Three Years and a Cloud of Dust
Three years ago, I was elected by fellow Pacific Northwest (aka Area 13) SCCA members to serve on the national Board of Directors. I was still trying to figure out how I was going to balance my work, family, and racing commitments with these new responsibilities, when I arrived at my first BOD meeting -- only to be told it was expected all new directors run for a second term. What?! I’m working out survival tactics one month at a time and they want me to commit to 6 years of this?!?
OK, so now it’s 2018 and I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I am at being unable to run for re-election due to my “other job” – the one that pays the bills – requirement to work out of Chicago HQ. It’s not that I’ve grown fond of working long hours without pay or discovered I actually enjoy having my a** chewed by upset members. Nope, what gnaws on me is the sense of a job not finished. I try not to take myself too seriously, but I take my work damn seriously: SCCA has better governance and focus, better Club leadership and sense of mission than has been the case in a very long time. Still, there is much work to be done, more details to be sweated, Regions to be re-energized, and members to be won over.
I now understand why there was an expectation to run for a second term: the forced turnover of the Board (1/3 of the Board is up for elections every year) makes staying aligned as a governing body quite challenging. For the past 3 years, the SCCA BOD has worked incredibly hard to conduct better governance: to stop second guessing every decision of SCCA staff and to consider new paths without viewing change as a threat to their regency. The SCCA Board acts to enable positive change: not change for change sake, but because we must do what’s needed, not necessarily what’s always popular in the short-term. During my watch, the BOD has stepped in to assert fiscal responsibility when it was lacking and made hard decisions to effect change at the top of SCCA. They were the right calls for the right reasons.
I couldn’t be prouder of the process and the outcome of hiring Michael E. Cobb as SCCA, Inc. CEO / President. Mike reports to the BOD, with daily operations of SCCA run under his leadership. The BOD’s role isn’t to second guess subject matter experts: it’s to ensure decisions are on strategy, well-reasoned, and fair. Knowing the candidate(s) for my Area 13 Director seat, I’m confident the winner will easily step into this role of good governance.
I have to warn my replacement, the minute you join the national BOD, there are those gunning for you, some hanging out on chatrooms and public forums, others at various events, who rarely let facts get in the way of their determined opinions: you are now a dishonest, lazy, irresponsible, power-hungry, backroom dealing SOB, determined to ruin the SCCA for your pin-headed selfish reasons – of course, that’s just what your friends are saying
I sincerely wish we could have some of these nay-sayers take the time to listen and see – not what they want to believe – but, what’s actually happening now, today, and then take that energy and apply it to driving positive change. SCCA is a members-first organization – over 67,000 strong – built on fun, and the shared passion of experiencing motorsports up-close and personal.
I’ll close this with a statement of SCCA values, which you’ll be hearing and seeing in the future.
Excellence: The Spirit of a Competitor
Service: The Heart of a Volunteer
Passion: The Attitude of an Enthusiast
Team: The Art of Working Together
Experience: The Act of Wowing our Community
Stewardship: The Mindset of an Owner
These values aren’t new – they are the essence of our membership: because so many of you demonstrate these values in the Club, it makes my contributions on the BOD a drop in the bucket. It is – and will always be – my distinct honor, privilege, and pleasure to serve my SCCA family and friends as Area 13 Director these past 3 years.
Thank you. Good Luck & Good Racing!
By Jeff Zurschmeide
Area 13 Director,