Couple seeks the support of a Starkey-certified Household Manager with exceptional skills and experience to manage two homes. Management of people and vendors is extremely important. Must be an exceptional problem solver, communicator and entertainer. Live-out and excellent salary.
Household Manager/Personal Assistant
Young couple seeks the support of a Starkey-certified graduate with seasoned skills in Household Management and as a Personal Assistant. Must be an excellent multi-tasker and have superior management and problem-solving skills. Great opportunity for the right person. This is a live-out position with an excellent salary.
Household Manager-Pasadena, CA
Busy, mature couple seeks the support of a Starkey certified, highly experienced, hands-on Household Manager to manage their historic home and property. Top Standards include Administrative skills, experience training and managing staff, good Maintenance knowledge and Grounds & Property knowledge. Must be a team player and a problem solver, and must have experience with historic regulations and requirements. This position is live-out with an excellent salary.
Property & Grounds
I spent my formative childhood years in Greenwich, CT, raised in the home of my grandparents. My paternal grandfather, John Cameron Swayze, had a successful career as a radio and TV personality during the 1950s and 1960s, and he instilled in me the values of honesty, respect, personal integrity and being a man of my word. Looking back at my childhood, I was greatly influenced by my grandparents’ caretaker, a man named John. He was patient, kind and always at peace. I learned from him what a true Service Heart is.
My maternal grandfather was born in Calabria, Italy in 1910 and immigrated to America when Mussolini came to power. A Catholic without a formal education, he built a landscaping business on the principles of being a man of his word. He taught me the value of hard work and taking opportunity when it knocks. Growing up, I gained the “caretaker attitude” while working for my family’s landscaping business.
I attended high school at Kimball Union Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, after several years of boarding school at The Harvey School in Katonah, New York, where the close proximity to New York City introduced me to film, art and various cuisines. Upon graduation, I moved to California and stayed for more than 15 years. I continued my professional development by fighting fires and completing several courses in botany and herbal studies. In 2007, I married my wife, Catherine, a professional pastry chef, and continued to expand my culinary palate. We enjoy staying at our home in Paris.
Periodic encounters with Private Service have helped me realize that this is the right career for me. The industry combines all of my greatest talents: helping people, managing projects and leading teams. My experience includes six years of seasonal care for up to 12 vacation homes in Nantucket, Massachusetts. I also worked as a Household Manager with a staff of seven for one year in Media, PA. I am the proverbial handyman, relying on my years of construction and trade experience to ensure the perfect operation of homes. With more than 15 years of experience in the film industry, including owning a film production company, I handled all administrative tasks: marketing, sourcing and selecting vendors, contract negotiations, project management and union requirements.
I am very proud of my accomplishments in business, which have reflected my core values of integrity, hard work and professionalism. My diverse background gives me the ability to be knowledgeable in a variety of areas. My experience and study gives me a deeper understanding of the operation and function of fine homes. I am proud to have a traditional Service style, while embracing a modern-day approach. I believe in loyalty and honesty and that hard work is good for the soul. Having been given so much, I feel the need to give of my Service Heart to the right family. I prefer long-term employment and would be happy to work with the right employer until I retire.
My top Service Standards are Administrative, Housekeeping, Property & Grounds and Maintenance.
- Responsible for relaying messages, emails, faxes and mail correspondences
- Proficient in Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel and Outlook)
- Capable of creating and maintaining Principal’s personal and household calendars
- Capable of using the Starkey System to identify, define and organize household service expectations and customize a service profile to a Principal’s standards
- Experienced managing all logistics associated with a household
- Interfaces with family office to ensure clear and precise communication
- Develops a staff manual outlining the rules and regulations of a household
- Proficient in interfacing, supervising and negotiating with vendors and contractors
- Experienced with cataloging, organizing and maintaining warranties, maintenance records, collectible inventories, purchased items, insurance records, medical histories and required medicines
- Capable of creating and customizing zone cleaning schedules replete with task sheets and weekly and yearly schedules according to the Starkey system
- Capable of overseeing and training housekeeping staff to a higher standard of “White Glove Proficiency”
- Proficient with hands-on housekeeping duties
- Capable of laundry tasks: ironing sheets and shirts and steaming delicate fabrics
- Using natural pH-balanced products with neutral scents unless instructed otherwise
- Proficient with cleaning to a showroom level of neatness
Property & Grounds:
- Experience growing up in a landscaping family and working on large estates
- Certified in botany and medicinal use of herbs
- Adept at overseeing grounds care and gardening and property maintenance
- Capable of hands-on landscape care and bidding and managing vendors as necessary
- Opens and closes pools, Jacuzzis, tennis courts and boat docks
- Keeps inventory of all outdoor equipment and furniture
- Maintains and clears driveways and walkways from snow and leaves
- Conducts daily walkthrough and inspection of property, grounds and facilities
- Maintains and monitors existing smart home technologies
- Schedules preventive maintenance and service repairs with vendors
- Coordinates and oversees construction projects with contractors
- Creates service maintenance schedules for all appliances and installations
- Determines when issues require a professional
- Maintains garage, sheds, boat docks and generators
- 20 years of experience with construction projects, including sourcing contractors, approving blueprints and overseeing all phases of construction for quality control
Grounds & Property
Above all, sincerity and honesty are my highest values and I have always tried to surround myself with likeminded people. Integrity, loyalty, dedication and discretion all go hand-in-hand and have guided me in every part of my life both personal and professional. Dedication to hard work and perseverance is the philosophy I have employed in every job or task I have undertaken. I truly have a gift for hospitality with a high level of competency and have successfully turned my gifts into a lifelong career of service. Whether I’m serving as an Estate Manager or club manager, I truly go the extra mile. My 22 years in the Air Force, six years managing a private country club and nearly three years managing a private estate have taught me the meaning of teamwork and the importance of task completion.
I was born in Cleveland, Ohio to an Italian and Irish family who came to America in the early 1900s with dreams and hopes of making a better life for future generations. My family’s Italian heritage and culture have influenced me with a great sense of family. All of our gatherings were always filled with lots of great food, conversation, a sense of belonging and family pride. My grandparents were hardworking and very successful in carpentry and telecommunications. My mother grew up as an only child with a solid parochial education. She married soon after graduation and was blessed with two sons. Her sense of family was a key pillar in making me the person I am today. She truly shaped and forged the no-nonsense and well-rounded personality within me all while maintaining a sense of humor. She always wanted her sons to have the ability to care for themselves in every aspect of their lives and so she taught me many of the skills I use today. Early in my life, her teachings shared a great sense of caring and creativity within me and lit the fire inside my service heart.
