Update for the New Year

Starkey International is now almost 40 years strong. We have created service terminology for private homes, patented a service manage system unique for private homes, written 18 textbooks and placed 95 percent of our Graduates.

We invite all those in private service to get educated. Grow our profession by growing your knowledge.

Employers prefer educated professionals in today’s market.

Happy New Year!

Changes in Private Service

Placement techniques in our Private Service profession have changed dramatically in the last few years.

  1. New employers do not understand your value other than for cooking and cleaning.
  2. Employees who are not Starkey Graduates do not have the language to communicate their value and what Household Management really can be.
  3. Those seeking positions do not understand what the right style of position is for them.
  4. Employers do not understand how to choose the right candidate for them.

To ensure long-term success, Placement in Private Service has become a highly sophisticated matching process. All Starkey Graduates (we have a 95 percent placement rate) are represented by Starkey after training.


In 40 years, we’ve learned what works for our high-net-worth Clientele, and know what is individually correct for our Graduates!

“Service must be positioned to be successful!”

Contact Starkey at 303-832-5510.

The Need for Starkey Trained Household Managers


Hiring a Household or Estate Manager is a tricky process these days. It's hard to find a qualified person who fits into your lifestyle, and turnover is very expensive! There are no required certifications to enter the profession except the ones you as an employer might request. This means your potential candidate may be a great organizer or chef, but they may be completely ignorant when it comes to actual Household Management.

Starkey only places those who have been Starkey educated because our Graduates stand out from the crowd. They understand appropriate etiquette and household protocols. They take privacy seriously, and they have the knowledge of best practices and management tools specifically for homes. Our graduates understand various lifestyles, beliefs, and attitudes and have creditable knowledge when it comes to performing tasks. Service is a very unique relationship. How does a client really know what their candidate will bring to the table?

Our industry is growing and needs more trained professionals.

Browse our course offerings to send your current Household Manager for Starkey training.

January 2020 Course

Ring in the new decade with genuine support and the best in private service education!
Come experience two weeks in Denver at the newly renovated historic Starkey Mansion this winter. From Jan. 19-31, six students will have the opportunity to learn the skills it takes to succeed in Household Management.


Become Certified in our Starkey Household Management System course, learning our 11 patented management tools unique for private service.


Our Certified Relationship of Service and Personal Statement Course will help you identify
your perfect position for Starkey placement with one of our high-net-worth clients in our growing private service profession.Stay at the beautiful Starkey mansion, included with tuition price.Starkey's online Correspondence Management Courses are available to you any time.Applicants must complete an admission process to be accepted for training and certification.
Click Here to Apply

Click Here to download the Starkey Systems Management course brochure
Click Here to download the Starkey Personal Statement course brochure





Starkey Summer 2019

What's Going on At Starkey!

July 22nd to August 3rd 2019 Certified Household Management Systems and Personal Statement Courses offered at the Starkey Mansion.
$7,745. Includes Service Education and Housing, breakfast and lunch provided.

VA Certified


Starkey's Service Management Patented System
Any size estate, or property; any number of family members
11 unique Private Service Management Tools and Household Service Language
Essential knowledge for those working in Private Service
Estate or Household Manager, Personal Assistant or Family Office
A Starkey Certification Program.

The Relationship of Service and Your Personal Statement Program
will show you the process and path to identify your perfect position.
We will guide you in developing your Personal Statement and identify your top
3-4 Service Standards, Service Style, and the Employer's Service Expectations right for you.

Call 1-800-888-4904 For More Information

RTA Reunion & Starkey Mansion Restoration.
A Weekend Experience of Meeting Up With Old Friends and Making New Ones!
August 10th and 11th 2019 at the Starkey Mansion


RSVP for the RTA Event Today!
Are You A Starkey Graduate and looking for a new position?
Click here to view all of our current positions available!

2019 RTA Reunion Event

Calling All Starkey Graduates

What's New at Starkey!

RTA Reunion & Starkey Mansion Restoration.
A Weekend Experience of Meeting Up With Old Friends and Making New Ones!
August 10th and 11th 2019 at the Starkey Mansion



Saturday the 10th.

Saying Hello! Mansion tour restorations and hugs
10:00 am until to 2:00 pm
A Coffee brunch and more.


Sharing Memories at the Mansion and in the Journey of Serving!
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm Wine and nibbles.


Sunday the 11th.

Sunday morning Congratulations with Promises of continued Success in Service!
10:00 pm-2:00 pm Brunch

Old pictures please! From your memories at the mansion... laughter and more.


August 10th and 11th 2019 at the Starkey Mansion

1350 Logan Street
Denver Colorado

Reserve a hotel at Warwick, Brown, Hilton, and many others. Hotels in downtown Denver are all within walking distance.

