Protocol

IntroductionsFormal Protocol in Private Service has evolved a great deal in recent decades since Private Service emerged from the shadows of servitude! The old language of “Inferiors” and “Superiors” has long since passed, but some things have stayed the same. The Starkey International Institute has strongly advanced the education of both Service Professionals and Principals based on the premise that mutual respect is the only stable foundation for the Relationship of Service.  Our clients have consistently emphasized the importance of propriety and respect in dealing with their employers and co-workers, but Household and Estate Managers also learn to set proper boundaries with Principals in order to honor their role as professionals. Protocol always serves good manners and efficiency.  The order of introductions at social events offers a fine example.

Starkey On Board… Yachts, Education and More

Ms. Alene KeenanWe are pleased to announce that we are collaborating with educator Yachtswoman Ms. Alene Keenan, owner and president of the acclaimed International Yacht Stew Solutions. Miss Keenan has been a yacht stewardess for over 20 years. She has dedicated her life to service, and has been developing and installing service training systems for private and charter yachts since 2007, worldwide.

"I am excited about working with Mrs. Starkey. I am a big fan of her philosophy of service and products. I look forward to combining the knowledge and expertise we each bring from our respective fields to co-develop a unique Service Management System and specialized curriculum and publications that will elevate service to new levels on board private and charter yachts."

For more information on Ms. Keenan or Yacht Education Services, please contact us at services@starkeyintl.com or call us 800-888-4904.

Ultra Luxury Home Division Update

Ultra Luxury Home DivisionStarkey is delighted to have a relationship with Luxury Portfolio International (LPI), the Ultra Luxury Home Division of Leading Real Estate Companies of the world to share our private expertise with those LPI member real estate professionals who serve the High Net Worth. I along with Mr. Tollison, our Marketing and Strategy Officer here at Starkey were invited to present at their conference in March in Orlando, Florida.  Mr. Robert Frank, author of Richistan and the High Beta Net Worth, and Senior Editor of the Wall Street Journal moderated Realities of the High Beta Rich and a panel with Mrs. Starkey regarding high-end staffing, Luxury Realtor Joshua Saslove of Aspen, Colorado, Todd Ballenger known for Financial Services, and Anthony Cutugno who is a luxury marketing expert.

Mr. Frank spoke to this very elite group of 250 Luxury Realtors about the future of real estate on a world stage, about the different styles of high-net worth, how they made their money, the volatility of the market and its effect of the availability of money, how we are on another 2 year bubble, about how the smarter investor has become more conservative in their spending habits, and finally how to create added value for those clients when purchasing homes and estates in excess of $8 Million with the availability of quality staff to support their lifestyles. It was high for me to be in the same room with so many type A personalities making it happen in the world of real estate.  I also delivered a Presentation on Serving the High Net Worth.  My 30 years in service has taught me much in who they are, how they think, and what quality of life typically means for them.  If you have not read The High Beta Rich, it's an excellent read.

Starkey International on the History Channel with the Sklar Twins!

Mary Starkey and the Sklar twinsAll of us at Starkey are thrilled to share with you that we had the opportunity to play with the well-known comedy team of Randy and Jason Sklar.  Learning Service made fun as we bantered back and forth our service perspective. Our feature, produced by Left/Right TV is part of a special Sklar Twins series and is called “United Stats of America.” It will air on The History Channel in February.  The Sklar Twins are most intelligent and humorous; the show features a Colorado gold mine, the Denver Mint, the Frugal Millionaire, and Starkey International.  It has a witty but serious undertone about learning what service is, and looking at the US and our attachments to money.  They discovered what we already know; Graduates of Starkey are “in the house but not of the house!”   Catch the Sklar Twins by visiting the following link.  http://www.supersklars.com

 

