A Sampling of Pages from the 2012 DEMA Convention
CONVENTION SUMMARY AND TWO BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS
After a year of planning, the first annual DEMA Convention proved to be another monumental step forward for the association and its membership. The convention commenced on Friday evening as early registrants walked the red carpet to have their picture taken before joining the cocktail mixer sponsored by Homework Solutions and Pioneer Linens. The party provided the perfect opportunity for old friends to reunite and new friendships to be forged.
Saturday morning the convention began with an introduction to the phenomenal Fitzgerald Heslop who as Master of Ceremonies conducted the program like a symphony. The presentations given by both Charles MacPherson of Charles MacPherson Associates and Teresa Leigh of Teresa Leigh Household Risk Management were major draws for the membership and were extremely well received and appreciated. Their presentations were followed by opportunities for the attendees to introduce themselves to the exhibitors and prepare for “Acquiring and Caring for Fine Jewels” presented by Moti Ferder and his office manager Stuart Winston whose presentation underlined the importance of having the right company maintain and transport jewelry.
After a tantalizing lunch sponsored by TROV, Chicago Chapter President David Barrie and principal Chris Stephenson presented “Setting Service Level Expectations in Business and the Estate”. David Barrie then accepted the DEMA 2012 “Humanitarian of the Year Award” which was awarded to The Stephenson Family of Cancer Treatment Centers of America. CTCA has worked tirelessly to uphold the widely acclaimed “Mother Standard” of care in an effort to provide the very highest caliber of treatment and compassion to patients battling cancer.
The first award ceremony was followed by four workshop sessions led by some of the most recognized faces in the industry presenting on a variety of topics of interest to the Private Service Professional.
During session one Anita Heriot of Pall Mall Art Advisors presented “Art as an Asset: Protecting Your Client”. Bonnie Low Kramen provided insight into her experiences with her presentation, “For the Love of It: Game Changing Secrets from a Celebrity Assistant”. “Mastering the Arrangement of a Private Jet Flight”, was presented by Ngaire Duncan and Steve Feldman introduced members to “Recycling Luxury Kitchens”.
Session two included presenters Katie Vaughn and Mimi Brady of Westside Nannies who presented “Happy Wife, Happy Life: The Most Important Hire You Will Ever make” while Jim Henderson tackled “Why Downsizing is so BIG Today” with “Productivity Tips & Tricks”. Vickie Evans simultaneously provided members with instruction on utilizing Word and Excel in “Covering Excel & Word”.
During the third session Vickie Evans presented part two of “Productivity Tips & Tricks, covering Excel and Word”. Kathy Webb was joined by Bob King to present, “Hiring, Firing and Paying Household Staff: What every Manager Needs to Know” and Donna Shannon presented “Social Media Tips for Job Seekers”. Beth Bittenbender gave her presented “Radical Green Cleaning Methods for a Healthy Private Home”.
The last session of the day was kicked off by Teresa Leigh, “Conflict with the Family”. In addition to Ms. Leigh, Shelley Whizin presented “What about You? The Balance Between Management & Personal Life”.
With the educational portion of the program having concluded for the day it was time to celebrate the industry and recognize the professionals who have made significant contributions to the industry.
Lugano Diamonds generously donated a pearl necklace and a set of pearl cuff links which were raffled off to extremely happy members. As dinner was served attendees were delighted to be joined by models adorned with some of the beautiful and intricate diamond pieces for which Lugano Diamonds is known. Bonnie Low Kramen and Vickie Evans donated books which were given to members lucky enough to have their names drawn during the raffle.
After a delightful dinner sponsored by LimoLink the awards ceremony commenced. The 2012 Vendor of the Year Award was awarded to Miele, one of the most recognized appliance companies in the luxury market. Their commitment to deliver outstanding customer service and the best products made Miele the perfect choice.
It was with great pleasure that DEMA recognized Distinguished Domestics as the recipient of the 2012 Agency of the Year Award. Distinguished Domestics is one of several deserving agencies DEMA is proud to be associated with and exemplifies the best of what an agency should be with their commitment to serving both their candidates and principals. Time and again when visiting in Los Angeles new DEMA members would talk with us about the care and passion both Elise Lewis and Robyn Mosier have for this industry.
DEMA was thrilled to award the 2012 Educator of the Year Award to Charles MacPherson. His commit to excellence and creating a higher level of service is surpassed by none. His top drawer butler academy has taught private service professionals from around the world about the true meaning of professionalism.