Donate a minimum of $25.00 to RTA for this event, all proceeds go to student scholarships,
you will get updates for future events through our RTA newsletters and much more!

RSVP Today!

Let’s Talk Placement!

Part 1

I have been placing Private Service professionals for nearly 40 years.
Early on, I placed those who came to me who were in the profession, but not my Graduates.
I quickly learned why the Starkey training creates real and effective Household and Estate Managers.
I now only place my trained Graduates, both new and highly experienced returning Graduates.

Our training teaches our Grads how to "think" like a Household Manager.
How to quickly learn an Employer's Service Standards and Household patterns.
How to immediately be on the Employer's Agenda. It provides proven and patented Management
Tools for effectively becoming a hands-on Manager of staff in a private home.

Our placement technique is a proven process to match a number of essential aspects to create long-term relationships. We consider the morals, values, ethics, background, religion, cultural practices, location, and expected technical abilities of a Graduate.
It goes miles beyond a resume.

Our placements typically last many years.

Today's Employers need ethical support and real sharing of knowledge as to how this profession succeeds.

Call me to get your Starkey Service Management Education. 303-832-5510

Call me to be matched with one of our Certified Household or Estate Managers. 303-832-5510

Interested in our courses? Click to download the brochure.

Part 2

In our highly successful placement strategy....

We match 
Service Visions, Family Trees, Morals, Values, Locations, Technical skills and Service means to Graduates and Employers.
But how do we get this information?

We've learned Placements do not last when not properly positioned to succeed. The priority for most Graduates and Employers is to find the right position and select the right Employee. This is how we do it!

Our Personal Statement Correspondence Program literally helps the student identify their perfect position.

We work with our Graduates holding their hand to help them identify who they are, what they bring to an employers table, what's important to the Student in a position... it's all about their Service Vision!

We support our Employers by helping them develop their Service Vision, what Systems are required for Housekeepers to succeed, what a Day in the Life of a Household Manager should look like, salary estimations and offer templates for hiring.

It's a sophisticated but essential process that leads the Graduate and the Employer to long term success.

The days of looking at multiple resumes are over. You really don't know who that candidate is or what they really know by just reviewing a resume.

Private service requires the matching of not only skill but who they really are. How they view the world. Whether or not they have a Service Heart.

Fine-tuned over three decades, our patented Household Management System Correspondence Program teaches students real management tools and how to think like a Household Manager.

Our wholly unique Personal Statement Correspondence Program helps the Employer and the Graduate identify the perfect match!

It's the best of the best. Guaranteed to bring about success!

Call us today! Call me to get your Starkey Service Management Education. 303-832-5510

Call me to be matched with one of our Certified Household or Estate Managers. 303-832-5510


For All Current Household & Estate Managers

Starkey Has Taken Its Essential Knowledge and foundation
from Its Household and Estate Manager Courses and is
offering them in two courses…

We have found that experienced managers and staff have solid Technical Skills.

We now provide the management tools to create the perfect home structure to compliment your Technical Skills!

We also have the tools for you to know What you are worth!And What your Perfect Position is!

Starkey Service Management Systems Course

Starkey's Service Management Patented System Offered as a 40-hour Correspondence Course Guided by a Starkey Instructor; Videos, Text Books.

Customize a Service Management Plan with templates for any size estate or property; any number of family members, 11 unique Private Service Management Tools and a Household Service Language!

This is Essential Knowledge for those working in Private Service Estate or Household Manager, Personal Assistant or Family Office A Starkey Certification Program.

A Starkey Certification Program.

June 2018 – Service Management Systems Course

This coming June 11th through June 15th, 2018 Starkey will have an on-site Course covering the
Service Management Systems Course for those specifically working in private service.The Systems course will cover all of the Starkey systems, which will give any current Household or Estate Manager the foundational training in order to run an efficient household. Our time tested and industry proven tools and management tools will keep your Principals home or estate out of that dreaded "Crisis Mode".The June Course will cover the following topics:
Starkey Service Management Model
The June course will cover the following topics:
All professions have a language and so does Private Service. You will learn how to talk and think like a real Household or Estate Manager. This will give you credibility for your profession.HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT TOOLBOX
The Starkey Service Management System has over 11 management tools that you will use to manage your Family, Staff and Environment and to understand the logical process.THE SERVICE VISION
Learning the Principals lifestyle, environment and their expectations of Service THE PEOPLE - FAVORITES, SCHEDULES STAFF CALENDAR AND FAMILY TREE
You will learn Family Favorites, learn the Family Dynamics and learn how to put these into Standards so you have some accountability when managing your Staff and supporting your Family. ENVIRONMENT
Teaches you where Service takes place that can include multiple homes and how you can set up a Property and Grounds plan. ZONING AND TASK SHEETS
Will teach you how to develop your Housekeeping Plan and structure your housekeeping staff. TEN STANDARDS, THE STANDARDS MATRIX, BASELINES AND VARIABLES
Teaches you how to identify your Principal and Family expectations in multiple areas and identifying what it takes in terms of hours and positions to support the Family including factors that are unique to your Principals lifestyle.
Teaches you how to set up a functional Entertainment event, forgetting nothing. SETTING UP MAINTENANCE DOCUMENTATION

