BoD Minutes – May 2020
Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
May 20, 2020
Present: John Bodnar, Heather Clark, Anna Crissman, Eric Danielsen, Blair Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Nikki Edwards, Jeff Eng, Sam Fouse, Thomas Guest Jr., Frank Killian, Stephen Miller, Heather Powers, Chris Schimmel, James Shanks, Chuck Stanley, Ben Tyler, and Kit Williams, all attended via video conference, due to the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 virus. Justin Deffenbaugh, Al Heatwole, and Mark Senior, did not attend.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Anna Crissman at 7:38 PM, on Wednesday, May 20th
- John Bodnar, Eric Danielsen, Jeff Eng, Thomas Guest Jr., Frank Killian, Chris Schimmel, Chuck Stanley, and Ben Tyler, attended as guests.
- Motion to approve the April minutes, as posted on the Google drive (Shanks / Fouse). 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 provided a summary of our current financial position.
As promised last month, Heather placed two extensive spreadsheets out on the Google drive for this month, a Profit and Loss statement for 2019 and a very current Profit and Loss statement for 2020 up to the 18th of this month. As these were just submitted, no one had time to look them over yet, so there was no discussion at this time. But, Ms. Powers said, while we are not in poor shape now, she anticipated that our income for the year would be down significantly without the Spring Sprints and SARRC/MARRS races.
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:
Nikki Edwards submitted a West Chapter Report for the May meeting on the Google drive. Al Heatwole, Triangle Chapter Coordinator, had told Anna that he was busy moving, and would not be able to do so. Anna said that since she attended both the Triangle and Cape Fear meetings via video, she might be able to do both at a later date.
- Update on Website Improvements. Anna asked Jeff Eng whether there were any actual e-mail accounts remaining on the new website, accounts that we would have to pay for, or whether all that remained there now were simply forwarding addresses of other accounts. Jeff said there were nothing but forwards left, so there would be no cost for those. He said further that switching hosting to his company, Chart Local, would be $24 per month, or $288 per year, and it will give us faster service, and that he would like to add two plugins, a file management for media plugin (about $27 one-time charge) and a toolset plugin (about $69 to start but $51 per year after that) to what we have now. This would bring the total bill for the website to a little less than $400 for the year. Motion to award Jeff’s company, Chart Local, the contract for web hosting (Shanks / Clark). Passed. Motion to purchase the two additional plugins (Shanks / Crissman and others). Passed. Kit Williams asked Jeff what would be necessary to set up live timing for Solo events on the new server, since he anticipated that we might have a Solo event as soon as three weeks in the future. Jeff said it would only require that the timing programs be reconfigured with a new forwarding address. Anna asked Jeff whether he could go live with the new server by June 20th and he agreed. She further asked that he send the Board members an e-mail when the switchover was imminent. The Board thanked Jeff for his efforts. Bruce said that he had sent an e-mail to the Comp Board members that they update the descriptions of their specialties so that new members might want to volunteer to work them, but had gotten no responses. Anna said we would address that in the future.
- Posting of Minutes on the Website. James said that he had circulated two different proposals for how the public minutes should appear, but that he did not get a clear majority in favor of either one. He identified three issues which were raised. First was whether there was to be an indication that a financial report was even given. Second, if given, then where should we indicate that more information could be requested by interested NCR members? And third, what wording should be use to indicate that Region financial information was confidential, since his wording was judged to be a little too harsh. James added that he had no idea that this issue would be so complicated. After some initial discussion, Stephen Miller made a motion, which was not formally adopted, that we indicate that a financial report was given and that that interested members could request more information from their Chapter Coordinator or Board representative. Sam added, as he did last meeting, that it was important that we note that Chapter Meetings were the appropriate places where these things were discussed with Members. He added that Chapter Coordinators could monitor who was present on those occasions. After discussion, it was decided that we would not have an automated link or subscription to such information, but that it would be sufficient for members to contact either the Office manager or a Board Member, because (1) we did not anticipate many such requests and (2) we would be aware of exactly whom was making them. Sam suggested that James write up his suggestions for wording and circulate them. James accepted that as a task to do.
- Constant Contact Replacement. Anna had formed a special committee, composed of Bruce Dover, Blair Deffenbaugh, and Eric Danielsen, to look into finding a suitable alternative to Constant Contact (CC) as a mass e-mail distribution tool. She asked them for some preliminary findings. Bruce had created a template e-mail in CC, which they had placed in several systems they were trying out, to see how they each would handle them. Eric said he had busy testing how they worked, moving across different platforms such as computer, phone, and tablet, and examining their capabilities. None, he said, had full-blown graphic arts capability, but all seemed adequate on that score. On the issue of unsubscribing, he said that while this was necessary to keep us out of legal trouble, it was amazing to find out whom in Region had unsubscribed from our e-mails, and he suggested that perhaps they did not understand the full effect of what they were doing when they unsubscribed. He further suggested that we might avoid this by better grouping people and the types of e-mails they got, so that the choice to unsubscribe would be more granular rather than all-or-nothing, as it is now. It was important, Eric felt, that we figure how to send people vital stuff, like notice of elections, and then everything would fall into place. Blair agreed, and said, that there should be one list, for want of a better term, that you could not unsubscribe from, for things like elections, and then optional lists for everything else, and he was hoping to find one single platform that would handle all the lists, and all our needs, as well. Cost is another consideration, Eric said, and different tools use different pricing models. Some charge by the number of recipients in the database, like CC; others charge by number of e-mails you actually send. He wanted to look into that further. Heather Powers said we spent about $130 for CC in March, but otherwise we drop down to about $100 per month. Everyone agreed that it would be nice to reduce that, but Sam reminded us that even at that rate, e-mail advertising was the best bargain around for the revenue it generates.
