PSIA Region 4 Meeting Minutes

Disclaimer: These notes are not official. They are just Rusty's (maybe accurate, maybe not) notes from the meeting. This year's meeting was on October 14, 2000 at Jack Frost, PA.



Big changes in certification are here. Level 2 exam now has two parts. PSIA entry level is now through "First Tracks" (like the Registered level). Retakes are still ok!
A great snow year does wonders for PSIA-E event attendance and finances
Order your new "Core Concepts" manual through PSIA-E to get it faster. The tech manual is due out in Dec.
$$$Need money $$$?
Dues are going up next year. 
Alpine Level 2 pass rate was 71% last year. 
Bylaw changes
Who was there? Sue Slick, Carol Draper and Rusty from Whitetail joined about 47 others to gang up on Bob Shostek (our Regional director). 

Angelo Ross (representing the Education committee) and some guy (but  I forgot his name - representing Region 4 on the Snowboard education committee) were the only committee member present. Missing in action, but giving Bob their news to pass on were:
Robin Reid  - Children's Committee
Mark Siekierka - Certification Committee
Ed Miller - Management Committee

Paul Hoda - A brand new snowboard examiner from our region was there.

Other people news:
We're sad to note the passing of Otto Frei and Rudi Kuersteiner. They both were major forces on the examiner staff for a long time.
We're glad to announce a new executive director, Michael Mendrick. Although Michael does not have an instructor background, he does have a lot of association management experience. He must be good if he can impress Bob.
Also glad - 3 of the 9 new ETS squad members came from Region 4.
New office staff - Janice Pryor and Liz Kingston
Cherisse Rabl is working fulltime for the adaptive foundation at Windham (except for one day a week helping out on the PSIA-E web site)
Membership has leveled off over the past couple of years. PSIA-E has 11,200 members, with an 89% retention rate. The 1448 new members just outnumbered the 11% of those who did not renew their membership. 
7,295 members attended 376 events (total for all disciplines)! 855 riders attended 72 snowboard events.
The big news is the certification changes  that take effect this season.  These notes apply to alpine only! The entry level into PSIA-E will now be called First Tracks. This takes the place of the "registered" level of membership. A 2 day  education event clinic is the main part of the process. Level 1 exams will go from a 2 day event to a one day event. Level 2 exams will go from 3 days to 4 days and be split into a skiing part and a teaching part (similar to the current level 3 exam).

First year instructors can do first tracks (suggested 25 hours of training and/or teaching experience) and the level 1 exam. Level 1 candidates will need 50 hours of experience. Level 2 candidates will need 2 seasons and 200 hours of experience (i.e. can not take the exam until year 3). Level 3 candidates will need 3 years and a zillion hours (just kidding) of experience.

There are grandfathering rules for those who took prerequisites and those who are eligible for retakes. It will all be in the next SnowPro, but Rusty says they are reasonable. The general rule seems to be if you earned something last year, you get the equivalent this year.

The level 2 written exam is being changed. Previously, if your score was over 70, you only needed two examiners to pass the pro knowledge portion of the exam. If you scored 60-70 you could pass if all 3 examiners passed you on the hill. Now you will need a minimum 66 to pass.

There will also be some changes to the level 3 part 2 exam. Details in the next SnowPro.

One of the reasons for splitting the level 2 exam into two parts was to make it easier to study and prep, given that most takers are only part time instructors. Supporting this was an 80% pass rate on retakes and feedback from Level 3 exam candidates.

There is a new accreditation program: Teaching Beginners Specialist. Study tracks include: Working the Learning Environment, The Communications Loop and Assessing Movement for Beginners.

Dues are going up next year. National wants $10 more (they currently get $30 out of the $70 yearly dues - hmm that's a 33% increase). The Eastern Region is debating whether to also increase dues or not. Eastern has successfully fought increases for several years now. Nonetheless, our dues are CHEAP compared to other associations and we all should be proud of how our dues money is conserved (e.g. ed staff staying at local housing instead of hotels). Eastern is very sensitive to the potential loss of current or potential members who can not afford the increase. Rusty's suggestion to those who consider dropping out - apply for an EF scholarship instead and save the $10 or more on your next event!

Rusty says that any division increase in dues would probably go to increasing money available for specific action plans. This is how the last dues increase was spent and it brought us a lot of good stuff that we now take for granted (i.e. programs that have been moved into the yearly budget, new manuals, videos, etc.). That said, if you've got ideas on programs our division should be doing, write them up. They could get funded next year!

Got any opinions on dues increases? Let PSIA-E know! You can talk to your local rep or just whisper in The Rusty's ear.

Last Year's Exam numbers
Level 1 exams  - 952 passed (99%) (one guy was a victim of a joke!)
Level 2 exams - 185  passed (71%) (continuing the upward trend)
Level 2 retake - 32 passed (88%)
Level 3-1 exams - 69 passed (49%)
Level 3-2 exams - 37 passed ( 64%)
Level 1 exams  - 368 passed (100%) 
Level 2 exams - 46  passed (58%) 
Level 3 exams - 6 passed (31%)
Level 1 exams  - 9 passed (60%) (down from 89%!!)
Level 2 exams - 6  passed (60%) 
Level 3 exams - 3 passed (60%)
Level 2 Track and Skate exams  - 1 passed (25%)
Level 2 Downhill exams - 7  passed (78%) 
Level 3 Downhill exams - 9 passed (100%)
Budget news: Last year the PSIA-E budget was $1.6 MILLION. The good news is we finished with a $71,000 profit. This year's budget is set at 1.7M, with a $4,000 deficit. Thanks goes to Kim Seevers for tight fisted expense control, without sacrificing quality of the of the product. 
Bob talked about the trend in skier visits declining over the last several years. The forecast was for skier visits to hit 40M by 2010 if nothing was done. PSIA is supporting the NSAA Model for Growth (i.e. the "6+1 plan - attract 6% more first timers and get 1% more returnees). The shocking stat is that only one out of 15 first timers ever come back. (editors note: the real stat from NSAA is that only 15% return - that's only one person out of your group of 8 first timers.) One of the key changes PSIA is making is increasing the emphasis on customer service. Many changes to the exams are service focused.

Rusty did some surfing and found that NSAA is reporting 57M skier visits for last season (2000-2001). This would be an all time record, reversing a 7 year downward trend. While the number were helped by good weather, NSAA's number for level 1 lessons shows an 8% rise. Hey - we're on plan!
Michael Mendrick is considering handling the Education Foundation responsibilities vs hiring a director.
PSIA-E's web site needs some TLC, but Charisse Rabl is helping to update it.
Bob gave out some tips for getting Education Fund scholarships. The preference is to give money for events over exams. Also, the fund tries to award scholarships for each Region and each discipline. And they appreciate when you write articles for Snow Pro after you've attended the event.
The Spring/Summer Snow Pro has a ballot to approve proposed bylaw changes. The impetus behind this is the realization that it takes experience to be able to effectively manage the association. The current bylaws allow a whole new board to be voted in all at once. This could spell disaster if a  group of total newbies found themselves unable to perform the task. The proposed bylaw changes to stagger elections are similar to bylaws of other (more experienced) professional organizations. 
Children's committee update.  The theme for this year's Children's Academy  at Bromley is "hurdles and milestones". There are two proposals in the works: subsidize getting ACEs to areas and building a bag of tricks.
Who's your PSIA-E area rep?  (Whitetail's is Mike Hicks) This person is supposed to maintain a bulletin board in the locker room and pass on all of the great PSIA news that gets sent to the Ski School Director (who just throws it out).