Maxwell: Hello, Kei, and congrats on the awesome cover photoshoot – turned out you are a natural fashion model on top of all other talents under your sleeve, great job! So you’ve already appeared in a few of our articles in the past, but please, tell our readers a bit more about you. What’s Your Story?
Kei Kullberg – March 2021 Cover Story – Work and Play in the Hudson Valley – Interview and Photography by Maxwell Alexander
Kei: Thanks for having me, Maxwell! I’m Kei, The Mortgage Guy, and I live in the amazing Hudson Valley just like yourself. I grew up in Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY and now I live in Mohegan Lake in Northern Westchester County. I first met you and your hubby Dino because my girlfriend (now my fiancé) were bidding on one of the super-awesome fix-and-flip projects you were selling in Cornwall-on-Hudson. The vibe and atmosphere of the home was that of Hudson Valley Style Magazine’s which is why it drew to our attention. I’m a Loan Originator at Superior Mortgage Co. Inc and although I work mainly from home, we have offices in Highland Mills, Mount Kisco, and Melville Long Island. I work with about 20-30 banks on the residential, commercial, and private lending side. Everyone’s mortgage needs are different and my team and I are here to take your niche scenario and place it where it belongs while providing exceptional service to not only my clients, but to all parties involved from start to finish.
Maxwell: I love Cornwall-on-Hudson! In fact it’s where the Hudson valley Style Magazine was born along with a few other Duncan Avenue Group brands. Hudson Valley is an inspiring place to work and play at the same time. Why in your opinion it is possible particularly in this area – the whole work/life balance concept?
Kei: There is simply so much to do in the Hudson Valley… I am frequently so grateful for growing up and residing here. Between the mountains, rivers, lakes, and anything that has to do with nature, you can always find something fun to explore when you’re not just focused on work. The distance from NYC and overall landscape of the Hudson Valley allows local business’s to thrive and offer unique opportunities in every sector. We also have 4 FULL seasons which offers an array of different activities as the year goes on!
Maxwell: I am with you on that! We only live once, so I’d rather not spend even a second sitting in the traffic trying to get somewhere where I can actually start enjoying life 🙂 It’s all right here, we don’t even have to go anywhere. So let’s talk about hobbies, besides the one that actually makes money. Tell us more about the wonderful tradition of the Apres-Ski party!
Kei: I grew up skiing at my families mountain; Mount Peter Ski Area in Warwick NY (one of the only ski resorts in the Hudson Valley). Like my father, I began ski racing at a very young age. This led me to National Sports Academy in Lake Placid, NY for high school. I then From there I attended the University of Alaska at Anchorage and furthered my education and ski career at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. At St. Lawrence I was the MVP of the Division 1 Alpine Ski Team. I have been competing in the World Pro Ski Tour ever since I graduated college as well. What is more common for me now is hanging out on the slopes in my off-time and enjoying the Après Ski scene with friends and family! Après-ski translates literally to “after skiing” in French, and was first used as a term in the Alps in the 1950s. Beyond its literal definition as a period of relaxation after skiing, Après-ski provides an umbrella term for activities and entertainment offered by resorts after skiing, mainly including a beer or cocktail (or a few) after skiing.
Maxwell: Wonderful! A refreshing cocktail sounds great, especially after hours of exhausting skiing in the mountains. So what’s your favorite drink?
Kei: Sometimes I look forward to the Après more than actually skiing (haha)! I think my go-to drink would be a nice refreshing 16 oz beer. Preferably, one from Newburgh Brewing Company, which we covered in an earlier issue or the magazine. If not that, then peppermint Schnapps is also a fun drink to sip on with your friends and family. Something fun to do with peppermint Schnapps is to take it with a “Shot-Ski”. A shot ski involves several shot glasses placed equidistant apart across the deck of a discarded downhill ski, and allows anywhere from 4-10 people to take a shot concurrently as they tip the ski. This is common in the Après Ski world!
Maxwell: That was really COOL, I really felt like I had a trip to a ski resort when we were making those during the photoshoot. Let’s talk about good places to ski, you mentioned about your family ski resort business?
Kei: Yes! My family runs a small family mountain in Warwick, NY just about one hour from New York. They are known for many things, like their famous free beginner ski and snowboard lessons, their great snow making and expert grooming, an awesome terrain park, their top-notch racing and development programs, and their family atmosphere. After a day of skiing at Mount Peter, I like to head to “Pete’s Pub” at the base of the mountain and partake in all of the Après activities with the many familiar faces at the mountain. I urge anyone to come and try it out!
Maxwell: Awesome! We should definitely make it there one day and make a few more of those drinks. Now let’s talk about style, your style and the Hudson Valley Style. First what is your thought on the definition of Hudson valley Style and what is your personal style?
Kei: Hudson Valley Style encompasses different aspects of Modern style and clean, elegant design combined with organic and rustic environment we live in. My style really depends on if I’m out being social, at a business meeting, or partaking in some Après! Bold colors are always fun when you’re out on the ski mountain. 80’s retro is a common theme when there’s Après involved. As far as business is concerned, I keep it sleek and slim with neutral colors. I like to let my professionalism and knowledge of the mortgage industry speak for itself, rather than my having my outfit steal the attention.
Maxwell: Wowza! That’s a perfect answer! Well, that’s it for today and thank you so much for shedding the light on your story. We’ll be watching out for your next skiing or business venture/adventure and don’t be a stranger, please do come back with more of your entertaining yet educational articles on whatever it is you are passionate about!