Ms. Leroy

Hello Xavier

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 four skills are: 
Clothing & Valet








I was born in the Southern Province of Zambia in a town called Monze.   My parents met at the University of Zambia where my mother claimed she helped my father with his assignments because she said she was ‘smarter than him.’ My father was Director of International Banking for one of the national banks and my mother was Head of Human Resources for the Pension Authority of Zambia. Both were highly accomplished in their careers until their deaths. My father got his MBA in Finance at the University of Bern in Switzerland. His job took him all over the world. He would tell stories about staying at hotels that were so fancy it would take him a minute to figure out how to turn on the shower faucet.


My parents divorced when I was 5 years old. My younger brother Simon and I lived with my father and stepmother who also worked in Banking. Ours was a very organized and formal home with a chef, 2 maids, a driver and an army of gardeners. My father loved me finer things in life including a beautiful home complete with organized closets and rooms, well cooked, and beautifully presented meals. He got this from his international travels where he stayed at some of the best hotels in the world.


From the age of 8, I went to boarding school. The boarding schools were very formal with British teachers who taught us strict manners. One would get punished for not

holding a fork the correct way or we had to practice the ‘right way’ to have tea and toast while reading a newspaper for example. My school mates included children of prominent

Zambian’s including the President’s son. Some fun memories we were flown to school in a helicopter because the roads were flooded and impassable – something that happened often in Zambia.


My brother Simon is four and a half years younger than me. He is a very successful
Banker with a reputation in the Zambian banking community for being smart and hard
working. Not a year goes by without him getting recognition and rewards for his

He met his wife Anne at University. She is also a banker. I first arrived in the United States on September 3rd, 2001 for a two-week vacation. I was a Flight Attendant for British Airways Comair so was able to get a free flight to New York City to visit a friend. On September 10th, we were in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan debating where or not to go up the World Trade Centre.  My friend and I decided we were tired and would come back the next day… In the aftermath of 9/11, my flight back to Zambia was cancelled indefinitely and I ended up staying in the US for 6 months. During that time, I fell in love with the United States, enrolled myself in college.

 I graduated college with a BS in Accounting from Ramapo College of New Jersey and an MBA in Finance from Saint Peters University, New Jersey.  I was laid off from my job as a Private Equity Staff Accountant for State Street Corporation – a Fortune 500 Company – when the financial crisis hit in 2008. After looking for a job in Accounting, a recruiter called me about a client who owned a Hedge Fund that was looking for a Personal Assistant for his home office. That is how I found my calling in


Private Service.

Private Service is not a job but is an extension of who I am, the things I am interested in, my hobbies and doing the things I am passionate about. To be in Private Service, one

needs to possess a wide knowledge of skills such as cuisine and wine, superb communication and interpersonal skills, training in all aspects of personal service and

formal etiquette.  It takes a true Service Heart to want to anticipate the unique and ever-changing needs of the principal and to be discreet and confidential all while maintaining a sense of calm and charm under stress. For me, learning all these things and working in an ever-changing environment challenges me to grow as a person and is very exciting.

My formal upbringing, school and my training and work as a Flight Attendant were just the beginning of my journey into Private Service.

 Order and detail is part of who I am not just at work but in my personal life. In my home and in my life, I practice what I preach to the extent that I can. All items in my fridge face

label forward and are organized by type and height. It makes me happy to look in my fridge and also easier to see and find things. My drawers are organized. There is a place for everything and everything is in its place. I can find things in the dark if I need to because everything is where it is. I also take pleasure in having things ‘in case I need them’ from office supplies to batteries of different kinds.

One can never have too many pairs of scissors. My closets are organized by type, length and color and we joke that we organize and clean when we are stressed to help us relax. A beautiful and organized environment (including the car), uplifts our spirits, makes us happy and also helps us get things done in a timely manner without stress.


These qualities have helped me anticipate my Principal’s needs. I work well alone, need little supervision and am self-motivated because I am passionate about what I do. I also work well as a team being happy to lead or follow and learn from
those with more knowledge and experience.

I prefer direct communication even if it is negative. I am tough skinned and don’t take things personally. I try to read unspoken communication by watching body language, moods and preferences. I am always on the look-out for unspoken messages and I always take note of them. When working with a group, I am aware of different communication styles and also accept and appreciate the differences between people from difference backgrounds, countries and age groups.

I am most comfortable in a highly organized service environment. I am not a fit in a chaotic environment. My ideal Principals children are grown and have their own homes but they come and visit during the holidays. They love to entertain either formally or informally. They have a large and beautiful home with beautiful things which they take pride in or multiple homes. I will help with everything and anything they need.  I would travel as requested to other homes, and support them as needs arise.