My life’s experiences have allowed me to reach a high level of skills and the style of service in which I am most comfortable. I have worked in the hospitality industry going all the way back to my first job during high school, where I served at the local country club in my hometown in every capacity there was (waiter, bartender and chef’s assistant). My years in the Air Force have given me the well-rounded and balanced professional experiences to draw from for all of my different positions. As a personnel technician (human resource manager), I seized the opportunity to excel in areas of human resource management (promotions, employment, retirements and separation). I have also managed two command sections as well as two protocol offices. My Enlisted Aide experience has pushed my level of knowledge even higher in entertaining and event planning. After I retired from active duty with over 22 years of honorable service, I have come full circle in that I rose to become the General Manager/Chief Operations Officer for a private country club soon after being hired. I served at the country club for six years before being recruited as an Estate Manager. My time in the hospitality field has most definitely provided me with the necessary experience and skills to significantly raise the standards of service and guest care in my current role. Summing up my style of service would be professional, competent and a very comfortable delivery system with the highest level of integrity.
My Top Standards are Administrative, Entertaining, Culinary and Travel & Transportation.
- Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word/PowerPoint/Outlook/Excel)
- Manages budgets ranging from personal funds (monthly operation expenses) to governmental funds (as an Enlisted Aide)
- Processes all invoicing for all vendors, utilities and other household expenses, including tracking expenses and bill pay (accounts payable and receivable)
- Skilled with customized service delivery systems based on the standards and preferences of six Air Force senior officers (Generals) as well as adapting the Starkey System to a private club
- Manages and cultivates vendor relationships to provide the highest standard of support and value
- Capable of processing all daily, weekly, monthly and yearly staff schedules
- Edits and maintains household system binders that include housekeeping, culinary and maintenance as well as other service standard guides
- Proficient with Crestron in smart home technology operation
- Published author of training articles and materials for education of new Enlisted Aides
- Plans and executes events from two to 800 guests
- Experienced planning formal events for military and foreign dignitaries, including formal dinners
- Six years of experience planning and executing events at a country club, including weddings, fundraisers and casual outdoor gatherings
- Skilled with raising the level of detail and excellence among an event staff
- Capable of overseeing all event logistics: guests lists, invitations, table settings, centerpieces, lodging and musical entertainment
- Culinary Institute of America ProChef (Level 1) and American Culinary Federation certified
- Experienced private cook for General Officers in their homes as an Enlisted Aide
- Comfortable with a wide variety of cuisines and all service styles (formal and informal)
- Skilled with cooking formal dinners for senior global officials
- Knowledgeable of nutrition, proper food prep/safety and menu planning
- Experienced supervising private chefs and working with them to menu plan and stock inventory in accordance with dietary needs and restrictions
- Learns and understands flavor profiles and comfort foods (family favorites) and collaborates with staff to plan menus and meals accordingly
Grounds & Property:
- Experienced managing residences up to 35,000 square feet with both formal and modest gardens and grounds
- Performs hands-on work (mowing, edging and watering) and supervises gardening staff and vendors
- Self-taught to ensure the property landscape is presentable, sustainable and manicured to a level that is desired by the Principal
- Sets standards and provides direction to all grounds and property staff
- Experience working at a country club and overseeing all care and maintenance of buildings, putting greens and clubhouses
- Experienced managing the care of waterfront properties, including maintaining shorelines, docks, watercraft and more
- Skilled with removing grass and installing artificial turf, and installing a putting green
- Sets standards and provides direction to Golf Course Grounds Superintendent
Life at Starkey has been busy and fulfilling as always. Right now we are hosting experienced military Enlisted Aides and working civilians for our four-week Household Management certification program. Just when I thought I’d never have a formal dinner again, they are currently knee-deep in menu planning, centerpiece design and preparing for the flawless execution of a nine-course formal dinner this Friday. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be hosting guests at my table again, with this group made up of members of our military and local police. Plus, local stars and Starkey Graduates Joseph and Karen Bates are joining in on the fun to help.
In addition to our four-week Household Management course here at the Mansion, Starkey has been busy teaching correspondence courses online for working Household and Estate Managers. Starkey continues to place our Graduates with many new clients during these Covid-19 times. We just placed the highest salaried position in Starkey history at $192,000, along with two other placements this month, and more clients continue to come our way.
You may have heard that our Mansion is also now an Airbnb, following major upgrades throughout the home, including a new gym and billiards room. Not to mention Xavier’s pride and joy, an authentic brick pizza oven in the garden he built with 1,000 bricks! This summer, we have hosted numerous weddings, rehearsals and parties, until the homeless encampment appeared all around our block. Xavier and I retreat to our garden to calm our nerves; he smokes his cigars and I admire our beautiful roses and flowers while we enjoy delicious homemade pizza.
We have decided to postpone our Restoring the Art Retreat this October. Between travel challenges, the upcoming election and all-around bad timing, we are going to hold off on the retreat until the spring. The Mansion will be eager to lovingly care for our Graduates then!
Back by popular request, we are preparing for two (or more) four-week Household Management certification classes next year in 2021 here in Denver: likely one in April and one in September. Courses will include The Starkey Service Management System (and the 11 management tools), The Art of Fine Housekeeping, The Art of Entertaining (with a formal dinner) and The Relationship of Service. Keep an eye on our website for details and call us to register.
Hope everyone is staying busy and well during a challenging year!
The Hensley Settlement still exists today as a tourist stop in the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, where my family members first settled in 1903. I was born about 35 miles away in Harlan, Kentucky in 1964. My father was a mining engineer who ran a construction company along with his brother. My mother was a homemaker and entertainer, throwing casual barbecues and holiday parties for friends and family. Although money was occasionally tight, my parents instilled in me values of hard work, honesty and integrity that I carry with me in the way I serve.
My mother later employed a housekeeper and nanny to help around the house and with my two siblings and me. When I was 7 years old, I remember playing with matches and I set a bowl on fire. The nanny ran into the room screaming, and after she stomped the fire out, she sternly told me, “You promise me not to do it again and I won’t say a word.” She was part of the family, and I have fond memories of her. I never did it again!
