Upon graduating from Sturgis High School, Mr. Cope joined the U.S. Army.
Mr. Cope worked in the Army in communications, but the urge never escaped him, to pursue what he had always longed to become, a Chef. Mr. Cope’s determination paid off; he started a part time catering business and subsequently landed a position as a Household Manager in the Army as an Enlisted Aide, serving in various General’s homes. For 16 years, Mr. Cope served six Generals, learning to become flexible enough to respond to changing needs with little notice, while maintaining high standards in all areas. After his many years in the military as an Enlisted Aide and Chef, coupled with his passion for service, he has come to find service as a natural extension of his life.
While serving in the Army Mr. Cope received an Associates Degree in Management from Hawaii Pacific University and a Bachelors Degree from University of Maryland.
The transition to civilian management was an interesting one. In the military you manage usually down. I found in the civilian management you manage down, sideways and up. Mr. Cope possesses extremely strong organizational skills and is able to multi task a multitude of projects and makes it look effortless. Adept in overseeing staff and using his worldly experience has allowed an uncanny ability to understand the needs of the staff. He is proficient in working with vendors and outside contractors and making them feel as they are part of the team; while at the same time getting everything out of them. He understands when his around the- house knowledge ends and when he needs to seek outside assistance.
While disciplined, Mr. Cope has an amazing amount of flexibility.
“I believe in using a visionary approach, this saves time and money,” continues Mr. Cope. One must have the ability to not only perform the current tasks but to see how they might be impacted by future projects. While Mr. Cope is very serious about his duties, he comments that you must never forget that this is the home of the principals and you must respect their privacy and boundaries.
Technical Skill Synopsis:
- Over 38 years of Household and Estate Management experience while being responsible for multiple homes
- Direct household staff, vendors, and professional services to effectively manage all aspects of a Principal’s life
- Incorporate the Principal family’s preferences into bespoke service plans for each residence and property
- Facilitate the day-to-day operations of all systems the primary and secondary residences for guest readiness
- Administer human resources functions for staff at each property, including onboarding, payroll, and scheduling
- Provide discrete, gracious, intuitive, and empathetic service to extended family, friends, neighbors, charitable institutions, and professional service providers
- Manage household staff, seasonal staff, and event support from hiring through training and separation
- Source, vet, and select vendors with 100% responsibility for negotiation and quality control of service rendered
- Implement continuous improvement and rebalance of vendor contracts, approve invoices and pay bills, and consistently pay bills in a timely fashion
- Develop budget and maintain an estate-wide variance reporting system
- Establish strong working knowledge of each home’s costs, gain approval authority for all funds spent at properties, and reduce site specific expenditures
- Resolve conflicts; utilize excellent people and communication skills for confident decision-making under uncertainty and extreme time pressure
- Hired and managed employees at domestic and international locations
- Prepares weekly reports for each home reflecting status of the multitude of projects
- Maintains various calendars, scheduling both staff and vendors
- Adept as acting as an official representative of the Family and liaison with Protocol
- Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook; knowledge of PowerPoint
- Set procedures within the household and insures all staff works within standards
- Pro-active Manager, seeking out solutions to various problems and presenting options to Principals for final approval
- Coordinate storage of belongings, execute move-ins into newly constructed homes, and facilitate the completion of punch lists
- Represent the Principals and their priorities during HOA meetings and with the local and extended community
- Serve as the Principal’s owner’s representative with realtors, lawyers, accountants, and consultants
- Implement and write household manuals, task checklists, and estate-wide and residence specific policies, especially regarding weather-related maintenance
- Provide proper care, oversight, and management for all properties and their contents, including capital projects, artwork, antiques, silver, fine tableware, and personal collections
- Responsible for cleanliness and appearance of residences, including:
- The care of furniture and various cleaning techniques for emergencies like chewing gum, scratches on wooden tables and blood stains
- Trained staff to uphold housekeeping standards
- Certified Executive Chef; American Culinary Federation
- Very capable of hiring and managing the Private Chef or caterers
- Created and structured menus for daily meals and special events
- Oversees all food aspects with impeccable service at the table
- Certified Cellar Manager:
- Understands the proper storage and care of fine wine, as well as pairing of food and wine