Starkey International will appear on United Stats of America on June 12th for the episode "Money Talks"

http://www.history.com/shows/united-stats-of-america

United Stats of America

Mary Louise Starkey CHEVAL BLANC COURCHEVEL PRIZE AWARD VIDEO

{rokbox title=|Mary Louise Starkey Cheval Blanc Courchevel Prize Award Video :: Mrs. Starkey and Starkey International Provide a week of honorary education to a special butler of the Palace Hotel Cheval Blanc Courchevel, France.| thumb=|/images/blog/cheval_blanc.jpg|}http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtHZ9pCbUgI&hd=1{/rokbox}

Private Service as an Accepted Profession

Mary Starkey EducationTagged with the title “The First Lady of Service”, I am often asked by the media, by our applicants, and by our Principals “Why education?”   I wrinkle my forehead in disbelief and respond, "We must educate if we are to be a profession!"

Why is it that there are those who think that their working experience cannot be challenged to succeed at a much higher, more demanding, level? 

How is it that currently the profession of Household Management does not demand educational know-how, yet still ethically expects to earn that $100k plus per year salary?  Is this a throwback to the perception that service is still servitude?

How is it that there are some who think so little of themselves that they fail to obtain professional education for their benefit as any other professional would in any other professional field? It makes their lives easier and helps them take on those highly sophisticated roles required of today's Household and Estate Managers. Today they are really required to be the Chief Operating Officers capable of creating and implementing comprehensive service management plans to adeptly oversee, support and work with a the staff, vendors, and resources on their Principals’ behalf.

Who are we cheating when we don't fully educate ourselves?  I believe that both the employer and the employee lose.

Today's world requires that all professionals, in all professions, need to be educated.  Consider the advantages of having Private Service terms and language unique to our Profession just like other professions have!  Do you know that having a specialized language gives our Principals the opening to realize that you have an expertise that they don't have? 

Consider what professional ethics are essential to Private Service so that our counterparts do not ruin our collective reputations and bring down our salaries. 

Consider having real management tools unique to and expected in Private Service, which have been tried proven over many years by others in our specific roles of Household Management. Management Tools provide the means to no longer operate in crisis mode.

Tea ServiceConsider what service in Private Service really is: can you define it? Can you list the essential components, and easily put them in place? Do you know what is missing when your efforts are not succeeding?

All professions, in order to be considered a real profession, must stay on the leading edge of their industry's knowledge so that they are able to consistently compare our abilities to what others have learned. We must constantly nourish ourselves with new ideas and ways of succeeding, and to keep our focus on what our profession really is.  This is why education is essential.  It is the foundation of our ethics, our management tools, and our ability to serve not only our employers, but ourselves! 

I tell my clientele, "I do not care who you are interviewing, if Starkey has not trained them, they will ultimately be on their own agenda, not yours".  After 30 years of placing Professionals in Private Service, and 20 years of educating them, it is clear that this skill is the hardest ability to teach, the most difficult for Service Hearts to take on, and is the real art form of service to master.

When untrained, egos lay in abilities, and how they accomplish tasks.  Our Grads ego's lay in their ability to be on their employer's agenda, knowing the best of the best, while always fine tuning what they do, and always doing the task their employer's way.  This is a subtle, but huge and essential difference in the Profession of Service. Education does indeed make all the difference!

The Essentials in Service

 

Mary Louise Starkey

Here at Starkey, we strive to teach the most important lessons of Service Management.  We know that two of the most essential abilities of a Household Manager are:

  1. The Pattern Factor:  Seek out and identify procedures and patterns that are regular "ways" of doing things within a home.  Follow them until you find out whether they are the real requests or preferences of the family or are "ways" of default established by a prior staff person.  Once defined as a preference, make them a written procedure; if they are not, then seek out the preferred way and only then change the pattern by communication and example until it sticks.
  2. Creating Quality of Life: Task Sheets defined are the list of tasks performed or completed daily or weekly, or even seasonally by staff member within a home.  While following established Tasks is essential,  it is the role of the Household Manager to be sure the task is appropriate for that day.  For instance, if the weather is unseasonably warm, and the stated Task is to "turn on the space heater every morning in the sun porch" you must remember to come back after an hour or so and turn off the space heater as the added heat is no longer needed.  Always be in the moment, as your ultimate goal is creating creating Quality of Life!