At the height of my father’s business, he employed more than 1,000 people and was very successful. For one Christmas, the entire family—18 people—took an expensive trip to Disney World. Not too long after that vacation, my father’s company collapsed and shrunk down to five employees. My father signed over his car to me so that the IRS wouldn’t take it, and I remember counting pennies from a jar for Christmas. Even though times were tough, I never felt sad, but woke up every day with a smile on my face. It’s something I still practice.
I was 26 when I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in Florida. The cooks—in charge of feeding between 800 and 1,200 people, were all miserable and disorganized. I came in and wrote down jobs and timelines for all the cooks in the kitchen on a whiteboard, which everyone obeyed as if it were an order. It was the first time I realized my knack for creating process and order that improved the cooks’ jobs as well as the quality of the food.
During my 12 years with the Coast Guard, I held multiple roles, including inventory management of the cleaning supplies and food, for 110 people aboard the USS Lager during its eight-week tours. I also managed an inn in Kentucky, where I increased annual revenue from $250,000 to $625,000 over the course of three years.
With my military and hospitality backgrounds, I have had the privilege of working in multiple homes as a Household Manager for the past few years. I always bring a positive and humble attitude to the people I am serving. I listen well to my supervisors and those who report to me, and I create order and processes to get work done in the most efficient way possible. I have a Southern gracious work style, always with a sense of family. I also take notes and make lists as to not forget a single request. Thank you for the opportunity.
My top three Service Standards are Administrative, Housekeeping and Culinary.
- Skilled with identifying and completing yearly projects
- Skilled with HR responsibilities, including hiring, training, managing and terminating staff
- Capable of organizing files for receipts and maintenance records
- Maintains household calendars and schedules for Principals and staff
- Develops and implements household rules and regulations
- Oversees small remodeling projects
- Specializes in inventory and logistics
- Makes lists for all household tasks and accomplishes tasks in a timely manner
- Trains staff in proper housekeeping methods, including cleaning silver, crystal, chandeliers and china
- Experienced with hands-on housekeeping responsibilities, including proper bed-making techniques, bathroom cleaning, mopping floors and more
- Skilled with creating zones and task sheets for proper and timely cleaning of a home
- Experienced with proper care of valuable artwork and high-end antiques
- Organizes staff and personal tasks
- Evaluates the skill level of the housekeeper
- Knowledgeable of cleaning products and their uses on various materials
- Performs daily graces in a home
- Supervises methods of cooking and plans menus for the principal, taking into account their allergies and ages
- Knowledgeable of shopping for organic products and healthy foods
- Capable of storing food properly and rotating inventory
- Creates daily menus and special event menus
- Performs staff training regarding food safety and hygiene
- Proficient with proper food presentation
Household Manager/Elder Care
Clothing & Valet
I was born on the island of Jamaica, the fourth of five children. My mom was a warden at a women’s penitentiary and my father was a soldier in the Jamaica Defense Force. My grandmother, Sister Myrtle, and my great-grandmother, Miss Alice, raised me until I was 12. This was a common practice in Jamaican culture, as it eases the burden on young families.
I first realized my Service Heart around the age of six, living with my elders. As far as I can remember, I would help Sister Myrtle walk, as she had trouble with her legs (perhaps from osteoarthritis, an injury, or nerve damage). I spent my early years with many seniors who depended on me to help with strenuous tasks. Sister Myrtle and I were bosom buddies, virtually inseparable. I later discovered that Sister Myrtle was a cook to a private family. Her family valued her so much that when she retired, her name was written into their will, and she continued to receive checks from the family her entire life.
When I was 12 years old, I returned to live with my dad. My mother had previously moved to New York to work and pave a way for us to join her. On the weekends, my sister and I helped our live-in maid with housekeeping chores. Two years later, when we moved to New York, I assumed more responsibilities in our home, including cooking and cleaning for our family of seven, as both our parents worked.
After college, I landed a job as a Sales Analyst with Winthrop Pharmaceuticals, the company now known as Sanofi. I stayed with the company for 12 years, before deciding to leave the corporate world to raise my children.
I worked with my children and some of their friends in various areas of academia, at times assisting as many as seven students with their studies. I enjoyed helping them with SAT/ACT test prep, AP coursework, college applications, college visits, financial aid forms, college scholarship applications, summer jobs, internship applications and much more.
After my children left the home, I decided to re-enter the work force by pursuing a career in Private Service. My first career was administrative, the second, personal care. This third career, in Private Service, is a natural combination of the two. My Top Four Service Standards are Personal Care, (children, elderly, pets, guests), Administration, Clothing and Valet, and Housekeeping.
In my most recent assignment, I was Family Attendant to a family of seven: parents, three children, (including a pair of twins), a dog and a cat. I performed duties in Personal Care, Housekeeping and Clothing and Valet in a 35,000-square-foot nascent home. The kids, the dog and I were the ultimate troopers, often being a bit too rambunctious for the cat! We indulged in Minecraft, online games, slime, riddles, crossword puzzles, board games, homework, projects, capture-the-flag, hide-and-go-seek, property walks, amusement parks, tennis, basketball, table hockey, pinball, football, rollerblading, swimming, playing on trampolines, dancing, TV watching, running, sledding—you name it, we did it—all in the pursuit of fun, happiness, and peals of laughter.
From caring for the elderly, to working with high school students, to being a Family Attendant, my goal has been to support individuals or families in their desired lifestyle, to be their best selves, and to enjoy a certain “joie de vivre.” It has been an immensely satisfying journey.
In summary, I am passionate about learning, growing and adding to my skill set. I look forward to combining my Service Heart and my drive for excellence to support and improve the quality of life of an individual or a family. My only regret is not having embarked sooner on a career path in private care. Thank you for the opportunity to be of service.
My top four Service Standards are: Personal Care, Administrative, Clothing & Valet, and Housekeeping.
