A Sampling of Pages from the 2013 DEMA Convention

Attendee Info:

About the Convention

President's Letter


Hotel Info

Vendor Training Workshops

Vendor Training Speakers


DEMA Lifetime Achievement Award

Private Service Professional of the Year

Vendor of the Year

Educator of the Year

Agency of the Year

Road to the 2013 Convention Podcast Series:

Donna Shannon

Debi Pappas

Chris Young

Richmond Schmidt

Nancy Laine

Andrew Lowrey



2013 DEMA Convention Videos:

Reasons to Attend










Why Attend:







Thank You For Your Support!


Image Galleries:

John Helms Photography




 2014 raised hands 

by Kellie Geres, Household Manager & D.C. DEMA Chapter President

Friday Kickoff!

Friday Laptop  Friday JDH Group

Countless hours of planning and preparation came together on September 27-29 in Orlando as DEMA presented their second annual DEMA Convention. Friday evening, attendees gathered pool side, at the welcome reception sponsored by WC Huff Companies and Care.com.

The relaxed atmosphere provided the perfect opportunity for new friendships to form and old acquaintances to reconnect. A late rain did not stop the party as we moved inside and continued to mix & mingle. This relaxed environment was exactly what we needed to help prepare everyone for all the educational days to come.

Saturday Featured Presentations & Workshops

Sat Christofle Group  Sat CFL Group

Richmond Schmidt, Master of Ceremonies and 2012 Private Service Professional of the Year recipient, began saturday morning by welcoming all attendees to the 2013 DEMA Convention. DEMA founders Matthew Haack and Michael Wright, began with a welcome address immediately followed by findings of DEMA Members including: Private Service Professional Demographics and more.

Richmond Schmidt introduced Chris Young, Executive Director of The Protocol School of Washington, who discussed the Impact of Social Media on Protocol & Etiquette.  

Exhibitor ShotThe Exhibitor Marketplace allowed DEMA Convention attendees to sample products and learn about resources valuable to the estate. These exhibitors showed their dedication and commitment to DEMA by conducting themselves with the upmost professionalism.  

Leading off the Saturday workshops, Claude Robbins, GWM, MWE of The International Wine Guild shared Wine and Food Pairings. Donna Shannon from The Personal Touch Career Services, led participants in how to "Never be Obsolete: Career Planning for the Private Service Professional". Ron Ortiz from iGrace, led Construction Management Best Practices, which I overheard attendees say was “phenomenal information” and “could have used another hour”.  

Lunch was hosted by Kitchen Traders & Hosted Villas in the stunning restaurant setting of Deep Blu Seafood Grille.

Afternoon workshops began with Daniel Connolly from Microsoft speaking on Microsoft Office Productivity Tips: How to Save Time & Become More Efficient. Debi Pappas, Founder of The American Butler School discussed Setting Boundaries. Jeff Borysiewics from Corona Cigar Co. spoke on Cigar Education 101 and one of my personal favorites Nancy Laine on LinkedIn Best Practices. 

Nancy Laine WorkshopThe day progressed with more workshops with Joseph Kolchinsky from OneVision Resources, led Technology Management –  "Why is technology so complex and what can you do to make it easier"?   Derron McDuffee from Via Integrity, educated attendees on Background Checks: Why they are necessary yet ineffective & what you can do to determine the trustworthiness of a potential hire. Jimmy Ng from Napkin Wizard spoke on Creative Napkins and Table Settings.

The final presentation for Saturday was Longevity in Service, presented by Nicolas Krafft, President of Christofle America’s and Justin Trabert, Store Manager in Miami. With their long history in fine silver craftsmanship, we learned what makes them leaders in this industry.   


Saturday Dinner and Awards Ceremony

With workshops done for the day, and after a short recess to refresh, attendees made their way to the cocktail reception followed by the Dinner & Awards Ceremony hosted by Christofle who generously donated personalized silver trays and silver champagne cooler to awarded to recipients.


