Private Household Training – “Uncut” Episode 4

Louise Starkey from Stark International CEO been doing this 43 years wow and you I’m Xavier medicine Director of Education at Starkey International happy explore City everybody loves him you know because he’s so fresh and croissant and don’t forget my prayer here and I’m really lucky because my Frenchman here takes care of us and the students when they do come and when we go to do private training he takes care of everybody on staff so we want to do a private training we get calls often and so one of the first things we ask people is okay how many square feet of home do you have because that tells us how many hours of cleaning there actually is in a home we have a baseline for most everything we also ask how many people are on staff oh and I’ll be trained do they know anything about the other product we’re going to teach they want to learn yes I’ll be willing to uh to learn or are they uh don’t they want to um understand what we’re going to we’re going to teach and we have Alison in Spanish and so when we go we will always make sure there’s at least one person that knows how to speak English even if the rest only speak Spanish you’ve done it many many times so we have a book in Spanish we have a housekeeping book in Spanish so that helps a lot for the people who do not speak um very well in English so we show up and we are greeted by the principal and we start out by spending a little time with the principal I want to know how she thinks I want to know what’s driving her crazy about her staff you want to know I want to know what how this stuff is doing and whatever needs water just the stuff is missing how well is a house clean what kind of surfaces do they have to clean and what product they use so I never go into our homes and take over our staff I want the staff to teach me I want to learn first what they know and how they do things so it’s an it’s a win-win situation because I don’t come in as as a as a teacher I come in as well as the students to begin with then when I go around and talk to each of the different uh staff and what they do and how we clean and what product they use and what kind of surface they have then I can I can make my suggestions and and start by showing them what’s the best way usually if I come into our homes the staff is willing to learn very few times do I have a staff that is a wall it’s very rare because before I get there I make sure that this I speak to the staff on the phone each and and each individual and learn a little bit about them so I kind of break the ice you know and I want to know if you want to learn if they are willing to um willing to listen to me to show them how to do things but I am willing and I tell them that I’m willing to learn about them and what they do because you know you’re not from a baby in the water together you just keep what’s working and because you know and and change what need to be changed with a common sense of stuff it’s important that you don’t come in I’m the one you’re gonna listen now but I’m the one that’s going to listen to you first then I will make suggestion and then we will agree about how we’re going to proceed so Mary and Xavier would you when you first go Would You observe the staff doing their chores cooking and their daily things and then give them feedback okay no we don’t because we set it up so that the staff from the very beginning know that they have a whole week of training and you cannot work and do your regular job and get trained so they’re kind of standing around and and we have them take us on a tour with the principal and we go through the entire house and we look at uh the closets that are a disaster how are they a disaster well obviously mismatch everything they throw things in the closet and close the door not knowing how to organize a closet you know but I also look at the uh job description if there is one often the the problem in a home is there is no job description so people are kind of not knowing what they are supposed to do and not supposed to do what is their uh what is it what is it what what they were hiring higher to do and so what do they do all day that’s a question what does someone do all day so that the health can be organized within the day so my role when we do a private training is Xavier’s teaching uh and working with the actual staff people I meet with the staff individually and they say okay in bullet form talk to me about what you do all day and I write it all down and I begin to see the needs of the overall staff by knowing what’s each individual does all day long in fact we were recently at a private training and discovered that the um two housekeepers were not very happy with the Houseman or the butler because he didn’t have enough to do so he kept trying to do their jobs yeah interfering with our daily routine that’s kind of a it’s kind of uh difficult to work with you know in the homes and someone doesn’t know what to do today so again adding a job description for each and every one of the people in the homes is a good stocks and if we don’t have them I create them you know also when I go into a home the staff is 50 right 50 wrong the reason they call us to come is to make sure that what they know is correct or if it if are not correct meaning that are we doing it right is this a way to do a a process of cleaning the surface is this the right product and often they don’t know because you know multi-million dollar homes have a multi-million dollar surfaces and each surfaces is totally different so it’s important to use the right product and if they don’t know what product to use um then that’s where they get um panicky they get stress you know they want to do their job people I have never met somebody in the home who doesn’t want to do their job but they have to know how to do the job correctly so that uh when they come when they show up to work in the morning when they leave their homes they know what will happen today and that’s really the point where we feel more comfortable be happier in their work even know what’s going to happen everybody loves being successful yes everybody wants to be successful I remember being in a home way back it’s been a while and all the surfaces in the of the furniture all had a a uh what do you call it English is that the English uh no there was uh a surface within they were putting oil on a Surface that’s what I said you know Old English and and you it didn’t go in because it had a it had a coating a finish that didn’t accept anything yeah like a piano you don’t put any finish on the piano because the piano has already a coating at make it shine so you don’t want to use this kind of product so if you have fine antiques in a home uh not not you know most of my clients don’t buy from American Furniture you know they have really high-end beautiful things so it’s important to know what people are doing and what products people are doing oh that’s that’s right what do you think’s more um when you meet with them individually after you do a private training what are some of the things that the staff will say back to you of wow this was you helped me with the time management now I can I have a little more of a schedule like what tools do you leave with them that they can continue to