Several posts on this thread have mentioned the idea "if you are an expert, you don't have to say it". It's demonstrated every time you put your skis on. By your actions, how you respond to others, how you respect the environment. Not necessarily by how fast, high, steep you go. It's a package thing!
I'm sorry I couldn't be at the gathering, as were BobB, Weems, and Tom Burch. But unfortunately, as working pro's, we all had committments.These were known long before we drove out to Utah. Mine were at home, while BB, WW,and TB each spent the day after the Academy, working with the instructors of our host area (Brighton), prior to having to be back at their respective jobs. I would have truly enjoyed meeting and skiing with everyone who did make the effort to get to SLC for the Gathering. I heard/ read about alot of fun people and good skiing.
Not being at the Gathering had nothing to do with pay-. As a matter of fact- neither did being AT the Academy! To the best of my knowledge- not a single coach at the Academy has received a single penny from the Academy in any form of payment. We volunteered our time, not expecting to be compensated. If any payment might be forthcoming, it likely will just cover our expenses. My respect has grown immensely for the other pro's who were willing to extend themselves for others, at their own expense! And I already held them in high esteem!
Before you start throwing the title "expert" around, and hanging it on others, you'd better do some checking. You might find that a couple you have named have already declined the title, on this thread. And I wouldn't be suprised that others might do so as well. So maybe your perspective of an "expert" might be a little skewed. But it's your perception, and perception is "reality" to the viewer. I think the Academy was a great reality check to most of it's attendees, and their growth curve has now become much steeper as a result. And I applaud them.
If you read several posts back (page 1), when Pierre and Disski tried to draw comparison between cert levels and the idea of being an "expert", I denounced that such a correlation could be made. A pin does NOT make an "expert"! Nor does using any "PSIA technique" make you an expert. PSIA is accused of using the cookie cutter approach to training skiers, but I can't recall two experts ever skiing alike! Oh- they can, if they so wish (eg- Chris Ryman and Jens Husted, Sybervision/ Black Diamond Skiing) for thats another dimension of an expert, to be able to copy another expert accurately. Certainly there will be many similarities, as most experts will use the most efficient techniques.