The monthly meeting of the Central New York Region of the Sports Car Club of America was called to order December 9, 2015 at 7:15PM at the American Legion Hall in Liverpool by Regional Executive Ed Leubner. Some 16 people were on hand.
Ed thanked Assistant R.E. Mark Bizzozero for handling the November meeting while Ed was out of town for work, and Ed thanked members in attendance at that session for voting, and setting officers in place again, for another year.
The R.E. mentioned the mid-November Northeast Division mini-con(vention) in Saratoga, and some of the happenings there. Prominent was the selection of our region's Mick Levy, a race start-finish flagger, as the NEDIV Worker of the Year, and of region member Mike Gould cited as Driver of the Year in the Northeast Division.
The Assistant R.E. had no report.
Temporary Secretary Jon Coffin had no report. Minutes for the November meeting, as posted on the club website were accepted on a motion by Leo Sawyer, seconded by Mike Donofrio.
Treasurer Jay Cartini reported not a lot has changed in the last month, and that a reconciliation of income and expenses from January 1 through the end of November showed the club up by 45 cents. Yes folks, that's positive .45 on income of $18,071, and expenses of $18,070.55. There was a checking account balance at the end of November of $5,142.63.
Ted Barbuto reported on activities that details on the region's annual dinner are finalized for Sunday, January 24, at 3PM at Borio's on the south shore of Oneida Lake, with tickets costing $25 each, or $40 for a couple, and folks 16 and under free. Central New York Raceway Park developer Glenn Donnelly will update us on the latest on the track.
Ed Leubner talked about getting organized for the Syracuse Auto Show February 11-14, and volunteers are welcome. Cars on display for us will likely include Mike Gagliardi's Cobra, a Rallycross racecar, an autocross car, and maybe a SOLO kart. Other possibilities are also being pursued.
SOLO Chief Scott Newton talked about research into an equipment trailer to replace our old, and finally unreliable solo van. A trailer like we need will likely cost about $6,000 or more, and an extensive discussion followed on how to come up with that money, as we'll need the trailer by the early spring. Some of the ideas included selling sponsorships with signage on the sides of the new trailer, special raffles, and a social media funding effort. Note that a GoFundMe page has been set up for this and has had a decent start, although much more is needed. This will continue to be a major effort for the Region over the next three or four months.
Scott also reported on awards for the January banquet which will include personalized helmet bags for the top SOLOists, hats for class winners, and a trophy for the #1 points titleist.
Filling in some more from the mini-con, Ed mentioned that SOLO waivers for minors need to have signatures from both parents, requiring us to be more diligent on this. In some cases a notary may be required, and Jay Cartini is a notary. Also, for our SOLO insurance purposes, all event incidents involving injury or damage, no matter how minor, are to be reported, for statistical and legal reasons. Again, this requires continuing effort. And, if an instructor, or fully experienced driver wants to take a passenger who is not a club member, for event promotion purposes, and has permission from the event chair or SOLO Safety Steward, that non-member needs to complete a temporary membership form, marked clearly at the top as for a "passenger only", and they can ride without paying the membership fee.
James Quattro talked about Rallycross briefly, that trophies were lined up for the banquet, and that there may be an event in February, but not in January.
On Flagging and Communications, raceworking in general, Mick Levy said the 2016 schedule for the Northeast is up on the website, and he said his farewells as he's leaving to spend the next several months in South Carolina.
On membership, Ed Leubner reported Bob Baechle has hit the 50-year membership mark.
And on membership, Ed mentioned the statistics are that 78% of members leave the club after 3 years, that if folks remain as members much longer than that, they are likely to stay as members a lot longer. Of club members, some 7% are listed as roadrace drivers. Mike Donofrio talked up the benefits of membership on hotel bookings, car rentals, new car purchases, etc. And he talked about the advantage of the Mazda contingency program where a member can sign up for a substantial discount on parts after (just) two autocrosses.
And on old business, Ed is reviewing the Region's By-laws.
In new business, Jay Cartini won the 50/50.
Our R.E. wished us all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Lee Hidy moved the meeting be adjourned at 8:25PM, seconded by Mike Gagliardi, and passed.

Respectfully submitted by Secretary Pro-tem, Jon Coffin.

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Ed's Mini-Con Notes:
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NEDiv – 14-November-2015 Mini-Con at Saratoga Springs, Holiday Inn

(Note - The following is a summary of the various sessions I attended at the Mini-Con event. It is not a verbatim transcript nor is it all inclusive – Ed L.)

MoHud Region did a very good job of assembling programs for all areas – Racing, RallyX, Solo, RE, workers, etc.

About 150 in attendance, representing about 14 of the 20 Regions that make up the NEDiv.

CNY Region members present: Ed L.; Jon Coffin; Karl & Connor Hughes; Mick Levy; James Quattro.

Board of Directors meeting (John Walsh, Terry Hanushek, Dick Patullo)
Track Night In America (TNIA) very successful for club (~4200 entrants, 68% non-members). Thompson Raceway had the best turnout in country (likely due to proximity to Boston and NYC.)
TNIA will continue in 2016 with additional tracks being added.
Retention of new members – 78% leave after 3 years. After 3 years retention increases - Work on keeping members.
Reach out to new members and inform them of activities.

SCCA website improvements in process. High priority is event entry application/fee processing to reduce Region costs from outside services - i.e. MotorsportReg.com.
Run-offs on West coast for 2018.
Change Run-off cycle to every 2 years to assist with logistics. (change every year is difficult.)
7% of SCCA membership Club Races.