Events at the Starkey Mansion

strawberries, apricots, pearsThe Denver Professional Mens Club held their annual meeting at The Starkey Institute last Saturday, January 21, 2012.  Seven or eight of Denver’s great professional men enjoyed a convivial evening of business mixed with pleasure while enjoying Chef Althoff’s customized culinary creations and delectable buffet with a good stiff drink!  Mrs. Starkey welcomed the group, shared a little of the Mansion’s 110 year history.  She invited these special guests to join with their friends or charities and choose the perfect date to experience one of Starkey’s prestigious formal dinners.

The Denver Woman’s Press Club was invited to tour Starkey’s 1901 Historic Mansion last week, still decked in its Christmas apparel.  Starkey has been located across the street since the Press Club was built in 1916.  Mrs. Starkey was recently invited to join this most interesting group of women writers as she will have forthcoming new publications to share with the service industry and many other followers.

Speaking of writing and words; did you know that in 1981, Mrs. Starkey while sitting with her dictionary, found the phrase “household manager” in a definition and immediately knew it would replace the out- dated old guard title of Majordomo?  She began to use the phrase in her advertisements and history was made!  “Household Manager” is now an official Department of Labor employment title and Starkey is now celebrating their 125 class.  Starkey International has now educated over 1000 Certified Household Managers and placed them world-wide!

World-Class Private Service on the Caribbean Island of Anguilla

Mary Starkey and Bruce Hearn at the Starkey MansionStarkey International and Properties in Paradise announce world-class private service on the Caribbean island of Anguilla.

Anquilla, a tropical jewel in the Caribbean known for its pristine white sand beaches, is a favorite of celebrities and VIPs in search of perfect seclusion in an idyllic setting.  Beyond the stunning natural beauty, sophisticated guests can now experience the trademark Starkey International private service at Ani Villas — a luxurious 10 bedroom estate impeccably designed and outfitted for ultimate comfort and relaxation.

As a consultant to Ani Villas, Bruce Hearn, of Properties in Paradise and representative for Starkey Caribbean, has put together an exceptional private service team.  With Starkey graduate Felix M. Pina as property manager, a highly trained staff, and the implementation of the Starkey Management System, Mr. Hearn has established a new level of service to Ani Villas and the island. The guest experience will be the perfect combination of natural surroundings, outstanding private service and impressive amenities.
"We were looking for an experienced consultant like Mr. Hearn to implement systems and training for the staff of Ani Villas. His alliance with Starkey Caribbean clinched the deal,” said Properties in Paradise client, Bonnie Bloom, Developer and General Manager. “We believe his experience and knowledge, in combination with the Starkey programs, gives Ani Villas the edge in a very competitive villa rental market. We are delighted to be working with him."

Mr. Hearn, who has a Masters Degree in Hotel Management from Cornell University and is a graduate of Starkey International, differentiates the private service offered at Ani Villas as opposed to hospitality service:  “The luxury villa is a very popular accommodations product now being offered by major hotels and villa resorts. Service provided to these villa guests is often just an extension of the hotel’s services, good, but often no better than room service.  At Ani Villas we offer personalized private service, establishing a genuine relationship with each guest to learn their expectations and anticipate their individual needs. Essentially, we reinvent ourselves to meet the unique preferences of each group staying at Ani Villas, dramatically surpassing typical hospitality service.”

Anguilla

Ani Villas overlook Anguilla’s Little Bay with expansive views of the shimmering Caribbean.  The distinctive enclave includes two fully outfitted villas with exquisite contemporary furnishings and details. A full private staff anticipates every need and desire, ensuring that along with glorious seclusion, a world-class service experience will be yours. Private amenities include a complete gym, infinity pools, tennis courts, a game room, cliff side hot tubs, unlimited rental movies and video games, and a wide range of sporting and game equipment including bicycles and snorkeling gear.

