James Keller

Name: James Keller

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Age: 42

Title: General Manager of Salvatore Ferragamo

Married/Single: Married

Kids: I have 2 perfect kiddos. My son, Jude, is 7. He’s a great student and is in to everything sports. I’ve been extremely fortunate to coach his basketball and baseball teams. My daughter, Lucy, is 6 but is going on 35. She’s just as smart as her older brother. Lucy likes hanging out with the grown-ups and usually keeps her audience laughing. She’s definitely a “daddy’s little girl”. She’s got me wrapped around her fingers and knows it.

City you live in: Scottsdale

A typical day in my life includes…

when it’s a work day I’m at the store with the best team of employees a GM could ask for. If I’m off, I’m hiking first thing in the morning for as long as I can. I love picking my kids up at school whenever my schedule allows. We do our best do eat our dinners at the table as a family and discuss the day’s events. Most of my days end with me singing or reading to my kids, snuggling with them, and then catching up on our favorite shows with my wife Rachel.

I was born…

(and raised) in Pittsburgh, PA. Very proud to be from Pittsburgh! My wife is also from Pittsburgh so most all of our extended family is back there.

My favorite thing about Arizona…

I love everything (except summer heat) about Arizona. I’ve spent nearly all of my adult life dreaming of living in the South West. My first visit was over 20 years ago and I fell in love instantly. Hiking and camping are a huge part of my life and Arizona provides me with the PERFECT environment to do them both all year long.

I’m listening to…

I’ll listen to almost anything. I grew up listening to what my dad played which was Beatles, Hendrix, Zeppelin, etc. I grew to love East Coast hip hop in my teenage years and still can’t go more than a few days without listening to The Wu Tang Clan. More recently I’ve gotten into a lot of Indie Rock/Folk but again, I’ll listen to anything.

My family…

is tight! Whether we’re talking about my wife and kids or my family back east, we are all very close. I talk to my mom, brother, and sister every day. We’re the best of friends who crack each other up 98% of the time, make each other cry 1%, and infuriate each other the other 1%. The 4 of us are on a group text that if ever published would win a Pulitzer. It’s mostly just my brother and I making fun of our sister and mother. It’s pure gold.

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be…

My Dad has had Alzheimer’s Disease for roughly 10 years now. He’s still living but his mind is essentially gone. I’d give anything to go back in time to have a dinner with the same amazing man who raised me and taught me the important things about life.

One thing I cannot live without…

hiking. It’s why I moved here. It’s my exercise, my anti-depressant, my stress reliever, and provides me with the necessary frequent adrenaline rushes. After fatherhood, it’s probably the thing that I am the best at.

When I was younger, I wanted to be…

a psychiatrist.

I’m inspired by…

anyone who makes positive change in the world.

The one person who motivates me is…

my kids are more motivation than I’ve ever had from anybody else on earth. Everything I do is for them.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be…

partisan politics…don’t even get me started.

The perfect day would be…

wake up at 4AM and go for a long hike somewhere in the Superstition Mountains, take a short nap when I get home, hang with my wife and kids the rest of the day.

My first job was…

making funnel cakes at fairs and festivals all over Western Pennsylvania.

My favorite escape…

I do a lot of off trail hiking and have a number of secret spots I like to go for peace and quiet if it’s just a day off. If I can get out of the valley for a few days, I like to take the family up to Southern Utah and camp and hike the areas in and around Zion, and Lake Powell.

My life…

is great! I spent nearly all of my 20’s fighting an illness that nearly took my life several times. Back then it would have been unimaginable to think that I would eventually have a wife and 2 amazing kids and live in my favorite place on earth. Mother Nature didn’t intend for me to live this long but my parents and siblings spent countless days/weeks/months nursing me back to health. It’s all gravy from here!

I’m currently working on…

being the best father and husband I can be. Sounds cliché, but it’s true. I don’t think I’ll ever be content. I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to get better and better.

Always…

be improving yourself.

Never…

lose touch with people that played a role in shaping who you are.

Favorite Quote…

“The trouble is, you think you have time.” -Unknown

Biggest Dream…

comfortably grow old and watch my kids be happy and successful.

My Pet Peeve(s)…

slow drivers, people that have poor trail etiquette, people that give up too easily, and actually a million other things.

 

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