tap into when you’re gone well first of all you know we have different books for example if I go for a housekeeping then I have these housekeeping books which has everything in there uh so if you start this off with uh we leave our uh we leave our clients with great tools and then go into what you’re saying yeah we we leave our clients with with tools our the staff we stool and then we have books so when they when they train people I always bring the books for each individual uh stuff every staff person has their own books so they can refer to it once we’re gone you know um and also you would bring the entertainment book oh the entertainment yeah the Entertainment Book when we work with a client we always try to find out their focus is it housekeeping is it entertaining or both well both yeah also their focus has to have both then we have to have time to train both yes by the time we’re done the student the staff member has a week long with us to answer all the questions that come up the surfaces that are really hard to clean they will have management tools like for instance will develop a whole housekeeping plan based on every single day what did they do so that they know how to be successful yes remember that a housekeeping plan is not a checklist you never use a checklist for a housekeeping plan for any plan as a matter of fact it’s always time oriented it’s important that we know what it takes to clean a room how long does it takes to clean a room so that when we add all the room together and all the items in each rooms we know by the end of a week how many hours it takes to clean a home so often you will have too many people or other stuff and so when you have too many people people start to get in each other’s way get in each other’s way like we have it in Sacramento but if you are under staff with a number of hours for large homes that is not enough to cover the entire clinic by the time it gets to Friday evening that’s when the house will be finished because there’s no cleaning on Saturday and Sunday of course then you are you have not finished your priority of having a home beautiful and the home beautiful is what the clients want you know so having having finished by Friday everything’s in its place everything is a place and every place has a thing there you go so when we meet with the client from the very beginning they’re involved they want to typically be part of the training because they want to know what their staff is being taught and we’re grateful for that because if they don’t know what they’re being taught then things get lost well also you know Atlanta doesn’t really know what he really takes to clean the homes they are very good in their business are doing what they do and making their money but really running a home is a is not their Forte but if they participate in a training because we are interested in what we do and why we come we pay us a lot of money uh they themself learn and by the time they finish a week now we understand better what their staff has to go through to get their home ready beautiful stop um how typically principals have no idea what it takes for a staff member or members to clean an entire home they’ve they’ve never had to do it so they don’t know so it’s it becomes a yeah are you playing it becomes a learning process for both the staff as well as the principal if you see that you remember when I put a little coaster underneath I put my Patty over here that I am from France I’m from France and the little lemon inside so it’s refreshing we’re good anyway where were we at this is what I put up with all the time my Frenchman here yes so I introduced your little dog well we didn’t introduce you look at his beautiful coat uh winter coat we have Timmy with his uh uh snowman coat it’s cold 15 degrees last night in Denver they were shivering so outside of cleaning which we know is a huge part of why you guys go in and educate I love I love going and educate because you know 35 years of of working in a homes for different uh High Network clients royalties or president I came to a point where I want to teach that I want to teach what I know and I want people to be sponge and willing to learn and I’m willing to share everything that I know there is no secrets you know teaching is about opening up it’s about being being honest with people being totally upfront genuine genuine and sharing stories of my mistake I wasn’t perfect all the time I was not perfect okay so but I’ve learned and uh when you when you make mistake it’s completely okay as long as you learn from it you know don’t be stubborn you know so that’s my that is my I cherish going into a home first of all because first of allow me to travel to meet people to meet people who are willing to and open to learn and and share with stories and we are in the same Industries so it’s important for me that I feel I feel that I give everything I can you know uh to the people I go and teach them people really love Xavier as an instructor and while he’s teaching I’m meeting individually with each staff person for about an hour right and listening to what works in their position the bullet points of what they do what is the first question you would ask what do you do all day that is the most important you work into a let’s say we place you we you want to be placed into your home right the first question is we have before we yes what do you want to do really because you know when you’re looking for a position you should have a list of things that you want to do during the day because you’re going to be doing it eight to ten hours a day right and if you don’t know what you want to be doing all day you’re in trouble if you don’t know why you’re going into our homes and what’s what family how big of a family or Geographic locations you need to know all of that where you feel you will feel comfortable about taking the positions you must ask a lot of questions to yourself so let’s let’s bring everything to a head there is when we do private training when we leave staff members will be empowered because they know what they’re supposed to be doing secondly there is a written housekeeping plan that the employer and the staff people can refer to there is uh there may be new um cleaning tools and products that work maybe work better than what they had maybe not um remember housekeeping you have to keep the product as simple as possible you do not want to get all those chemicals it has it’s not necessary there’s two mechanic too much chemical on the market but simpler let’s say uh fee bee Works be wax is perfect because first of all it’s wonderful smell it’s natural and you can use that on a lot of Furnitures without having to worry about you are using the wrong product so water and vinegar it’s as simple as that you want to kill bacteria what’s better than vinegar and so on and so forth there is a lot of simple thing you can do to make a house beautiful and looks like uh you use the best product but in you know in the world the most sophisticated chemical now you use the more simple product works fantastic okay so we have the housekeeping thank you down pat yes and they may also want to be trained when they entertain entertainment our our last client that we were at she wants to entertain friends and they have a whole