September 2007 SEC Meeting Minutes

by Tom Blinn September 28, 2007

White Mountain Chapter BMW CCA

 Social Events Committee Meeting

September 26, 2007


The meeting was called to order @ 6:35 by the chairperson, Cassandra Vorisek-Creto. In attendance were Cassandra, Al, and Isabelle Vorisek-Creto, Tom Blinn, Paul Michali, Dana Sion, and Michael Morin. 


The meeting venue was the Common Man restaurant in Concord, NH.


Chapter news:  Paul reported that the new chapter logo has been approved and can be seen on the chapter web site.


SEC business:  A number of items were discussed, some requiring near term action and some for future development.


In the immediate future, SEC has been asked by Driving Events to host a “social event” during the three day track event at NHIS, Friday through Sunday, October 26th thru 28th.  Cassandra recommended and the membership present supported the idea of providing a “tailgate party” style event on Saturday afternoon during and after the last run group of the day.  If possible, we will set up the beverages and comestibles in one of the garage bays, which are often used as the event command center anyway. 


We will plan to obtain and provide a selection of soft drinks including bottled water and a selection of beers, with a preference for a good German beer.  We will base our selection in part on available packaging, since we want to use cans and plastic bottles and avoid glass bottles if possible.  We may choose to source a small keg and use plastic cups.  The exact details will depend on product availability. 


We will also obtain and provide edibles, including most likely a vegetable and fruit tray as well as light sandwiches.  We do not plan to do any burgers or hot dogs, just cold foods that are easily obtained locally. 


We will base our quantities on estimated attendance figures to be obtained from the DEC registrar.  We will include food and beverages to host spectators and crew from the club racing event as well as the track support people such as flaggers and ambulance crew.  If there is extra food or beverage left over, it can be distributed during Sunday’s activities provided we can arrange for safe overnight storage. 


We will rely on the DEC to obtain any special permissions we need from NHIS for use of the garage bay space to assure that we will not cause any problems for this or future events with track management. 


Dana Sion and Michael Morin offered to coordinate food and beverage acquisition.  Other SEC members will be in attendance on the event day to help with setup and hosting duties.


Wine tasting event:  This event is in planning for the spring.  There are several options that are under investigation, and some additional ideas surfaced during the meeting that have not yet been investigated in depth. 


One option which could be done some time in the late spring (when the weather is likely to cooperate) is a visit to one or more of the vineyards in the southern part of NH, such as Jewell Towne Vineyards in South Hampton or Flag Hill Winery in Lee.  In fact, the two locations are only about 20 miles apart and it may be possible to devise a pleasant route between the two for a “mini road rally”.  There are not a lot of other wineries in the state, the newest is Candia Vineyards and might be of interest, but it’s not close to either Flag Hill or Jewell Towne.  There are apparently three others as well, LaBelle Winery in Walpole, Piscassic Pond Winery in Newfields, and Zorvino Vineyards in Sandown.  Zorvino is perhaps closest to Flag Hill and Jewell Towne and could be investigated as well.


A second option that is being considered but has not been investigated in depth is to have a wine tasting dinner hosted at Del Rossi’s Trattoria in Dublin, NH.  This restaurant has hosted wine dinners in the past, offers excellent Italian regional cuisine, and would cost perhaps half per person what similar events have cost at the Bedford Village Inn.  Since the site is located right off the first leg of the Covered Bridge rally route from a couple of years ago, it would be easy to start with a scenic group drive along that route, leading to a fine meal.  This event could potentially be delivered in early spring, once the worst snows are over. Preliminary discussions with the proprietors of the restaurant were well received but further investigation and development are needed to make this happen.


A third possibility would be to persuade one of the chapter’s sponsors to host an event at their place of business, as AlphaCars is doing this month with the Boston chapter.  Those present thought that Mike Cooney’s Concord Motorsports might be a good venue, and Dana offered to approach Mike to see if they would be interested.


Another possibility for future consideration is to approach the two dealers, Tulley BMW and BMW of Stratham, to invite the chapter membership to a new car introduction and technical session around either the new M3 V8 or the new 135i when those models are available in the spring (or whenever exactly they appear).  This idea was well received by the members present.  We need to determine the right way to propose this to the dealers, including who should contact them.


The discussion of the wine tasting event options lead to some brainstorming about other possible social events with a road trip touring component.  Maple sugar season seems to be of interest, and one possibility that was mentioned was a group breakfast event such as a drive to Parker’s Maple Barn in Mason NH, where they have many fine choices of good food as well as an active sugar house during sugar season, and have historically provided sugaring tours for interested groups.


Holiday Party:  The next major social event (after the “tail gate party”) is the holiday party at C. R. Sparks in Bedford NH on January 26, 2008. 


This year we are planning to formally recruit sponsorship for the party to attempt to defray part (or all) of the cost to the chapter.  To that end, Melanie Brown spent some time drafting a description of sponsorship levels (and the awards granted by us to the sponsors in return for their generosity).  The actual document was lost in a computer failure, but the ideas got transferred to Cassandra, who brought a draft document to the meeting.  The core idea is to have several levels of general sponsorship, as well as some options focused on specific aspects of the event (such as a drink sponsor or prize sponsor for the photo contest).  A discussion of the draft took place after those present had a change to review it.  Several good ideas surfaced.  The general consensus was that the overall concept was sound, and that it needed some fine tuning, such as limiting the number of sponsors at each level and reducing the number of levels.  Cassandra agreed to rework the document and present it to the committee (done electronically) and then to the chapter board for approval.  Once the chapter board has approved it, it will be available for general membership access.


The final menu choices need to be made so that registration can be opened.  The target is to have registration open by November 1st.  Paul Michali believes we will be able to do the registration process through the chapter web site, as we did last year.  We plan to have registration close 10 days before the event, that is, on Wednesday January 16th.  The proposed member contribution (“earnest money”) is $25 per person, the same as last year.


We have requested and obtained a larger room for this year, so we should be able to accommodate a larger audience.  The minimum charge for the event has increased a bit from last year, and is a $4000 commitment.


Dana Sion has been acting as entertainment coordinator again this year.  He has identified several possible options.  The consensus guiding his search was that we should try to find an “improv” group, and he has found two, as well as some other options along the lines of Bucky Lewis or Jim Auletta.  The consensus of the group was that one of the options Dana had found sounded like a good choice, and Cassandra will review the options and costs with the chapter board before any commitment is made or the details are disclosed to the membership at large.  We hope to have the selection completed by November 1st so we can include the information in the registration materials on the web site.


Other business: 


Next meeting proposed for Monday October 29th (instead of Wednesday October 31th which is Halloween night).  Location to be confirmed, probably the Common Man in Concord or in Merrimack NH (exit 11).


Dana Sion reported that the chapter has acquired two 10x10 exhibit tents to be used by the SEC and DEC at chapter events.  The tents can be combined to make a 10x20 foot sheltered space.  Dana will be custodian of the SEC tent.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 PM