For Kris Seiz, it’s always been about the water — whether swimming and waterskiing at her family’s summer home in the Poconos as a child or, after moving to Florida when she was 12, enjoying ocean waves and boating and scuba-diving in the Indian River lagoon. Today, her love affair with water — and nature — continues, as the owner of Cornwall-on-Hudson-based Storm King Adventure Tours, where she and her nine-member team lead 2,000 people annually on expeditions on and around the Hudson via kayak and on foot.
Seiz, who co-founded the company in 2007 and became sole owner in 2009, has a client list that includes SUNY New Paltz, Rockland Community College, and the US Military Academy at West Point. Every year, the company donates a percentage of its Bannerman Castle Tours proceeds back to the Castle Trust: For the past few years, that donation has totaled more than $8,000 a year. The former marine biology teacher is also active with Riverkeeper, Clearwater, and Scenic Hudson.
She has worn several hats in her professional life (including a job as research scientist at Helen Hayes Hospital), and has this advice for aspiring women in business: “When you see a door, open it! It may close, but if you don’t open it, you’ll miss out on opportunities and people you could meet.”
What was your first job?
“I was a waitress during my college summers at Marvin Gardens restaurant in Vero Beach, FL. Everybody should be a waiter or waitress. It teaches you to deal with all sorts of people, situations, unforeseen problems, math, manners, co-workers, and bosses.”