Legacy going of of people that work for them that they want to bring in and make part of their extended family and so they want to entertain well they didn’t have any people that would help them entertain and no person said I’m exhausted yes so the next thing we do is the entertainment we have this big book of entertaining you’ve done everything in this book about entertaining there is not one thing that’s missing about creating an event this is your Bible for entertaining there is no better books uh on the market than what Mrs turkey remember these books I’ve been reading by Mrs Starkey for the last 30 years so we know we use all the technique in the books where we have what she has written down so uh interesting is not about serving uh to the right and picking up service to your left picking up on the right it’s it’s an art form it’s beautiful it’s it’s uh it’s um uh you call it gives you some energy and and doing it with Grace and beautiful uh pet setting and it’s a show you are an artist you are an actor you are on stage the entertainment piece gives The Graduate the staff people the ability to show what they know it’s a it is Showcase it’s a showcase people who have never been trained in in obtaining maybe lovely people but unless they know the art form of it of how it’s done correctly doesn’t work how do you set a beautiful table how do you bring how do you bring foreign how do you serve people always a train a trade shows your knowledge Australia shows that you you know how to serve people carry things in their hands you know and they put it no no no no it’s you want to entertain and people want to be entertained by principal and so this is a combination of receivers and givers if a giver is not willing to receive what uh if a receiver is not willing to receive what the giver is giving there’s no service taking place and if a giver is not giving what the receiver wants again there is no service taking place so it’s a mutual agreement that is a win-win situation where you do your Giver gives with Grace and Company and love and the receiver we see with love receive love and understand the grace talk about the event planner oh the event planner so we have an event planner in this book that will teach you exactly no matter what the event is to show exactly the step-by-step how to prepare an event you could do a like we do a lot you’ve done it for 40 years down with the principal you should know my principle right and she or he answers specific questions what 20 minutes worth 30 minutes worth yeah 20 minutes whose and and then in his in his in his uh in this plan you will have who does what during the service you know when and how you don’t want people to walk around and get lost I used to work for a president in Africa and we have different people and they all came to the president every two seconds seven minutes and it will be different people you have you have to have a plan of whoso who and when and how you know so it’s otherwise you’re on Crisis crisis month people walk around like they are lost so you cannot do that everything has to be every movement every step is calculated so that it shows Grace and minimalists right I have a great little story I was having a formal dinner once speak to me I was having a formal dinner I’ve had many of them over the years probably 25 years of formal dinners every year multiple every year so we have a General in his whites and his spouse with a backless beautiful gown and the the server who had been trained the person came up to serve the dessert and on the tray was a oh give me that that’s much better was was uh chocolate mousse chocolate mousse and as he was serving this one he also had a tray in this hand and as he was serving it went like this and I tried to grab it I was sitting next it was a slow motion slow motion I’m trying to catch it I didn’t and you see in your head the disaster coming up it it went all over his whites went all over the back of her beautiful gown and then I turned around and I said where is everyone and they all went out into the to The Back Garden and hid because they were so they knew they were in trouble yeah but the point is we didn’t have enough practice it was our fault we didn’t teach them enough and most importantly here’s a here’s a big one the service receptacle that we had the uh chocolate mousse in yes was the wrong one it was tall it should have been a short one yes so it wasn’t gonna fall anyway so between myself and the chef and the server we all took our part I wasn’t here okay it wasn’t me I didn’t train because I would have done it differently sure I was the beginning we’ve never seen a general again we’ve seen over generals and oatmeals and you know but but this one they never hired one of our drive-throughs so we make mistake you know we learn and never happen again so now go into um you know we would love to if you’re interested in our private training be a part of anything of your needs or your wants or you know just you know reach out to us we customize our private training to meet the needs of the client oh yes every client is different every problem is different there’s not one home in the world that is the same so that is people who take an agenda from a previous employment principle and move it to their new homes with the same agenda uh oh I used to serve a John this way there’s no reason you shouldn’t be served that way for my new pressure part doesn’t work like that they don’t last very long you must understand who your principles are what is their lifestyle goal what is your vision of service you know what is the what is a bullet point that they want to tell you this is what’s important in the stage that’s important somebody was fruity as well compared to somebody a principle was 30 and 40 is different approachable with 17 now so you cannot have the same service for everybody it doesn’t work there’s no one fits all like a pair of socks it’s not possible so ask us to come and do a private training you won’t be sorry we but when when we leave your home is spotless your staff is as I said invigorated the employer knows what she wants oh remember the last training we had at in Sacramento we did housekeeping and entertainment we finished for a week with a formal dinner because that’s why they created these beautiful homes and they never got the service they wanted before we showed up and I at the end the staff line up in the living rooms after the service and you won’t believe but the principal started crying because we spent 50 million dollars in our homes beautiful home for entertaining and nobody really knew how to oh everything the best they could the staff was just wonderful but they didn’t know and they were tipped on you know and so that’s what made it uneasy but once we finish on the Friday on Saturday we didn’t we dinner on Saturday with the 12 guests and we finally presented everybody at the end and the guests uploaded the principal both with tears in their eyes and that’s why that to me is the reward it was great better than the money that we achieve our goal so that’s what we want we want you to have tears in your eyes when we’re done teaching your stuff thank you for listening thank you God bless you and have a wonderful holiday season and Jimmy say goodbye bye-bye bye bye

