Board of Directors Meeting for December 1, 2019

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Board of Directors Meeting for December 1, 2019

Board Meeting Minutes

December 1, 2019

Present: John Celona, Serena Cheng,  Brian Emmett, Robert Habibi, Ed Hunter, Jim McClelland, Marianne Merritt, Michael Sherman

Call to Order: 
The meeting was called to order at 12:32 pm. 

Call for agenda changes: 

Call for calendar changes: 
The next Board meeting will be scheduled for January 5, 2020 at 12 noon

Call for budget changes:

Directors’ Reports

Not present 

There were no specific insurance or other related updates by the Vice President.  The balance of Board discussion was covered outside of usual Directors reports.

A motion to approve the Treasurer’s report was carried without dissent.  

A motion to approve the Secretary’s report of the previous Board meeting minutes from September 10 was carried without dissent.  

Social Director:
There was a discussion about the value of combining the AX awards banquet with a New Year/New Member holiday party, given the close proximity in time for those events. The intent, timing, location, and audience was discussed with the entire board with no specific concerns about financials raised. In the end, it was determined that the overlap in attendees was sufficient to allow both events to occur.  Specifically, on January 18, 2020 there will be a planned holiday party and new member welcome in conjunction with RRS Motorsport in San Jose. The following weekend, the annual awards banquet will be held on January 25, 2020 on the storeyed USS Hornet.

Motoring Director:
No specific update, but some discussion about Motoring events did occur in the broader “Tune Up” discussion led by Vice President.   

The Motoring Director did thank his entire team of event producers, and confirmed that the Motoring team will continue with a cadence of 1 event per month in 2020.  Additionally, the Director voiced some concerns about dealing with our increasingly broad demographic of Porsche owners, and indicated that there are discussions within the Motoring team to see if there are ways of holding events that are less structured, and require less planning in advance.  Also being discussed are larger and more frequent multi-day runs.

Finally, the Director noted that he is continuing to train new event producers and delegate ownership down to his team.

Track Director:
The report from the Track Director contained a financial and logistical postmortem for the year, and included some proposed changes for the 2020 season.

First, it was determined that there was too much experimentation with track days and configurations in 2019.  For the those that did attend, there was uniform positive response. However, this was at the detriment of fewer drivers.  One initial change for next year will be the removal of Thunderhill 2 mile from the calendar, and potentially eliminating non-standard directions of travel on the 3 mile.

Second, for the the Kahuna Laguna in 2020, there will be no separate DE event.  We also now have greater clarity into appropriate avenues to advertise the event, and will start doing so in early 2020 in order to garner more interest.

For the DE event planned for April, our friends from the PNW are still planning to attend, and we’re currently scheduling accordingly.  Should that change, we’ll adapt.

Finally, there was a broader discussion regarding comparing our DE product to other vendors.  There was a diversity of opinion on stringency of GGR’s safety protocols as compared to others, and the ease at which it was for people to “arrive and drive”.  Countering perspectives included that the lesser safety expectations led to more erratic and potentially dangerous track behavior. In general, there was agreement that a further assessment of the GGR DE product was required to ensure we’re serving our members well, while also maintaining our core principles of driver and car safety.

AX Director:
No specific update, but some discussion about AX events did occur in the broader “Tune Up” discussion led by Vice President. 

Membership Director:  
A motion to approve all new members was carried unanimously.   During the overall discussion, a few items worth noting included updates about emails to the prospective owners in the PCA Test Drive program, updates to the regional apparel section of the PCA store, and a mention of discussions around how to accommodate our 4 Wheel Drive members of PCA with the potential for trail-based events.

Editor (The Nugget):
Nugget updates were covered in the broader discussion led by the Vice President.

The website is nearly done, with much of the feedback from the late summer incorporated into the final design.  Operationally,, the production and staging websites are now out of sync and drifting further by the month, which will be a hurdle to be overcome for release.  

A future Board meeting needs to get alignment on when to roll-out the new design.  Other importantimportnat aspects to consider are how to incorporate changes after the launch so that improvements can be made on a regular basis for both content updates, as well as design oversights from the original specification when the website was approved for redesign two years ago.

Topics for discussion

The Vice President led the Board in a discussion covering a series of topics, colloquially named our Annual Tech Inspection.   The conversation was framed in terms of what was going well for the club, and what areas needed additional attention.

What is running well

  • The VP applauded the overall running of the AX series, and specifically called out improvements to event logistics and a much more robust and reliable timing system


  • The overall smooth running of the Motoring events was called out by the VP.  Specifically noted was that the events were always sold out and oversubscribed, and well enjoyed by the attendees.  Also noted were the broad success of the current multi-day motoring events, which often include a donation to charities.


  • The VP also commended the numerous social events that were held in 2019.  The events are doing very well and quite popular both in general, and especially compared to previous years.


  • The welcome emails and follow-ups were called out as a meaningful success for the club as a way to make new members feel welcomed to the club and connect them to other activities.  Also noted was the smooth running of our badging creation and distribution.  

The Nugget

  • Finally, the VP made note of the smooth running of the Nugget.  By way of comparison, printing and mailing used to cost a ton and was an operational nightmare to get distributed on a monthly basis, but the transition to electronic distribution was both well received and logistically smooth.

What we need to fix 
Board governance 

  • The VP’s first item requiring attention was regarding the scheduling and attendance of meetings themselves, which was problematic in 2019.  There was mention, but no action on how to afford attendance to others digitally, and whether that was an impediment to Board business.

Board elections 

  • With the inclusion of new Directors to the board in a previous election, the positions on the yearly ballots need to be rebalanced in order to mitigate full board turnovers on an semi-annual basis.


  • Due to the current Treasurer stepping down, we need to find a replacement that the Board can approve.  Additionally, it used to be the case where Treasurer pays bills for the Club and the President approves those bills.  It was argued without dissent that the Club needs to start doing this again in order to maintain strong financial controls, but there was discussion as to the threshold for amounts that would require Presidential signature.  No decision was made on that point.

Budget and spending approval 

  • In general, the VP felt we were doing reasonably well here so far, but that improvements could be made with respect to consistency of how the Club handles unexpected exceptions to our budgetary and spending processes.

Topics for future discussion

  • Discuss the use of the Meetup platform for informal, member-generated gathering


  • Attendance analysis for the goal of break-even events in 2020


  • Staging and feedback from the Board for eventual release

Club engagement

  • Some areas of the club are thriving, but others might be suffering.
  • Discuss engagement with the club in general, and also assess whether our messaging is “stale” and not reaching out to our increasingly younger and diverse audience? Ways to best engage the growing “4-door” and SUV segments.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:20 pm. 

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