- Supports family values and discipline, as appropriate
- Assess environment to ensure safety of all children
- Supports wake-up and bedtime routines for all ages
- Assists with bathing and grooming for daily activities and special events
- Identifies favorites and preferences for children
- Keeps calendar of daily schedules, school activities and social activities
- Maintains child-specific inventory of toiletries and school supplies
- Provides educational support in Math, English, Reading, Writing, Science, Social Studies, French, Biology, Chemistry, History, and Standardized Test Preparation
- Provides coaching, mentoring, supervision, and guidance in academics, career choices, and extra-curricular activities
- Assists with Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) meetings, Parent-Teacher Conferences, and college visits
- Provides daily transportation for children in addition to sports, art, music lessons and competitions
- Chaperones play-dates, sleep-overs, and school trips
- New Jersey Board Certified as Home Health Aide
- Mindful of life values, ethnic, religious, and cultural beliefs
- Assists with wake-up and bedtime routines, daily schedules, and activities
- Supports daily grooming, bathing, and dressing needs
- Identifies flavor profiles, favorites, and preferences
- Supports those with limited mobility including ADA access, Wheelchairs, Scooter, and Special Bathroom Supports
- Manages calendars for social functions, medical appointments, and entertainment engagements
- Provides transportation to appointments for medical, dental, vision, hair, aestheticians, therapists, pharmacists
- Manages medical records and safety measures such as life alert bracelets and medical ID’s
- Accompanies elders on trips to visit with friends or relatives
- Supports family’s pet care style and discipline
- Supports pet-care schedules, daily activities, and special security measures, like invisible fence
- Interacts with pets to feed, walk, play with, and provide daily care
- Manages appointments with vet, trainer, groomer, and other pet-specific vendors
- Provides special toys/resting area, special clothing, accommodates special dietary needs
- Will employ Starkey Guest Management System
- Coordinates visits from other family members, friends, and business associates
- Identifies preferences and favorites and ensures all needs are met
- Inquires about daily schedules and suggests interesting activities or events
- Ensures all food requests are prepared for and supported including special diets and flavor profiles
- Provides concierge support for reservations and special requests
- Provides administrative support for equipment/technology and guest room amenities
- Provides Pick-up and Drop-off services at airport, train terminal, etc.
- Prepares guest rooms for arrival with special attention given to requests and amenities
- Uses the patented Starkey Household Management System to structure the environment
- Possess excellent articulation in verbal, written and public speaking skills
- Researches, draft, edit, proof-read, and publish emails and documents
- Manages contacts, mailing lists, invitation lists, correspondence, and personal files
- Utilizes calligraphy
- Comfortable hiring, training, and managing a staff
- Develops Employee Handbook to contain personnel policies
- Experienced in conflict resolution, time management and team-building skills
- Manages household budget including credit card reconciliations and balancing bank accounts
- Experienced developing and maintaining a budget for 20 people and $2 million dollars: petty cash, deposits, withdrawals and money transfers
- Detail-oriented and precise in business transactions and can negotiate fair prices
- Knowledge of payroll procedures, health insurance, disability insurance, catastrophic insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, vision benefits, 401(k) plans, IRA plans, Social Security benefits, payroll taxes, etc.
- Able to digitize paper files and video recordings
- Proficient with business machines: computers, printers, copiers, fax machines, scanners, label makers, postage meters, and scales
- High level of computer skills: Adobe, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Google, calendar programs, iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows, Smartphones, Apps, Mac Notebooks, PCs, and laptops
- Familiar with smart home technology
- Can handle phone conferences, video conferences and running errands
- Maintenance of manuals, records, specifications, how-to care, inventories and warranties
Clothing & Valet:
- Determine Principal’s clothing style to support Personal Shopping needs
- Manages dry cleaning including logging items in and out, and repairs needed
- Acts as personal shopper and online ordering management
- Highly skilled at clothing care, shoe care, purse care and closet organization
- Careful handling specialty fabric, shoes, leathers, and accessories
- Familiar with sports clothing, equestrian wear, outdoor gear
- Knowledge of furs in wear, treatment, and storage
- Can launder, steam and iron clothing and linens
- Skilled at sewing buttons, closing seams, and performing minor clothing repairs
- Can rotate clothing for seasonal storage
- Can pack and unpack for business and leisure travel
- Has a personal interest in clothing and fashion
- Implements customized zoning and task sheets for a home
- Works alongside housekeeper to train or support, as needed
- Familiar with proper tools and procedures for cleaning a home
- Able to create Daily, Weekly, and Seasonal task sheets for detailed cleaning
- Understand smells and Special Care cleaning products for: glass, chrome, silver, brass, copper, gold
- Skilled in bed-making and turn-down
- Knowledge of Antique and fine rug care
- Driven to ensure meticulous housekeeping standards
- Maintains inventory of household cleaning supplies and tools
I am the 11th of 15 children, born in Washington, DC on May 3, 1969. My Irish mother was a Navy wife, Homemaker, and Director of Religious Education for The Diosese of Wilmington. My German father served as a Navy Air Traffic Controller, then established a successful contracting firm. He designed and built many churches in the Washington area. At an early age, I was exposed to Washington’s cultural activities: trips to The Smithsonian Museums, national parks, theater and churches. Summers were spent at our family’s second home, a coastal beach house my father built in Delaware. I had a happy life, with two very devoted, family-oriented parents who instilled the value of religion, great morals, values and ethics. My Catholic faith is a central part of my belief system as I navigate through life.
My happiest memories growing up were times spent on my father’s boat, beach activities, water sports and most importantly, family gatherings and momentous celebrations. As a child, I loved being in the kitchen. Our meals were always prepared from scratch, using the freshest ingredients. We used fine china, crystal and silver pieces to craft beautiful table settings along with fresh cut flowers from the garden. My parents taught me the importance of detail and organization. The appreciation for nice quality, a passion for cooking and beautiful presentations became the foundations that further led me into Private Service.
In my early 20s, I was in a tragic auto accident. My life changed forever and I had to redefine my future. I leaned on my faith even more during this time and realized God had a different plan for my life. I returned to my gifts of cooking, entertaining and educating myself on fine cuisines. My will to bring happiness to others through my talents became my goal. I was soon blessed with the opportunity to cook, travel and in turn make a way for myself.
In 1995, I began working as a Private Chef in the formal home of a well-recognized Washington businessman. During this time I mentored under a British-trained Estate Manager for several years. I worked closely with Executive Housekeepers, Housemen, Drivers and Captains. I learned a great deal about business protocol, etiquette, housekeeping standards, formal and informal entertaining and administrative duties. I was a team player and assisted in supervising household personnel. I took French cooking classes at L’Acedemie de Cuisine, and became a part-time cooking assistant to the school’s founder Francois Dionot.
