As usual, as I wrote it down…
Vision Committee -- There was no Vision Committee meeting because Dennis Patrick is undergoing chemotherapy and he didn't feel well enough to travel.
Friday, September 13 -- Membership Committee meeting Officers wander in and out on a random basis, so...Joan Thomas, NCCC webmistress, said she randomly looks at club web sites to see how they are doing things. She said she would like to see a more hierarchical relationship between NCCC and the clubs. She said right now it goes from NCCC national --> NCCC regional --> NCCC club. She would like to see links and logos on the club web sites that show they belong to an NCCC region and also the national organization.
Hal Bellamy, NCCC President, said that if a club donates money to the NationalCorvette Museum that they should make sure the NCM knows that it is coming from an NCCC club. He said that currently the NCM is pretty much unaware that NCCCexists and it doesn't appreciate the donations that we make. He's trying to get them to pass down some perks for NCCC clubs.
Steve said the membership database will be locked on October 7th or 8th. You will not be able to enter new members until renewals start on October 15th. This is to allow time for the dues checks to get to me so I can clear the pending transactions. This is a
limitation because of the way the database works and we have to do it this way. I haven't picked a date for renewal checks to be in my PO box. Last year I picked Dec. 1st and there were a couple of problems that really messed things up. The absolute drop dead date is Dec. 15th and I got a check from one club on that date. The database is completely unforgiving and if that date is missed then every Primary member in the club will have to pay $35 to renew instead of $25. Steve will send out emails to all the governors after the database has been switched over to renewal mode.
Sylvia Hoaldride, Blue Bars editor, said the submission guidelines for articles is now on the inside front cover of the magazine. She said that just because you send in your article before the deadline that doesn't guarantee that it will appear in the next issue. She
queues the articles in the order she receives them and publishes them when they fit. She said there is a checkbox on each member's info screen in the database called "Blue Bars Soft Copy". She said to ignore that checkbox because it was just put in as a test and doesn't do anything. She said that there will never be a soft copy of Blue Bars. I think having a soft copy available would save NCCC a
lot of money for printing and postage, but Sylvia is extremely resistant to doing this.
They had some trouble with the 2014 membership cards because GM has been protecting the C7 logo and images of the cars. They have only licensed a very small number of companies to use these images and we are not one of them. The plan was to put a 2014 Corvette (GM does NOT call it a C7) on the card, but we can't do that so they decided to use a 1959 Corvette since NCCC was founded in 1959.
Steve said they were thinking of having a contest to determine what the 2015 cards would look like. He said the plan right now is to
have clubs submit card designs to the region, which would then choose one and submit that one to national. The winner would be chosen from the regional entries.
Pat Kelly, FCOA Director, said they are working on ways to make the transition from FCOA kid to Youth member easier. She said that in the past 16 year old FCOA kids were just dropped and they didn't know they could move into the Youth (formerly Dependent) member type. Peggy Stephens wrote a letter that she sends to all the 16 year old FCOA kids in her region. She gave a copy of the letter to Pat and Pat said she has made some changes to make it more generic but is not finished. The idea is that the RMD would send that letter to
all 16 year old FCOA kids. Any Primary member can add a Youth member. Theoretically the FCOA kid has to be related somehow to the sponsor, but Pat said she has made exceptions in the past on a case by case basis.
Jean Morrison, NCCC Treasurer, said they are looking into direct deposit methods to make it easier to get the dues into the treasury. NCCC's banking is done with Wachovia and they own Wells Fargo. Currently RMDs can deposit checks into NCCC's account at Wells Fargo branches. I told everybody at the last meeting in April that I can deposit checks into my BofA account with an iPhone app and I know Chase Bank was the first to do this and other banks will surely follow. They don't seem to be following up on this. They talked about a box that attaches to a cell phone to allow swiping credit cards. The ultimate goal of all this is to allow the governors to deposit checks directly into NCCC's account. It seems to me that a cell phone app and a special account just for dues would work very well for this. There seems to be a lack of imagination here…
Patsy Shearer, Florida RMD, asked what the criteria for Honorary Member are. They are not defined anywhere. They were tossing around suggestions and one was that the person must do something significant for NCCC. I pointed out that the current
honorary members such as Zora Arkus Duntov, Elfie Duntov, Dick Guldstrand, Larry Shinoda and others didn't do anything directly for NCCC. Confusion reigned and the conversation deteriorated… ;-)
It was pointed out to me by Joe Orrico that the database doesn't care what your "legal" name is. You can put in anything you want, so if a member is known as Skip instead of Murgatroid then change it to Skip. I already knew this. Cliff isn't the name on my birth certificate…
We have seen duplicate member numbers in the database. I have received several complaints about this from governors and it happened to me when I was entering people for a governor who is not computer literate (he doesn't even own one). Walt keeps insisting that it can't happen. Then Joe Orrico captured it with a screen shot. The problem is that Walt needs to see it as it's happening so if you come across this problem stop what you are doing and let me know immediately so I can let Walt know. You could contact Walt directly but I would like to know that it's happening, so copy me if you do that.