Technical Skills:


My top four Service Standards are: Administrative, Housekeeping, Clothing & Valet



·         Familiar with the use of PC and Mac operating systems, specific software

–               I can use both PC and Mac operating systems. I am proficient in the Microsoft Office Suite – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

·         Experience managing staff

–               I have experience managing vendors – hiring, overseeing and firing them. Some of the vendors I have worked with specialize in: housecleaners, landscaping and sprinklers, pool and pond, dog poop yard cleaners, indoor plant care, flower delivery and arrangements, window and gutter cleaners, roof repair, elevator service and repair, indoor and outdoor pest control, alarm and security, carpet cleaners, furniture repair, fireplace maintenance and repair, woodwork and cabinetry, painters, marble, tile and wood floor cleaners and repair, silver supply and repair, swing set installation and maintenance,  tree maintenance and removal, electricians, indoor and outdoor railings, fence, gate and garage door repair, blind and curtain, generator company, drycleaners, fine linens, specialty door repair, HVAC, appliance maintenance and repair, piano tuner, worked with the PC guy to fix principals PC, plumber, specialty locksmiths, engineers on building projects, industrial water softener and filtration, septic tank, wheelchair ramp installation and engineering, event and party supply companies including wait staff. I also worked heavily with the surveillance, audio and visual company because my bosses house was a smart house so everything worked on the Crestron system


·         I also worked closely with contractors and the interior designer. 

·         Manages schedules, calendars, and household budgets

·         I have experience managing a household schedule of vendors and coordinating it with the Principals schedule.

·         I was in charge of petty cash and had to provide a basic account of how it was spent.

·         Trained in the patented Starkey Service Management model




·         Capable of zoning a home for cleaning and creating task sheets thereby creating an overall Housekeeping plan.

·         The house was cleaned once a week by a team of house cleaners but every day, I would zone an area to clean. As soon as I came in on Monday (the house keepers came in on Tuesday), I would immediately vacuum the staircase most used by the dogs because it was covered in fur and I would vacuum and mop the marble floor near the garage door because the dogs would drool and drag in dirt when they came in from outside. During the week after the cleaners had cleaned the house, I would still clean and tidy zones of the house that were used every day. 

·         When we were under quarantine in 2020, no vendors were allowed into the house. I was not asked, but I cleaned the whole house by myself. This meant that I had to break the house down into manageable zones which I then cleaned on a daily, weekly and occasional basis.

·         Cares for high-end antiques, artwork, and other collectible and valuable household items

·         Apart from dusting, if anything needed any cleaning and care, I would work with the manufacture, supplier or interior decorator to learn how to take care of it. Over the years, I could easily pick up the phone to call people and they were always happy to answer my questions. I would also ask a lot of questions and ask for advice when an item was delivered, or the vendor came to the house to fix or maintain something. 

·         Knowledgeable of specific cleaning and laundry products and their appropriate use

·         Basic knowledge of cleaning and laundry products albeit I can look things up if I need to like how to remove specific stains.



·         Comfortable creating simple meals with everyday pantry items

·         I am comfortable creating simple meals. For example – I can make breakfast – frying eggs and making basic omelettes and putting together the accouterments that go with it – toast, fruit, juices, etc. I can make sandwiches and wraps (I can look up different recipes). I can look up how to make lot of different salads. I can cook protein (seafood, chicken, pork, and beef) in a basic way – frying, grilling and barbequing.  

·         Familiar with vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, low-carb, Atkins, and other specialty diets

·         I have personal experience with raw vegan, vegan, low carb, and Atkins diets. I have experience with Vegetarian and gluten free guests and the Principal that I worked for when I first started Private Service was a vegan and I used to prepare his meals.

·         I have experience working in a Kosher household

·         Cares for crystal, china, and silver

·         I have experience cleaning fine China, copper and silver.

·         Coordinates and executes formal and informal entertaining events

·         I have experience working with a service director (captain or Chief Stew from yatch would come to the house) as part of the team in formal events.

·         I have experience coordinating and executing smaller (up to 12 people) formal and informal events. I would set the table and decoration it (candles and flowers), work with the event company for the supply of tables and chairs if needed, perform formal or informal service and clean up.