Will teach you how to identify what your Staff knows and what they are bringing to the table. TECHNICAL SKILLS MATRIX
Will teach you how to compare your Staff strengths, next to the family needs to identify the level of the staff. DAY IN THE LIFE
Will teach you how to develop a written documentation that communicates to your Principal and Staff what everyone is doing all day. SERVICE MATRIX
Teaches you how to document and share the Staff information by staff hours to your Principal. If you are interested in this upcoming course in June give us a call today, spaces are filling quick.

Starkey Household Manager Graduates Available Now for the New York City Area!

Starkey Graduates Now Available For NYC and surrounding Boroughs


vlancavicStarkey Household Manager Graduates Available Now!

Vanessa Lancaric

I was born in Paris, France to an American father and a French mother, making me a dual citizen. My father was born in Czechoslovakia to a Slovak father who built a textile company from the ground and a Hungarian mother who was a social worker. Both were of the Catholic faith. The family was dispersed for many years as they had to leave their country due to the Russian invasion. They finally all reunited in Canada after several years and went on to immigrate to the US and became very proud Americans. My mother is the result of a French father born in French Algeria, a veteran of WWII and who became confined  in a German work camp for numerous years, he was one of the few of the French prisoners to have survived the conditions.  He became an engineer for British Petroleum. Her mother was from the French Alps and was an accountant until they married. Her parents met at a sanatorium where my grandfather was sent to recuperate. They both had a passion for music and were in a choir together. In turn my parents met in Paris, where both worked for Colgate Palmolive. My mother quit her career when I was born. My father’s career evolved from marketing VP to general manager which launched into international postings in Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Persian Gulf and Larchmont, New York. My mother, two younger brothers, cat, and dog followed him and during the summers we would go and stay with my French grandparents.

While living abroad my parents entertained a lot, it was a big part of our family environment. My interest of being a “Service Heart” started to bloom; I would always insist in helping my mother dress tables, decorate, have an eye for perfection, and help my parents with hostessing, be it diplomats, expats like us, or citizens of the country we were living in. This encompassed, etiquette, protocol and culinary traditions that my grandmothers had taught my parents, or local dishes, in turn gave me the yearning to learn and appreciate the various foods we were exposed to; to this day it is carried in my adult life.  This led me to working in catering while in high school and college, which I loved and learned a lot from. My parents did not believe in allowance and told us we had to work for our spending money. She was also a strict disciplinarian as to the upkeep of our bedrooms. We had to make our own beds, even when we had household staff. We were raised to be fluent in French, English, and Spanish, either by attending French or International schools or by having private tutors. Volunteering and charity is part of our DNA; we would volunteer at local lunch meal services for orphans or less fortunate. To this day I volunteer at least twice a month with New York Cares. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a client receive food from the pantry or lunch service I am part of. Being of service and a people person, is a way of life I embrace and am very comfortable with.

My early years made me into the person I am today: loyal, adaptable, honest, devoted, and kind. I realized my “Service Heart”  was blooming at a young age, is now finally in fruition and my calling is opened to service. Colleagues and friends remind me; I have those qualities. These aspects make me a very detailed oriented person. However, adapts to chaos and stress pretty well, while staying grounded to analyze a  situation before taking it on.

Once I graduated from an American high school, then graduating with a BA in art history from The American University of Paris. This led me to a high luxury environment working in galleries, auction house, and a diamond jewelry house, on an operational level. My attention to detail, upkeep, administrative aptitude, and problem solving were strongly developed. This was always done with pride and dedication to my employers. However, I felt a void and wanted to truly go and set sail towards becoming a Certified Household Manager, which I know deep inside me has been yearning to come out. With the completion of the Starkey

International Service Management Course, I am able to manage a small household staff, vendors, in a city dwelling environment, which is reinforced by the management tools that Starkey International has defined and put into practice in numerous homes. My multicultural exposure, skills, experiences, and know-how are my base in being a professional Certified Household Manager, that makes me loyal and devoted to the Principals I will report to. I want to make a difference in someone’s life. I am able to support and keep my principals experience a luxury lifestyle, by setting up their home by using my resources and savoir faire.