Sat Andrew LowreyThe 2013 Agency of the Year was awarded to Precise Home Management, with Andrew Lowrey accepting the award.  His commitment to service, staffing and DEMA makes him an excellent choice for this award.  He is a true professional and I’m honored to call him a friend and colleague.


Sat APNAThe 2013 Educator of the Year was awarded to the Alliance of Professional Nanny Agencies (APNA) for their continuing efforts on educating the public and private staffing professionals on the Private Service Industry.  Kim Winblood and Judi Merlin accepted the honor on behalf of APNA.


Sat Kitchen TraderDEMA was proud to honor Kitchen Trader’s Steve Feldman as 2013 Vendor of the Year.  Steve’s commitment to preservation, customer service and giving back to communities inspired many to take a different look at how they do renovations.  



Sat Dave BarrieThe proud and humorous David Barrie Jr. was named 2013 Private Service Professional of the Year. Many were touched by David’s moving and inspiring acceptance speech. His commitment to his profession, his family and DEMA, made him the perfect honoree for this award.  


Sat Mac McClearyThe final award of the evening was the DEMA Lifetime Achievement Award.   The most coveted of the DEMA awards, is presented to those individual who have made a profound positive impact on the Private Service Industry and is limited to an individual member who have made a career of providing service to others. This recipent must have dedicated no less than twenty years to the private service industry. This year’s winner served our country for 20 years.   His dedication to serving others makes Darren "Mac" McCleary the perfect honoree for this award. The party carried on well into the night with dancing & merriment.


Sunday, the last day of the DEMA convention, brought another day full of networking, workshops and invaluable information.

Sun BOD Group  Sun National Group


Sun DowntonThe day started with a lesson on the Future of the Family Office with Joseph Kolchinsky from OneVision Resources, followed by a fan-favorite "The Downton Abbey Effect" panel discussion, on how the show depicts private service and the affect it has had on our industry. Additional morning workshops consisted of Managing Relocation panel discussion with Steve Feldman, Jim Henderson, Patricia Judge and Sara Recer. Gerald Escobar of Trov, From House Manager to Financial Advisor spoke on the topic: How to deal with a Client’s “Other Stuff”, Managing Principal Safety and Security by “Knowing your Client with David Barrie Jr. and Shaun M. Hassett; and Luxury Mattress & Sleep Education 101 with Henry Bianchi.  

Afternoon workshops included Home Automation Made Simple by David Frangioni of AudioOne and An Essential Guide to Art & Antique Restoration for the Estate Manager by Gordon Lewis. Followed by "First Class Cardiac Arrest" by Carol Stemple, Planning a Luxury Trip by David Common with Ngaire Duncan. A Placement Agency Panel was formed and agents shared their best practices and answered participant questions.  

Sun Tom BreedloveThe final presentation of the day, was one of my personal favorite presenters Tom Breedlove from Breedlove & Associates. Tom shared with participants’ important information on Hiring and Managing Employees in the Home: Common Tax & Legal Mistakes and How to Avoid them.   

DEMA founders, Matthew Haack and Micheal Wright, closed the convention by thanking the sponsors for their participations which made the convention affordable for all. Farewells were said and plans are already underway for the 2014 DEMA Convention, which will be held on September 26-28 2014. The 2014 DEMA Convention will return to the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Florida.   

Many thanks to Mandi Wright for coordinating the group trip to Epcot Food & Wine Festival Sunday Evening. What a treat to relax and hang out with great people and enjoy some amazing food.

Kellie Geres ConventionPersonally, I’ve been attending industry related conventions for over 20 years and the DEMA Convention is by far on top of my list to recommend to any Private Service Professional. Some of my favorite comments I heard were: “I never knew there was such an organization for our industry”, and “It is so refreshing to walk into a room of people and not have to explain what you do for a living”. I look forward to future conventions, building relationships and expanding on the knowledge and resources that are ever changing and entering our industry.

DEMA would like to extend a special Thank You to Kellie Geres for all she does for the association and helping write this summary.