DEMA was proud to salute Mr. Richmond Schmidt with the Private Service Professional of the Year Award. A graduate of The International Butler Academy in the Netherlands this year’s winner is an individual who exemplifies honesty, loyalty, commitment, and passion. His commitment to the success of the industry over his personal advancement is truly admirable. The passion that he has shown over the past two and half years as chapter president of the self- proclaimed “Flamingo Chapter “ in South Florida has been remarkable. Schmidt’s ability to act as a mentor for private service professionals and educator for vendors in his chapter could not go without being recognized. One of the most noted traits exhibited by this year’s winner is humility, a trait shared by so many other professionals in this industry.
The final award of the evening was the DEMA Lifetime Achievement Award. DEMA’s most coveted award is reserved for those individuals who have made a profound positive impact on the private service industry and is limited to individual members who have made a career of service to others having dedicated no less than ten years to the private service industry. This year’s winner has proven that service is a way of living and thinking and should permeate into all aspects of our lives. The winner of this year’s award was given posthumously to Eugene Allen. (Andrew Lowrey of Precise Home Management accepted on his behalf) His commitment to the service of 8 presidents in the White House as head butler exemplifies the attributes this award seeks to honor.
(To learn more about Eugene Allen CLICK HERE)
Sunday morning came early as the energy level carried over from the day before. After breakfast attendees were greeted by Steven Ferry whose presentation, “Aplomb- Not a Fruit But an Essential Butler Trait” was followed by an open discussion with Teresa Leigh.
Henry Rich of ADT Custom Home addressed the importance of security with “What It Means for You and Your Client.” This discussion helped address such key points as immediate response time and operation of security systems from abroad in an estate home.
Allan Miller with his vast experience delivering private service and former Director of Operations for Starkey International presented “Serving the Servers, Planting Seeds in Your Own Garden”.
After a delicious lunch sponsored by The Help Company, Claudia Kahn thanked everyone for traveling to Los Angeles and showing their support for DEMA. Her heartfelt presentation served to illustrate the passion and enthusiasm that DEMA’s membership has for the association and the industry.
The afternoon session consisted of both workshops and a Career Fair where attendees had the opportunity to communicate with placement agency representatives from around the country.
The workshop sessions commenced with presentations by Chuck Horst & Doug Greenberg “Caring for Couture Wardrobes”, Charles MacPherson’s “Understanding Boundaries” and Avi Ben David’s “High Security Locks- eCylinders and Access Control Technology Trends”. Matthew Haack and Michael Wright conducted a workshop for vendors entitled “Best Practices for Working in an Estate for Vendors”.
The final round of workshops included David Barrie’s presentation “Don’t Let your Career Pass you by”, Alexander Dahlgren’s “How to Choose the Best Vendors & Contractors” and a presentation by Peter Van Ryder entitled “Are you in it for the Profession?”. Michael Wright and Matthew Haack conducted a second vendor workshop entitled, “How to maximize your DEMA Membership.”
The final event of the first annual convention was a round table panel discussion between some of the industry’s leading placement agencies. David Gonzalez of EstateJobs.com, Christopher Baker of Christopher Baker Staffing, Daryl Camarillo of Stanford Park Nannies, Andrew Lowrey of Precise Home Management and Katie Vaughn of Westside Nannies all took part in a panel discussion focused upon industry standards, placement best practices and several other hard hitting topics.
The convention concluded with closing comments from DEMA founders Matthew Haack and Michael Wright. The two thanked all attendees for their support and the sponsors who helped keep ticket prices at an all time low for a convention of this nature. The impending launch of the “DEMA Institute” which will be focused upon continuing education programs was announced. The intent of the program is to build upon and compliment current educational programs in an effort to help keep Private Service Professionals up to date on the latest technologies and techniques as they pertain to estate management.
DEMA would like to thank all of those who took time out of their busy schedules to attend this year’s convention and all of our sponsors that made the convention so valuable. We hope that it exceeded your expectations and we look forward to seeing even more of our members next year.
We truly appreciate all of the feedback that we have received and we look forward to building an even better program for next year when we reconvene for 2013 in Orlando, Florida. The first DEMA Convention saw many successes and recognizes that there were some imperfections. We intend to work tirelessly to improve upon the positive aspects of this year’s convention. We are humbled to be a part of this great industry and look forward to continuing to Serve Those Who Serve Others.