·         Creates a desired ambiance in the home, based on a Principal’s standards

·         My Principal desired a very organized and tidy home that was also warm and inviting. Vendors were to adhere to strict protocols but we were also to treat them courteously.
For example, we would always offer them something to drink as soon as they arrived and if they were there all day, we would buy them pizza for lunch if they did not have their own food and always make sure they had something to drink.  Knowledgeable floral arranger

·         I can trim and refresh flowers


Clothing & Valet:

·         Launders and irons clothing

·         I can iron bedding and clothing including dress shirt. I used to send all my employer’s dress shirts to the dry cleaner but I would iron them if they were wrinkled from the holding.  I used to steam clothing as needed although this was rare.

·         Capable of sewing buttons and performing minor clothing repairs

·         I can perform minor clothing repair such as replacing buttons and mending torn pillowcases or everyday clothes.

·         Rotates clothing for seasonal storage

·         I have a little experience with this from my first job in Private Service. I helped rotate clothes for seasonal storage by photographing and creating a detailed list. Clothes were rotated between a New York City penthouse and a home in the Hamptons.

·         Organizes closets and packs for business and leisure travel

·         I take please in organizing closets. My main experience is in organizing a man’s closet. I fold things in the exact same way and size, coordinate by style and color and organize the closet to be functional but also beautiful. I will sometimes take (small) initiatives if I recognize an area that could be improved in the closet (and be sure to communicate to the Principal that I would put it back to how it was if they don’t like it.)

·         I have experience packing for business and leisure from when I worked for my first principal. I used a checklist that the former assistant had created.

·         Experienced personal shopper

·         I would run errands for my principal no matter how big or small. I would go to stores to buy cologne or pick up clothes from his favorite store in New York City. I made sure he never ran out of anything like his favorite shampoo or aftershave (and had enough on hand in case he suddenly wanted to pack 6 cans of aftershave or 6 tubes of his favorite toothpaste when travelling overseas for an extended period and they did not have that brand in that country.)


Grounds & Property

·         Maintenance of landscapes, yearly plantings and hard-scapes

·         The property was a fenced and gated 3.5 acre lot. Apart from beautiful plants, there was a lot of landscape lighting. I had to look out for light bulbs that were out and light fixtures that were damaged. Some of the landscape lights had to be special ordered months in advance and I had to work with the suppliers to get them for free if they were covered by warranties.

·         Maintenance of outdoor structures/facilities

·         There was a pool with a timed water fall and spa that I knew how to operate for guests and also to check that it was working properly.

·         There was a pond with water features that was on a timer. I had to learn pond maintenance which is very involved. I found and hired the pond company.

·         Outdoor irrigation, entry controls, lighting, sound systems, etc.

·         Basic knowledge of the sprinkler system, including how to adjust the sprinkling schedule per the vendor’s instructions and how to shut off the main system and water system in case of an emergency.

·         I was in charge of gate, garage and alarm codes and passcodes. I was the contact person when the alarm went off (usually in the middle of the night) and I was the contact person for the police and fire department.

·         If a team of landscapers was working all day outside, I would set up a large cool box for them filled with water, soda and Gatorade. In the winter, I would make them all coffee, tea or hot chocolate.



·         Basic maintenance of HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and security/smart home systems

·         I did not fix these issues myself but closely monitored them to the extent that I was very familiar with them, documented and scheduled maintenance and repair of all systems.

·         Repair and maintenance of HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and security/smart home systems

·         I did not fix these issues myself but closely monitored them to the extent that I was very familiar with them, documented and scheduled maintenance and repair of all systems.

·         Surveillance equipment (indoor and/or outdoor)

·         I did not fix these issues myself but closely monitored them to the extent that I was very familiar with them, documented and scheduled maintenance and repair of all systems.



Safety & Protection:

·         CPR certified

·         Trained in CPR and First Aid when I was a flight attendant but not current

·         Walks property daily

·         As property manager, I was responsible for the whole property. When I got to work, I would drive around the outside of the property and do the same at the end of the day when I was leaving.

·         I worked with the police and fire department to make sure they knew that the fire department had the key for the Knox Box which housed the front door key so they could enter the house in case of an emergency (my bosses youngest son has MD). Over the years, the police, fire department and everyone else would forget that the fire department had the Knox Box key.

·         Defensive driving

·         I took a defensive driving course in January 2021.



·         My first job out of high school was working as a flight attendant.  I worked for British Airways Comair on Boeing 737s. During my two years working as a flight attendant, the airline I worked for serviced the presidential jet – a Challenger jet. Although I did not fly with the president, I worked the Challenger on two domestic trips with members of parliament.

·         Coordinates travel, international and domestic, including flights, hotels, ground transportation, restaurant reservations, etc.

