Barbara McClellan Statement
I am a candidate for the position of Regional Executive for the San Francisco Region. We are a Region of over 3000 members and I believe the next few years are going to be very challenging and exciting.
First the Region will be hosting the 2018 SCCA National Runoffs at Sonoma Raceway. It is important that everyone understand—we will host but we will not be in charge. As your RE, along with our Race Chairman, I will be the liaison to the National Office and Staff. At our July race at Sonoma, three members of the National Staff visited the track and started planning for that event. Gary Pitts, our current RE, other Regional Board of Directors and I had an opportunity to discuss many of the issues they need to resolve. Our relationship with Sonoma Raceways continues to improve and we are already working with them to schedule at least one race weekend before the Runoffs.
Another challenge is the changing picture with Laguna Seca. SCRAMP and SFR have enjoyed a great relationship—one which allows SFR to furnish workers for their pro-events and, in return, we received a reduced charge for track use for our Regional races. SCRAMP is changing and they are currently searching for a new CEO. We hope to continue the same relationship even as things change with Laguna.
However to provide workers for these pro events puts a burden on our volunteers. Workers bear all their expenses at all of the races. There is no compensation. We need to recognize what our current volunteers do and we need to continue to recruit and train new members who are also willing to give their time and money for this wonderful hobby we call road racing. Your current BoD has been working to help accomplish this. We reactivated the Ambassador program which is headed by Lynne Huntting. She gives tours of our crews and insight to anyone who expresses an interest. We have reached out through social media with James Chartres to publish our racing activities and worker participation.
Another great and fun challenge is our relationship with Thunderhill. SFR owns that track, but SFR is not for-profit and Thunderhill is for-profit. For tax purposes, it is important for Thunderhill to treat our Region just like any of its other customers; Because we are a frequent renter, they may give us priority over dates, but they must charge us the same rental rate as everyone else. David Vodden has been a terrific CEO for Thunderhill and we hope he is there for many more years. But the time could come when he wants to step down. So it will become the responsibility of Thunderhill Properties Board of Directors to identify David’s replacement.
I’ve talked a lot about road racing, but our Region also has a very active Solo community. There are three chapters, Bay Area, Fresno, and Sacramento. Your current BoD has been working with the Bay Area Chapter to finalize a long term lease agreement with the Stockton Fairgrounds for a place to have their Solo events. This will require a loan from National to augment the SFR Solo Track Fund. Your Region BoD supports this plan. It will be our responsibility to ensure all legal issues in this endeavor are resolved to protect the Region.
These are just a few of the challenges ahead for our club.
My goals for this next year are ambitious.
First I want to ensure that the Road Racing Community has safe, fun, and fair racing. Second, I want to assist the Solo community obtain a more permanent site. Third, I want to grow our membership in all areas of the Region—drivers, Solo participants and volunteers. Fourth, I want to continue our successful relationships with our three area race tracks—and maintain a financially sound club. I know there are challenges ahead in meeting these goals.
For those of you who do not know me, next year I will receive my 50 year membership in SCCA. I started as a turn worker on the Communication crew and was also a Chief. I have been a Steward for the past 20 years and hold a National Steward and National F&C license.
It is integral to our cub to have a good balance between business and club culture. Both are extremely important. Many workers and drivers do not really care about the running of SFR–they just want to race or work the races to have a good time. It is the role of the BoD to provide a safe, fair, and fun atmosphere, as well as a sound financial footing–which I believe our club has. Your previous boards have worked hard to provide that.
All of us–workers, drivers, and board members–have a responsibility to talk with each other and work together. Board members need to be willing to discuss issues with members and be accountable to those who elect them. I served on your region board from 1999 to 2005 as well as these past three years. I am always there and always willing to listen to members about problems, issues, and suggestions. I don’t have all the answers, but I make an attempt to help solve the problem, give advice, take suggestions, or just be a sounding board.
I am a retired senior project manger in the biotech pharmaceutical industry, so I have time to commit to the Board of Directors. I bring professional management experience of people and projects to my candidacy for the SFR Regional Executive. I believe that there is a place for every SCCA member who joins our region.