Minutes of NCR-SCCA Monthly Board of Directors Meeting
September 16, 2020
Present: John Bodnar, Heather Clark, Anna Crissman, Blair Deffenbaugh, Justin Deffenbaugh, Bruce Dover, Kaye Fairer, Sam Fouse, Thomas Guest Jr., Al Heatwole, Stephen Miller, Heather Powers, Chris Schimmel, 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. Nikki Edwards did not attend.
- The NCR BoD meeting was called to order by RE Anna Crissman at approximately 7:45 PM, on Wednesday, September 16th Prior to that time, from about 7:36 PM onward, there was an award presentation for Kaye Fairer.
- John Bodnar, Thomas Guest Jr., Chris Schimmel, and Ben Tyler, attended as guests. Kaye Fairer and Chuck Stanley participated as guests for the award presentation and then left the meeting.
- Motion to approve the August minutes, as posted on the Google drive (Clark / Shanks). Passed.
Order of items below reflects the order of discussion, as nearly as possible; not necessarily as they appeared on the published agenda.
Presentation of Lifetime Achievement Award to Kaye Fairer.
Since Kaye Fairer was unable to attend the Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner in January, and will not be able to attend the Goblins Go either, Chuck Stanley arranged for her to join us for this meeting, so that we could present her with the Lifetime Achievement award she so richly deserves. James Shanks, as Awards Committee Chair, hit the highlights of her service to the North Carolina Region, first as Chief of Pit and Grid and as Race Chair, and then as RE for ten years, especially during our formative years at the reopened VIR. Chuck Stanley, who was Flag Chief during that time, also spoke of her dedication and her advocacy for all the race participants, but especially of the volunteers. In his words, she was “momma” to us all. Kaye graciously accepted the award, a cased clock, which James will mail to her.
Treasurer Heather Powers reported that a prominent Region member and driver had made a substantial contribution to the scholarship fund. She also reported that, while she was still working on the TT financial report, she expected us to show a small profit. 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:
As before, all Chapters held Zoom meetings last month, with a fraction of their usual pre-pandemic attendance. Al Heatwole and Kit Williams said that attendance was limited to same few people every time. Bruce suggested that he could send out a Region-wide e-mail reminding folks that the meetings were being held on Zoom and that anyone could join. He could even include the links in the e-mail or put them on the website. The idea of a wide-spread reminder was enthusiastically embraced by all present, but putting the Zoom link on the website was rejected as too likely to invite “Zoom bombing” or unfriendly and unauthorized intrusion.
- Goblins Go Update. Mark Senior announced that he had been working with the new caterers at VIR, and that while expensive, he thought he had lunch figured out. He was thinking of cold sandwiches for one day and hot ones the next, but he was still trying to negotiate a better price. One thing that would help is that, if we could deliver lunches to the corners, then we could avoid the fee they wanted to charge for using the upstairs dining room over the Pagoda or the Pavilion. Al observed that delivering lunches to the corners would solve the problem on Saturday of having to get the workers on and off the corners while still having the memorial laps for Rex Deffenbaugh. Ben said that as a one-time, pandemic-related solution, he was fine with leaving workers on station for this event. Heather said they would be fine with it, once it was explained why it was necessary. She added that she and Ben would be meeting with Mark to determine how any workers who wanted to be part of the memorial laps could join. And finally, Mark added that we could have the upstairs room reserved in case of bad weather but not use it unless we had to. Armed with this decision, he was now planning to go back and continue trying to negotiate a more reasonable price. Justin Deffenbaugh announced that the go-kart enduro had been cancelled by VIR, so that gathering was no longer a possible source for creating too large a group for the pandemic guidelines. The next item that came up was the length of the Big Bore race on Sunday. Originally it was to be a timed race of 35 minutes in deference to the V8RRS guys, who had been promised a longer than usual race. One SARRC driver, however, had complained that his car did not carry enough fuel for a 35-minute session, and he had asked that it be shortened or changed to some number of laps completed (17 was suggested by various sources), rather than merely a timed, race. Chief Steward Steve Keadle was in the loop on this issue and he had asked us, via e-mail, to make a decision. Anna was in favor of polling the drivers in the Big Bore group to see what they thought, and she asked Bruce to send them an e-mail via MSR. She felt we had more than enough time to get a sense of their collective opinion, and she said she would inform Mr. Keadle of this plan and advise him of the decision when it was reached. She was adamant that she did not want us to be arbitrary about this. Bruce then added that Registration would be using e-waivers, which involves responding to a text message with a picture of yourself. The question came up as to whether VIR waivers would have to be signed on paper, and Bruce said that there were VIR waivers out on MSR which would have to be printed and signed. Bruce also said that VIR would be looking for us to collect them from all participants. Anna said that another e-mail would go out to all those registered in advance of the event telling them how to use the e-waiver system and what the VIR requirements were, and it would contain a link to the proper forms. The discussion then turned to how someone should advertise and invite people to a private party at the Goblins Go, given the social distancing requirements, and the consensus was that it should happen by word of mouth only.