I have been in Private Service for 23 years. I have served in amazing roles in wonderful homes and on yachts as Private Chef, Assistant Household Manager, and currently Household Manager. My will to advance led me to becoming a Certified Household Manager through The Starkey International Institute for Household Management. These positions have all been stepping stones for the next one. I have always valued the relationship with my Principals as the most important factor in a position. My 14 siblings and mother recently describe me as tenacious, conscientious, optimistic, creative, precise, loyal, reasonable and calm-natured.
Personal Statement (continued):
What I bring to a home is the value of a competent, self-assured, disciplined work ethic along with a genial, polite, genuine presence and an intellectual process of making a true difference.
My top Service Standards are Administrative, Culinary, Entertaining and Housekeeping.
- Familiar with the use of PC/MAC operating systems and various software programs including Google Chrome, Microsoft Word, Excel and Smartsheet
- Communicates with Principal on priorities and household needs/schedules
- Maintains schedules and daily hours worked for all household personnel
- Skilled with cataloging household art, collectibles, silver, crystal and china; coordinates the sale of antique furniture
- Creates inventory list for food and personal care items and compiles computer-generated weekly menus
- Experienced organizing and maintaining an off-site storage unit
- Capable of ordering housewares, fine crystal, fine china, sterling silver flatware and serving pieces
- Comfortable with HR duties including hiring, firing and training of staff
- Experienced with supervising a housekeeping and culinary support team of eight individuals at the most
- Capable of planning high-end estate and yacht gatherings
- Provides leadership to professional catering personnel for special events from five to 500 guests
- Capable of scheduling, managing and overseeing vendors, including contractors and maintenance personnel
- Reviews and approves invoices, bill paying and account reconciliations
- Communicates with the Family Office about financial matters
- Coordinates setup, opening, provisioning and operation of exclusive secondary homes/yachts
- Purchases gifts and specialty items
- Able to arrange ground transportation and travel
- Raised in a large family-oriented home that entertained regularly and stressed cooking with fresh, seasonal foods
- Attended many regional culinary classes/seminars including experiences under Patrick O’Connell of The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia and Francois Dionot of L’Acedemie de Cuisine in Maryland
- Studied and worked under Emeril Lagasse at Emeril’s Delmonico in New Orleans, LA in Patisserie (pastries) and Garde Manger (the prep area for cold dishes)
- Positioned as a Private Chef in exclusive homes and yachts in Washington DC; Miami and Los Angeles for a prominent retail real estate developer
- Served as Private Chef for many prominent figures and celebrities, including the wife of the Ambassador to Switzerland
- Extensive knowledge of various Pacific and Atlantic Coast cuisines, such as Pacific Rim, New England, California Spa, yacht and seafood cuisine
- Knowledgeable of London’s and France’s food culture
- Capable of cooking for heart-healthy, diabetic, vegetarian, paleo and Celiac diets
- Coordinates large events with caterers, floral designers and entertainment at events, including political fundraisers hosting the President of the United States
- Manages culinary staff and entertaining staff for parties and special events
- Capable of serving family meals/dinner parties in various serving styles
- Familiar with table settings
- Capable of pairing of food and wine
- Knowledgeable of logging, purchasing and maintaining wine and liquor
- Skilled at creating different themed parties such as a Hawaiian Pig Roast and a New England Clam Bake
- Skilled with coordinating and setting up large-scale holiday decorations
- Highly skilled with knives, learned through formal training and years of practice
- Contributes to menu development for daily, weekly meals, parties and events
- Compiles and maintains all food and beverage inventory lists
- Provisions all culinary items, including trips to various high-end markets and farms
- Skilled with organizing kitchen and galley refrigerators, freezers and pantries for multiple properties and yachts, often simultaneously
- Maintains all kitchen and galley equipment, outsourcing vendors for maintenance
- Involved in planning multiple high-end kitchen (both indoor and outdoor) redesigns, including researching and purchasing top-of-the-line stoves, grills and appliances
- Maintains culinary and entertaining budgets according to Principal’s standard
- Experienced teaching cooking classes to children ages 5-12
- Contributes to cooking for homeless shelters on Skid Row in Los Angeles
- Graduate of the patented Starkey Service Household Management Program
- Mentored four years under a British-trained Butler/Estate Manager in Washington, DC
- Skilled with scheduling the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly detailed cleaning, including gilded surfaces and window screens
- Competent in zoning a property and creating customized, timed housekeeping task sheets for each zone
- Comfortable with interviewing potential housekeepers and communicating about any staff problems or concerns
- Leader in demonstrating proper technique, the use of appropriate tools, products and delegating duties
- Organizes inventory lists for all housekeeping items, including personal care items for all family members and guests
- Extensive experience with the detailed, interior and exterior cleaning of high-end homes and yachts
- Familiar with cleaning fine collectibles, art, carpets and furniture
- Understands proper care of surfaces, granite, stone, hardwood floors and stainless steel using specific products
- Knowledgeable of biodegradable and green cleaning products such as Ecos, Method Home, Seventh Generation and homemade cleaning products
- Maintains the cleanliness of patio/pool furniture, travertine balconies and decks
- Understands laundering, sorting fabrics and dry cleaning
- Familiar with folding clothes, bedding and towels
- Experienced with ironing, steaming of bedding, linens and clothing items
- Knowledgeable of bed-making techniques as defined by Emily Post
- Resources additional vendors as needed for glass cleaning, carpet and furniture cleaning as well as the polishing of hardwood floors
Busy couple seeks the service of a Starkey-certified Household Manager with excellent Maintenance, Property & Grounds and Household Management skills and experience.
Household Manager/ Atlanta
Empty nesters seek the help of a Starkey Grad to help them create a peaceful, well run 15,000 sq ft home. One German Shepard will appreciate support as well. Loves to entertain! Live out, excellent salary.
Estate Management/Syracuse NY
Busy couple seeks the support of a true Starkey trained Estate Manager for large compound and home, guest home and more. Highest of all 10 standards And knowledge required. Putting together new staff to serve new home. Excellent salary and benefits.
