In September 27, 1950, Certified Ski Instructors, Inc. was founded and incorporated in Colorado as a non-profit corporation by George Engel Jr., Merrill G. Hastings Jr., Willy Schaeffler, Rudi Schnackenberg, Trad Fortna, Gorden Wren, Sepp Olmi, Hans Wagner and Per Stoen. The original purpose of the organization was for “organizing into a working body the certified and approved ski instructors who teach skiing within the area under the jurisdiction of the Southern Rocky Mountain Ski Association; setting up minimum standards of qualified ski instruction; approving and certifying the qualifications of ski instructors”.
On April 24, 1966, the Articles of Incorporation were amended to change the name of the organization to “Rocky Mountain Ski Instructors Association”. The purpose was also amended to read: “The object for which our said Corporation is formed and incorporated is for the purpose of the advancement of the sport of skiing through an organization composed of certified ski instructors; to provide for the certification of ski instructors and for the establishment of standards of ski instruction.”
In September, 1969, after a year of arduous work by Jim Riley, President of RMSIA, and Rudi and Dottie Schnackenberg, the IRS granted RMSIA a tax-exempt status under Section 501 (c) (6).
In 1983, the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) was founded and incorporated in Minnesota. PSIA approached the Board of Directors of RMSIA and suggested that strength and direction would be in a unified, national organization. RMSIA agreed to align with the goals of the national organization and on October 7, 1983, the Articles of Incorporation were once again amended to change the name of the organization to “Professional Ski Instructors of America – Rocky Mountain”.
Just as PSIA is to skiing, AASI is to snowboarding. The American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) was formed during the summer of 1997 by PSIA as an affiliated organization. The growth of the snowboard industry over the preceding years warranted an organization of the snowboard community for recognition. By forming AASI, the snowboard instructors are now in charge of their future. The production of snowboard manuals, videos and other new educational materials is being handled by the snowboard committee. AASI is an organization for snowboard instructors, organized by snowboard instructors. All AASI events in the Rocky Mountain region are administered through the Rocky Mountain office.
The Rocky Mountain Division has a tradition of innovation in the education of ski and snowboard professionals and utilizes The American Teaching System (ATS). ATS is among the most respected and progressive teaching systems in the world and is a student centered, experiential and outcome based approach to teaching.