- Electronic Waivers. Bruce announced that Motorsportreg.com has come up with an electronic waiver system, which they say has been cleared by K&K Insurance. K&K handles insurance for SCCA nationally and also for VIR locally. He would like to be able to use this system instead of what we are doing now, which is giving copies of our paper waivers to VIR after people sign them, so that they do not have to sign a waiver for VIR separately at the gate. But this current system means that everyone still has to sign a waiver for us, whether they have signed the SCCA annual waiver or not. He has sent an e-mail to K&K to determine specifically whether they will accept this electronic waiver in lieu of the printed waivers for VIR, but he has not received an answer back. One can see a video of this new system at Speedwaiver.com, he said. Anna questioned the cost and Kit chimed in, saying that the Solo Board had looked into this system from the Solo side and determined that it would cost about $1800 per year. Ben said his examination had shown a cost of about $2800 year for all our events. Bruce agreed that it was expensive when used, but that it could be reduced to $5 per month for the months when we did not use it, and we could use paper waivers for events like the annual dinner, to keep costs down. He said also that he had heard from Betsy Speed in Atlanta that Atlanta Region was going to try this system for a couple of their upcoming events, so we could get some feedback from them. Ben suggested that perhaps SEDIV could subscribe to the system and all the Regions share it, but almost everyone thought that would not work very well, for both scheduling and cost-sharing reasons. Anna said this should be a topic for the SEDIV Mid-Year meeting and Sam agreed. Nikki asked why our SCCA annual waivers were not enough. Anna explained that VIR currently still requires their own waiver. Bruce asked, and Anna answered, that Mark Senior would need to be involved in any discussion with VIR about changing the waiver policy.
- Past Events Counting for Runoffs Participation. Chuck Stanley ask Anna for permission to speak, and he brought up an item prompted by his listening to a public conference call with Eric Prill and Deanna Flanagan, from earlier that day, about how they were planning to change the Runoffs eligibility for drivers because the pandemic had made the old criteria untenable. The new criteria will be three events, one of which must be a Majors, while the other two may be Regional events or what they are now calling “substitute events”. These are not well-defined, but appear to be yet-to-be scheduled racing events that meet some kind of average cost criteria of in the range of $500. Chuck felt that our cancelled Majors should also be considered as a substitute event, and that he had asked that question on the call, but did not get a response. He now wanted Anna to contact Eric Prill and ask that question. Anna pointed out that we did not incur any costs for our cancelled event, only the possibility of making a profit, and that alone would probably disqualify us. Chuck said he still thought that the question should be asked. James interrupted and said that he did not understand, how an event which never happened, could be counted as a substitute event. Chuck explained that it was up to the driver to specify what event he would choose, even if he were unable to attend. Anna interjected that it was clearly a pay-for-play situation, in that a paid entry fee alone could be used to justify admission to the Runoffs. But as Sam pointed out, this is designed to get sanction fees paid to the National Office, which is hurting for money, and in our case, all our drivers had their entry fees refunded. In any case, Chuck said, he thought that Anna should ask the question. Some others agreed.
- Goblins Go Event Length. Eric asked the question of how many days we would be racing in October. Anna said just two. She explained that she had contacted MARRS but that they would not commit to being part of the event at this stage of things, and had canceled their own events until some date in July. So, by default, the Goblins Go would remain a two-day event.
- August Time Trial. Stephen Miller reported that he had been working on the August Time Trial and that the big news was that we could now run NCCAR in both directions, both clockwise and counter-clockwise. This should help our entry count and make the event more enjoyable. His plan was that we should run in the clockwise direction on Saturday, since that was the least fun or interesting from a driver’s perspective, and reserve counter-clockwise running for Sunday, thus giving the participants more incentive to attend both days. Stephen also said that he wanted to incorporate some low-pressure, non-competition sessions, similar to a “Track Night in America” experience, for beginners who just wanted to sample what driving at speed on a closed course was like. This he called “Track Experience” (TE) to differentiate it from Time Trial (TT) and Time Attack. During the morning sessions, the TT drivers and the TE drivers would be on track together, but only the TT folks would be eligible for the Time Attack runs at the end of the day. The morning sessions would then become practice and qualifying for them. The TE drivers, who would run only in the morning, would pay less than the TT drivers, since they would get less track time. But, Stephen said, we could still time the TE folks, and that way, if they decided, after all, that they wanted to join in the Time Attack, they could pay the difference and run. Stephen said he thought we could make this all work by charging the TT participants $299 for two days and $189 for a single, and the TE participants $220 for two days and $120 for a single. At those rates, he said, he thought that we could make money at 64 participants. Motion to accept Stephen’s proposal (Shanks / Clark). Passed. Stephen promised to circulate a spreadsheet schedule for all to see before the weekend. Stephen added that he was talking with Sam True at NCCAR about the possibility of an October event there.
- Solo Report. Kit Williams reported that his contacts on base at MCAS Cherry Point had promised to get back to him about the solos previously scheduled for June 13th and 14th, so it was very possible that these were back on. He will keep working on that and let us know.
Motion to adjourn at 9:07 PM (Clark / Fouse). 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.