CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The SCCA National Convention got underway from the Charlotte Westin on Friday afternoon with the Sports Car Club of America Annual Meeting, followed by a full afternoon of awards, speakers and fellowship.
The annual meeting, required by the Club’s bylaws each year, recapped the year and looked ahead to 2014.
John Walsh, chairman of the SCCA Board of Directors, welcomed the attendees on behalf of the Board. Walsh recognized outgoing directors Dr. Jerry Wannarka, Lisa Noble and Phil Creighton and introduced incoming Board members Terry Hanushek, Peter Zekert and Tere Pulliam.
Lisa Noble, serving as interim president/CEO, greeted attendees with a positive outlook on the Club’s future, and a rallying cry to engage the membership in ways we haven’t before.
Citing statistics that prove that involved participants are more likely to renew annually, Noble encouraged Region leaders to communicate directly with their members.
“Member engagement impacts everything,” Noble said. “We have to redefine what it means to participate. It’s not just driving or working. It also includes family members, supporters and enthusiasts. Participation can be as simple as leaning on the fence and watching, or flipping through SportsCar. We’re a 60,000 strong club.”
Following Noble’s address, SCCA Pro Racing President Tom Campbell and SCCA Enterprises President Erik Skirmants expressed optimism for the near future of both subsidiaries.
The first of two award sessions in the afternoon followed the annual meeting.
The Region Achievement Awards, given to the outstanding Regions of the past years in each of four categories, were announced, with the Land O’ Lakes Region taking home the Region of the Year award. The Tom Burke Awards for Region growth highlighted Regions displaying remarkable growth in 2013. Each of the award winners increased by more than 20 percent in membership from the prior year.
Region Achievement awards for the Rally programs went to the Texas Region, for Road Rally, and to the Washington DC Region for RallyCross.
A pause in the award ceremony left an opening for an enthralling message delivered by SCCA Solo competitor Chris Robbins, who in his day to day life serves as the Senior Manager, Customer Service for Southwest Airlines Training Department. Robbins related the struggles and triumphs that the airline has had, and how those relate to the longtime work of the Club.
An additional host of awards in Club Racing, Solo, RallyCross and Road Rally were distributed to end the session.
Noble led the attendees in a champagne toast to the SCCA’s first 70 years, and a look to the future of the club, before the attendees paraded to a sneak peek of the North American Motorsports Expo across the street to the Charlotte Convention Center.
Friday Award Winners:
Region Achievement Awards
Small Regions – Allegheny Highlands Region
Medium Regions – Lonestar Region
Large Regions – Land O’ Lakes Region
Jumbo Regions – San Francisco Region
Region of the Year Award
Land O’ Lakes Region
Tom Burke Awards
Small Regions – Allegheny Highlands
Medium Regions – Reno Region
Large Regions – San Diego Region
Jumbo Regions – Houston Region
Regional Achievement – Texas Region
Manufacturer of the Year – Subaru
National Tour Rally of the Year – Magical History Tour, Washington DC Region, RallyMaster Dave Head
Gervais Award – Virginia Reel, Washington DC Region, RallyMaster Dave Head
Road Rally Divisional Achievement – Central Division
RallyCross Regional Achievement – Washington DC Region
RallyCross Divisional Achievement – SouthEast Division
Spark Plug Award – Colorado RallyCross
Event of the Year – Arizona Region for the Arizona Sports Car Challenge Club Trial Series
Participant of the Year – James Marinangel
Morrell Award – Earl Hurlburt
Martin Tanner Award – Todd Cholmondeley
Rookie of the Year – Darren Seltzer
Driver of the Year – Tom O’Gorman
Worker of the Year – Rob Vargo