An Advanced Household Management Course – Episode 1

Greetings! I’m Mary Louise Starkey and I’m Xavier Medicine the Director of Education here and here’s our little puppy yeah his name is Timmy everybody loves Timmy there we go to school so we are here today to take a brief moment of your time to tell you about our Advanced household Management program it’s an excellent top of the line there’s nothing else like it anywhere let’s talk about the course well week one is All About Management tools we call it the Starkey service management system and you have 11 management Tools in this in this in this in this course and those are very important for you to understand and have a helicopter view of your house as well as the detail yeah no detail and the crisis mode you want to avoid at all time by knowing what’s going on in your home using those management tools you’ll know everything you know the most important thing that I see happening during classes is people learn to think like a household or a state manager there is a there is a transformation that takes place people are excited and they’re totally engrossed Mr menacing is a hell of a teacher otherwise he wouldn’t be here people love him why because he has all of the stories all the experiences in America as well as throughout Europe and the Middle East there is nothing that he hasn’t experienced that you can ask and get an answer from him so during the four weeks first week is management tools well you need to understand the process of managing a home setting up a service management system you need to understand the vision of service from your principal their lifestyle goals what else do they need to know uh from about the client their particular standards standards or 10 standards the ten standards of service are the hot it’s like you have a buddy the no heart if you don’t understand the 10th standard Administration housekeeping culinary grounds and property concept management uh vendors management Day in the Life Day in the Life one of the most important of the management tools is called day in the life it will save you honest to God if your position isn’t working first question I say are you doing your day in the life this is uh this is you get I get a note from you I say that’s the reason it’s not working no day no life then you’re not a manager you’re on crisis mode you need to understand that writing reports on a daily basis to your principles making them aware of what’s going on in their house not only makes them more comfortable about your style of management but make them come home happily knowing that things are taken care of okay week two week two housekeeping I want to start this off by saying no one knows as much about cleaning as Mr medicine does I gotta tell you he’s had the experience of being in the fussiest homes all over the world oh yes he knows his house cleaning oh yes and the type of surfaces you have so many different types of surfaces you just can can do a little bit of dusting a little bit of cleaning every surfaces need to be be careful and you need to learn about that and week three oh week three it’s all about entertaining formal dinner and formal dinner event management event management cocktails you love service table settings everything you need to know to create entertaining events at the lower level and at the highest well we’ll teach you the highest level possible so that you can bring it down to a few Notch depending on what kind of events you have we will actually do a formal dinner and I’m here to tell you it’s the same thing we’ve been doing formal dinner you have been doing for more dinner for 43 years no no 30. just 30 just 30 before that we didn’t do it anyway since 1994. 94. so you count that you count the years and we had everybody in our table dignitaries and regular peoples and they all enjoy it’s a really nice way of for the students to learn about what it is to serve and if your client likes to entertain let them entertain correctly yeah you will understand what to say what to say to your employer about how to run a formal table Yvonne I am I love it and the last week oh the last week is uh your um additional statements relationship of service you you teach this one I teach your first three weeks I have important gifts you bring to your employers table where you want to work what kind of people you want to work for what does your day in the life look like what are you doing all day you know you have to be every bit as happy as your employer so that’s what we do in week four it’s a transformational experience you won’t forget well you will learn how to make a difference you see when you work for someone in particular in this in this Industries it’s a it’s like no other industry you live and and breathe in the homes of someone and you know more about them than the children and their parents know about them so what you want is a family that is gonna love you you’re gonna love them it’s all about win-win it’s not about being a servant it’s not about saying yes sir we’re going to teach you not to say yes sir but instead to bring your love of sir we’re also going to teach that that the client isn’t always right okay but rather they have a right to ask for what they want so if a client is asking you he has a right to ask you whatever he wants he spend you you have to be able to say Sir if I do that this is what will happen is this your intentions so you will learn a lot of tricks of how to bring yourself up to the level where your principal look at you as an asset okay let’s go back to the beginning let’s go back you know 40 some years ago I had to create a language the industry only had a little cooking and a little cleaning and so when the first words I came up with and I had a dictionary is household manager and the reason I did is to invite both men and women into the industry so that it was something that works on the American Stage Butler’s in America typically work in hotels a few places might have a butler not enough to uphold a a industry in Butlers in the United States they won household managers it’s not as stuffy it is not as intimidating so the very first thing we did is household manager now we have over a hundred words that help you position you in your home as a knowledgeable professional language is everything you everybody has a language lawyers doctors militaries police they all have a language and you need to have a language so people can look at you and say she is adept in their language we want you back into the course we want you to come we want to be have you part of our family and trust me I take care of my graduates you might have seen in the um uh social media kinds of things we’ve been doing recently that we seek Starkey certified household managers yes clients I place my graduates clients clients are tired of getting resumes from agencies we do not throw resumes you will create your profile okay and I will help your client make the decisions over hiring you and what what they’re going to pay you I’m a tough old bird and you know people love me or hate me but I make a difference I go after it for you so thank you for being willing to listen to us this is our first podcast we will be back we hope you come to our class in January see you then.

Starkey has additional graduates currently seeking placement. For more information, please contact Starkey at 720-788-3398 or contact us online now.

We specialize in placing our graduates with all kinds of clients: individuals of new wealth, military officials, legacy families, notable personalities, tech-oriented families, luxury hotels and retirement communities, to name a few. Our Placement services and recruitment process are outlined in our Placement Service Agreement. Starkey’s Employer-paid placement fees are based on a percentage of the first year’s taxable salary. In addition to providing educational consulting and support to identify your style of service and the right candidate for you, we also follow up with our clients and graduates to help ensure ongoing success.

HV – 1991

HV – 1991

Certified Household Manager/Chef With over 34 years of experience in private service, Mr. Henry Vela is a model example of long term commitment to his employers. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Mr. Vela’s parents worked as a professional domestic couple for most...

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AB – 2014

AB – 2014

Certified Household/Estate Manager I was born in a small town in the far Northern part of Namibia, Africa. I am the older of two children; my sister is four years younger. We were raised Christian and our values were enforced from a young age.  The greatest lesson we...

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KE – 2021

KE – 2021

Certified Household/Estate Manager I was born and raised in Nicaragua, Central America. I am the third child of 7; my two older brothers were separated from our family when I was 10. Ever since, I took the role of the oldest child. I grew up Catholic and attended...

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Certified Household Manager/Concierge I was born in Aberdeen, WA. My father was in the United States Coast Guard and he moved our family across the country several times. When I was six we moved to our forever home in the charming southern town of Charleston, South...

