Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
June 21, 2017
Present: Anna Crissman, Rex Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Sam Fouse, Buddy Matthews, Jerry Pell, Heather Powers, Mark Senior, James Shanks, Ben Tyler, and via conference call, Heather Clark and Morgan Mehler. Blair Deffenbaugh attempted to join but had phone difficulties and was forced to withdraw. Matt Decker did not join.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Sam Fouse at 7:30 PM, on Wednesday, June 21st 2017, at Piper’s Deli, 3219 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC,
- Jerry Pell and Ben Tyler were the only guests.
- Motion to approve the May minutes as posted on the Google drive (Senior / Crissman).
Order of items below reflects the order of discussion; not as they appeared on the published agenda.
Treasurer Heather Powers provided four documents, a Summary Profit and Loss statement for the year 2016 and Balance Sheet for the end of December of that year as well, plus a Balance Sheet through the end of April for 2017, and a current and detailed Profit and Loss statement for 2017, from January 1 through June 20th of this year. Copies of these documents reside on the Google drive in the Executive Board folder under June of 2017. The results for 2016 were far better than anyone had expected, as we showed a surplus of almost $92K. For the current year, we were still running ahead, with revenues to date bringing the total to about $136K. Cash in the bank as of June 21st was $112K in our money market account and about $44K in checking, and the Solo program has an additional $15.5K. The Board took the time to applaud the Treasurer’s efforts in producing these reports and in moving the bulk of our funds into an interest-bearing account.
- Code 35 Survey Update. Morgan Mehler, on behalf of the Code 35 Committee constituted last month, had created a survey (using the website Survey Monkey) and Bruce had sent an e-mail inviting all drivers who raced with us in the last 12 months, excluding those from the 13-hour Enduro, to take it. The survey has five questions, intended to determine how drivers felt about each of the two procedures we have for bringing the field under control during an incident, the Code 35 procedure, and the alternative Full Course Yellow (FCY) procedure. Morgan explained that 632 drivers were solicited and that an amazing number, 222, or more than a third, had responded, which is generally unheard of in surveys of any sort. Furthermore, a large number of them also provided comments, which would be helpful when analyzed, but that the scope of that effort would be daunting. In addition, the plan at this time is to have the survey stay open for another few days, until Sunday night, and another e-mail would remind those who had not responded that this was their last chance to make their opinion known. Sam determined during the meeting that it was possible for someone to take the survey more than once, so it is possible that some individuals might do that, intending to skew the results, but it was thought that this could not be helped `and that we already had plenty of valid input in the existing comments.
Morgan summarized the results so far. The first thing to note was that nearly all (218 of 222 respondents) agreed that they understood that VIR’s policy was not to do hot pulls unless the field was under control, either by a Code 35 or FCY procedure. 139, or 62 percent, of the respondents said they had experienced a Code 35 procedure at VIR, and of those, less than 29 percent were satisfied, either completely or somewhat satisfied, with the result. 13 percent were neutral and 58 percent were dissatisfied to some degree. 123 respondents felt strongly enough to leave a comment on the Code 35 procedure they experienced. Regarding the FCY procedure, 142 respondents, or 63 percent, said they had experienced one at VIR and of those, 54 percent were satisfied, 26 percent were neutral, and only 20 percent were unsatisfied with the result. In effect, the results for the FCY procedure were the inverse of those for the Code 35 procedure. 107 respondents left comments on the FCY procedure they had experienced. 98 drivers, or 44 percent of the respondents said they had experienced both procedures at VIR, and 60 percent were dissatisfied with how the Code 35 procedure went, with only 27 percent satisfied in any degree and 13 percent neutral about it. 84 of the drivers who experienced both procedures left comments about their experiences. The results so far indicate that Code 35 as currently implemented, is not popular among drivers, despite the fact that it is spreading to other tracks. Ben Tyler, who flags all over the country, indicated that many of the venues he regularly visits (Mid-Ohio, Sebring, Atlanta, and others) were considering trying out Code 35, and Sam noted that Deanna Flanagan, SCCA’s Director of Club Racing, had indicated to him that Code 35 or something like it, could be used at next year’s Majors at VIR. Morgan promised that the Code 35 Committee would produce a document with a full accounting of the survey results for the Board to consider in the future.
- Ideas for the October 21st Event at VIR. Two options were dismissed out of hand. The first was doing nothing and simply paying VIR the $16.6K we had agreed to in our contract. The second was holding another enduro or other racing event on a SEDIV schedule that was already too crowded. Mark Senior announced that he had floated the idea of a PDX with the help of the Tarheel Sports Car Club at their recent meeting and that they were receptive to joining with us. Mark presented a spreadsheet he had prepared showing how the day could be apportioned to provide a PDX, with 5 different run groups at 4 sessions apiece, or PDX combined with a 45-minute Tarheel Cup or Carolina Cup race, with just 3 sessions apiece. The latter had much higher costs associated with it as more volunteers would be needed to staff the course and provide full services such as tech, EV, and timing and scoring, which would be minimal at a PDX-only event. Ben Tyler and Heather Clark conferred and Ben indicated that a PDX might be staffed with as few as 10 corner workers. Sam indicated that he felt that a PDX-only schedule, especially if we could get assistance from Tarheel Sports Car Club was the best option, as it was likely to be the only one where we might make money as opposed to simply losing it. After looking at Mark’s spreadsheet, the Board agreed by consensus. He volunteered to work up a budget and take on the role of Chief Instructor. Heather Powers said that her father, Bill Foster, would be willing to take charge of the classroom instruction. There was still some disagreement about how much we should charge. Sam wanted $195 per day, while others thought we would have to price it lower, at $175, in order to be competitive. Mark said he would work on a budget so we could come to some agreement on this issue. Bruce agreed to post the event on MSR. On the question of whether we could offer go-kart racing the next day as an incentive to attract workers, Mark indicated that this would add about $2K to the budget and thus was probably not feasible, given that we would have to feed all the instructors, which would number about 40 if we had the usual PDX rule of just two pupils per instructor. That would probably mean lunch for 60 people at $10 a head, given VIR’s standard rates. Anna suggested that the best way to advertise this was on social media and via text consulted with Blair Deffenbaugh, who agreed to handle that, provided that a budget of $200 was available for that advertising. Motion to provide $200 for social media advertising for this event (Crissman / R. Deffenbaugh). Passed.