My top standards are Administrative, Housekeeping, Clothing and Valet, Entertaining, and Culinary.



mlombardoMario Lombardo

I was born in Brooklyn, New York and am a second generation Italian American.  I am the oldest of three children with a younger brother and sister, and we were raised in a hard-working family with a Catholic foundation, though I no longer practice.  My mother was a stay at home mom and homemaker.  My father owned a Window Company that manufactured and installed Vinyl Windows. My grandfather on my mother’s side was a Long Shoreman and my grandmother worked in an Umbrella Factory. My grandfather on my father’s side was a stonemason and my grandmother was a homemaker.

I knew I was right for service at a young age when I was in grade school. When I started school, I quickly became the “teacher’s pet” and was always finding ways to assist my teachers with even the smallest task – sweeping floors, erasing the blackboard, etc.  As I grew older, I realized the power of “paying it forward” and always tried to do so when possible.

Housekeeping and organizing were introduced to me at a young age through household chores as a way for us to earn an allowance. I was always very clean and neat.  My mother eventually allowed me to work alongside the housekeeping service we had in our home, and I found great satisfaction in helping to keep our house clean and tidy.  My eye for detail and organization began as a child.  When I was in Junior High, I took it upon myself to start organizing our garage and I immediately felt relief as I cleared the clutter and made sense of the chaos.  I discovered at that time that I am able to think more clearly in an organized space, and I have maintained that attitude as an adult as well.  I have always been very observant - straightening crooked pictures, setting clocks that were off by 5-10 minutes, cleaning my white sneakers when they had marks on them.  I also used my eye for detail when building my first home as an adult – I completely gutted and remodeled the home and had to work closely with contractors, architects, and engineers in order to make sure that my vision was executed correctly.

Throughout my life, I have been commended for my Leadership ability, as well as my tendency to be a ‘giver’ to those around me.  My leadership skills were initially developed through team sports, which I competed in throughout high school.  I was an avid soccer player and served as the team captain for an Olympic development team when I was 18.  In this role, I consistently led by example, putting in long hours alongside my teammates for training and development.  We competed against some of the top athletes in the world in our sport, and I discovered that I am not easily rattled in high intensity or high pressure situations.  During an impromptu scrimmage against the USA Women’s National Team, I was commended by Mia Hamm for my leadership abilities on the field – I have never forgotten that moment and was very humbled by her acknowledgement.  My giving nature has been proven time and time again from as early on as grade school.  Whether it was loaning a classmate my extra tie or going above and beyond for a tenant to ensure that their event was all that it could be, I rarely think twice about giving of myself to improve the situation of another.  I find deep satisfaction

in knowing that I am able to provide that level of support and assistance to others.  I truly believe in the mantra “no task too great or too small” and live by it consistently.

I have always had the attitude of “just do it” when it comes to solving problems and have developed a work style that reflects this attitude as well.  Even when I’m faced with a task I’ve never completed before, I tend to be excited by the challenge and enjoy learning new ways to solve problems.  Honesty, respect, and hard work were instilled in me from a young age and are still the values that I believe in.  I treat everyone around me with honesty and respect and I give my all in everything I do.  My current goal is to find a family who appreciates these values and allows me to grow my skills in regard to managing an Estate and its staff.


My top Service Standards are: Administrative, Maintenance, Housekeeping, and Personal Care (Guest Care).



FB0066Brian Frasch

Certified Estate Manager
Butler Concierge
Top Four Service Standards:
Personal Care
Transportation & Travel

Personal Statement:

I am a native Texan who came to Starkey International Institute for Household Management to refine the skill sets that I have developed and cultivated over the years of my work history.  Yet before my professional life, I sought to learn ardently from my parents, of whom I had held a tremendous respect for.  My father worked in the Texas legislature for thirty years and my mother worked for the state and raised four children.  It was here, in the home, with siblings and parents, that I first developed my sense of virtue and valor and sense of work ethic – all of which have remained thoroughly engrained in me to this day including my religious and Republican political beliefs.


I have cultivated a service heart through years of personal service.  Most recently I have relied on strategic planning, project management and exemplary communication skills to excel as a corporate concierge for the Motorola Corporation.  In this capacity I assisted numerous employees with the performance of household duties, such as handling mail and correspondence, concierge duties, caring for pets, auto, plants and landscaping, performing personal errands, monitoring property and security, and tending to minor household duties.


As a highly organized and meticulous individual, I enjoy using my technical skills in all aspects of household management and Butling.  In any endeavor, I strive to ensure that the required task is performed to the highest standard.  Beyond this, I also develop a one-on-one rapport with the individual I am performing the task for, ensuring that a bond of trust and respect is established between my employer and me.  This passion is supplemented with my intrinsic qualities including honesty, sensitivity, patience and dedication.  Those who know me well, including my previous employers and peers, I am professional, responsible, dependable and extremely organized.  I have a positive attitude, attentiveness to detail, and ability to quickly grasp new concepts. I am able to meet deadlines and very prompt about completing tasks.  As a caring and sensitive person, I am adept in tuning in to my employer’s needs.