I was born in Paterson, New Jersey to Robert and Arleen Wood in 1970. I am the third child of four siblings. When I was 15, my family moved to upstate New York. Growing up, my Italian and Polish mother raised us Catholic, which instilled in me a strong moral compass.
Even from a young age, I knew how much I loved to serve others. After my parents’ divorce, I demonstrated my desire to serve when I started cooking for my family in lieu of my mother, who started working longer hours to provide for us. As a sixth grader, I pulled off elaborate dinners of Fettuccini Alfredo and homemade cream puffs; the kitchen became a second home for me. Today, more than ever, I enjoy baking cakes, desserts, and specialty cupcakes for friends, guests, and company.
My mother has always been a gracious host. I can remember our Christmas parties and big Easter Sunday dinners, and I would always set the table with being asked. She would make sure we had pressed linens, the best china was on the table, every candle lit, and platters full of food. Today, I love entertaining and cooking, in and out of my home. I have an eye for detail and making sure everything is in its place. The excitement for me begins with the theme planning, flower arrangements, and menu creation.
My parents owned an Italian restaurant called the Mona Lisa, which is what sparked a desire in me to become part of the Service industry. I have fond memories of helping my parents at the restaurant, sitting at the end of the bar sipping on Shirley Temples and folding napkins or polishing glasses As a young adult, this love of food and restaurants didn’t go away, and I worked my way up to managing my own location of the high-end steakhouse chain Del Frisco’s.
While managing a Del Frisco’s in the Denver area, many of my guests noticed my level of professionalism, leadership and dedication. I eventually realized it was time to transition out of the hospitality industry, and accepted a position as a Personal Assistant from one of these devoted guests. I grew into housekeeping and managerial responsibilities, which led me to pursue formal education at the Starkey International Institute for Household Management.
Since coming to Starkey, my positions in private homes have confirmed in me that I have a true Service Heart. As the responsibilities grew, I realized how capable and skilled I was at managing entire households, as well as gaining the respect and trust of my Principal.
As a manager, my style is firm yet collaborative, oftentimes jumping in with a housekeeper to show her a Principal would like a task to be done. I know that my life’s achievement is to be of Service in any way I can. I’m looking forward to bringing my skills to a household that needs me to take on all the responsibilities of a Certified Household Manager.
My top Standards are Administrative, Housekeeping, Entertaining, and Personal Care.
- Experienced with inventory and purchasing for household goods and products, including office supplies and electronic devices
- Experienced manager of staff, fulfilling HR responsibilities such as the hiring, training and terminating of teams, ranging from 5 to 35 employees
- Skilled with tracking household expenditures, including special projects and events
- Comfortable with text, email, phone and in-person communication
- Skilled at managing vendors, including sourcing, bidding, supervision and invoices
- Develop staffing schedules, job descriptions, and work with staff for training and daily needs
- Proficient with Microsoft and Mac products, including Outlook, Word and Excel
- Experienced managing staff of multiple housekeepers each week, providing hands-on training or supervision to ensure quality of cleanliness and care
- Capable of properly zoning a home for cleaning using the Starkey System
- Create task sheets including inventory, products, and procedures
- Proficient with flower design and interior plant-scape care
- Experienced with redesign and organizing butler pantries
- Skilled with cleaning, care and inventory of fine art and collectibles
- Keep inventory of housekeeping products and tools, maintaining par levels
- Able to train housekeepers in proper tools, products, and techniques
- Experienced planning and executing multiple events per week, including parties, fundraisers, formal and informal dinners ranging from 10 to 250 guests
- Skilled at creating household floral arrangements and care of flower arrangements
- Able to set a table for both formal and informal meal service
- Capable of hiring caterers, bartenders and other vendors, as well as renting necessary items
- Able to create and maintain a formal amenity and gift wrapping program within a home
- Comfortable sourcing and hiring entertainment for different styles of events such as cocktail parties, corporate events and family gatherings
- Experienced in French, Russian, American Plated, and Mirrored Service
- Maintain a safe and healthy environment
- Distribute daily medications
- Assist with Personal Care needs including support with bathing, mobility needs, etc.
- Provide safe transport to events and activities
- Maintain calendar for appointments, activities, and social engagements
- Prepare meals in accordance with special dietary considerations, as directed by doctor or nutritionist
- Coordinate activities and schedules, maintain family calendar
- Transport to/from school, appointments, other activities
- Assist with homework and special school projects
- Comfortable working in a child-sensitive environment with school-aged children
- Daily activities and exercise
- Special diet needs
- Training with leash and harness
- Grooming/nail clipping
- Manage vendors in regard to vet, grooming, and trainers
- Create Guest Profiles with diet, allergies or other special needs
- Able to create itineraries for incoming guests, including area attractions and interests
- Maintain concierge-style service with all guests in residence
Clothing & Valet
|I was born in northeast Poland, the elder of two children. Both parents demanded constant perfection, and to compete with my brother, I put extra effort into everything I did. I was brought up in a Roman Catholic tradition that taught us the importance of an honest, good, and humble life. We also value respect for others and accepting all individuals irrespective of race, color, or creed.
Because both my parents worked, I had to do daily housekeeping duties from the time I was 9 years old. My father is an electrical technician who worked at a rail station. My mother followed in my grandmother’s steps to become an executive assistant at a local bus transportation system. She was very hospitable and frequently planned conferences, events, and family gatherings, and I’d help by setting the table, arranging dishes or flowers, or cleaning. It was my mother’s skill that inspired me to pay attention to organizing, planning my work in advance, and emphasizing things in order of importance. I also learned not to postpone my duties, and respond as soon as possible to text messages or emails.
I attended the Teacher Training College in Ostroleka, Poland, where I learned English and basic French. At the age of 22, I flew to New York to enroll in English and computer courses. While living in New Jersey, I soon developed the wish to become a Registered Nurse. I attended Middlesex County College and started to do prerequisites for their nursing program. I continued requirements for nursing education in Miami and worked for a family with three active children. I was a housekeeper, personal assistant, and family attendant at their three properties. At that point in my life, I discovered my passion for organizing and taking care of clothing, as well as my eye for detail.
