Upon graduating from Sturgis High School, Mr. Cope joined the U.S. Army.

Mr. Cope worked in the Army in communications, but the urge never escaped him, to pursue what he had always longed to become, a Chef. Mr. Cope’s determination paid off; he started a part time catering business and subsequently landed a position as a Household Manager in the Army as an Enlisted Aide, serving in various General’s homes.  For 16 years, Mr. Cope served six Generals, learning to become flexible enough to respond to changing needs with little notice, while maintaining high standards in all areas. After his many years in the military as an Enlisted Aide and Chef, coupled with his passion for service, he has come to find service as a natural extension of his life.

While serving in the Army Mr. Cope received an Associates Degree in Management from Hawaii Pacific University and a Bachelors Degree from University of Maryland. 

The transition to civilian management was an interesting one.  In the military you manage usually down.  I found in the civilian management you manage down, sideways and up.  Mr. Cope possesses extremely strong organizational skills and is able to multi task a multitude of projects and makes it look effortless.  Adept in overseeing staff and using his worldly experience has allowed an uncanny ability to understand the needs of the staff.  He is proficient in working with vendors and outside contractors and making them feel as they are part of the team; while at the same time getting everything out of them.  He understands when his around the- house knowledge ends and when he needs to seek outside assistance.

While disciplined, Mr. Cope has an amazing amount of flexibility.

“I believe in using a visionary approach, this saves time and money,” continues Mr. Cope.  One must have the ability to not only perform the current tasks but to see how they might be impacted by future projects.   While Mr. Cope is very serious about his duties, he comments that you must never forget that this is the home of the principals and you must respect their privacy and boundaries.

Technical Skill Synopsis:


Administrative:

  • Over 38 years of Household and Estate Management experience while being responsible for multiple homes
  • Direct household staff, vendors, and professional services to effectively manage all aspects of a Principal’s life
  • Incorporate the Principal family’s preferences into bespoke service plans for each residence and property
  • Facilitate the day-to-day operations of all systems the primary and secondary residences for guest readiness
  • Administer human resources functions for staff at each property, including onboarding, payroll, and scheduling
  • Provide discrete, gracious, intuitive, and empathetic service to extended family, friends, neighbors, charitable institutions, and professional service providers
  • Manage household staff, seasonal staff, and event support from hiring through training and separation
  • Source, vet, and select vendors with 100% responsibility for negotiation and quality control of service rendered
  • Implement continuous improvement and rebalance of vendor contracts, approve invoices and pay bills, and consistently pay bills in a timely fashion
  • Develop budget and maintain an estate-wide variance reporting system
  • Establish strong working knowledge of each home’s costs, gain approval authority for all funds spent at properties, and reduce site specific expenditures
  • Resolve conflicts; utilize excellent people and communication skills for confident decision-making under uncertainty and extreme time pressure
  • Hired and managed employees at domestic and international locations
  • Prepares weekly reports for each home reflecting status of the multitude of projects
  • Maintains various calendars, scheduling both staff and vendors 
  • Adept as acting as an official representative of the Family and liaison with Protocol
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook; knowledge of PowerPoint
  • Set procedures within the household and insures all staff works within standards
  • Pro-active Manager, seeking out solutions to various problems and  presenting options to Principals for final approval
  • Coordinate storage of belongings, execute move-ins into newly constructed homes, and facilitate the completion of punch lists
  • Represent the Principals and their priorities during HOA meetings and with the local and extended community
  • Serve as the Principal’s owner’s representative with realtors, lawyers, accountants, and consultants
  • Implement and write household manuals, task checklists, and estate-wide and residence specific policies, especially regarding weather-related maintenance
  • Provide proper care, oversight, and management for all properties and their contents, including capital projects, artwork, antiques, silver, fine tableware, and personal collections

Housekeeping:

  • Responsible for cleanliness and appearance of residences, including:
  • The care of furniture and various cleaning techniques for emergencies like chewing gum, scratches on wooden tables and blood stains
  • Trained staff to uphold housekeeping standards

Culinary:

  • Certified Executive Chef; American Culinary Federation
  • Very capable of hiring and managing the Private Chef or caterers
  • Created and structured menus for daily meals and special events
  • Oversees all food aspects with impeccable service at the table
  • Certified Cellar Manager:
  • Understands the proper storage and care of fine wine, as well as pairing of food and wine

Clothing Care:

  • Over 15 years of performing detailed uniform care and appearance of Principal while in the military
  • Ensure proper care of clothes including the pressing and care of suits and shirts; the care and shining of shoes

Entertaining:

  • Manage household staff, seasonal staff, and event support from hiring through training and separation
  • Plan and facilitate family and holiday events, including permitting, temporary structures, catering, valets, exterior  lighting, and decorating teams
  • Orchestrated numerous entertaining events for heads of state, foreign dignitaries and celebrities
  • Extensive knowledge of place settings and service for dinners
  • Coordinated for floral arrangements, linens and rental items
  • Proper care of silver and china


Technical Skills Continued:


Grounds & Property:

  • Designed complete landscaping layout for principal and other residences
  • Oversaw and supervised the efforts of the Gardener and landscaping company

Home Interiors & Maintenance:

  • Liaise with architects, general contractors, interior designers, and landscape designers regarding repairs, remodels, and new builds
  • Responsible for scheduling all regular maintenance repairs
  • Supervised outside contractors to uphold the standards of the residences
  • Possesses an uncanny ability to have vendors feel part of the overall team, thus fostering a great long term relationship

Security & Safety:

  • Establish and oversee security initiatives, executive protection staff, and safety consultants and contractors
  • Possesses one of the highest security clearances
  • Exhaustively trained in safeguarding people and information
  • Maintains a concealed weapons permit
  • Completed defensive driving course
  • Completed First Aid Course with emphasis on AEDs Responsible for the safety and security of the Principal, his residence and family
  • Protects the privacy of the family, residence and information
  • Fully understands the importance and attendance to the security of the house, including complete checks and verifications every night

Transportation & Travel:

  • Highly experienced world traveler, while providing conscientious service to high profile individuals
  • Oversees the maintenance and cleanliness of all vehicles

Personal Care:

  • Fully understands and respects boundaries
  • Comfortable working in households with children and pets
  • Considerate of guests, mindful of fulfilling special accommodations and requirements, such as dietary restrictions
  • The preparation of guest rooms, including establishing comfort lists to make the returning guests feel at home