The International Motor Racing Research Center is guided by a Governing Council composed of racing aficionados, library professionals and civic and community leaders from across the United States.
Chairman – John R. Saunders: is the former president of the International Speedway Corp. and Watkins Glen International. He was one of the originators of the concept of the International Motor Racing Research Center.
Vice Chairman – Bill Branson: is a retired director of AG Edwards and former officer of Royal Bank of Canada (US) Wealth Management. He has been president of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad since 2008, and is a returning member of the Governing Council. He has a collection of European road and race cars and has been involved with SCCA and SVRA for many years, driving several of his cars at many east coast tracks.
Vice Chairman – Laurence Kessler: is the owner of a restaurant and real estate development firm and former owner of numerous Burger King Restaurants in central and western New York. A former IMSA team competitor and sponsor, he is active in SVRA and other vintage racing events and is a member of the Road Racing Drivers Club. See Kessler making a pass at the 2014 SVRA Brickyard Invitational.
Treasurer – Scott Welliver: is the owner of the construction management company Welliver. He is a vintage racer and former NASCAR team co-owner and is heavily involved in his community, including as a co-owner of a winery.
Secretary – Beren Argetsinger: is a partner at Keyes & Fox, LLP. Previously, he was a research fellow at the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development in West Virginia where he focused on climate change and clean energy transition strategies to expand economic opportunities in the state. During his law and graduate school tenure, he was a legal intern with the New York City Law Department, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, and a federal judicial intern in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Dawn Burlew: has worked at Corning Incorporated for more than 35 years. She is the director of government affairs & business development, leading New York State, local and regional government affairs and business development initiatives. Burlew also serves as supervisor for the Town of Erin. She is a member of several not-for-profit boards including Chemung County Industrial Development Agency, Southern Tier Economic Growth (STEG), Incubator Works, Project Seneca Steering Committee, I-86 Steering Committee, Chemung County Property Development Corp., Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Loan Fund, Corning’s Gaffer District, Chemung County Chamber of Commerce and Bethany Village. She also serves as vice-chair and member of the Executive & Finance Committee of the Guthrie Corning Hospital Board, board chair for the Regional Economic Development and Energy Corporation (REDEC), and board member of Five Star Bank.
Nicholas Craw: was the president of the Senate before becoming the deputy president of the FIA. He was formerly the ACCUS president, SCCA president and CEO, and director of the Peace Corps. He is also an RRDC member and in the SCCA Hall of Fame. Craw started racing in 1967 with a Formula B Brabham BT-21 and won the 1969 Washington D.C. Region’s Norair Trophy. He is a two-time IMSA Goodrich Radial Challenge champion, and American Road Race of Champions winner, and a two-time winner of Nelson Ledges 24-Hour race.
Phyllisa A. DeSarno: is a native of Watkins Glen, a graduate of Elmira College, and attended Syracuse University’s School of International Studies in Florence, Italy. After a few years of teaching English, she moved into Community and Economic Development. DeSarno was employed by Corning Inc. and Corning Community College and retired as the City of Ithaca’s Director of Economic Development. She has been a member of many community organizations throughout her long career, including: Tompkins Chamber of Commerce, Corning Chamber of Commerce, Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Ithaca Alliance, Corning Intown Promotions, and she currently sits on the Schuyler Health Foundation Board. DeSarno lives in Watkins Glen with her husband, Peter, and dog, Phoebe. She enjoys nature, healthy foods, kayaking, walking, yoga, spending time with close friends and family, and vintage racing!
Chris Dyson: serves as the vice president and sporting director for Dyson Racing. As a driver, he is a two-time IMSA American LeMans Series Champion and a two-time Trans Am Series Champion. Since 2018, Dyson’s own CD Racing-branded organization has won 22 Trans Am road races in North America, and CD Racing has also claimed victories at major USAC events and partnered in claiming the 2022 USAC Silver Crown Championship. In 2010, he was elected to the Road Racing Drivers Club, and in 2012 he was named to the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association’s All-American Team. Dyson is also the executive vice president of The Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corporation and treasurer of the Dyson Foundation.
Evan Earle: is the Cornell University archivist, a lifelong motorsports enthusiast and devoted “car guy.” Earle assisted the Research Center for several years as its consulting archivist. Read about Earle’s work at Cornell.
John C. Gorsline: is the president and founder of Gorsline Company. He has insured top drivers from Formula One, IndyCar, NASCAR, Trans-Am and World Challenge. Gorsline has provided the Gorsline Company Scholarship since 1994 to young, talented drivers including Bryan Herta, Danica Patrick and Rick Stenhouse. He is a member of SCCA, RRDC, International Council of Motorsport Scientists, Landmark Society of Western New York and many more.
Phil Henderson: is a retired electrical engineer who lives in Western New York. He has been a starter at Watkins Glen for over 50 years at professional and amateur events, including Formula One. Phil represented Area 10 on the SCCA National Board of Directors and raced in SCCA Showroom Stock and Sport Renault, winning NYSRRC overall in 1978 and 1979. Familiar faces at the IMRRC, Phil and his wife Marion have been strong supporters of the IMRRC since its inception.
Rob Roessel: is the director of corporate sales for the NASCAR North Region, which includes Watkins Glen International and Michigan International Speedway. He has been with the organization since 2012 and is based in Watkins Glen. In his spare time, he competes in amateur endurance road racing across the east coast.
Dinah Gueldenpfennig Weisberg: is CEO and president of REDCOM Laboratories Inc. She served in multiple roles in the company over 40 years before becoming president in 2017 and held senior management positions in the engineering department. She was promoted to Vice President of Planning and Government Program Administration in 2004, where she led the group responsible for government and military engagement, and Executive Vice President in 2012. Weisberg is also an accomplished professional racecar driver and instructor.
Chip Wile: is senior vice president and chief track properties officer at NASCAR. Previously, he was president of Daytona International. He also served as president of Darlington Raceway from 2013-2016; director of business development at Motor Racing Network; team public relations and marketing for various NASCAR race teams, most notably Penske Racing, Bill David Racing, and Turner Scott Motorsports. Wile’s recent awards include 2017 Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 (2017) and University of Georgia Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 (2018).
Daryl Q. Wolfe: is the executive vice president and chief revenue officer at NASCAR. Previously, he served as executive vice president and chief operations and sales officer of NASCAR. Prior to that, he served as executive vice president and chief sales and partnership officer of NASCAR and executive vice president and chief marketing officer of International Speedway Corporation (ISC). Serving the company for 27 years, Wolfe advanced through several leadership positions with increasing responsibility including director of publicity and media promotions at Daytona International Speedway, managing director of marketing partnerships, ISC, where he was a member of the core team to negotiate and develop ISC’s new properties at Kansas Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway and senior vice president sales and media and chief marketing officer, ISC.