- Over 15 years of performing detailed uniform care and appearance of Principal while in the military
- Ensure proper care of clothes including the pressing and care of suits and shirts; the care and shining of shoes
- Manage household staff, seasonal staff, and event support from hiring through training and separation
- Plan and facilitate family and holiday events, including permitting, temporary structures, catering, valets, exterior lighting, and decorating teams
- Orchestrated numerous entertaining events for heads of state, foreign dignitaries and celebrities
- Extensive knowledge of place settings and service for dinners
- Coordinated for floral arrangements, linens and rental items
- Proper care of silver and china
Technical Skills Continued:
Grounds & Property:
- Designed complete landscaping layout for principal and other residences
- Oversaw and supervised the efforts of the Gardener and landscaping company
Home Interiors & Maintenance:
- Liaise with architects, general contractors, interior designers, and landscape designers regarding repairs, remodels, and new builds
- Responsible for scheduling all regular maintenance repairs
- Supervised outside contractors to uphold the standards of the residences
- Possesses an uncanny ability to have vendors feel part of the overall team, thus fostering a great long term relationship
Security & Safety:
- Establish and oversee security initiatives, executive protection staff, and safety consultants and contractors
- Possesses one of the highest security clearances
- Exhaustively trained in safeguarding people and information
- Maintains a concealed weapons permit
- Completed defensive driving course
- Completed First Aid Course with emphasis on AEDs Responsible for the safety and security of the Principal, his residence and family
- Protects the privacy of the family, residence and information
- Fully understands the importance and attendance to the security of the house, including complete checks and verifications every night
Transportation & Travel:
- Highly experienced world traveler, while providing conscientious service to high profile individuals
- Oversees the maintenance and cleanliness of all vehicles
- Fully understands and respects boundaries
- Comfortable working in households with children and pets
- Considerate of guests, mindful of fulfilling special accommodations and requirements, such as dietary restrictions
- The preparation of guest rooms, including establishing comfort lists to make the returning guests feel at home
Mature couple seeks Starkey Grad to manage primary home and occasional visits to secondary home in Colo mountains. Housekeeping and cooking required. 6 figure position.
Household Manager- Naples Florida
Naples Florida Single female seeks quality personal care with household management experience to live in… excellent position for select Starkey Graduate. 6 figure plus.
Estate Manager- Seattle Washington
Estate Manager- Seattle Washington
Highly experienced Starkey Grad to manage 3 plus homes for business professional. This is only for 15 year plus seasoned veteran. High end…7 figure position. Immediate placement.
Estate Manager Hilton Head South Carolina
Estate Manager Hilton Head South Carolina
Busy young couple seeks a very smart Starkey Grad, detailed, highly seasoned with business mind, mechanically experienced, Starkey veteran, excellent communicator to manage 4 homes. Immediate placement. $150k plus.
During my career I learned that communication and team dynamic are keys to successfully maintain a vessel and provide the owners and guests with a personalized service, exceeding their expectations. The dedicated commitment to my duties and the constant efforts I invested in my tasks allowed me to always keep the performances of my team to the highest level, in order to give full satisfaction to my employers and guests.
I am looking for a new challenge on a 150’ to 200’ motor yacht, private or charter, with a rotational contract for worldwide cruising or a permanent contract for Mediterranean cruising. My aim is to bring to life a new project on a new build or a fairly new second-hand purchase and make it as successful as it can be on a long run.
Thank you for your consideration. I am looking forward to providing my next bosses with all the benefits of my 20 years’ experience in the yachting industry and would appreciate the opportunity to introduce myself in person.
July 2020: SSO Ship Security Officer (STCW VI/6; MCA); Crowd Management & Passenger Safety (STCW 2010)
February 2016: Master 3000GT (STCW II/2; MCA), revalidated: 04-02-2021, expiry: 04-02-2026
June 2012: Master 500GT (STCW II/2; MCA)
February 2011: Chief Mate 3000GT Unlimited / Master 200GT (STCW II/2; MCA)
December 2009: Advance Sea Survival (STCW VI/2; MCA) updated 22-01-2020, expiry: 22-01-2025
December 2009: Advance Fire Fighting (STCW VI/3 sec A-VI/3; MCA), updated 22-01-2020, expiry: 22-01-2025
March 2009: Master of Yacht 200gt Unlimited (STCW VI/1 sec VI/1-4; MCA)
March 2008: GMDSS GOC (STCW IV/2; MCA), revalidated: 04-02-2021, expiry: 04-02-2026
February 2008: Medical Care on Board Ship (STCW VI/4; MCA), updated 26-02-2020, expiry: 26-02-2025
April 2005: Yachtmaster Offshore 200gt (STCW; MCA)
April 2004: CBAS Basic Safety Certificate (STCW), updated 07-03-2017, expiry: 07-03-2022
Administrative set up and compliance with MARPOL, SOLAS (ISM & ISPS), STCW & MLC…
Trip planning, navigation and boat handling.