Regional Solo Development presented by Velma and Raleigh Boreen:
Working to maintain continuity for programs – i.e. lessons learned through the “Solo Cookbook” (available on the SCCA Website) (http://cdn.growassets.net/user_files/scca/downloads/000/008/734/COOKBOOKALL.pdf?1438358923)
Minor Waiver Forms – Legal Guardian or both parents must sign & date form MS-2A (Rev. 11-03) for minor competitors. Only one parent needs to sign for spectator. Signatures must be witnessed by waiver Chair.
Sole guardian claim – take their word. Not our job to chase proof.
Forms must be saved for 7 years after minors 18th Birthday. (send to National Office for storage.)
Minors cannot sign regular waiver form!
Waiver person needs to be a full SCCA member (not weekend member) and witness signatures made on regular waiver form.
Regular event waiver forms saved for the season.
Event access control - “Reasonable Effort” to restrict access.
Use “hard card” SCCA membership card as an annual safety waiver – waiver signature not required with “hard card.”
Elements for good Solo Event:
Good Core Workers
Novice Program – mark cars to identify and help when issues.
Ask at grid “how are they doing?” - Ride alongs as needed.
Are we friendly to our “Competitors/Customers?”
Website construction for “newbies” to navigate?
Use of SMST as a catch-all class for cars where there is a question of what class it belongs in.

Solo Course Design by Roger Johnson:
Interesting session with discussion and questions from the room.

Roger worked from his course design manual: (http://www.houscca.com/solo/courses/Course_Design_4-1-2.pdf )

The short version of his presentation: Try not to get competitors lost. You can be creative but don’t make it bizarre. Use a variety of elements. Avoid off camber turns. Make the course flow. Only use pointers on the inside of turns, and avoid visual confusion. Start by positioning the finish line first and starting box second, then fill in the middle. Should have a 100 foot straight before the finish. Plan out worker stations. Line the course. Ask for input / reviews and be open to suggestions but stay true to your design. Document any errors so you don’t repeat them.

Solo Safety Steward Class by Raleigh Boreen:
SSS position has evolved from focusing on just spectators to covering all aspects – participants, non-participants and course layout.
SCCA Insurance should be a selling point when investigating new sites.
Write up ALL incidences regardless of how minor.
Copy signed waiver form if there is an incident.
Major incident – call SCCA Risk Management 704-962-0252 (number should be on forms.)
Insurance Forms must be present at site.
Youth Safety Steward required for any JA, JB, JC karts.
Passengers only on Weekend Membership Form (Make note at top of form) no charge, and not counted towards fees.
SSS renewals now 3 years.
SCCA working on on-line renewals.

Solo Competition Driving – Evo School Instruction Tony Crea:
Mentor those new to AutoX – ride alongs, instructor drives.
Evo School with surrounding Regions?

Solo Events Board Chairman - Brian Connors:
2015 Re-cap
A recent on-line Town Hall meeting worked well. More to follow in the future. (available on the SCCA website ( http://www.scca.com/videos/1971722 )
Move from “Stock” to “Street” happened very quickly demonstrating it was the “correct” move to make since members quickly adopted it.

Solo Development Coordinators (SDC) (Mark Andy – NEDiv):
Trends determined by reviewing Region websites for Solo results. (SCCA has no way to track membership from results.)
SCCA investigating an on-line service with no fee for registration and results tracking with credit card processing (as alternative to MotorsportReg.com). Also to add the ability to track trends and results since currently there is no easy way to do this as noted above.)
SCCA investigating open source software for Solo timing/scoring. (AXWare most common timing s/w; with Farmtech for wireless systems.)

RE – Club Related:
Club is a business, must make money, have budgets, event costs, cost controls. Educating the team, succession planning.
Rotate workers, officers to avoid “burnout” and bring in new ideas.
“Car Show in a box” – print at Kinko’s. (some Regions have created this and a kit is being assembled for all Regions to share.)
Street Survival generates new members.
Business cards to hand out at shows.
Legacy programs for Region as beneficiary. Since SCCA is a “Not for Profit” will be a taxable event. Need to plan accordingly.
Regions being audited for making money – make sure Tax Returns in order and maintained.
Track Activities for IRS -i.e. show info, thank you letters, etc.
Activity Ideas:
1 Kart series for winter.
2 Charity Rally’s.
3 Twitter v. FB social media.
Most Regions have small core group that attends membership meetings.
Special events on different days to get members that may not be able to attend regular meetings.
Update By-Laws – address internet elections -i.e. ballots, voting procedures, etc.
Ops manual (what do we do) so other members know how to run things.

Drivers/Workers Related:
For CNY Region Club Racing at CNYRP – Talked with Charles Tanck & Chris DeMinco of FLR Region. Need to work together, assist and run multi-Region races. Too expensive for one Region to run, also worker issue.
Impound Incidents – Decisions need to be communicated.
Automated Registration – 2016 will begin introduction.
Tire Costs – 200 Wear Class -i.e. ChumpCar to be introduced for various series/classes.

NEDiv Council Business Meeting:
RallyX report – James Q. reported - RallyX grew in 2015.
Club Racing – grew in 2015, ongoing struggle with getting workers and event costs.
Council recommendation that Club Racing is needed to keep Division and Regions moving forward.
Council Votes:
Passed – to hold con-calls to determine number of yearly meetings – Mini-Con and Roundtable.
Passed – Retain November Mini-Con.
Passed – Drop March Roundtable and use a con-call instead ($$ savings.) (CNY Region abstained.) (Also, no one volunteered to run 2016 Roundtable.)

2016 Mini-Con – November 11-12th at Hamilton Park, North Jersey.
2017 Mini-Con – WDC Region hosting.

Submitted by E. Leubner 5-Dec-2015.

Copyright © 2017, Central NY Region, SCCA, Inc.