·         I have personal experience making reservations (and dining at) at Michelin Star Restaurants in New York City such as Per Se, Le Bernadin, Jean-George, Masa, Daniel, Momofuku Ko, Le Coucou and Gramercy Tavern.
I also have personal experience coordinating personal international and domestic travel including, flights, hotels and ground reservations.

·         I have personal experience buying tickets to Broadway shows, the Opera, Ballet and Philharmonic (and choosing the best seats)

·         Coordinates vehicle maintenance schedule, insurance, registration, and licensure

·         I have personal experience with this taking care of my own cars. I used to drive the houseman to pick up and drop off cars for service and repair. On occasion, I used to work with high end car companies like Bentley to pick up and drop off my Principals cars in the manner he desired (in a covered car transport only)


Personal Care:

Child Care:

·         Training and/or experience in childcare/education

·         I briefly worked as a tutor for the singer Lauren Hill’s 5 children aged 3 to 15. I do not want to work directly with children.

Elder Care:

·         Life experience with relatives, friends, and acquaintances –

·         Many years ago, I lived with my boyfriend for over 6 years. His mother, who had Alzheimer’s lived with us. Over the years, her dementia and health deteriorated. I helped in her care including being very patient and I hired, trained and supervised the full time staff who took care of her until her death.

Pet Care:

·         Knowledge and experience of regular health maintenance (What kinds of animals?)

·         Dogs and cats.

o   Supervised or unsupervised animal medical care (administering medications, specialized equipment, in what environment?)

·         Unsupervised animal medical care including administering medications and taking care of a sick dog. When my principal was away in Europe for three months, I was staying at this house with the two British Retrievers. I noticed one day that one of the dogs was taking longer and longer to finish his food and mentioned this to my principal. Eventually, I started to take videos of the dog and would send them to my principal every day. I continued to closely watch him and communicate with my Principal. One night when I let him out to make before bed, he walked to the end of the property and quietly sat down. I could immediately tell he was not well. I tried to call my Principal (who was about 6 hours ahead of me) but could not reach them. I called the houseman (as the dog needed to be carried) who I instructed to take the dog to the ER. It turns out he was very sick and would have died if I had not made that call. He was in the hospital for 3 days and had to be on a strict diet when he came back home. He continues to be on a special diet as he has digestive issues and he is always closely watched.

o   Pet allergies and management of pet allergens

o   I have no pet allergies.


San Diego/LA. Estate Manager

Family relocating to LA and San Diego seeks the support of a seasoned Starkey Graduate to help put the service of two new homes together! 


Dallas/Mexico:  Estate Manager

Family seeks a seasoned Starkey Estate Manager to manage the overall needs of Maintenance and Grounds for two separate homes.



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

Pet Care:

·         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

Guest Care:

·         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.)

Child Care:

·         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






Household Manager

Top Standards
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

Restoring the Art Retreat Rescheduled…and More Starkey News

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!



Household Manager

Top Standards








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

Top Standards:
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


Personal Care:

Child Care:

  • 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

Pet Care:

  • 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


Guest Care:

  • 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

Elder Care:

  • 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


Household Manager

Top Standards:



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



Household Manager/Connecticut

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.

Principal 2035

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.

Reflections on the 2020 Pandemic

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!

Upcoming Starkey Graduate Retreat

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 Places Former Enlisted Aide Near Phoenix

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


New June 2020 Courses


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 Apply | Check Out The Starkey Blog

Click here to watch the Video of the Starkey mansion


Position: Household Manager
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Multidimensional Principal with family seeks the support of a Starkey-certified graduate for managing daily operations, vendors and administrative support. Must have administration/business sense. Maintenance and transportation support required. Live-out position; excellent salary and benefits.



Certified Household Manager:

Mrs. Starkey developed and coined the term “Certified Household Manager” in 1981. The term introduces into the marketplace a professional who is trained in the overall management of a private home. This position may be a Butler in the British tradition, or a Personal Assistant, Household Manager or Military Enlisted Aide in the American tradition. This individual has been trained and/or is experienced in all aspects of the private home and has a working knowledge of developing a Household Service Management System. The focus is primarily on the Home and Service Environment. The skills would include a working knowledge of Human Resources, management and training of service contractors and personnel, as well as the hands-on technical experience necessary to personally perform or train others within a Service Environment. Knowing Administrative, Cleaning, Maintenance, Clothing, Cooking, and Entertaining Standards, as well as HQ Service Management Software is essential. This person’s skills are more appropriate for homes between 5,000 and 17,000 square feet. Salaries are currently between $70,000 and $125,000 per year with benefits, plus housing.


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!