When I moved to New York, I realized that nursing was not the path I wanted to pursue. While assisting as a kitchen helper in Southampton, New York, I had an opportunity to see mirrored service during a fundraising party for 30 people that made quite the impression on me. And after working for various families with different expectations, I found myself interested in entering the Private Service industry. I attended the Starkey International Institute for Household Management in 2015 because I wanted to acquire more knowledge and deepen my skills.
After taking some time off to get married and have three children, I am ready to jump back into Private Service because I enjoy it so much and it’s time for me to utilize my skills.
As a loyal, discrete, detail-oriented, gracious, patient, and computer-literate person, I can see myself enjoying, pleasing and fulfilling others’ needs, assisting in their daily routines, and making an overall difference in their lives. I am bright and resourceful and would be an excellent role model for children.
My top four Service Standards are Administrative, Housekeeping and Clothing & Valet.
- Able to use the Starkey System that identifies, defines, and organizes service expectations, and customizes service to the Principal’s personal needs
- Tech savvy with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, internet, Skype, messaging apps, and all office equipment
- Experienced working with a family office
- Able to develop employee manual with rules, regulations, policies, and procedures
- Experienced manager of household and family calendars
- Addresses daily/weekly/specific requested tasks
- Familiar with maintenance records, warranties, and collectible inventories (paintings)
- Develops lists of medical histories and medicines
- Familiar with vendor/architect/designer supervision and negotiation
- Creates inventory lists for items that were purchased
- Organizes files for receipts folders
- Identifies yearly projects
- Familiar with writing proposals and invoices in QuickBooks
- Capable of zoning a home and creating customized task sheets for cleaning within an environment
- Knowledgeable of proper housekeeping methods and capable of training staff in them (top to bottom, inside to outside, back to front, left to right, etc.)
- Expert organizer with a meticulous eye for detail
- Able to estimate the number of hours needed to be spent by each staff member
- Capable of assisting and training in detailed/deep cleaning based on Mrs. Starkey‘s Fine Housekeeping Standards
- Knowledgeable of the level of skill needed for specific tasks and able to suggest the qualified staff members to tackle the work
- Capable of hands-on cleaning and training of different surfaces: marble, stone, tile, hardwood, windows, glass doors, metal doors, and gates
- Knowledgeable of specialized cleaning products
- Capable of caring for sports equipment (hockey, tennis racquets, and golf clubs)
- Laundry expert and can train/supervise in sheets and linen ironing: mangle usage, pro steamer, and Rowenta pro iron
- Supervises and trains staff in cleaning the fitness room and equipment
- Trains staff in proper care of crystal, chandeliers, and china
- Trains staff in proper master bed-making, folding towels, and placing pillowcases
Clothing & Valet:
- Creates inventory of clothing and tracks dry cleaning
- Develops a laundry plan for your house including sorting, washing, drying, and ironing (suits, office shirts and blouses); folds and puts away garments
- Able to identify proper usage of chemicals and proper storage
- Experienced with using the mangle ironing machine, pro iron, and steamers
- Expert in the care of specialty fabrics (silk, wool, sport, organic cotton, cotton, and rayon), shoes, and leather, including hand washables
- Capable of sewing buttons and performing small repairs
- Rotates clothing for seasonal storage
- Meticulous eye for detail and neatness of closets
- Skilled at packing and unpacking for business and leisure travel
- Skilled at maintaining Principal’s luggage in excellent condition
- Experienced with clothing/merchandise exchanges and shopping for the Principal and family
- Personally passionate about clothing and fashion
Busy family seeks the support of Starkey Certified estate manager to manage their new large home with several support staff! Live on property! Salary DOE.
A Picasso lithograph hanging in The Starkey Mansion
Our emotions are running high and contradictions in our everyday work life keep us off-center. We look for ways to feel that we still have good relationships, and we work diligently to stay safe, yet don’t fully believe what we are being told by the media, and fearful reactions make us wonder what we are doing. I occasionally contemplate where I would go if our country continued in this mode. This is not a pleasant experience. Is there going to be a future that’s worth my investment in it?
I’m getting many calls from Grads asking me for guidance. One family’s expectations were off the chart when they decided to vacate the city at once, wanting the vacant summer 6,000-square-foot home cleaned and readied in one day, along with preparing meals for the weekend. Another client kept a Grad at bay for 60 days without pay waiting for the state to be safe before she could return to work. Another Grad had to listen and support her Principal as she spilled her heart out over her constant fears of death.
The world has indeed changed, and with it, we are not our normal selves. We feel isolated, frightened when we allow ourselves to go there, overwhelmed, depressed, and unable to find comfort with our normal workouts, hobbies, friends, or family dinners and events. Our book clubs are not meeting; the wine tastings have been cancelled, my long-planned vacation has been cancelled, the news is always angry, negative and politically divisive.
I tell my Graduates to have faith. If you have no faith, find something to believe in to focus your attention. Get in touch with how you are feeling and what changes you would make in your personal life to create a more fulfilling experience when given the chance. I started reading best-selling books I have been putting off. Call members of your family or old friends you’ve not spoken to in a while; I certainly have. Like everyone else in the world, I’ve also baked some bread (check out my favorite bread recipe) and have started listening to opera, one of my favorite pastimes. Xavier, my husband, is hard at work building a pizza oven in our back garden! Clean something; that’s proven to be an actively healing process for both your body and your soul. Keep busy, work hard, and be mindful and conscious of what you are doing.
This will pass sooner or later. I can only think it will have many silver linings if only one takes the time to look. Be good to yourself and genuine with your employers; they are likely having a more difficult time than you are. Continue to know you will be taken care of…the universe has very deep pockets. I am thinking of you, your well-being, and your continued success!
We are extending a warm invitation for our Starkey Weekend Retreat this October. We will be hosting a first-come, first-served intimate gathering of 20 Graduates at The Starkey Mansion. Come to connect, rejuvenate and be inspired!
It’s hard to work in this profession alone. Come to work through the challenges and celebrate the wonderful opportunities you share with your fellow Service Hearts.
Our first gathering last fall was so well-received that we want to keep serving our Graduates to grow in their professions in the safe, luxurious environment of The Starkey Mansion.
Relax with our morning yoga/meditation sessions, or book a massage with our private masseuse. We will also be offering four relevant and fun workshops designed to serve you in thriving in your roles as Household/Estate Managers.