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  Certified Estate Manager/Chef Personal Statement: I have been a private service professional for about a third oof my 30-odd year professional life in hospitality. I have a passion for what I do, and have never considered not being in hospitality. My first memories...

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Certified Household Manager/Chef I was born in Washington D.C. in a Catholic family with an older brother and sister. My father’s family is Italian, and my mother’s is Greek. My early childhood was spent in Maryland where I was surrounded by books, music and the...

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Certified Household Manager I was born as an only child in Richmond, Va. I was raised by hardworking parents whoinstilled a hard work ethic from an early age. When I was 13 years old my father passed awayfrom colon cancer. At the age of 15 years old I started working...

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Certified Household Manager My Top Standards are Administrative, Housekeeping, Maintenance,Entertainment  I was born in Odessa, Ukraine which is on the Black sea coast. My father was a train and locomotive engineer/ driver, and my mother was a consumer goods expert....

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Estate Manager/Personal Chef Top Standards: Administrative Housekeeping Culinary Entertaining Available for short-terms Private Chef positions anywhere Personal Statement:  I was born in Newark, New Jersey and raised in a Jewish family, having gone to religious...

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Ms. Leroy

Hello Xavier

What a year this has been! While we entertained some, after your visit, it was not nearly as much as we would have liked!
The entertaining we were able to do went fabulously well. Our staff are excited to be part of the evening festivities. Thanks to you both, they have more confidence, a better understanding of good service, and are willing to work at perfecting it. The staff do not want outsiders working at the house and, instead, have chosen to spilt the working evenings between themselves!

I have not taken the opportunity to write a note expressing my gratitude for what you added to our home- let me share some of my thoughts.
I appreciate the care, enthusiasm, and esteem given to our staff to help them understand their value. You and Mary were able to impart this to them better than anyone would imagine and the changes in the running of the house have been lovely. They are following your guidelines, working on the household binder, chef is cleaning his own kitchen, and Daniel is calming down enough to focus(most days!). When issues arise they attempt to solve for themselves, only bringing the most difficult issues to me. Each person, I believe is happier now than before, and thinking through their day rather than just mindlessly attending to their tasks.

I had the impression Mary, and perhaps you too, Xavier, are feeling the service field has changed dramatically, not needing your expertise to train, coach and guide any longer. I feel strongly that we, as a people, nation, and world, need your expertise today more than before. Please, Please do not stop training! Train trainers. Train principals. Train government. Train, those with a service heart, is the art of service and how gracious living is perpetuated.

May the New Year bring you moments of joy, laughter, and most especially time with loved ones. (and ones to train!!)

All my best,

Starkey Housekeeping as an Expertise

Housekeeping is to Household Management as bookkeeping is to Accounting. If you don’t know it, you can’t really supervise Housekeepers or train them. It’s an integral part of a Household Manager’s knowledge. Starkey International is offering a 40-hour (five-day) course for Household Managers to come out knowing what fine housekeeping means.



Starkey Fine Housekeeping Course


when taken with another of Starkey short course offering

Room and board are provided as part of the tuition. Course will be provided at the Starkey Mansion in Denver. We have seven new upgraded bedrooms and bathrooms. The Mansion has a gym, pool room and a full kitchen.



Curriculum offered in this course:

  • Starkey cleaning philosophy for the high-net-worth
  • The Relationship of Service, etiquette and protocols
  • Housekeeping baselines and variables
  • Family Housekeeping favorites and standards
  • Creation of a customized household Housekeeping plan
  • Learn about organic and standard products, chemicals, tools and safety
  • Closet organization and inventory management skills
  • Students will develop Zones and Task Sheets (bring your architectural drawings)
  • Identify Daily Graces, project tasks and weekly, monthly and seasonal cleaning schedules

Technical Skills: 

  • Correct cleaning methods and techniques
  • Dusting, care of wood, care of wood floors, carpets and fine rugs
  • Proper care and cleaning of art, books, antiques, and other collectibles
  • Care of silver, glass, crystal, china, chandeliers and windows
  • Bathroom and kitchen cleaning
  • Making beds, performing turndown, linen closet organization, care of bed linens and laundry practices


Click here to download the course brochure

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.

New at Starkey!

Starkey just hired a writer to help edit Mrs. Starkey’s new publication of the more outrageous and memorable formal dinners here at the mansion…oops, we don’t have a name yet. I started writing it in 2017 as I began sorting through old Starkey files. I have pictures, memorabilia and vivid memories that won’t go away. Does anyone remember why we never serve chocolate mousse? How about the day-long table setting process, where we measured place settings with perfection? Dr. Lewan’s spectacular support and co-host position? I miss them! It’s coming!

Xavier Medecin, our Director of Education since 2018, is currently in classes with the United States Department of Veteran Affairs. Yes, our VA approval is alive and well for all our military students who continue to come for further education, as is our Satter Scholarship fund.  See Xavier’s bio.

Starkey hosted two classes in 2019, featuring our Systems Course and our Personal Statement Course. Both are Certification Courses and especially designed for those who are not recent Starkey Graduates or who are currently working in Private Service.  See our Course Information here.

The mansion remodel is almost done…I keep saying that and we find one more thing to add. We were going to do a little painting in November 2018. Guess we just kept going. Today, in addition to a new roof with down spouts, some of it is copper that the sun lights the neighborhood. Did I say we painted outside as well? We also have nine gorgeous bedrooms; all named for their essence. My favorite is the Casablanca room, though Timi’s Hideaway is darling. We have all new wonderful bathrooms; all floors are sanded and present beautiful old guard birch that one can no longer purchase, adorned with Jay Azari’s magnificent rugs, and a pool play room complete with a pool table for guests. We also put in a new irrigation system and our own plants, with our own Steve Smith’s help. What are left are windows installed in the back entrance porch where only screens used to exist, and we have now completed a workout/massage room. We’ve exposed two inner walls of brick and are putting in a wooden floor.

