Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
May 19, 2021
Present: John Bodnar, Cameron Conover, Anna Crissman, Blair Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Sam Fouse, Stephen Miller, Heather Powers, Wayne Quick, Mark Senior, 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, Nikki Edwards, and Paul Spencer were at the Track Night in America event at VIR and did not attend, although Nikki phoned in a Chapter report before the meeting got underway.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Anna Crissman at approximately 7:32 PM, on Wednesday, May 19th,
- John Bodnar, Heather Powers, Wayne Quick, Chuck Stanley, and Ben Tyler, attended as guests.
- Motion to approve the April 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.
The scholarship fund stands at just over $4000 right now, but some donations through MSR from the Spring Sprints event are yet to be transferred, said Treasurer Sam Fouse. Sam also said he is still working on his financial report, promised last month, because it has proved difficult to render it as concisely as he wished, but he shared some highlights with us. For the Spring Sprints, he said that it appears that we netted about as expected, and the SARRC / MARRS did fairly well too.
The Time Trial brought us several thousand, which is also way better than expected. Stephen Miller interjected that he still has some expenses to claim for the food, but they will be relatively minor. Overall, Sam said, we are showing a surplus of about 14 percent over revenue, which is very good. Fixed expenses, he said, are less than 4 percent of total revenue.
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 reported that the West Chapter attempted an in-person meeting for this month, the first with relaxed social distancing and mask requirements, but only 3 people showed up, because it was outdoors and raining. Mark and Kit said that their Zoom meetings did little better, Mark said he would hold an in-person meeting at Casa Carbone, just as soon as they would let him, after James indicated that they had a sign up saying that they were now open again. Kit said Elizabeth’s Pizza was still closed. When asked about the cancelled solo at MCAS Cherry point, Kit said he had little choice because of the gasoline shortage. 17 people who were registered cancelled in advance, ten more were on the fence depending on whether they could find fuel, and a few others said they would not be able to get home from the event unless gas were available locally. No Chapter reports were posted on the Google Drive as of this writing.
- Spring Sprints Survey. The National Office e-mailed Bruce a copy of the spreadsheet that contained the results of the Spring Sprints participant survey they had done, and Bruce in turn had sent it to the Board and Comp Board members earlier in the week; though Cameron Conover spoke up and said he did not get a copy, so Bruce sent it to everyone again. 114 drivers took the survey, along with 73 volunteers, and as Mark Senior, observed, the results were overwhelmingly positive, but there was a lot of whining about certain things, many of which could not be helped, such as the COVID-19 restrictions and mask requirements. There were the usual complaints about class groupings too, though these were all within SCCA guidelines. Some group or other has to be the last one of the day, and thus, the last to finish on Sunday. Some competitors also complained about VIR policies, such as paying for camping and electricity, and the Pagoda snack bar closing at 2:00PM, but there is nothing we can do about that, except to mention these things to VIR. There is a general consensus among the Board that the current staff at VIR is not very friendly nor customer-oriented.
- SARRC/MARRS Review. Several people relayed stories about incidents with uncaring and uncivil VIR staff at the SARRC / MARRS event. Chuck Stanley said he was treated very rudely when he tried to get in before being registered to set up his campsite. He said the gate person was particularly rude and that this has never happened before. Mark explained that the way VIR views our events now is that we do not have access to the track before 5:30 on the test day, but that they have allowed us to open Registration at 2:00 PM and they will allow people to come in and paddock once they have registered. Bruce complained that he had to plead with Joey Throckmorten to open the back gate to allow that entry, because it was difficult for tow vehicles and trailers, especially big rigs, to turn around and go all the way out of the raceplex to enter via the main gate. Apparently, Joey was reluctant to have a gate guard posted at the back gate in the rain. Mark cautioned that we could not dump everything on Joey because we had to work with him at all our future events, but he agreed that Kerrigan needed to be told that renters were not being treated well. Two incidents involving campers being told they could park anywhere, only to find out later that this was not true, were also relayed. VIR staff was rude to them as well and pointlessly demanded that vehicles be moved in the middle of Saturday, while their owners were off busy working and could not come to do it. Mark said that this kind of thing would be discussed in a future meeting with Kerrigan because arrangements were not being communicated well to their staff. He said he was going to suggest that VIR provide signage if some camping spots are reserved so that people would know that. It was hoped that all the facilities would be fully opened by August and that things would go more smoothly by then. On a positive note, James added that Hospitality had done very well at the SARRC / MARRS despite being short-staffed (just he and one other person for the weekend) and the fact that the wind on Sunday nearly toppled the canopy. They gave away t-shirts to 105 workers and 129 drivers, so once again it was clear that not everyone was claiming their free gift. They sold about $600 in merchandise and were no quite low on freebie, such as sunscreen and the ever-popular driver suit patches, of which only about 50 were left. Anna said she felt we should be sure to order about 25 more in each color and stock up on sunscreen and other items as needed, since people would be counting on us to have these things. Ben spoke up and said he would like a reserved parking space near the gate to facilitate his getting equipment out to the stations and Sam agreed to look into making a “Reserved for Flag Chief” sign.
