Tim Sullivan 2020 Region Executive Candidate Statement
This has been a real interesting year to be the RE for the San Francisco Region. To say it has been “challenging” is an understatement. We started the year on a great note. Our schedule looked great. We had a new multi-year agreement inked with Monterey County for Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca. We had two decent dates at Sonoma Raceway, as well as our normal dates at Thunderhill. It was not long after Driving School that our world was rocked by this pandemic. We were able to hold our March event but by March 15, our world was in a lockdown and we were shut down. We were able to get through this, but only because of our passion for the sport and willingness to come together and support change. Change is not always fun, and it was not fun for a while. Thanks to everyone for pitching in and making sure we got through this.
Speaking of change, the pandemic was not the only change we had to deal with. Behind the scenes, we also made changes at the office. Our Office Manager position had been in flux, but we brought in a diamond by hiring Trish James. We made a change on this as well, as she is an employee of the Region, as opposed to the old system where we had temp workers, or workers not directly hired by the office. During this period, we also had to update our computer systems as well a lot of processes performed in our Regional Office. This was not an easy process to accomplish. Trish had her hands full and had to learn a lot in a short time. I also learned a lot in a short time. I, and our current BOD had many decisions to make in order to make sure the Club moved forward, and not backwards. If we are to insure SFR remains a viable and vibrant Club, we need to make sure we are set up for the future, and not mired in the past. We are on that path now. It has taken a bit of time, but we have a solid office staff, led by Trish James and our newest employee, Amanda. Amanda has been working in tech as well, during our races, and though she is part time, she has stepped up to the plate and is yet another gem.
We also had a turnover with our financial side. Our longtime bookkeeper, Blythe Bonds, decided to retire this year. After a long search, we found another person for the position. Krista Hooper was hired and is doing well. She is extremely excited to be in the position and has a resume a mile long. After updating things for 2020, she will also be implementing the changes to our QuickBook system insuring we are on track. Her responsibilities include accounts payable/receivable, as well as supplying key reports for the BOD. Blythe did a fine job on this for years, but Krista is a blank slate ready for the challenge of bringing our books and records into the 21st century. (Krista will be at our October race. Track her down to say hello)
As I said in the beginning, this has been a year of change. We have had ups and downs this year, but the net result is we are in better shape than we were at the beginning of the year. We are poised to have a great 2021 in terms of Club racing.
A lot of you know that we also own Thunderhill Raceway Park. It is our largest asset, and one that not many, if any, Regions can claim. It is owned outright by the members of the San Francisco Region. As such, the Properties Board of Thunderhill is voted on by the membership, through the vote of the Regional Executive. This year we had some changes on that Board. This included my voting for Mike Smith as the new Chairman of the Properties Board. Mike brings years of business and racing experience to this position. In addition, Joe Briggs, Jim Devenport, Jeff Lederman, Brian Ghidinelli, Steve Archer, and RJ Gordy were also voted in. I personally, was glad to have voted (on behalf of the membership of SFR) for these folks onto the Thunderhill Properties Board. Both the Region and the track are positioned to grow and thrive for the next few decades and beyond.
I am running for RE this year to insure we continue moving forward and improving what we can. When asking why we do things, I often hear “that is how we always do it”. That is not a good answer. What we really need to look at is how we can improve upon things. I, alone, can’t do this. What I can do is get ideas and solutions from the Board and SFR members. That is how we have worked this year. It is much better to have a wide range of ideas and input in order to make decisions that are beneficial to the Club. I believe we are on that path. I also believe we are much more communicative and open than in the past. While not perfect, it has been my goal to be open and honest with membership regarding finances, operations and all issues related to the club. That is the only way to do it. The Club needs to know where we are going, the reasons we do things, and be able to share their ideas with the Board and the RE.
I want to continue with this goal in 2021. I ask for your vote for another term. Together we can improve and ensure the Club thrives for years to come!