Courses 2019

Starkey Holds Summer and Fall Courses at the Starkey Mansion in Denver Colorado

July 22nd to August 3rd 2019

Certified Household Management Systems and Personal Statement Courses

RTA Reunion 2019


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


Read More About This Event


Busy 2019! Whats New At Starkey

2019 has certainly been a busy year so far, with the launch of our new online school just a couple months ago, offering 2 courses online through this very comprehensive online school system. Enabling students to study at their pace, and have lifetime access to their course. The school is backed up by live teachers to help them through their course. The courses are tailored for individuals with previous experience in the field of Service.

Additionally we have also begun a new chapter in the life of Starkey Mansion, With several projects running at once, from re-doing the floors, new paint on the walls, new windows through out, new roofing along with new treatments such as carpets and window treatments. In all its been a very busy year for me and the rest of the team. Xavier apart from teaching courses has been very  hands on with the updates to the mansion. I have been working with placement, handling the new decor and cooking for the whole work team!

More to come!

Mary Louise Starkey

Private Education or On-Site Training Programs for Staff

The following are short–term programs provided on-site at Clients’ homes or at Starkey International.


They are specific to the Starkey Ten Standards categories: Administration, Housekeeping, Maintenance, Property and Grounds, Entertaining, Culinary, Clothing and Valet, Transportation and Travel, Safety and Protection and Personal Care.


Individual Standards Modules can be taken to receive Course Completions. Full Programs must be completed to receive Certification in each of the specialized focused educational offerings.


Private Service Training for Fine Housekeeping or for Yachts
Etiquette and Service Training to include Old Guard Housekeeping, Household Organization, Products/Tools, and Hands-on Skills Training to include setting up a customized Housekeeping Plan, Zoning and Task Sheets, Household Etiquette and protocols for working in a private home.

5 Days

Private Service Training for Entertainment
This course introduces the student to entertaining in a private home or Yacht, to include: Personal Presentation, Speech and Service Attitudes, International Guest Protocols and Etiquette, Personal Graces, Professional Boundaries, Entertainment Planning, Formal and Informal Table Service and Settings, Wine and Champagne Service, Event Planning, and other technical skills. Designed for Private Household, Yacht, Club Butler Duties or a hands-on Butler position.

5 Days

Private Service Training for Clothing and Valet Care
This course includes training for proper Clothing Care, Closet Organization, Laundry and Ironing, Personal Shopping and recognition of Luxury Products, Care of fine Accessories, spot removal, fine washables, reading labels, basic sewing and dry cleaning management.

3 Days

Call Us Today For More Information
(303) 832-5510

Or Click here to request more information about private training

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.
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.

Sign Up Now For Our 4 Week Estate Manager Course.


Announcing our upcoming Estate Manager course, our second to last class this year and last Class In Denver Colorado for this year.

This Estate Manager course will start September 12th, 2016 at Starkey International in Denver Colorado. From experience we have found that our higher-end clients will more often hire our seasoned, service veteran, internationally savvy Starkey Grads.

What is a Starkey Estate Manager Course?
Starkey’s Estate Managers’ Program is an accelerated course fit into a 255 hour, four-week course for those persons experienced in service.

This includes individuals with experience in Estate Management, Hotel Management, Food and Beverage Managers and Culinary Chefs.

Starkey’s Service Management System, Service Terminology & Management Tools, and HQ Software are taught in this accelerated course.

The student learns the mind and leadership required to succeed in Private Service Management including the essential Management Tools. It teaches how to identify Service Expectations, put them into a customized system and how to deliver those expectations.

Each student also identifies their own unique style of Service in our Relationship of Service Course. A series of evaluators teach students to understand the correct style of service or hospitality position for them.

Our Private Service HR course is taught, working with Family Offices, and the Management of Multiple Homes and an in-depth course on Entertaining, Wine Celler Management, overall Vendor Management and working with Private Estate Security. There is no culinary instruction provided in this accelerated course.

Colleges would position this course at the Master’s level.

Articles of Interest:

Learn More About Our Certification Programs

Starkey Poodcasts

Starkey Placement Services

Take A Look At Our Available Positions

Learn More About Mrs. Starkey

Learn More About The Starkey Institute

Announcing A Special 4 Week 255 Hour Household Management Course At Ft. Myers Base. Washington D.C.

Starkey International will be conducting a special four-week 255 hour Household Management course primarily for retiring Enlisted Aides. This course will be held in Washington D.C. from October 24th to November 18th, 2016. We will be able to accept 8 Enlisted Aides in this specialized program offering. All branches of the military however, are invited to attend.

Contact Starkey for information regarding tuition fees, and availability of partial military scholarships.

Please call Ms. Barnes at Starkey International for information, application, or for Enrollment information. 720-788-3398. Email her at


Mrs. Starkey Speaks

Mrs. Starkey speaks about Starkey and the Service Industry
Podcast by Mrs. Starkey Founder and CEO of Starkey International
Mrs. Starkey speaks about service the Service Industry and what Starkey is doing to prepare graduates for this competitive and lucrative career.