Management of several budgets and bookkeeping.
Management of the crew employment, the coordination of duties and the hours of work and rest.
Management of the regular maintenance, the engineering operation and the repairs.
Marketing, organization and management of a wide variety of charters.
Animation of water sport activities and private training.
High scale hospitality.
Interest and activities
Leisure: Family, friends, travel, adventure and cinema.
Sport: Thai boxing, CrossFit and all type of sport.
Large estate in the Sacramento, California region seeks private chef.
This position offers salary plus benefits.
Hours 11am – 9pm
Tuesday through Saturday
Requirements: culinary degree. 10 years’ experience as head chef.
Take us around the world culturally with your food creations.
Primary duties include:
Food sourcing: year-round farmers markets. Local small farms. The estate’s own fruit and vegetable gardens. Plus the estate’s accounts with national food suppliers.
Fully equipped private chef’s kitchen
Weekly menu preparation
2 principals with wide knowledge and appreciation for the worlds’ cuisine.
Daily Lunch and dinner. Service performed by estate’s butler
Entertaining average – 2x per week 4-10 guests
Larger entertaining 1x month
2 Principals have 2 other homes. Laguna Beach and NYC. Occasional travel necessary.
$130k-$150k based on
experience and ability
Long term 5-10 years commitment
Contact Starkey International
Send resume please
What a year this has been! While we entertained some, after your visit, it was not nearly as much as we would have liked!
The entertaining we were able to do went fabulously well. Our staff are excited to be part of the evening festivities. Thanks to you both, they have more confidence, a better understanding of good service, and are willing to work at perfecting it. The staff do not want outsiders working at the house and, instead, have chosen to spilt the working evenings between themselves!
I have not taken the opportunity to write a note expressing my gratitude for what you added to our home- let me share some of my thoughts.
I appreciate the care, enthusiasm, and esteem given to our staff to help them understand their value. You and Mary were able to impart this to them better than anyone would imagine and the changes in the running of the house have been lovely. They are following your guidelines, working on the household binder, chef is cleaning his own kitchen, and Daniel is calming down enough to focus(most days!). When issues arise they attempt to solve for themselves, only bringing the most difficult issues to me. Each person, I believe is happier now than before, and thinking through their day rather than just mindlessly attending to their tasks.
I had the impression Mary, and perhaps you too, Xavier, are feeling the service field has changed dramatically, not needing your expertise to train, coach and guide any longer. I feel strongly that we, as a people, nation, and world, need your expertise today more than before. Please, Please do not stop training! Train trainers. Train principals. Train government. Train, those with a service heart, is the art of service and how gracious living is perpetuated.
May the New Year bring you moments of joy, laughter, and most especially time with loved ones. (and ones to train!!)
All my best,
My Top Standards
I was born in Odessa, Ukraine which is on the Black sea coast. My father was a train and locomotive engineer/ driver, and my mother was a consumer goods expert. They both obtained technical degrees in technical colleges in my hometown. I enjoyed living in Odessa, Ukraine as it is a beautiful city with nice beaches and beautiful European architecture as initially it was built by Italians, French and Greeks. As it was and remains the large port on South of Ukraine it always draws merchants, student and foreign tourist. They still call it South Palmira. I attended very good schools and had been introduced to the English languish since I was a young girl which later on helped me to obtain my degree in language and literature.
Since I was a teenager, I started to dream about traveling and had no idea how I could do that. My parents were not rich and worked hard to make sure that me and my brother got a good education and became good people. After I finished my studies, I did not have any money, or a job and I decided to work temporarily in the restaurant to practice my personal skills and had no idea that it will lead me to my long-life career in hospitality and Private Service.
My parents were always working so I needed to grow up and at times to take care of my brother as he is 10 years younger than me. That was my beginning of service and taking care of others. Implementing simple tasks around the house simple cooking, laundry, cleaning on weekly basis.
When I turned 22 I got my first job and then in 2 years, I was working in Europe on a cruise ship and two years after I was working off the coast of Texas, in the US in another cruise ship.
I have been working on the ships since 2008 and then I gradually transitioned to working in the private home and have remained working in the private service industry till today.
