Published On: April 6, 2021By 2.3 min read


When: Saturday, April 24, from 5:00pm – 8:00pm PT
Cost: $40
Continuing Education Units: 2

Join PSIA-AASI Western Division for a Virtual Spring Convention on Saturday, April 24th. The evening will include a panel of industry experts, guest speaker Horst Abraham, awards and recognitions, and more. Join us for an evening of celebrations, community connections, successes and inspiration.


Ready to Be Inspired?  Join this panel of industry experts as we discuss what makes this industry vibrant, alive, and fun. Moderator Fran Tone, will guide this panel and find out what gives them a sense of spirit and pride, what have been some significant changes being a snowsports instructor and why we are part of it.

Moderator: Francine Tone

Panelists: Blair McLeod, Heidi Ettlinger, Horst Abraham, Josh Spoelstra, Ryan Christofferson


Horst Abraham is responsible for the birth of the American teaching Method (ATM), which, with its guest-focused pedagogy, has been a game-changer in ski instruction worldwide. The “guest-and-skills” centered teaching methodology has become the backbone of American ski instruction and all national ski teaching systems in the world. After moving to the United States from his native Austria, Horst found that most ski areas were not interested in his individualized approach to ski instruction, but rather preferring a “one-size fits all” technique.

He was appointed to serve as the technical Vice President of the Rocky Mountain Ski Instructors Association, and in 1971, Horst was asked to fill the position of Director of Training and Development of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA).

Horst presented his ideas not only to U.S. ski centers, but also to the international ski community through the forum of Inter-ski in Sesto, Italy and later in Zao, Japan in 1976 and 1980. Horst’s innovative thinking in the domain of ‘Learning’, ‘Coaching’ and ‘Performance Management’ earned him an honorary degree from the Education Commission of Japan.  He holds a master’s degree in Education and the Behavioral Sciences from the University of Vienna. He is a nationally certified ski coach and mountain-guide in France and Austria and is fully certified in the US in Alpine and X-country skiing. He is still an avid alpine skier and mountain biker and was, until 2015, a nationally ranked, competitive 470 sailor.  He now lives in Vail, Colorado.

Career Highlights:

  • National Certification of Austrian Ski and Alpine Guide certification (1959)
  • Graduated at the “Ecole Nationale Du Ski E Alpinism” in Chamonix with “Special Mention” – the highest award given by the French Ministry of Sports, served as the Technical Director of PSIA-RM
  • Director of Training and Development for PSIA National
  • Inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2014
  • Inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 2015