Bob Roberts received his AB in political science from Stanford University and an MBA in international business from Columbia University. He was in the first group of Peace Corps volunteers sent to Perú. His assignment was to supervise the development and construction of a hotel and thermal baths in the Andes. Subsequently he served as Peace Corps regional director in Bolivia and director for the Latin American training center in Escondido, California. The Peace Corps experience furnished Bob with a fluency in Spanish, a fascination for the resort business, and an aptitude for building coalitions.
Upon leaving the Peace Corps, Bob settled his family in Mount Shasta, California where he owned a restaurant and operated the Mt. Shasta Ski Area. Over seven seasons he redeveloped the resort’s lodge and ski lifts and became active in the legislative affairs of the ski industry. When it became clear that the Forest Service had wilderness plans for Mt. Shasta, he liquidated his business interests and relocated to San Francisco.
Since 1975 he has served as the executive director of the California Ski Industry Association. The CSIA represents 32 of California’s alpine and cross-country resorts. It oversees the industry’s legislative, technical training, risk management, and marketing programs. The “Ski California USA” international campaign has been highly successful in developing cooperative programs to attract foreign skiers to California. The CSIA’s cooperative promotion with Virgin Atlantic Airways was awarded TIA’s Odyssey award as the best in the U.S. in 1997. Bob has been the recipient of numerous industry awards and writes and speaks regularly on industry issues. He has also been engaged as a resort development consultant in Alaska, Central America, Argentina, and Kyrgyzstan.
Bob was actively involved in the creation of California Travel and Tourism Commission. He was elected Vice Chair of the first commission and served for six years as chair of its marketing committee, which directs the state’s tourism programs. He also served as a two-term Chair of CalTIA and currently co-chairs the California Travel Association’s Political Action Committee. He and his wife Betty live in Mill Valley, California. They have two grown children, Kirsten and Christopher, and five grandchildren.