I have lived primarily in South Florida since I have moved to the US 20 years ago. It happened unintendedly as South Florida reminds me a much of my homeland. I always have the opportunity to go to the seaside and meditate at times. Being by the ocean side gives me energy and I always go back. I have been told for that matter that I will fit great on the East coast of the US. I intuitively know that I have a genuine service heart; I am a giver, and a people person.
Working for a long time in Private Service has taught me, and advanced my confidence and ability to perform different tasks and think fast to make it happen.
Is one of my strengths due to my experience with computers and software programs, such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Microsoft Outlook I currently use at work; I use the calendar aspect as much as the email portion of the program. I have over ten years of supervisory and management experience with teams of 10-15 or more members and have managed 15 or more vendors (pool maintenance, security systems, HVAC, wine cellars, etc.). I have the responsibility of creating and maintaining a budget, negotiated service contracts, gathering estimates and bids on projects, and ensuring they are carried out to satisfactory completion.
I am directly responsible for oversight of the Housekeeping staff in my most recent position in private service. I have established / maintained cleaning zones and task sheets and personally ensure quality control for the cleaning of the entire 11,000 square foot property. I would not be capable of expecting that my staff maintain such high levels of performance if I didn’t hold myself to that same standard. I pride myself in my own housekeeping abilities and realize that I thrive in an exceptionally clean and organized environment. In addition, I have become very familiar with the luxury market and provide the best possible experience for our affluent clientele. I am hands on and teach other personnel showing how and what needs to be done. I have a strong eye on details
Over the many years and recently going through Starkey’s extensive Certified Household Management course, I have mastered different silver service styles, I have honed my passion for making an event better and more exciting that anyone could imagine. I very much look forward to coordinating weddings, rehearsal dinners, anniversary and birthday parties, corporate and fund raising events. I am accurately described by others as a systems woman with an eye for details, appreciation of value-added ideas and a burning desire to exceed all expectations.
Technical Skills Synopsis:
· Familiar with the use of PC and Mac operating systems, specific software
· Experience managing staff in the private home and at previous jobs in hospitality industry
· Experience with vendors and contractors, architects for renovation projects, chooses vendors according to the tasks given by the principal
· Supervised multiple renovation projects and worked closely with general contractor for quotes and execution of the projects according to the principal needs
· Chose various products for interior design projects for the principal
· Researched and purchased interior design items on the request of the principal
· Made orders for the furniture and appliances, lights, etc.
· Manages schedules, calendars, and household budgets
· Trained in the patented Starkey Service Management model
· Monthly bank account report
· Performs certain monthly payments or different accounts
· Capable of zoning a home for cleaning and creating task sheets
· Cares for high-end antiques, artwork, and other collectible and valuable household items
· Knowledgeable of specific cleaning and laundry products and their appropriate use
· Purchasing and restocking proper cleaning products
· Researching the products that are safe for pets and children
· Comfortable creating simple meals with everyday pantry items
· Familiar with cooking certain ethnic cuisines
· Capable of pairing food and wine
· Full grocery shopping
Clothing & Valet:
· Launders and irons clothing
· Specialty fabric, shoe, and leather care
· Capable of sewing buttons and performing minor clothing repairs
· Rotates clothing for seasonal storage
· Organizes closets and packs and unpacks for business and leisure travel
· Has a great personal interest in clothing and fashion
· Have a good knowledge of high-end brands of clothing, shoes, accessories and perfumes
· Trained in the Ballet of Service Style
· Event planning and organization
· Trained in American plated, French, Russian, and English styles of service
· Table Settings
· Cares for fine crystal, china, and silver
· Able to coordinate and execute formal and informal entertaining events
· Create a desired ambiance in the home, based on a Principal’s standards
· Knowledgeable floral arranging
· Familiar with wines and spirits, purchasing any wines and spirits that requested by the principal
· Cigar shopping and humidor care
Property & Grounds:
Safety and Protection:
· Walks property daily
· Basic maintenance of HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and security/smart home systems
· Repair and maintenance of HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and security/smart home systems
· List advanced knowledge of specific systems: Christon
· Any kind of home maintenance from professional upholstery cleaning to professional stone cleaning
· Close work with plumbers, electricals, installers, general contractors, audio and video specialists, drapery installers, painters, A/C specialists, etc.
Travel & Transportation:
· Experience serving on luxury yachts.
· Capable of doing chauffeuring
· Coordinates travel, international and domestic, including flights, hotels, ground transportation, restaurant reservations, etc.
