Worker Highlight – Sherry Grantz
September 13th, 2017 by James Chartres
A lot of things happen around the region without dedicated people like Sherry Grantz we would not be the great club that we are! We talked with Sherry to find out a little more about how she got started and what the SCCA San Francisco Region Office Manager does. Ever emailed or called the SCCA office at Thunderhill Raceway? You probably talked to Sherry.
What is your current position? and how did you get there?
I am the Region Office Manager for SFR which means I enable people to go racing and on the side I handle a lot of paperwork like sanction requests/audits for races, bank accounts and processing credit cards, DMV and insurance for our five trucks and one pace car), paying the bills and tracking expenses, and managing the web page. I also talk to many, many people by email and on the phone about racing and cars.
In 2001 after being laid off from my technical writing position, R.J. Gordy and Mike Smith convinced me that I should come up to Willows and be the Region Manager at the Office at Thunderhill. Since I had no job and was sick of the Bay Area traffic (this was 2001 remember), I left the Santa Clara/Sunnyvale area where I had lived since 1965, and moved to Willows. I started at the Region Office on April 2, 2002, refusing to start on April Fool’s Day (I’m no fool). I have never regretted the move. Turns out the small town life IS for me, and yes, I do like hot weather.
How did you get started with SCCA?
I started autocrossing with SCCA in 1991, back when you had to be a full-fledged member to participate. Rick Brown who still autocrosses a red/white/blue B Prepared Corvette taught me to autocross (went with me on my first run), later taught me to drag race (just a little fun out on the Crows Landing runways between autocross runs), and remains a good friend to this day. Saw him recently at the first-ever Sacramento Chapter autocross on Thunderhill West.
Les Berry, who I met through Solo board meetings when I was Solo Chief and she was on the Region Board as Treasurer, in 1998 finally talked me into coming out and volunteering on the Course Marshal crew. I was convinced it was way too scary and I couldn’t do it. She know otherwise. Turned out it was a bit scary at times, but mostly just hard work . . . and fun and encouraging fellow crew members. (Cecil Barbee, current paddock marshal) started about the same week I did.)
What do you I like about the SCCA?
The fun part of working for SCCA is all the interesting people I meet: all their diverse backgrounds, their paths to racing, their racing victories, wrecks and broken cars, their sincere attitudes (whether they are happy or outraged about something, they are very sincere). Actually I encounter very, very few unhappy customers or people who just want to complain. Generally, if I can find some way to get a driver racing again (finding a tech person between races, sorting out their car number issues, figuring out why their license hasn’t appeared, etc.), they wind up being a happy customer again.
What does your job involve?
The most important thing I learned about my job, I learned at my job interview. R.J. said to me, “No matter if it’s your worst day, when you pick up the phone you have to sound cheerful and interested in what the person on the other end wants to talk about. This job comes down to good customer service.” Sometimes I have to think about that when I pick up the phone for the fifth time in 18 minutes, but by now, I don’t really have to work at it. I know I can solve the next person’s problem, or at least make them feel better about their problem. Good customers engender good customer service.
What don’t people know about what you do?
For over ten years I also volunteered in Timing and Scoring (T&S) every race weekend, primarily producing results. It was a lot of fun and also a lot of hard work – usually harder than my day job. You have no idea of everything that goes on in T&S in order to produce those orderly, info packed results sheets that you drivers work so hard for. This year I’m in T&S occasionally. I figured out I needed a break when I didn’t even get up to watch the start of races anymore. If race starts don’t make you want to jump up and down, you need some time off. Only bad part is I used to know every eventful thing that happened to every driver during a weekend. Now I don’t. It’s hard to keep up with all my friends this way, so I may have to go back to T&S.
On behalf of the SCCA San Francisco Region thank you Sherry we love having you in the office and love seeing you at the track. Hopefully we will see you in Timing and Scoring again soon.