Andy Lindsey joined our team in June of 2018, taking on the position of PRO ACADEMY Consultant/Trainer for North America. Andy comes to our company with over 18 years of snow grooming and heavy equipment operating experience. Notably, Andy helped prepare 12 World Cup races on the Birds of Prey downhill course at Beaver Creek, Colorado. He spent 3 seasons in South Korea, first preparing test courses and then the 2018 Winter Olympics speed skiing courses for men and women. He worked 11 back to back winters between the US and Australia and also completed 1 season in New Zealand. We decided to ask Andy a few questions and share them with you.
Where did you learn to operate a snow groomer?
Andy: "I learned at a small resort on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, California (Homewood Mountain Resort). I started when I was 18 years old. The resort had recently lost a few members of their crew so I was able to get 'thrown' into a snow cat. I feel very fortunate for how I was taught, the crew at the time was an extremely experienced bunch that had come from another major resort in the area. Homewood resort offered challenging snow conditions and I learned from one of the most talented crews around."
How did you turn snow grooming from a winter job into a career that you are passionate about?
Andy: "I think that snow cats are some of the most incredible machines to operate. The capabilities that they have are second to none. With that being said, I would always look back on grooming as a job and say 'wow they actually pay us to operate these machines.' I worked hard, put in back-to-back winters snow grooming, found a lot of joy in my work, and eventually was hired for management level positions. I consider myself very lucky with the position that I am in now. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the help of others that could see where the future of grooming is headed and wanted to constantly push that progression. I look forward to being able to do the same."
What are you most excited for with PRO ACADEMY's online training courses?
Andy: "PRO ACADEMY online training has tremendous potential at a time when the need for qualified operators is increasing. Not only is it going to help resorts with the hiring of educated and willing operators, it will further the progression of grooming standards. I believe that PRO ACADEMY online training will become an industry standard for the education of grooming operators.
What is the benefit of snow groomer operator training to the operator? To the resort?
Andy: "The great thing about the grooming industry is the constant change. If we at PRO ACADEMY can assist operators with different approaches and ideas for the preparation and maintenance of the slopes, machine capabilities will be enhanced and a better skier product will be produced. Resorts will see advantages with operational cost savings and the resort customers will see and feel a difference in the product produced. That's a win for everyone."
What are you most excited for in your new position?
Andy: "To be a part of the growth of PRO ACADEMY and to share my passion of snow cat operation with others who have the same passion."