In an administrative capacity, I am able to care for financial concerns and budgets and to carry these duties out on a computer.  In the home I have an ability to clean aesthetically and I am able to care for upholstery and fine art and all types of fine fabrics, from clothing to leather and shoes.  In entertaining, I am excellent in the coordination and management of staff.  I am able to follow any formal or informal event, all the way through – from conceptualization to the final product.  I have demonstrated superior management skills in previous positions, and am able to delegate tasks diplomatically.  Additionally, I am adept in the arena of transportation – from chauffeuring to creating travel itineraries.


At this stage in my career, I am seeking a transition into a Household Management or Butler role that will enable me to continue building upon my versatile experience while focusing on developing lasting professional relationships within one family’s private home. The curriculum that Starkey International offered me has provided me with a unique opportunity


to combine my background in personal service with my interest to complete multiple tasks in fields, including culinary arts, housekeeping, special events/entertainment and private service.

My Top Three Standards are Administrative, Personal Care and Transportation and Travel.

Administrative: In my many years (17 years) of working for Les Concierges Services, serving multiple clients, I have honed my Administrative skills in all aspects of computers, and Microsoft office. I am highly flexible and have the ability to identify Service Standards and unique expectations. I have also hired and managed staff, working with others and much more.


Personal Care: As a native Texan I feel I was brought up with a service heart from a young age. Whether it was taking care of all of my dogs as a kid, to taking care of my parents in their final years. I have cultivated a service heart through many years of personal service. As a caring and sensitive person, I am adroit in tuning in to my employer’s needs. I have had many job titles over the years but the job duties have always been the same; providing personal service for busy executives and their families.


Transportation and Travel: I love to travel. Whether it is backpacking through Europe, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail or road tripping through the American Southwest. My love of travel was instilled in me when my father bought me my first car when I was 16. It was with the understanding that I would have to pay for all repairs, upkeep, insurance and registrations. Having a car meant not only the freedom to roam the open road but being responsible. I have always maintained this and bring that responsibility to my clients and their vehicles. We get busy in life and sometimes we forget that there is more to owning a vehicle than just putting gas in it.



Graduate Wisdom part 2

In the second of our Graduate Wisdom series we ask Mr. S.M. a graduate of Class 63 a series of questions in order to gain some wisdom from her experience

Q. Professional name used, # of years in private service. 
A. Mr. S.M- 19 years….. Wow…. Time is flying by….

Q. Title in your position... HM or EM or? -
A. Estate Manager

Q. What do you love most about your position? -
A. I truly love the diversity of my job, no day is the same. I like the relationships I have built with my team/vendors and growing them stronger everyday. What can I do for my team/vendor to make their day and develop a bend over backwards relationship when I am in a pinch with the client.

Q. What three primary gifts do you bring your employer?
A.Mastering the Moment - thinking outside the box for solutions to there problems
Clarity and Speed - resolving the issue before they become a problem or before they are noticed
Listening - being able to truly listen to the client, sometime what they are saying is not what they are wanting….. Listening and asking questions

Q. What three primary gifts does your employer bring you?
A. Flexibility - allowing me to be me and taking the time I need, when I need it to recharge
Funding - funding the lifestyle the client wants to live, willingness to pay for quality work
Trust - trusting me to do my job and direct the team as it best fits the clients needs

Q. Now, after this quality of time in Private Service, what is your definition of a Service Heart?
A. Willingness to give but being able to hold the boundaries of a professional.

Q. What technical or psychological skills have made you most successful?
A. Listening without judgement…
Having the ability to know when the shit rolling down hill at you is about you or just the client blowing off steam…..
Knowing the client and their priorities, being smart and having the knowledge about their priorities……..
Having a team that you can count on and giving them credit when credit is due

Q. Advice you give to all those new in Private Service or looking to enter private service?
A. Be authentic and real…… if you make a mistake own it and fix it….. Be good to your team and vendors, they will have your back if you do…. Also you are not the client, the stuff you take care of is not yours, do not speak as if it is or act as it is….never ever for one minute cross the boundaries and use their stuff, they might say it is ok, but just don’t do it.

Graduate Wisdom part 1

In the first of our Graduate Wisdom series we ask Ms. D.L. a graduate of Class 93 a series of questions in order to gain some wisdom from her experience.