· Trained in Aircraft procedures and safety, inflight service of VIP. Corporate Aviation. Cabin in service, food procurement, handling, prep0aration, galley safety, bed making, and caring for the cabin in flight. Medical Certification in CP r, evacuation, live fire, ditching, hypoxia drill
· Well-travelled and interested in traveling with the principal if needed
· Performs basic vehicle and golf cars maintenance (oil changes, tire rotation, maintaining fluid levels, etc.)
· Able to purchase a vehicle, golf cars according to the principal’s instructions
· Coordinate’s vehicle maintenance schedule, insurance, registration, and licensure
· Knowledge and experience of regular health maintenance of small dogs and cats.
· Supervised or unsupervised animal medical care (administering medications) for principals’ pets: small dogs, cats.
· Booking of flights and all necessary paperwork for pet’s travel with or without principals.
· Familiar with working with commercial pet carriers
· Comfortable working around pets
· Took care of principal’s pets on multiple occasions
· Close work with veterinarian on multiple occasions
· Experience working in a home with frequent high level house guests
· Level of concierge service offered: whatever guest requested- information was found and provides
· Guest management (profiles, likes/dislikes, services and tourism offered, etc.)
· Experience caring for children, 2–5-year-old, baby-sitting, food preparation, giving a bath, putting to bed, outdoor walks without additional supervision.
· Natural affinity and life experience with children
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
Clothing & Valet
Prefers East Coast Florida
Speaks English, French and Spanish
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.
Technical Skill Synopsis:
- 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, personal files
- 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, 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, scales
- High level of computer skills, Adobe, MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Access, Calendar programs: MS Outlook, Google. Internet Applications, iPad. iPhone, Android, Windows: Smartphones and Apps, Mac Notebooks, PCs, Laptops
- Can handle phone conferences, video conferences and running errands
- Maintenance of manuals, records, specifications, how-to care, inventories, and warranties
- 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 turndown
- Knowledge of Antique and fine rug care
- Driven to ensure meticulous housekeeping standards
- Maintains inventory of household cleaning supplies and tools
- Uses the Starkey Culinary Management System to identify flavor profiles and preferences
- Plans menu using Principal’s favorites, internet research, magazines, etc.
- Skilled at making excellent country breakfasts, light lunches, and simple dinners
- I can follow most recipes
- Ensures adequate stock of pantry items and comfort foods
- Obtains specialized products being mindful of sanitation and storage
- Creates food presentation using knowledge, internet research, magazines, etc.
- Works with a Personal Chef to develop menus and inventories
- Supports Chef with grocery shopping and preparation of items, as needed
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
- Uses Starkey’s Ballet of Service to plan events ranging from casual to formal
- Determine Principal’s Entertainment style and style of events
- Comfortable managing and executing entertainment events within the home
- Manages caterers, vendors, and household staff in preparation of, and during, events
- Develops guest list and high-profile involvements
- Develops ambiance, floral arrangements, and themes
- Familiar with table linens, china, silverware, and crystal and care thereof
- Can ensure Stocking and maintenance of the wine cellar
- Basic knowledge of Wine, wine paring, mixing and serving of beverages and alcohol
- Creates amenity and gift-wrapping center and system
- Ensures safety of all guests during event and after; notices impaired driving and finds alternate solutions
Grounds & Property:
- Creates zoning and task sheets using the Starkey system
- Determines principals’ preferences
- Hires and supervises vendors in the care of property & grounds
- Walks property to identify any areas of concern and addresses them with Principal or vendors
- Identifies unique maintenance needs based on age of residence and physical location/climate
- Comfortable working with engineers, inspectors, contractors, and attorneys regarding special projects and needs
- Acts as point of contact for all internal and external vendors
- Provides oversight of projects and punch lists for new construction, renovations, installations, deliveries, removals
- Very good at keeping products in compliance with warranties, procedures, and statutes
- Comfortable researching, hiring, and supervising vendors for routine maintenance and special needs
- Develops relationships with vendors
Transportation & Travel:
- Intermediate French, Language Skills, Conversational Spanish Language Skills
- Have traveled worldwide: can pick up and go without delay
- Careful, competent, and confident driving ability with NY State Driver’s License
- Very good at planning, operations, and logistics
- Has a personal interest in luxury transportation vehicles
- Maintains vehicle licensing, registration, inspections, and insurance
- Develops auto maintenance and detailing schedules
- Arranges for travel, ground transportation preferences, and lodging
- Arranges for chauffeur for Principal and other members of entourage
- Maintains records of all vehicles including make, model, and service history
- Maintains records of recreational and sports vehicles
- Supports transportation via boats and yachts
- Familiar with scheduling and arranging for travel via private plane
Safety and Protection:
- Fiercely loyal and protective of employer’s environment: a problem solver
- Able to quickly assess environment and initiate security measures
- Determines any variables that may pose safety concerns
- Obtains and supervises vendor to take care of Security and Protection: body guards, dogs, audio/visual systems, safe rooms, weapons, and drivers,
- Develops relationships with local Police and Fire Departments to periodically conduct safety and security inspections
- Checks all smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers for proper function
- Walks home daily to identify any safety concerns
- Ensures safe environment for Principals, staff, and guests at all times
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.
