Jim Weinstein, 101, one of the original founders of the trade organization that became SIA, and four decades corporate counsel to the organization, died Oct. 20 in Woodstock, Vt.

James Julian Weinstein was born and raised in Boston and worked part-time in his father's specialty grocery business. He began skiing as a teenager, and graduated from Harvard in 1927. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1930, he set up a private law practice while continuing to help operate the family business.

In the postwar years, among Jim's clients was Lew Russfield, owner of Sun Valley Skiwear. By 1954, Russfield was active in a group of ski equipment and clothing wholesalers who were unhappy with the dates of the national ski trade show, held in New York. Jim organized a meeting at a New York restaurant, attended by two dozen vendors, and helped them organize the National Ski Equipment and Clothing Association, with Russfield as president and Jim as counsel.

In 1959 the group had taken full control of the annual show, and changed its name to Ski Industries America (SIA), with Henry Barreca as president. Jim was corporate counsel to the organization for four decades. He also organized and ran the National Ski Credit Association, a credit reporting agency. “Jim was truly the only one of his kind with his own unique way of managing business and people,” stated SIA president David Ingemie. “He had a huge impact on the business professional I am today and somehow managed to keep me on the straight and narrow along the way.”

Later, Jim also served as legal counsel to both the New England Sporting Goods Agents Association and to the American Windsurfing Industries Association.

Jim skied until age 80, and while he and his wife Selma “retired” to Vermont, he continued to practice law, sporadically, until age 99. Selma died in 1996.

“Jim attended every SIA director's meeting, executive meeting and marketing meeting for all the years he was with us, and kept us out of trouble,” said Jim Woolner, partner in Beconta Inc., and a long-time officer and director of SIA. “He had a great influence on us. He was a damn fine lawyer with tremendous common sense. We were a group of entrepreneurs with intense competition among ourselves, and he kept us as a solid unit. He was a wonderful man. We were blessed to have him with us.”

Nick Hock, the 10th Mountain Division veteran who played godfather to the original ski show, said, “Jim Weinstein was a remarkable man. He was a gentleman.” Seth Masia echoed his sentiments stating, “I need to confirm that Jim Weinstein was a nice guy, and a patient mentor to generations of upstart young ski industry executives. He was classic, and classy, and we'll miss him.”

Weinstein was still sharp as a tack at age 98, when he assisted in preparing a 50-year history of the national trade show.

Jim Weinstein is survived by two children, David and Wendy, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.