As an ultimate Caribbean beach destination, Anguilla offers uncrowded, breathtakingly beautiful beaches with an “off the beaten path” feel that the laid back luxury traveler will adore. Ani Villa completes the experience, with every detail and desire at your beck and call.

Pamper yourself this winter with the Starkey five-star private service you know and appreciate in a luxurious tropical destination. Book directly with Properties in Paradise and receive a complimentary bottle of Roederer Cristal Champagne, and visit http://www.anivillas.com for more detailed information about this first-class island experience.

Greenalicious

Mary Starkey at GreenaliciousWe made an Aspen field trip last week to attend the Greenalicious fund raiser to help raise awareness of children’s obesity. It was a wonderful experience for me, our Chef Althoff, and our Director of Placement, Gary Smith. We donated one of our wonderful 9 course private formal dinners here at the mansion…I believe it sold for $4,500. The Children’s Health Foundation brought in notable Chef’s from all over the US, and as you might imagine, the food was sensational. As a side note, the auction was one of the best I have ever attended. My 2 entertainment centered sons and their wives will be receiving for Christmas a free trip to Nashville with center seats at a Grand Ole Opry concert and private sessions with song producers. I hope they think I am a great mom!

Class 120 Formal Dinner

Mary StarkeyHousehold Management Class 120 completed their entertaining curriculum of wine and formal entertaining last night.  We often donate our dinners to a non-profit and are purchased by a patron, and this was no exception.  The guests, a lovely group of 12, mostly Denver physicians were mesmerized by not only the finally choreographed ballet of service directed by Debra Bullock, but the culinary artistry created by Chef Althoff was absolutely over the top this time.  In my world travels, I have developed a pallet, and Chef's creamy artichoke soup was indeed a masterpiece.  Thanks to all, students and staff both at the front of the house and the back. Dr. Lloyd Lewan and I agreed,  it was a first class experience!

Formal Dinner Menu for Class 120

How hard can it be to perform simple tasks?

Mary Starkey Tea ServiceI am frustrated today with the level of knowledge a few of my current students have exhibited.  Now in week four and having completed approximately 150 hours of Starkey education, they have not taken on the conscientiousness or service savvy one would hope for.  While they are indeed serious students, how hard can it be to just bring in my daily lunch without someone holding their hand?  Sound familiar?  “How hard can it be to perform simple tasks?”

In the world of education we all want to be shown exactly how things are done in order to be successful.  However, in private service, each Principal may give these students unique directions on how to accomplish a specific task.  Now, this is week four, as I stated, and I have held the hand of the first three students who have carried out this somewhat simplified task.  They each request that they be individually instructed, as opposed to learning from each other.  On the other side of the coin, these are not beginners to service we are educating; these are bright Household Management students expecting to take over the overall management of sophisticated homes.  Are we ever in trouble!  In reading other industry newsletters over the years, one reads about how to polish silver, wash a fine piece of china, and of course iron a shirt.  On the NBC Today Show, Ms. Martha Stewart said a white shirt could be ironed in 10 minutes but Matt Lauer was still stumbling after 20 minutes. 

But we are speaking of just bringing in lunch here, not a highly technical, product proven skill!  So I began to consider the number of factors associated with bringing in lunch.  They have to include:  intrusion into someone’s space, privacy of the activities being performed within the space, is the person hungry, what is the lunch, how do you interrupt to ask if I am interested in eating, knowing what the culinary offering of the Chef is, how the food was prepared, what is in the recipe, what beverage would go with the food, where to position the tray, how to put the tray in front of me without disturbing me as I am on the phone, taking just the plate off the tray, and placing it before me as to accommodate a small amount of available desk space, where to stand when doing so, and if one should speak to me or not -- to just name a few of the factors.  This is a great exercise in service delivery.

In the end, Service Management is 60% psychologically understanding who you are serving and their specific expectations.  The balance is technical and you really have to know your Principal.