Come prepared to share your stories, enjoy your friendships and restore the art of Private Service.
Date: Oct. 2-4, 2020
Location: The Starkey Mansion, 1350 Logan St. Denver, CO 80203
Cost: $800 (Continental breakfasts, lunches and afternoon refreshments included; dinners excluded)
Accommodation: The Starkey Mansion’s pleasant and relaxing rooms are available at an additional cost on a first-come, first-served basis. Please book a room here. We’re also happy to recommend other hotels and Airbnbs nearby.
Reserve Your Spot Today!
Starkey Director of Education Xavier Medicin and David Strait pose at The Starkey Mansion
Serving foreign dignitaries and military generals doesn’t come without a certain amount of pressure, according to recent Starkey graduate David Strait.
“My most stressful moment as an Enlisted Aide was the first dinner I ever did,” Mr. Strait said. “I did not fully understand the timing of everything. I ended up having dinner served about a half hour to 45 minutes late.”
That blunder happened over 300 dinners ago. And Mr. Strait, the self-proclaimed “king of prep,” has never served dinner late since.
He’ll take that discipline and skill he’s cultivated over his career to serve in the position he accepted as a Household Manager/Chef for a highly successful couple with the intent of making a difference in their world.
“Mr. Strait, former Sergeant in the U.S. Army, is one of our honored Enlisted Aides who served his general and graduated from the Starkey Household Management program with the intent of finding a couple much like the generals he has served in the past to serve,” Mrs. Starkey said. “Mr. Strait, through his many years in service, grew his management abilities, his culinary abilities, and his people smarts to be a very good leader.”
Mr. Strait assumed his role as Household Manager at the 16,000-square-foot property this spring. Mr. Strait’s role includes culinary and security duties, as well as the supervision of a housekeeper and a ranch hand. The entire property, located outside of Phoenix, is 250 acres.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge, this being the largest house I’ve ever worked in,” Mr. Strait said. “Definitely taking charge of a full-time staff is all very exciting and something I’m looking forward to.”
Mr. Strait, originally from Billings, Mont., joined the Army in 2005, where he kept busy serving meals to 2,000 soldiers per day at Fort Hood, Texas. Mass-producing food at those kinds of volumes was challenging for Strait, who loves culinary creativity.
“You can’t play with the food. You can’t put your heart and soul into it,” he said.
Mr. Strait’s superiors recognized the maturity and mentality he had and recommended he become an Enlisted Aide, the military equivalent to a Household Manager. He went on to serve seven different general officers both in Washington, D.C. and Fort Hood, Texas.
“My love for the culinary arts didn’t develop until I became an Enlisted Aide in 2010,” he said, adding that he worked for an executive chef who taught him everything from classical French cooking, to presentation, to proper food cutting technique.
Over the course of Mr. Strait’s Enlisted Aide career, he has hosted more than 300 formal dinner events for the distinguished guests of his military officers. It was at these events that Mr. Strait started mastering his culinary crowd-pleasers, such as his spinach and mushroom beef tenderloin roulade with white wine truffle sauce, as well as his bacon-wrapped chestnuts with Worcestershire caramel sauce.
He’s gathered many accolades along the way, including two gold medals and a silver and a bronze medal at the 37th Annual Culinary Competition at Fort Lee. One of the gold medals was for Mr. Strait’s 5’6” chocolate sculpture of a Texas Ranger cowboy that weighed 600 pounds.
Mr. Strait completed his Starkey courses during the fall of 2019 at The Starkey Mansion, and says the tools he gained will help him immensely in his new role as a Household Manager/Chef. During his training, Mrs. Starkey began to see clearly who the perfect employer would be for him.
“When I first became an Enlisted Aide, I heard about the Starkey program. I told myself, ‘I’m going to become a Starkey graduate,’” Mr. Strait said. “That’s what I told myself over 10 years ago.”
For more information about Starkey’s current course offerings, check out our current 2020 course schedule, or email Xavier Medicin, Starkey’s Director of Education, at email@example.com.
Property & Grounds
June 8-12: The Relationship of Service Course
June 15-19: The System Management Course
June 22-26: Housekeeping Course
June 29- July 3: The Art of Entertainment Course
1) The Relationship of Service Course is about creating the ideal Private Service position for you. Who is your perfect employer, and what do you want to be doing all day? What are the differences between a Household or Estate Manager?
We will help you define:
Why are you in service?
What is in your background that prepares you for service?
What do you bring to the table that will make a difference in the Lifestyle Vision of your Principal?
What is your unique Style of Service?
These answers will invite potential Principals to want you as as their Household or Estate Manager. You will know what you are worth in today’s market and why! As Service is 40 percent technical skills and 60 percent relationship, know the right relationship for you. Finally, Starkey will develop a Placement Profile for you and know how to place you with the right employer!
2) The Starkey Household Management Systems Course is the fundamental and core curriculum for setting up any Service Management Plan. This is a US patented System especially for managing private homes. You will learn the 11 management tools and 10 Standards of Services you must know to be successful in a home. Without these tools, most are in crisis mode. You must know how to think as a Household or Estate Manager and understand the language used in Private Service; because like any profession, communication is key to success.
3) Housekeeping is to Household Management as bookkeeping is to Accounting. If you don’t know it, you can’t really supervise Housekeepers or train them. It’s an integral part of a Household Manager’s knowledge. The course offers setting up a Housekeeping System, what are appropriate Zones and Zone differences, selecting the right products for each purpose, cleaning methods, organization, care of fine furniture, bedroom cleaning and turndown service, sanitizing bathrooms, cleaning floors, developing daily duties, weekly duties, and seasonal cleaning. Seeing the details! Students will come out of this course knowing what fine Housekeeping really means.
4) The Art of Entertaining Course is back! We will be covering Table Settings, Table Service Styles, Champagne Service and Formal Dinner planning all from the perspective of the Emily Post tradition. If one knows the traditional art, one can always alter or fine-tune to fit the requests of your Principal. Starkey will present its famous “Entertainment Event Planner” and practice Order of Service. We will also cover care of fine China, Silver and Crystal, basic flower arrangements, proper use of candles and menu development. We will end the course with a formal dinner.
We look forward to having you!
We currently offer our Systems Program as an online correspondence course, in case you want to start learning now!
Click here to watch the Video of the Starkey mansion