Quick Chat: Heyward Wagner, Director of Experiential Programs for the SCCA
MotoIQ: Heyward Wagner has been tasked with helping the Sports Car Club of America grow and with that comes a pretty official, yet nebulous sounding title. Who are you and what the heck do you do?
Heyward: My title is the Director of Experiential Programs. Take one part camp director, one part social director and mix with 2 parts SCCA and you have me. My job, simply, is to make SCCA more fun. We have spent decades whittling away at our membership with the sharp edge of competition, and while I have no desire to dull things, my charge is to build programs that place the overall experience above who wins and loses. Not all experiential programs will be non-competitive, but all will keep a focus on having fun, and being able to experience motorsports on your own terms.
MotoIQ: How is the SCCA doing these days? Let's be more specific, with Solo, Road Rally, Rallycross and Road Racing, what departments are doing well and which ones could stand with some improvement?
Heyward: Overall the club is doing really well. We have seen a 5% increase in membership over each of the last two years and are now back to where were were before the tough economic headwinds of 2008. That said, there are always places to improve and I believe we are in position to do just that. Lisa Noble, SCCA's President, has made some really strong moves to put the right people in the right places. As a result, we have a united team with a wide range of club and professional experiences that is eager to move the needle. As to specifics, lots of attention is currently on new projects in my department, but also in improving events experiences within our traditional competition programs. I am very hopeful that, through these efforts, we will start to see the SCCA event festival atmosphere of days gone by start to return.
MotoIQ: The SCCA has somewhat of a split personality between local regions and the National office. This is especially evident with the Solo program. Is there an active campaign to solidify the SCCA branding / experience / message?
Heyward: There are. SCCA members Raleigh and Velma Boreen have been pushing this concept for the last few years as they take on the task of Regional Solo Development. We definitely want regions to have identities, but there are practices we can put in place that can improve our products and make the administration of events smoother for both leaders and participants. This is also something we are addressing at conventions. This was a pilot year of taking programs to Divisional conventions to bolster training efforts and leadership development. I think of this as the National office taking an active role in developing Regional programs and improving the overall club experience.