Bed Making

Podcast by Xavier Medecin Director of Education of Starkey International and Mrs. Debra Bullock
In this Podcast Mrs. Bullock and Mr. Medecin demonstrate the proper method to making a bed

Turn Down

Podcast by Xavier Medecin Director of Education of Starkey International and Mrs. Debra Bullock
In this Podcast Mrs. Bullock and Mr. Medecin demonstrate the proper method to turn down service

Decanting Wine

Podcast by Mr. Eiden, Starkey Culinary & Wine Instructor
Chef Eiden covers the basics of decanting wine

Opening and Serving Champagne

Podcast by Mr. Eiden, Starkey Culinary & Wine Instructor
Chef Eiden demonstrates the proper method to opening and pouring champagne

Silverware Polishing

Podcast by Debra Bullock
Mrs. Bullock demonstrates the proper method to polishing silverware.

Folding Pillowcases

Podcast by Mrs. Debra Bullock
Mrs. Bullock demonstrates the process to ironing and folding pillow cases.

Ironing Flat Sheets

Podcast by Mrs. Debra Bullock
Mrs. Bullock demonstrates the process to ironing and folding flat sheets.

Ironing Fitted Sheets

Podcast by Mrs. Debra Bullock
Mrs. Bullock demonstrates the process to ironing and folding fitted sheets.

Core Professional Duties in Private Service

StarkeyInternational-PlacementPositions in a Private Home need to be clear and concise to be successful. This is the profession of the Business of Household Management.  It is literally means setting up a structure much like you would in a business, to effectively manage the home.  The Principals depend on their staff and may not be able to manage the home themselves due to personal commitments. Thus, this administrative piece is most important and is typically given to the Estate Manager, the Household Manager, and in some cases where there is a full time Principal actively involved in the home, the Personal Assistant.

In all cases, it is important to set the tone of the environment right away and establish who the staff and vendors are, and what their responsibilities and duties are in the home. This can be accomplished with listing Core Professional Duties or Position Descriptions of each staff member. If this is task is still unclear, Starkey offers a short one-week, 40 hour “Systems Course” via Correspondence or at Starkey to teach the Principal or Family Office staff person who is responsible for accomplishing this task.


Core Professional Duties of the Estate Manager

Overall Management of an Estate, or multiple Estates, is quite different from the detail of daily service delivery. Understanding the difference can make the difference of preventing turnover. An Estate Manager’s position is to take on the responsibilities involved in upholding the Service Vision and overall quality of life of the Principal and their family. The Estate Manager should approach a Private Service Management position with the following perspective:

Over all Service Vision

Learn the depth of clarity necessary to execute all operations within a Service Environment; utilize the Starkey Service Management Model taught in the “Systems Course” with careful, skillful and intentional listening to the Principal’s Service Vision. This written Customized Service Management Plan process will reveal and summarize the economic, human, and social factors required for the successful completion of setting up all aspects of the Principal’s overall Lifestyle, Service Vision and their Environments. Be sure to achieve agreement with the Principal on the Service Vision, Service Goals and the overall Service Management Plan, including the staff and resources needed to fulfill the service expectations for each home and Service Environment.


Service Management Blueprint and Budget

Use the now-complete Service Management Plan Blueprint to gather and analyze the overall budget necessary for the Household/Estate and Service Environment fiscal management. Create and refine monthly, quarterly, and fiscal year budgets in cooperation with the Family Office or Accountant. In some cases, manage the Household/Estate operations and project-specific purchasing, payroll, insurance, etc. specific to those budgets as directed.


Family Office Administration

The Family Office, at the Principal’s direction, is responsible for interfacing with specific professionals including insurance, legal, CPA, architecture and design, human resources and building contractors. They might also oversee the detail associated with invoices; maintain the files and historical data necessary to protect the owners and their private/personal corporate entities. It is always essential to maintain confidentiality agreements to minimize Principal exposure.


Vendors, Contracts and Resources

Locate ethical and reputable commercial service providers within the immediate community, as well as for any remote locations or projects. Maintain highest standards of integrity, steering clear of the unethical “kickback” practices of some vendors. Develop relationships with vendor owners and managers – communicate the Service Standards and behaviors necessary for the privilege of ongoing contracts with the Principal, Household or Estate. Maintain the records, relationships and protocols to ensure quality product delivery.


Staff Training & Management

Utilize the Technical Skills Qualifier™, the Personal Style Identifier™ and the other Service Management Tools of the System to achieve the necessary depth of clarity with the Principal and with staff to articulate the expected Service Standards, Service Styles, and individual and team productivity, expectations of conduct, requisite skill levels and pertinent behaviors. Create and deliver the expected atmosphere and Lifestyle throughout the household or Estate.


Service Relationships

Nurture the relationships and protocols in all areas to minimize Principal exposure, and to ensure quality service and product delivery. Whenever possible, cross-train to empower staff, control labor costs and promote the lowest possible turnover.


Service Environment

Educate, develop, manage and nurture talented and committed teams of Private Service Staff, Vendors, and Resources to produce excellent delivery service in the interior and exterior physical Service Environments and Grounds and Property.


Charities and Community Interface

Represent the Principal, Family and Guest priorities within the local and extended community with discretion, gracious yet confidential behavior, intuitive and empathetic service to extended family, friends and neighbors, charitable institutions and professional service providers. Nowhere is the Private Service Manager’s Code of Ethics more important than here. Expect high standards of behavior in all Estate staff.


Safety and Protection Protocols

Complete understanding and support of the Safety and Protection Standards and Security Systems required by the Principal with respect to the Household, the Estate, Transportation and Travel, additional homes, security information, special Guests, and Events of the Principal and immediate Principal and Family.


Project Management

Communicate on behalf of the Principal regarding Design/Build operations: management of contractors, analysis of estimates, quality standards, research and recommendation of contractors and projects.