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.
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
Household Manager-Cook/ DC
Very busy family seeks Starkey Grad with top standards I. Culinary, Administration and Housekeeping. Work with and support full time housekeeper, PT laundress, and Nanny in 6,500 sq ft home with three young children and 2 working parents in tech and renewable energy. Live out 6 figure salary plus and all benefits!
In our continued commitment to excellence for our students and Graduates serving our clients, we’ve noted a shortcoming that we intend to fix.
Over the past 40 years, our Graduates have often entered households where veteran Housekeepers held the keys to the fine Housekeeping secrets in the home. They completed the cleaning with such excellence that Starkey Household Managers did not need to focus on it. They had other priorities.
Gradually, the tradition became that Housekeepers were the Housekeeping experts, and Household/Estate Managers took that knowledge for granted. Slowly, Housekeeping knowledge has dissipated to the point where the knowledge has all but disappeared, leaving Principals with seemingly high and unrealistic standards.
Well, it’s my belief that Principals’ standards are not too high.
It’s that Housekeeping as an expertise has all but disappeared. We recently taught a class of young men and women in their ‘20s and ‘30s serving multiple Principals. Their homes were disorganized and dirty. They were stuffing sheets and towels into closets and using products inappropriate for surfaces. They saw ironing as superfluous. The staff had no training and no understanding of what was possible in keeping a fine home.
When I look at Housekeepers today, I see a few serious issues. They are only concerned with surface cleaning and are unfamiliar with what deep cleaning really entails. They don’t see the detail behind, underneath or above; it’s harder for them to look at their work from different perspectives and angles, especially from the Principals’ perspective (do they lay on the bed to see what the ceiling looks like? The Principal will surely see any issues when they do). In addition, they don’t perform tasks systematically; they don’t have a written system for accomplishing zones and task sheets in the home.
I’m also seeing a lack of knowledge when it comes to cleaning products. Housekeepers today have a harder time understanding what or how to use cleaning products and tools, whether it’s polishing silver or cleaning wood floors or tile.
Why would they know these things? Parents who both work generally don’t have the time or energy to teach their children how to clean well. Likewise, they wouldn’t have learned it in their school curriculum or from supervisors who also have no knowledge of this obscure and seemingly unnecessary skill set themselves.
Fine Housekeeping has become a lost and forgotten art. Principals are desperate to find staff members who are capable of properly cleaning a home. In addition, the students we are training or trying to place all like to say they know about Fine Housekeeping, but when asked to show us, they don’t know as much as they think they know. Household and Estate Managers have no choice but to now make Housekeeping a priority.
You may have heard me say, “Addition and Subtraction is to Accounting as Housekeeping is to Household Management.”
If you really don’t know it, you’re not fully knowledgeable of upholding your Principal’s lifestyle.
My clients are consistently sharing, “Why is it that no one but me understands what real housekeeping looks like in a home?” They are correct. It’s a lost tradition that must re-emerge in 2020.
Starkey is offering Housekeeping courses both in clients’ homes and here at the Starkey Mansion.
Contact us for our 40-hour Housekeeping curriculum and upcoming course dates. Or ask about setting a date for Starkey to come to your Principal’s home to help educate staff about Fine Housekeeping.
As recently as 10 years ago, old veteran Estate Managers were still available. These were highly skilled individuals with advanced Maintenance and Property and Grounds expertise. Their knowledge of the interior of homes was minimal, other than the management of vendors. For the most part, this is no longer the case. Today’s Principals want Estate Managers to know it all: the management of homes, inside and out. This includes Housekeeping, not just Maintenance and Property and Grounds. As there are also few veteran Housekeepers available in the market today, this presents a challenge.