras
- Future Sites for Board Meetings. Anna has reached out to Jennifer Bedell, who owns Atomic Empire, about holding our July meeting there, along with a Zoom presentation for those who cannot make it, and Jennifer said we could do that. But Anna added that if anyone has other suggestions for a suitable venue then they should speak up. A proper site would have internet, access to food, and hopefully, beer as well.
- Plans for the October TT in Conjunction with the Audi Club. Stephen brought up this issue, because the Board had agreed in principle to hold a joint event with the Audi Club and now was the time to nail down how this would work. Anna pointed out that we have already signed a contract for our October event at NCCAR for just Saturday and Sunday, October 16th and 17th, and that someone would first have to contact Sam True at NCCAR and make sure Friday, October 15th, was available. Kit was concerned because the joint event would have to be run on a Friday, when most of our folks would be unavailable, but still conducted under out sanction. Stephen said the plan was for us to run it, but to hire flaggers from NCCAR. Rob Wilmoth spoke for the Audi Club, saying that they could cover tech and registration, and with help, run the event. And they would gladly pay to cover the increased costs. Stephen said he would be Control and Safety Steward, to guarantee compliance with SCCA regulations. There is no need for timing, since it is just a track event. He and Stephen anticipated about 30 cars for Friday, mostly novices, with approximately half of them being Audi club members, which should provide enough revenue to cover the additional track rental, gate security, EV, and the hiring of NCCAR’s flaggers. Stephen promised to put it all together in a solid proposal next month.
Motion to adjourn at 9:07 PM (Senior / Williams). Passed.
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks.
PS: A post-meeting discussion ensued about running the August time trial only in the favored counterclockwise direction, and by consensus, this was agreed to by all present. Stephen would like for us to poll our previous TT participants and verify that’s what they want too. Stephen also informed us that the EV onsite billed a participant directly, rather than billing us as the renter, and this is now in the hands of SCCA National for resolution. Anna agreed that this was inappropriate and said we should make NCCAR aware that they should be billing us, and not the participant.
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.