Core Professional Duties of the Household Manager

A Household Manager (occasionally called “Butler”) is responsible for daily operations of the interior environments and will pay attention to the many subtle details of the Administrative Standards in addition to recognizing and distinguishing specific Service Expectations. Initial endeavors will include the following:


Immediate Tasks within the first days:

  • Development of a working Service Management Plan Blueprint
  • Supervision of Household Staff and Vendors
  • Preparation of weekly Day in the Life™ Schedules
  • Support or preparation of weekly menus and preparation of meals
  • Support of the Principal, Family and Guests in their daily routine
  • Inventorying of china, silver, crystal, art work, antiques and other collectibles
  •  Interfacing fully with Family Office, Accountants, Vendors and Resources

Additional Tasks within the first weeks:

  • Storing resource books, smart home technology information, warranty and maintenance information
  • Maintaining a Safety and Protection Management Plan for the residence and monitoring the security measures
  • Organizing the pantry and developing weekly menus and grocery, paper products and other household goods ordering lists
  • Developing entertaining schedules, ordering of service and wine cellar management procedures


If there is a Family Office or Estate Manager to pay bills and issue payroll checks, that person will have a list of vendors, budgets, insurance information and other resources. This is invaluable systems information for the Household Manager. Most families have vendors they have worked with over the years that the Household Manager will need to continue to work with. A Household Manager or Butler will scrutinize and supervise the level of service that each vendor is providing and what they are charging for the product or service they are delivering.


Words to the Wise for Staff: Never attempt to change an existing Service Delivery System until you have had a chance to learn what the System is, what the politics of the Household or Service Environment are, and the reasons things have been done a certain way. Then, have frank conversations with your Principals and learn their perspectives and share what you have observed.


Core Professional Duties of the Personal Assistant

The Personal Assistant can often function as the Household or Estate Manager in “smaller” Service Environments where a Principal is the acting Household or Estate Manager and requires Personal Assistant support or as a fully integrated Personal Assistant for a highly recognized Celebrity, Public Personality, CEO or Retired Billionaire. A Personal Assistant is primarily responsible for interfacing on behalf of the Principal with the Family as needed, their family office and Private Service Staff. The main goal is the support of the Principal’s Life Style Goals, Service Standards, Administrative Tasks, Entertaining, and Event Planning and Travel and Concierge needs.


  • Manage all Correspondence and the Household, Children’s and other Family members’ Personal Calendars
  • Interface and Communicate for Principal with Household Staff, Vendors, and Resources
  • Maintain Contact Databases
  • Research Specialty Products, Professionals, Vendors and Network Contacts
  • Manage budgets and bill paying
  • Support the Planning of all Entertaining and Charity Events
  • Manage Invitations and RSVPs
  • Attend Board Meetings and provide Meeting Minutes
  • Manage International and Domestic Itineraries, Reservations, Transportation, and Travel
  • Work with their Principal’s Charities and Non-Profit commitments




Mary Louise Starkey

First Lady of Service

Excerpts from the Original Guide for Household Management 2007

Starkey International Institute – 720-788-3398

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.

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Restoring the Art Starkey International


Be sure to fill out the form below to start receiving your exclusive membership benefits!

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Thank you for your Donation!

Starkey Crest


Dear Starkey Patron;

Starkey International and I extend our sincere appreciation to you for your donation to Restoring the Art (RTA) Student Assistance Fund.  RTA is a not-for-profit and maintains its 501c(3) status.  Starkey and 4,000 other small vocational schools lost all funding support in the recent economic turn and we are most grateful for your generosity. 

All donations will be utilized to support student’s efforts in attending Starkey and entering the Private Service Industry as an educated professional.  Service has long been seen as a non-educable and domestic population, which continues to serve a servant mentality and a historical slave cycle.  To continue to have service providers available to the high-net-worth, Service must continue to be elevated to an educated “Service as an Expertise” and as a Profession.

My great appreciation,

First Lady of Service, Mary Louise Starkey

Mary Louise Starkey
First Lady of Service
CEO Starkey International

Private Service Today

Butler is only one aspect of Household ManagementThe age-honored term “Butler” is one aspect of the Household Management profession and Private Service industry.  It is a style of service that is sought in a select portion of the positions now available in the American job market – found primarily in New York City.  Butlers are typically more formal in style, technically centered in smaller homes (or hotels), directly serving one principal’s overall needs.

Starkey’s Graduates are typically more main-line Household or Estate Managers. We serve our Principals and their families throughout the U.S in homes between 5,000 and 50,000 square feet in size.  We teach “Real Management” in Service Management.  We teach functional “Service Relationships” in Service Management.  Our Graduates require developed abilities in up to four of the ten described Starkey Service Standards.   Starkey also has Household Management positions that include in the position description such qualities as a high level of Personal Assistant responsibilities, an expertise as a Private Chef or as an Executive Housekeeper and still others require an old guard or diplomatic Butler style of support.

About Starkey International

Household ManagementWe are a highly sophisticated Service Management education corporation teaching the art form of Private Service.  We are a state-approved vocational institute.  We are also a seasoned Placement Corporation, placing our new and veteran Service Graduates with a 90% success rate.  Our Publishing Company has penned five Service Management Publications for our Students and our Employer Clientele, along with our state of the art HQ Service Management Software.  We house Starkey in a classical and registered historical mansion, built in 1901. This 13,000 square foot high-end private residence, in the heart of Denver, is where students are invited to reside while in training and where we conduct our Household and Service Management Programs.