- Annual Awards Banquet. Elizabeth Severt heard back from Shell Island about our reservation for November 21st and she in turn got back to Anna about it. It seems that Shell Island Resort had lost our reservation and no longer has that date available, but they could give us November 14th or November 7th In addition, they have a limit of 75 people per gathering, but only 25 can be admitted to the banquet room at a time. We would also have to hire an outside caterer. There was considerable discussion about what we should do, but the consensus was that there were just too many hurdles to overcome. There was considerable discussion about whether we should have awards at all, and the consensus seemed to be that we should have some, but that this would have to explored in the future. Motion to cancel the in-person annual awards dinner, scheduled for November 21st, in favor of a virtual gathering, with an eye toward recombining it with the annual meeting (Williams / J. Deffenbaugh). Passed.
- Office Copier/Printer/Scanner Update. Bruce indicated that progress had been slow due to Les Chaney’s recovery from shoulder surgery, but that he expected the upgrade to take place within the next two weeks, before the Goblins Go.
- PayPal Update. Bruce indicated that the PayPal account for the Scholarship Fund had been set up and buttons for buying raffle tickets, or just for just making a donation, were now available on the NCR website.
- Website Pop-Up Subscriptions. Bruce said that while responding to these popup messages was rather annoying, since they come in totally at random, that so far, he had received about 15 that were actual legitimate inquiries, and about 65 that were just spam. Some were even in Russian! Of the legitimate ones, he sends the autocross inquiries to Kit; the Time Trial ones to Stephen Miller; and all the other ones to James, unless they contain a straightforward question that he can answer himself. James asked whether he was saving the e-mail addresses of the legitimate ones, and Bruce said that he would create a distribution list for that in SendinBlue, so that we could send them notices as required.
- Solo Program Update. Kit reported that the command at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point has cancelled our planned autocross events on October 17th and 18th, and indeed all such events for the rest of the year. Whether they will resume in 2021 remains to be seen, but Kit is hopeful, since they did not rule them out. Thus, our solo program will close this season without having had a single event. James spoke up and suggested that we should resolve to spend the money to rent NCCAR for an autocross next year, even at a loss, in order to keep the program alive, if no other venues could be found. It is vitally important to our Club, he said, that solo continue and be vibrant. Others agreed. Kit observed that NCCAR adds at least an extra hour of travel time, from two hours to three or more, for most of our current participants, but he agreed that they would likely go anywhere within reason for a chance to compete. He promised to investigate any site that someone could suggest as a viable candidate for an autocross. Al also volunteered to look around Fayetteville for a potential site.
- New Driver’s Suit Patches. James said that he had placed an excerpt from the GCR of section 9.3.27.c, which covers the logo patches required on a driver’s suit, out on the Google drive. He drew everyone’s attention to the fact that the required driver’s suit logo patch had changed and that the one on all current suits would be obsolete by the end of the year. The old red-white-blue SCCA initial patch and the old red-white-black SCCA Club Racing patch had been replaced by either a white-letters-on-black or black-letters-on-white SCCA initial patch, which all drivers must have on their suits by January 1, 2021. This means that many current drivers will be looking for a new one. As these were $3 apiece (Region cost) and NCR has about 150 drivers, James said, we were looking at a potential cost of about $450 to $500, especially for next season, since the Board had adopted the policy in March of giving away to any registered driver whatever required patches and stickers he or she might need. James said that he had had Bruce order some of the new patches, 10 of each color combo, to have on hand at the Goblins Go, but he was concerned about having enough available, especially for next season. Chris Schimmel confirmed that Tech would be required to enforce this new regulation next season, though no one would be refused entry or disqualified for having the old patch. Most likely, a notation would be made in their logbook to have this corrected by the next event. Sam said that he and Dan Robson had already ordered their own, and he thought that many other drivers would do the same, that they are not expecting us to provide for them. He thought that next season we could send out an e-mail to all drivers, reminding them that their 2010 helmet and their old driver’s suit patch had to be upgraded to the newer versions. Justin and Anna both said we should just go ahead and plan to have a large number of these new patches on hand. We can give them away but should not advertise the fact. We could even make it appear as a favor and ask for a donation to the scholarship fund. Motion to purchase 150 driver’s suit patches in the new design, 75 of each color, by March of next year, to be given away, or exchanged for a donation, to any registered driver at our events who needs one (Crissman / Senior). Passed.
Motion to adjourn at 8:47 PM (J. Deffenbaugh / Williams). 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.