My top four skills are: 
Administrative
Housekeeping
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
accomplishments.

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

 

Administrative:

·         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

 

 

Housekeeping:

·         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.

 

Culinary:

·         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.

 

Maintenance:

·         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.

 

Transportation:     

·         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.