Domestic Staff Training

Mary Louise StarkeyToday a prospective client called, seeking private service training for her current household staff.  She exclaimed, “Whew!  You were hard to find, Mrs. Starkey!”  Given that Starkey International comes up first when you Google Household Management, I was stunned until I asked, “What were your search words?”  She replied, “Domestic Staff Training.”  Those who know me and my work understand that I have been a wordsmith for this unique profession of Private Service and have written extensively for the industry, developing the use of over 100 words and terms including coining the title “Household Manager.”

Over the years I have rallied against ever referring to our Graduates as “Domestics.”    The term domestic often has a negative association including: uneducated, low skill, not always trustworthy, non-English speaking, and more; this is not a good beginning for a growing young profession.   The word Domestic is defined in Webster’s 1999 edition as, “pertaining to the home, family, or household affairs” and “tame; domesticated”.  Much of my work over the last 30 years has been to actually create a world-recognized, well-respected, educated, and appropriately paid profession.  The term domestic continues to play a vital role in defining those that do the more unskilled, hand’s on cleaning and outside heavy grounds work in private service.  However, to continue to utilize the word Domestic to define, categorize, or refer to those who have attained years of service management education, abilities, and expertise as a “domestic” is much like referring to an architect as a carpenter!

Mary Starkey on Pro Sports Wives Radio Tonight!

http://www.prosportswives.com/

Join us on the NEW Pro Sports Lives Radio Show!

Call in and chat with us LIVE at (678) 615-2410

Broadcasting LIVE from Atlanta on WAEC 860 AM and WBCX 89.1 FM streaming on www.prosportswives.com

We discuss HOT topics on:

Marriage, Divorce, Dating, Love, Relationships, Fame & Fortune, Money, Sex & Kids, Entertainment, Politics, Sports and more!

Tonight's Show

Finding quality childcare is challenging for parents, especially if you're an active or alumni pro sports wife.

Meet Mary Starkey, President and Founder of Starkey International Institute for Household Management, as she shares tips in her new book, Mrs. Starkey's Nanny Manager, and provides tips to hire and care for your Caregivers.

Join our discussion as nannies sound-off about how they 'often are mis-treated and feel unappreciated'.

AM Properties of Shanghai, China

December 26, 2010
Versailles Residences Development
Beijing, China

Starkey International is honored to be chosen as part of AM Property of Shanghai, China’s Dream Team for their just-announced development Versailles Residences, located near the capital city of Beijing, China.  Versailles is being developed by the Yangang Group, highly recognized for new vision of luxury residences to China. 

AM Property Management, under the guidance of Manlo Cheng, chose Starkey International for Service Training of all private service staff, the Wiseman Group of San Francisco for Interior Design, BCAL of Melbourne, Australia for Architectural & Landscape Design, and Identica of Shanghai for Branding Consultants. Starkey will continue to bring a new level of service to China by positioning the Versailles Residences to experience the luxury and refinement until now only available to presidents and royals.

Not new to China, Starkey initially trained the Private Service personnel at the world famous Le Chateau, which has now become the primary residence for most of the official diplomats living in Shanghai, and also the well-respected Sandalwood Residences of Shanghai.  Starkey International is the world leader in its superior private service training and continues to position service as an expertise! Starkey International’s website can be found at www.starkeyintl.com.  For more information contact Mr. Manlo Cheng at manlocheng@amgrp.com.cn, www.hbygvt.com, http://www.amproperty.com.cn or Mobile 139-01757853

Great Summer – by Thomas Buder

Thomas Buder and Larry GatlinHello Mrs. Starkey,

We had a hot but productive summer here at the residence, many large projects and keeping up with 4 acres of lush property. A new fence and gate project of which I was asked to oversee from inception to finish is now almost complete.

My Principals and others who know the house and property say that it has never looked as good as it does now since they purchased it in 2005. So I would assume that this means the Starkey Graduate you placed here is doing you proud.

Just hosted a party here for the high net worth friends  my Principal who share their support for our local Children’s hospital foundation. There were many here whose name you would recognize.  Photo is of the evening’s entertainment Larry Gatlin (and Brothers) and myself.  It was so wonderful.  

Best to you.

Thomas Buder
Estate Manager