Q.   Number of years in private service.
A. Been in private service ten (10) years

Q.   Title in your position... HM or EM or?
A. Estate Manager

Q.   What do you love most about your position?
A. I enjoy working for people that appreciate my hard work and all the skill sets I bring to the

I love to be organized and the principal I work for enjoys the organizational skills I daily demonstrate that every drawer, every closet, every nook and every cranny is organized as well the variety of vendors I organize and oversee professionally. I also love to cook and my principals enjoy all of the culinary delights that I place before

Q.   What three primary gifts do you bring your employer?
A. I bring administrative skills;
Organizational skills
Event planning

One problem that I faced early on as an Estate Manager is that you must be allowed to run your own staff. This must be made clear to your employer; otherwise you cannot effectively run and maintain the household. If your staff will not follow you and your training you learned at Starkey is not allowed to be implemented, the end result will be a poorly run household, even down to how to fold a proper towel. You can not be a one man band. It takes a team effort to manage a large estate.


Q.   What three primary gifts does your employer bring you?
A. A gift of laughter; my principal is always happy; we enjoy a good laugh together many times and we both find humor in so many things, so many times.

She listens to me; she relies on my knowledge and expertise in construction, event planning, picking out clothing.  I love the fact that she trusts me to make vital decisions for her.

Never being critical of me, but constructive and allowing me to manage the staff and never

We have a well-running and well-oiled estate that runs as a result of this.

Q.   Now, after this quality of time in Private Service, what is your definition of a Service Heart?
A. Waking up every morning and looking forward to going to work and enjoying the job that I am doing; making sure that every single desire that my principals require are met with expedience, perfection and love.

Q.   What technical or psychological skills have made you most successful?
A. Having had human resource training has allowed me to manage my staff in a kind and loving way, knowing that they appreciate and respect me for the way I deal with them. Having had a large construction background has allowed me to build things from small jobs to large jobs and knowing that I am getting the best dollar for my employer, with the job done properly and on time. My skills for entertaining; floral design to food prep. I can create venues from fairy tale princess birthdays to elaborate parties encompassing all decorations down to small romantic, intimate dinners.

My computer skills have really helped me; I am able to create any excel or word template to draw out cupboards, cabinets when doing inventories. Computer skills are vital.

Q.   Advice you give to all those new in Private Service or looking to enter private service?
A. Be patient, even though we want to give 110% all the time and be the best that we can and be try to be perfect in all that we do – it’s impossible; no one is perfect. As long as you are giving the best that you can be satisfied with yourself. Always be ON your principal’s agenda, even though you think you can do it better or faster.

Q.Your additional thoughts!
A. Being in private service is a privilege. We grow close to the people we work for because you genuinely create feelings and emotions toward them. Never abuse these special things such as time and trust that they give to you.

Be thankful and happy at the end of each and every day so that you can look back and say “job well done!”, knowing that you have given your very best.

Try always to stay within your boundaries.

The Business of Private Service

mrsStarkeyAdministratively, I never thought of myself as particularly skilled. I was indeed an entrepreneur, and had a very clear vision of what I was to accomplish, but the administrative perspective was way too structured, systematic and maybe boring for my active service heart to ascertain. I remember early on, when organizing a housekeeping company, the idea of keeping books, hiring staff and actually purchasing a computer in 1981 was way over my head. I set up my first corporate bank account using my father’s credit card and cashed in a paid up life insurance policy purchased for me at birth. He co-signed the card so that the bank knew someone would be accountable. After all, I was just a cleaning lady. I kept that card for 25 years, well after he had passed on. Giving it up was a traumatic experience. His name on my credit card forced me to always keep my bills paid. I would have rather died than have the bank call him, suggesting I had failed in the administrative duty of paying bills.

mansionI also remember coming to a place in my business growth where I was completely overwhelmed and simply did not know what to do. I went to my then female banker, and with a tear in my eye, asked a series of questions. She sternly replied, “I am not your business consultant. Go to the business section of a book store and research all that you might want to learn.” She turned and walked out of her office. I felt rebuked, but it was the best advice anyone could have given me. 

My first book was on simple accounting. My second book was on basic business practices and hiring. They saved me and Starkey. Administrative skills used to be primarily writing a well-written letter. This has been transformed into writing a well written e-mail. Good Administrative Standards and skills are all about effective communication and organization. It is essential that you have good systems and procedures as platforms for accomplishing many of the tasks that actually hold the container of your business or the Business of Private Service and supporting your Principal’s lifestyle. That will take you, as Household or Estate Manager and all your staff, out of crisis mode! 

At Starkey, I have the business of education, the business of placement, the business of publishing, a non-profit that provides scholarships and the business of owning a 13,000-square-foot historic residence. Each business requires a unique set of administrative skills and specific Administrative Standards to uphold. These include: appropriate phone and door answering, computer software for schedules and for collecting database contacts and vendors, procedures for hiring, dismissals and other HR requirements. It also entails health insurance, appropriate interview questions, business etiquette and protocols, identification of risks for insurance and liability, budgets, functional chart of accounts, accountability procedures and timelines for payables and receivables, identification and approximate costs and care of collectibles, profiles of staff and their position descriptions, qualified instructors and support vendors. It’s business, and it’s also the Business of Private Service!

