The inaugural graduating class of the Colorado Mountain College (CMC) SIA Certification program, created in partnership with SnowSports Industries America (SIA), is the first to complete curriculum and assessments that qualify them to work in snow sports sales, marketing and retail.
“The greatest part about this program is that it has allowed me to live my dream,” said Kyle Ballinghoff who recently earned the SIA Certificate with a marketing focus. “When I was younger all I wanted to do was ski, and I wanted to turn that into a career. Through CMC and SIA I was able to do that.” Ballinghoff was a marketing intern for Burton Snowboards while enrolled at CMC and is now the manager of Surefoot Steamboat.
The SIA Certificate, started in fall 2013 as part of the CMC Ski and Snowboard Business program based at the college’s campus in Steamboat Springs, offers the first online and classroom curriculum of its kind. Developed by industry representatives, SIA and CMC faculty, it allows aspiring and ambitious snow sports professionals to receive nationally-recognized SIA credentials that will set them apart in the job market.
Brian Shutler earned the retail manager SIA Certification. “I always was told you should follow your passion and I’m passionate about skiing,” he said. “With hard work and dedication I’m able to follow my passion thanks to CMC and SIA.”
CMC students and industry professionals can receive certification in sales, marketing, retail employment and retail management after a specialized four-week course in the corresponding fields becomes available in fall 2014. Certificate candidates also have the option of working with suppliers exhibiting at the SIA Snow Show to help with line presentations and set up brand events.
“We are very excited to offer the SIA Certification in our Ski and Snowboard Business school,” said Michael Martin, director of the Ski and Snowboard Business Program at CMC. “After working closely with SIA on the examination certification for almost two years, our faculty are confident that the SIA Certification will give many industry pros a way to fine tune their skills and make themselves more marketable.”
David Ingemie, SIA’s president, commented, “The SIA Certification program is a terrific way to prepare professionals to help advance the industry they want to be in.”