- Bylaws Update. James said that the Bylaws Committee was a standing committee of at least three members, appointed by the RE with confirmation by the Board, to look into amending the Bylaws. Committee members served terms of up to three years, and since the last time the Bylaws Committee was convened was in 2017, when Sam was RE, the terms of all those members (James Himself, Heather Clark, and Mark Senior) had expired. It was up to Anna to designate a new Committee and its chair. James and Kit volunteered to be on it and Anna said she had some ideas of others she would ask. In response to a question by Chuck as to why the Committee was being constituted now, James replied, that it had come to light during last year’s election of new officers that the nominating process spelled out in the current Bylaws was obsolete. It requires people to write their intention to run on paper and have others who supported them also sign on; and in the pandemic this proved to be hard to do. We ended up with people writing things down on paper and sending pictures of that paper to the Secretary, because we could not really get together to exchange paper. Many of the current officeholders had expressed the desire to simplify this process and make it electronic at least. So, we would need to amend the Bylaws before the next election in November. Anna said she hoped that this effort would be “one and done” for the foreseeable future. James then asked that the Board members familiarize themselves with the current Bylaws and see whether anything else stood out to them as needing updating as well.
- Track Night in America at VIR on the Friday Before the August Race. Anna announced that the National Office has asked VIR for another date on which to hold a Track Night in America, and the only date they were given was the Friday night before our August race, August 20th, on the replacement Goblins Go weekend. Sam pointed out that this was not really our decision to make. It was already decided on by VIR and the SCCA to hold the event. Both parties had agreed to make it happen. We were just being asked to be nice guys and help make this happen with a minimum of fuss, since it was to occur while our racers were in the middle of a test day and volunteers were setting up in the paddock for the rescheduled Goblins Go. After considerable discussion, Assistant RE Blair Deffenbaugh, who had been involved in many Track Night events before, agreed to be our single- point-of-contact liaison with SCCA to make this work. The Board accepted his position by consensus. It was likely, he said, that they would partition the South Paddock and stage the Track Night folks there, but he asked for time to work out some viable plans with the Track Night leads before committing to anything. It was suggested that workers who were planning to camp in South Paddock might be asked to delay setting up until the Track Night was over, which was a nominal 8:30 PM. Those with RVs might also choose to set up in the North Paddock, so long as they stayed out of the main paved area so coveted by racers. Blair added that it was likely that the event would sell out and that 125 to 140 cars could be expected. In a related issue, Chuck said he had received coupon for a $25 discount on a Track Night event when he renewed his membership and that he was interested in passing that along to someone. Blair said that if Chuck would get the discount code from the coupon and send it to him, that he, Blair, would look into that. Ben added that in his experience Track Night was a wonderful opportunity to recruit new volunteers to staff future events.
- Broken Radios. Ben announced that he had now had five radios which had broken (from apparent water damage) and that he would be looking to replace or repair them before next April. He added that the dealer from whom they were purchased would repair them, but he would charge only $17 per unit less than the cost a new one, which would come with a charger as well. Several Board members thought Ben should just buy new radios now and worry about the repairs at his leisure, but Ben demurred. He wanted to look for a cheaper repair source. Kit suggested that he had a line on someone who might be able to do that and would put Ben in touch with that technician. Ben added that he could not use all the new chargers until the wiring at the Speed Suite was upgraded anyway. Sam said he would look into getting a quote for that soon.
Motion to adjourn at 8:53 PM (Senior / Shanks). 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.