I have made a few 1,000 mistakes over the years. I have quit Starkey twice only to discover when I continued to sign pay checks, my staff kept going. They loved Starkey. I have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars due to fraudulent activity as I did not always watch closely. My business lawyer informed me several times I was naive and trusted way too much. I paid dearly for this weakness. My biggest administrative lesson, one I learned the hard way among many others, was to “Trust, but always Verify.”

I also have done some things right. I always kept my vision and my intention of helping to create a Private Service Profession. The most important thing I did was to hire enough of the right staff, and in that I have indeed succeeded. Many of them were better than me in a variety of skills, and that’s what you look for. Don’t settle for anyone but the best, which is not always easy.

roseThe business of Private Service will only succeed when you learn to put your service heart aside and be practiced and consistent in performing your administrative duties, and by putting functional service systems into place. Private Service Managers must have approved procedures for your staff and vendors and a good service flow for performing tasks. They must take the time to hire the right staff, provide real and time-oriented position descriptions, Zone and create customized Task Sheets with your Housekeepers and Maintenance staff, develop the weekly Day in the Life for your effective time management, and maintain good communication with your Principal. Always be aware of these most important priorities. They change often.

When systems and functional Administrative Standards are in place, you have the creative time and energy to think outside the box, and be a leader and great problem solver. Administrative Standards placed within your overall Service Management Plan make you a true manager in Private Service.       

The Real Cost of Turnover in a Private Residence


When there is Staff turnover in a private residence more may be lost than just time and energy to rehire for that position. There is substantial Financial and Emotional loss for the Principals and family. We will explore these areas below.

First of all, consider the overall knowledge the Staff employee may have of the Procedures in the home and on the Property or the Favorites of the family or guests that are rarely written down. The majority, if not all, of this knowledge is at risk of being lost when the Staff employee walks out the front gate.

Consistency of the day to day operations of the home, property and family schedules will be disrupted. Relationships are created when there is Staff working in a private residence. Separation can be difficult for the family, particularly for children or elderly parents. Familiarity provided comfort and a new hire will be stressful until they are proven to be trustworthy.

It is very important to take the necessary time to write a real Position Description. Fluff will not serve the rehire process or your efforts in the process.

Consider if they have been trained in Private Service, and if their salary requirements are in line to as you sort through resumes. Higher end clients prefer to use an experienced Private Service recruiter or an Institute such as Starkey as they should be expected to pick the high 2-3 candidates that actually fit your requirements and because the industry is unique and excellent Private Service professionals are rare.

Overall replacement of one staff person can take up to 30 days or more. Do not rush the process! Competent hiring practices for private staff are not the same as corporate practices.

When a Staff employee exits employment, be sure to change access codes, obtain keys, cell phones, other equipment and property, change passwords where required, notify security personnel, retrieve credit cards and other financial instruments in their position during the course of their employment. Also, if provided to the employee you will collect autos, facilitate vacating residential property, and processing the final pay. This can take from 2 days to 2 two months to complete determining on policies and agreements.

Now let’s explore the Financial costs with paying your Family Office Representative to complete the above work. The cost of the Representative’s salary could exceed $25,000 for their time during the process plus utilizing a placement agency paying up to $50,000 when hiring a higher end professional. This overall process of termination and hiring can easily exceed $100,000. False starts and bad hires can double this figure.

There is no amount of monetary value that can be placed upon the Emotional loss of a trusted and valued primary Staff employee. Everyone in the family from the children, the principals, and the grandparents will experience the loss. Primary support is no longer there. With new support not privy to the not so obvious, the many special relationships and agreed to duties that had been developed to meet the needs of the family are lost.

The remaining primary Staff employees, trusted vendors, and other support persons will also have to start over with communicating how their work is completed, the expectations, and the emotional value held by the Principals. This also takes time, which the Principal will be billed for. Starkey estimates this could cost your high net worth Employer an additional $50,000.

Security is at its weakest point when new primary Staff employees have to be replaced. These primary Staff employees may include the Household or Estate Manager, Executive Housekeeper, Private Chef, Nanny or Driver. Overall financial cost is a minimum of $150,000. Hire well!

Households without basic personnel policies further place themselves at risk. Specifics include:

Use of Illegal and Legal Drugs and alcohol; remember marijuana is legal in Colorado and Washington
Absentee policies
Dress codes
Theft policies
Sexual and other Harassment
Safety and use of equipment policies

If the private principal employs more than 15 staff employees, there are other federal guidelines that must be adhered to Confidentially Agreements
Basic procedures including where to park, which bathroom to utilize, which doors to enter and exit by, where to store their purses/bags and hang their coats and which rooms within the home are off limits

However, if you write it, the policy must be carried out or you further place yourself at risk! In summary, hiring and terminating Staff employees is an expensive and time consuming and tedious process. Do it right and do it once!