- VIR Speed Suite Update. Sam and Heather Powers had recently met with a loan officer at BB&T and presented him with the financial statements that the Board saw earlier, in addition to our tax returns for the last two years. This particular loan officer was the one in charge of handling things for non-profit organizations; and he was quite pleased with our financial situation and saw no problem in NCR obtaining a loan to purchase Harvey Siegel’s Speed Suite at VIR. He even thought we might close by August 1st. Sam said he had determined that the taxes would be a nominal $550 per year and that he was checking on insurance. He had also talked to Harvey about lowering the price to $122K if we could arrange closing by August 1st, or else paying a nominal per diem after that and Harvey agreed. Sam then invited Jerry Pell, who had acted as the Region’s attorney in the past, to tell us what he had determined after looking at our Region’s NC State Charter and the Covenants and Declarations documents that governed the use of the unit. Jerry indicated that our Charter expressly gave us the right to purchase and own anything which would further the Region’s business, which was holding speed events. And, he said, that while we could not use the unit as a dormitory, almost anything else was allowed per the Covenants and Declarations. We could hold Registration, or social events, or run a business out of it. We could store whatever we wished and we only had to agree that if we ran engines inside, that the doors had to be open and any waste oil properly disposed of. He summarized his findings by saying that not only was our purchase feasible but that if he had a vote, that we should buy it. Sam said that while we had had an e-mail meeting in which it was decided to pursue the purchase, he wanted to give the Board one last chance to back out. Motion to purchase the Speed Suite from Harvey Siegel (Senior / Crissman). Passed with no dissenting votes.
- IMSA Event at VIR. This event will be held August 25th through the 27th. John Lindquist had been in contact with Sam and asked him to provide two tents, as he had last year, to cover a 10X40 space. He also asked that Bruce send out an e-mail for volunteers to man the booth, as he thought we would need 5 people per day, as well as for some drivers to bring interesting cars to display. Sam and Bruce agreed to carry out John’s request. Anyone wishing to volunteer should contact John directly, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (336)622-6225.
- Annual Dinner. Buddy indicated that contrary to what was reported in the minutes for last month that he was still willing to be involved with arrangements for the annual dinner. He just did not want to be in charge. He agreed to bring the matter up at his next Chapter meeting and see whether a new chair for the event could be found.
- Website Issues. Bruce indicated that no progress had been made on the issues he had raised last month with Jeff Eng about problems he was having with the new web site, since it had been converted to WordPress. Anna also indicated that she was no longer able to post to the website directly, and had started just giving her results to Bruce for posting. Both agreed they could use some training and needed a way to get their questions answered one-on-one. Bruce suggested that since Jeff and his wife have a new baby and he also his business to run, that perhaps he had just not had time to address these things Sam agreed that as RE he would talk with Jeff to see whether it was time for us to engage him professionally, for a fee, rather than continue to rely on what time he could spare as a volunteer.
- 2018 Schedule. Sam said he planned to send Sharon Rollow a 2018 schedule that was basically a duplicate of this year’s except that the March Into Spring event would be moved one week later so as not to conflict with Atlanta’s new-for-this-year Majors date. We hope we can get VIR to agree to that as well.
- Runoffs Rumor. Jerry Pell explained that his friend and Region member David Knocke is also a very good friend of SCCA’s current Chairman of the Board Lee Hill. Recently Jerry had heard from David that preliminary discussions about holding the 2019 Runoffs at VIR have been made with Kerrigan Smith, but not Connie Nyholm directly. Jerry also said that he told David to ask Lee to put a clause in their contract with VIR for the Runoffs, that NCR should keep that weekend date in the years following so that it would be easier for them to return in the future. Lee had told David that it would be up to us to negotiate that. So far, this continues to be just rumor and no formal announcement has been made.
- Purchasing Office Supplies. Rex announced that he and James had cut a deal with a purchasing agent for a company called Quill for paper and toner cartridges for the Hospitality printer. James said the paper was half the price per case that he had paid at Walmart, and the toner cartridges were $45 apiece (in lots of four) rather than the $75 each they were at Office Depot. Rex indicated that the Region could secure even better discounts if others, who used office supplies regularly, would tell him their needs. Bruce indicated that he would let Rex and James know what supplies he foresaw being required in the near future.
Chapter and Committee Reports: As of this writing there was only the Triangle Chapter report posted on the Google drive under June for 2017. As noted before, there were also the two financial statements, the minutes from last month including those of the e-mail vote June 7th, Mark Senior’s PDX spreadsheets, and the agenda for this meeting.
Motion to adjourn at 9:26 PM (Powers / R. Deffenbaugh). Passed.
Submitted by Secretary, James Shanks