Eliza Kuntz
Chair of the Board

What inspired you to become an instructor?
I grew up skiing a very small area and by high school was becoming bored on the short runs. I figured teaching looked fun and would provide structure to my days at the hill.

What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a new instructor?
Learn from others and don’t be afraid to try something different.

What’s your favorite member benefit?
The friends I have made within the organization!

Areas you have taught at:
Camden Snow Bowl, ME; Greek Peak, NY; Red Lodge Mountain, MT

Neil Bussiere
Vice Chair and Western Division Board Representative

What inspired you to become an instructor?
The desire to improve as a skier and to meet people.

What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a new instructor?
Keep striving to improve your teaching and always maintain a positive outlook.

What’s your favorite member benefit?
Clinics and social functions

Areas you have taught at:
Mt. High Resort, CA

John May
Treasurer and Northwest Division Board Representative

What inspired you to become an instructor?
To improve my skiing.

What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a new instructor?
Remind your trainers that inspiration beats technical perfection.

What’s your favorite member benefit?
Patagonia Pro Offer and training opportunities at clinics.

Areas you have taught at:
Mt. Hood Meadows, OR; Mt. Hood Timberline, OR; Vail, CO; Beaver Creek, CO; Crystal Mountain, WA

Walt Coiner
Secretary and Northern Intermountain Division Board Representative

What inspired you to become an instructor?
Instructing is a great way to share one’s passion for the sport.

What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a new instructor?
Have fun challenging yourself.

What’s your favorite member benefit?
Fraternity

Areas you have taught at:
Sun Valley, ID

Tom Butler
Eastern Division Board Representative

What inspired you to become an instructor?
When I was 6-years-old, my neighbor Martinsville, NJ spent 20 minutes teaching me in his backyard on his son’s equipment. He had no idea that those 20 minutes would set an impressionable kid on a path to make a life in the ski industry. When I graduated from the University of Maine, I moved to Sugarloaf to teach skiing for “one” winter and give back a bit what my neighbor taught me. That one winter turned into 25 years in the industry. Considering all the people I have had the honor of teaching and working with, I look back and marvel at the chain reaction that my neighbor set in motion. His selfless 20 minutes had a tremendous effect on many lives and hopefully I have been able to inspire others like he did for me.

What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a new instructor?
Have fun with your guests, laugh a lot! Also, as a newer instructor, you probably won’t have a really deep repertoire of learning activities yet. Attend as many trainings as you can, build relationships with veteran staff and ask a lot of questions. (Remember, every single one of us were in your shoes at one time!) Get to really know a few key learning progressions and experiment with them in all kinds of situations and on different terrain. You will start to recognize that many of our guests are working on similar things, so a few key activities will work well. I have 3 or 4 that I keep coming back to which can be modified to different abilities and terrain situations. I can honestly say that everything I know about teaching skiing I stole from someone else, but after a while, with a lot of practice and experimentation, made it my own.  You’ll do the same.

What’s your favorite member benefit?
The numerous relationships that PSIA-AASI has with different equipment and retail companies is a huge benefit for members. Having access to the products that we use for our jobs at a discount really provides us the ability to be fully equipped and prepared.

Areas you have taught at:
Sugarloaf, ME; Smiggin Holes, NSW Australia.

Brooks Lillehei Brooks Lillehei
Central Division Board Representative

What inspired you to become an instructor?
I needed to learn how to teach my son to snowboard so that our family could hit the slopes together.

What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a new instructor?
Create an experience around snowsports with your guests.

What’s your favorite member benefit?
Learning sliding techniques with winter friends.

Areas you have taught at:
Buck Hill, MN

Robin May
Rocky Mountain Division Board Representative

What inspired you to become an instructor? 
My father was a professional ski instructor, race club president, and industry guy in Canada.  I became a certified member of CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructor Association) in 1974 as a high school student.  I was riding the chair with my dad at Mt. Seymour in North Vancouver when I saw Wayne Wong toss a really floaty helicopter on the loop jump — I thought he was the coolest guy I’d ever seen.  My dad told me he was a CSIA 4 and a member of the Canadian Demo Team.  I signed up for my exam the next day.

What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a new instructor?
Teaching is at the core of what we do as human beings. It is a primal requirement to pass on our knowledge, skill, and talent. The first experience with your first teacher is life-changing.

Areas you have taught at:
I have taught or coached at Mt. Seymour, BC; Whistler Blackcomb, BC; Manning Park, BC; Panorama, BC; El Colorado, Chile; Portillo, Chile; Red River, NM; and Taos, NM. I have been the ski school director at Mt. High, CO; Eldora, CO; and Angel Fire, NM full-time since 1978.

Rich McLaughlin

Rich McLaughlin
Intermountain Division Board Representative

What inspired you to become an instructor?
Seeing the joy in peoples faces as they learn a new sport.

What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a new instructor?
If you have a challenging day, just remember you’re doing what you love.

What’s your favorite member benefit?
All of them. Member events, continuing education opportunities, and Pro Deals.

Areas you have taught at:
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, WY

Shelby Rogala

Shelby Rogala
Northern Rocky Mountain Division Board Representative

What inspired you to become an instructor?
I was lucky enough to participate in the All Mountain program at my local mountain. The passion, excitement, and sense of community around sliding on snow was contagious, so I joined the team when I reached High School.

What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a new instructor?
Find your voice as a teacher – be willing to challenge yourself to improve as much as you challenge your students.

What’s your favorite member benefit?
Access to training, learning, growing, and connecting with all of YOU!

Areas you have taught at:
Bridger Bowl, Great Divide, Lost Trail Ski Area, and Yellowstone Club, MT; Aspen Highlands, CO; Ski Portillo, Chile

Ed Younglove

Ed Younglove
Ex-Officio

What inspired you to become an instructor?
Wanting to share my love of skiing and the mountains.

What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a new instructor?
Get a good mentor to help with your professional development.

What’s your favorite member benefit?
The education materials and clinics.

Areas you have taught at:
Washington’s Crystal Mountain and throughout the northwest as an education staff member.