The Private Service Chef – Making the Right Impression

Mis en PlaceOn the way into work this morning I was surprised and happy to hear a piece on how the practice of Mis en Place can help us all in the time management of our daily lives. I’m sure the recognition of the work required in the kitchen was appreciated by anybody who has spent time there. Mis en Place has been an established term in kitchens since the time of Auguste Escoffier. The great chef and father of the grand cuisine who still influences us today saw much in the military that could be applied to kitchens. Our classic uniforms where based on those of the soldier in the hot climate of North Africa. The Brigade system, the underlying structure on which the organization of the kitchen staff was based is very much a product of the military. From our first day of training, Mis en Place or “put things in place” was the basic tenet of our profession. Organization of the station; the food we prep and place in ninth pans, the sauté pans and side towels, the salt and pepper all have to be where they can be grabbed exactly when needed. As important but less often acknowledged is the need to remain clear and unencumbered as we work. You may know that everything in the kitchen is where you want it, but what happens after that pan or product is used? If you are truly going to be on top of your game, cleaning as you go is imperative. The kitchen must not be cluttered with all of the equipment and utensils that you used thirty minutes ago. The kitchen, not just the dinning room, is part of the Ballet of Service we perform during an event. During events you may have a staff member to help accomplish this work but for the day to day it is your responsibility to see it gets done. Often times Mrs. Starkey will offer guests a peek at the kitchen upon the completion of an event. They are curious where, hopefully, such a fine meal came from. How would you like yourself to be seen? What would you like the last impression of your Principals’ guest to be?

As a Private Service Chef or Cook there is much we can do in managing ourselves within the kitchen. Our self-directed motivation requires us to have a clean uniform, a clean appearance, and timeliness in our arrival and meal presentation. Mis en Place requires us to have an organized mind. We accomplish our “to do” lists, and then rewrite them and write them again until the task is completed to the high standards of the household.

All our planning and organization however can be undermined if the execution is not professional. We teach the established wisdom here at Starkey International that we a judged first by how we look, then by how we speak, how we act and last by what we say. If the kitchen appears clean and organized, stress can be eliminated and you can focus your mind on the task at hand and still be able to direct the other activities around you during service. In order for this to happen, cleanliness throughout the day, not just at the end of it, is essential.

Your Principal will notice and appreciate the impression of professionalism you have given their guests. It will give them confidence in you when you fulfill these standards on a daily basis. These are the values that elevate a Private Service Chef above the ordinary. Now let’s cook (and keep it clean !).

Chef Dale EidenChef Dale Eiden C.E.C.,
Private Service Instructor,
Starkey International Institute

Satter Foundation

Starkey International
Scholarships for our Military 2014

The Satter Foundation has again contributed scholarship monies to Starkey’s non-profit Restoring the Art scholarship fund specifically designated for Military personnel in earning their Starkey Certifications.  Starkey International has long supported Military Enlisted Aides and Officers who wish to professionally join Starkey’s family of Certified Household Management Graduates.  Please contact Paula Faulkner, CFO of Starkey for information regarding the Satter scholarship monies and other Funding and Scholarship opportunities.   Thank you Satter Foundation!


Announcing Starkey China

Starkey ChinaStarkey International has reached agreements with China's largest household service organization, China Home Services Association, and Gaoyang Vocational Education Development Center which is working with top universities to provide Starkey education and curriculum throughout China. This would allow Starkey International to engage in the training and education of Chinese household service professionals through mutual cooperation. Gaoyang center was established in 2003 and was one of the earliest entities that helped introduce international programs into China.

These efforts were made possible by Starkey International and Gaoyang's vision for quality service in China. Working with Starkey, Gaoyang will be launching training programs for Butlers, Housekeepers and other related household service specialties by mid 2013.




Starkey China Starkey China Starkey China Starkey ChinaStarkey China
For more information, please contact Starkey International.

Note of Appreciation from Denver Professional Mens Club


Service for Denver Professional Mens Club


Just a note of appreciation to you for hosting the Denver Professional Mens Club for our meeting in September!

Time slipped away from me however you have been in my thoughts as I think it is really grand of you to host us at your wonderful home and business.  Your staff as always were great and I've attached a photo of them that wonderful night.

Have a great holiday season, 2012 has slipped by so very fast but as they say the older people become the quicker time flies by due to our mind's reference of time.

David York

Visit the Denver Professional Mens Club website at: http://dpmc.org/