Saturday, September 14 -- National Governors meeting President Hal Bellamy is a member of the National Corvette Museum board of directors because NCCC was involved in starting the museum. He said they are having some problems with the new motorsports park. They have graded the whole site and there is not a tree to be seen. They have a lot of sinkholes in that area because Mammoth Cave runs directly under it. They expected to find 10 sinkholes during construction and have found 19 so far. That will mean a delay in construction while they deal with them. They are planning to have the motorsports park at least partially operating next year at this time. Joe Orrico and I were present at the groundbreaking, which occurred on the Friday of Convention week in Bowling Green.
Sylvia Hoaldridge, standing in for Director of Sponsorship Debbie Lindsey, said we still do not have permission from GM to use the C7 logo or any images of the car on our web sites, flyers, or newsletters. Two ways to get around that are to use an image from a sponsor who does have a license or to show pictures of C7s that belong to members.
Jack Wilson, Business Manager and Convention Steering Advisor, said the 2015 Convention will be at the Split Rock Resort in the Poconos. There was an NCCC Convention there many years ago.
Ron Ruston, Sgt. at Arms, said that voting on the 2014 officers up for election and the By-Law changes will start around October 16th
and run until November 7th. Info on the candidates and the issues will be posted on the main NCCC web site. I heard "Wednesday". It wasn't clear if the info would be there by Wednesday or if they would start posting it on Wednesday. Emails will be sent to all the governors to let them know that voting has started. When you vote the database will record that you have done so and we can check to see who has voted and who has not. Only the Teller Committee can see the results, so your vote is secret.
Pat Dolan, Charity Director, said the 2014 raffle car will be a 2014 6 speed coupe. He said they tried fancy options in the past and had problems so they are sticking with a basic car. One time they promised a premium paint color but the factory discontinued that color
before they could buy the car. They were able to find one but don't want to get into that position again. Patrick said that charity donations and ticket sales are way down from past years and they have about $10,000 less money in the treasury this year. They still have enough to cover the cost of the raffle car and scholarships.
Dick Yanko, 2013 Convention Chairman, was not present but it was reported that the Convention will make about $19,000. Not all the
bills have been paid and they have not received all the money owed, so a final tally is not yet available. About 500 people attended Convention and bought the full week package. There were also many day passes but those were not included in that number.
Somebody pointed out that the 2015 Convention will end just in time for people to go to Carlisle.
Jim Walton, Parliamentarian, said the By-Law changes to be voted on in October-November will be available on the main NCCC web site. He said one was rescinded, so there is a blank placeholder for that one. He read all the By-Law changes into the minutes and explained the changes.
Paul Haack, VP of Competition, explained all the changes to the Competition Code. This is always presented as a package and it's
all or nothing. The Competition Code is part of the Standing Rules (I didn't know that) and will be voted on at the November governors meeting. The biggest change I saw was that Group 1 would be eliminated because very few people compete there. Also they are being more flexible on changes like cold air intakes, which add virtually no advantage.
Then things got ugly (there was yelling).
Jim Harris, Regional Executive from the Michigan Region, made a motion that a panel of 5 people with 2 alternates be nominated and
elected to hear charges to be presented at a later time. He refused to reveal the nature of the charges or who they were against. Somebody pointed out that the normal procedure is for the President to appoint a panel to review the charges and make recommendation to the governors at the following governors meeting, who then vote on that recommendation. Jim then said the charges were
against the President, which is why he made the motion. Deb Murphy said that charges were brought against her while she was President and she was the one who appointed a panel to review them. After many requests for what the charges were about, Jim said that the procedure is to submit the charges in writing to the President or the Secretary. Somebody asked Jim to read the charges and he said
they were 7 pages long so he didn't want to do that. Hal said that under the circumstances he was asking First Vice President of Competition Paul Haack to appoint the panel. Jim then said Paul was also named in the charges, but that was ignored. Jim then gave the written copy of the charges to Secretary Kathy Brisbois. Hal said he couldn't deal with this any more and he sat down and Paul
took over the meeting. Around this time the yelling started. After I heard, "Sit down and shut up!", Jim did sit down and we went on with business. Later Hal got up and said he has always tried to act in the best interests of the Corporation and he was deeply and personally offended by the charges. The meeting was adjourned shortly thereafter.
Some background info: Jim Harris has always been the self-appointed policeman of all things related to the By-Laws. He has made numerous motions to correct wrongs that only he perceived to be problems. He is generally considered to be a great pain in the neck and
everybody groans when he stands up at the meetings. He has indicated that he will not be back next year (a huge surprise to me and a lot of other people because he has been around forever). This latest episode seems to me to be too well planned to be a coincidence. The timing is perfect for a parting shot on his part, as the charges were presented at this meeting, the review panel will meet in November and make their recommendations at the November governors meeting, which will be Jim's last meeting before he goes away forever (we hope).
It's true that the By-Laws were not followed 100% (I don't want to go into the details -- too complex), but the end result worked out OK so I don't see the problem. I would be very interested in seeing what the charges are, but apparently only the review panel will see them. We'll have to wait until November to find out how all this comes out.
That's all for this time.