Another year in the books. Well almost! But these elections keep happening before the end of the year. Yet again, I ask for your vote for the Regional Executive position. I think we have accomplished a lot this year. The Covid issue has slightly let up and we were able to keep a somewhat normal schedule. The protocols we had at the tracks have been pretty much lifted and it almost feels like normal again.
Our Office Manager has worked out well. Trish has been getting items organized as well as directing and implementing new systems. Amanda resigned mid-year and we have a new employee, Courtney, who is working out really well. She is assisting in timing and scoring as well. We have finally isolated our phone system and it is now stand alone. We are using Ring Central as of September 8 (when our previous service was not renewed. The new system enables remote access as well as messaging capabilities. This will eliminate the lost voice mails and calls transferring to other entities. This took a while to accomplish but as soon as our contract was up, we were ready to go with the new system, we also have our own private internet connection. These were goals we wanted to accomplish this year and they are done. I am sure everyone will notice a change.
We are also in the process of updating our webpage. We have hired a firm to maintain our website, Warrior Webmasters. They were retained earlier this year and soon we will have a new improved website. We will have the ability to update items within 24 hours. It is being designed so that it will basically be the same no matter what device you sign in on. This was a project that took a bit of time, but in the very near future, you will see how this will be a better vehicle for the Club.
We have also updated some of our equipment. We have gotten new Jaws of Life and cutters for the E Crew. They are modern and can be operated by one person. They weigh half of what our old ones weighed. They are battery powered. Our budget really can’t allow for other things this year, but on the wish list in the upcoming year is a possible replacement for our Rescue trucks.
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.
We also had to yet again get another bookkeeper. Our goal is to keep all expenses categorized and easily tracked. This is per event as well as for administrative purposes. Let’s face it, we are a million-dollar business. It’s not just a bunch of folks saying they are a club. We have to be conscious of costs and waste. You have probably seen that we have made some arrangements to lower our unfunded VIP points debt. At one point it was over $90,000 dollars. We can’t have that hanging over the Clubs financial heads. That is why we have instituted a plan to limit the accrual to $500 per person. This limits the Clubs debt load and also makes sure we pay bout the points for the hard work our volunteers do. There have been some issues with it, but after this year concludes we will have that debt under control. RJ will continue to be the “go to “person for swag such as shirts, jackets, etc. The goal is to have our accounting firm take over day to day accounting. They lost a few employees due to Covid, but within the next 6-9 months, we should have this accomplished. We will keep you informed.
As a result of the accounting change, and replacing the old system with the new, we took an undertaking of cleaning out almost 20 years of “bogus and erroneous” entries in the quick books system, while modernizing it. For 2020, our road racing revenue was flat. In other words, we didn’t lose money. On the books for the IRS, yes, we did. We did this to clean up all the BS from years past. Better to take the hit now and move on with a clean slate. I can’t help but thank Bill Booth for assisting in this massive undertaking. Without him we would not have been able to do this. We have a highly qualified Board that will do whatever it takes to make the Club more successful. I thank the entire Board for that. I may be your RE now, but in the future, I want to leave a clean, successful enterprise to whoever follows me.
We also have listened to your advice on races, costs, track time, etc… Yes, I am the competition Director as well. All our tracks have different times we can be on track. Laguna is the most restrictive. I plan on working on getting us an extra 30 minutes per day there. I think this is something we can do. After working Pro events there, I see how the system works. It also helps that we assist them in other areas. More to follow on that.
Solo folks: I don’t want to forget you. Nor do I forget RALLY Cross. Rally Cross has really gained interest. Thunderhill has sponsored quite a few this year. This is not an interregional event. Thunderhill Raceway Park has been handling ALL their events. It is becoming successful. The Sac chapter of SOLO is doing all their events at Thunderhill. As spaces for SOLO dry up, this is what happens. That is why Tom McCarthy and others decided to build our own track! Visionaries! As far as the Bay Area Solo goes, they still have funds to buy a piece of land for their events. Thunderhill is a ways off, but the prices for land are astronomical today. We will need to keep looking I ask the membership if they know any parels in the Bay Area to reach out and let us know. I know our membership. There has to be something out there for a million or less. We do have some money to make this happen
As for our biggest asset, Thunderhill Raceway Park. It is doing well. As you know (or may not) I am the sole shareholder, as the RE of this asset. Last year, I replaced the Properties Board with acute businesspeople, who have evaluated how we run it. I did retain certain people who could not be replaced. Steve Archer is still our Treasurer. Steve runs a chain of Wendy’s restaurants as is as knowledgeable as there is in day to day operations as well as a CPA. Brian Ghidinelli was retained. He founded MSR and his knowledge is invaluable. Rj Gordy was retained for his knowledge of the history since founding. Additions include Jim Davenport, a successful real estate person and also a CPA (Also a great Driver) Joe Briggs.. (SFR Driver) who also is a Vintner. He also gives generously to the worker prizes. Jeff Lederman (attorney), who also does SFR driving school and races with us.
We have a great Properties Board. New bathrooms are being installed on the north side of the paddock. Those smelly potables will be gone. A shower will also be installed. All Osha compliant. The gift shop will also be removed and replaced by another structure. The gift shop foot print will be replaced with another canopy with solar panels. If nobody has noticed, Thunderhill Raceway Park is always in the top 5 of raceways in the country.
We are also looking at purchasing more property Perhaps a dragstrip but more importantly, having test sites for vehicles of the future We are currently renting out more dates for this than anything else. I am glad we are close to Silicon Valley!
We are the largest Region in the country. We need to keep it that way. I hope we will make our mark both in terms of changing to new technologies, as well as keeping our passions there. We, the people in the 21stcentury will see many changes. We have to answer and adapt. So far we are.
As most of you know, I am always available to your inputs. I do ask for your vote this year. We have made a lot of accomplishments with everyone. I want to continue this. The SFR Region is the best!