Interview with the 2016 DEMA Educator the Year – Tonya Sakowicz of Newborn Care Solutions

Tonya Sakowicz is the founder of Newborn Care Solutions, a company dedicated to the education of families and training of Newborn Care Specialists and Nannies. As an INA Credentialed Nanny, Newborn Care Specialist, and Parent Educator, Tonya provides consulting and in-home sleep conditioning for her clients, in addition to teaching seminars. Her training focuses on proven strategies, methods, and tips found to be the most beneficial for the newborns and their families.

LATRICIA FRIEND: Congratulations. How does it feel to be selected as the 2016 DEMA Educator of the Year?
TONYA SAKOWICZ: Thank you! It feels amazing, to be honest. I was shocked when I found out I had won, as I had no idea I had even been nominated. Moreover, to know that all the hard work that we have been putting into our training programs is recognized and awarded is amazing. It pushes me, even more, to work harder for our students—now I have not just my expectations to live up to, but the honor DEMA has given my company.

LF: When matching newborn care specialists to client families, what is your key to success?
TS: We do not participate in the matching process other than working with agencies to spread the word to our students about potential openings. Agencies are so happy with the quality of training that our students have that many companies come to us first whenever a position arises because they are proud to send our students to their principals. I believe that is because we work so hard to make sure our students have in-depth, evidence-based and current information. This benefits our students because they are more in demand. It makes me so incredibly happy to see and hear about our student’s success. When one of my students nails a six-month, $175,000 contract, I am THRILLED for them!

LF: How will winning this award affect Newborn Care Solutions?
TS: I think it will drive us to be even better. You do not go around announcing you won “Educator of the Year” and then sit on your laurels. You have to strive to do more with more excellence. So in the end, the biggest effect will be the benefit to our students because it makes me work even harder for them
________________________________________
Many thanks to Christofle for their on-going support of the Domestic Estate Management Association. Christofle is a platinum-level sponsor of the DEMA convention and provided the sterling silver awards given each year.

Previous Award Recipients:
2015: Bonnie Low-Kramen
2014: Donna Shannon
2013: Association of Premier Nanny Agencies
2012: Charles MacPherson Associates

Photo Credit: DEMA 2016 Convention

2016 DEMA Convention

 

If you attended the 2016 Domestic Estate Managers Association Convention this past weekend, you are probably still processing all the people met, the conversations had, and the knowledge, technology, and products presented. If you were unable to attend, then you missed the best gathering of private service professionals to-date. Participants represented multiple states from across the country, including Hawaii. However, the member that traveled the farthest came all the way from the Principality of Monaco.

As in past years, Career and Job Fair began on Friday, August 26 at 9:00 am. More than 20 firms (placement agencies, a consulting firm, and a resume writing/career coach) spoke in-depth with candidates, gaining the rare opportunity to meet face-to-face. After lunch, Donna Shannon/Personal Touch Career Services spoke about personal branding, Bonnie Low-Kramen/Be the Ultimate Assistant led a much-needed discussion on salary negotiations, and David Gonzalez/EstateJobs.com gave insight into the recruitment process.

The convention officially kicked off with a western-themed cocktail reception on the grounds of the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale, AZ. Estate managers, private chefs, nannies, executive protection specialists, luxury service suppliers, personal assistants, household managers, staffing agencies, and several presenters networked among the cacti. Personally, I conversed with friends, colleagues, and first-time attendees, discussing such diverse topics as annual reviews and salary negotiation, evolving roles and responsibilities, and best practices of fractional household/estate management. I overheard several discussions on searching for a laundress and suggested firms to use for background checks (most recommended was Via Integrity). People openly shared requests for and advice on every type of service provider. Of course, many chapter members engaged in good-natured boasting for the coveted Chapter of the Year Award.

This year, the Saturday sessions included two tracks of workshops – one for private service professionals and the other for service suppliers. General session veterans Charles MacPherson, Bonnie Low-Kramen, Kris Coleman, and Dr. Chris Sidford held informative discussions on the future of hospitality, emergency preparedness, international security measures, and medical safety. During the day, workshop presenters included Ray Nugent, Olivia Nugent, Michael Wright, Catherine Brown, Tonya Sakowicz, Steve Feldman, Jay Bakaler, and Matthew Haack.

Rather than holding the standard Awards Dinner on Saturday night, DEMA broke out the casino chips for roulette, blackjack, and poker offering valuable prizes for the participants. Everyone enjoyed the high-spirited fun and excellent food, along with the opportunity to continue networking with each other.

Please extend your congratulations to the recipients:
Agency of the Year – Domestic Match. Chef Peter Downs accepted on behalf of Daniel Woods.

Educator of the Year – Tonya Sakowicz of Newborn Care Solutions

Supplier of the Year – Christofle Paris, a convention sponsor and international luxury brand known for its silver craftsmanship.

Chapter of the Year – Palm Beach, The Flamingo Chapter

Private Service Professional of the Year Award – Roger Cushwa, NY Tri-State Chapter President

DEMA Lifetime Achievement Award – Claudia Allensworth. Andrew Lowery accepted on her behalf.

On Sunday, a panel comprised of Mrs. Green, Steve Feldman, Roger Cushwa, and Brian Bishop discussed recycling and earth stewardship as a function of estate management. Workshops presenters Karen Brooks, Dr. Joel Cohen, Colleen Forgus, Jit Jayakumar Gary Cockerham, Richard Schmidt, Charles MacPherson, Andrew Lowery, Guy Sporbert, and Renate Mousseux spoke on a variety of personal service and managerial topics, from how to hold a proper Afternoon Tea to Managing PSP Expectations.

Throughout the weekend, an exhibition hall was populated with 23 local and national service providers. Many thanks to every company that was represented. Click here, for a full list of exhibitors.

While I am re-energized by the buzz and excitement of networking, fellowship with colleagues and friends, and meeting new members and first-time convention attendees – personally, I need a few more days to process all the conversations, presentations, technology, and energy.

I look forward to next year and hope to see you at the 2017 DEMA Convention!

P.S. I made all of my photos available to the national office and ask that you do the same. Be on the lookout for all the professional and candid shots on DEMA’s website and Facebook page.

Agency Spotlight: Private Chefs Club

private chef club logo

The Private Chef Club offers support for all of their placed chefs

Private Chefs Club is a domestic staffing agency for chefs only. They are the only chef placement agency that provides extensive coverage throughout the whole duration of the placement.

More than just an agency, PCC is a network for private chefs and estate managers that provide direction and guidance for any situation. Some of the services offered include menu development, specialty diets guidance, nutrition information, event planning, party staff employment, consulting on equipment purchasing and pricing for custom kitchens, and much more.

Founder Shlomi Biton tells us more about this unique and new agency in this month’s spotlight:

  1. How long have you been in business?

We were established in April 2015

  1. What makes your agency unique?

The private chef club is a domestic placement agency that is designed to be a network for chefs any their employers.  We provide extensive coverage about anything related to operating in a domestic environment.  We do in-house training for all of our chefs before placing, going over all subjects involving the position. On top of that, we come into our client’s house and streamline their kitchens as far as structure, equipment, cleaning and organizing so that our chefs will have everything they need to preform at the highest level and according to budget.

Here is a list of consultation subjects we cover:

  • Menu planning
  • Special diet planning end execution
  • Nutrition facts and structure
  • Equipment purchasing
  • Party planning
  • Hiring of party professionals
  • Shopping guidance
  • Traveling planning

And much more!

  1. What types of positions do you place?

Long and short term private / personal chefs for the estate and on yachts.

  1. What is your ideal candidate?

A creative and well-versed culinary graduate with clean record all around, and a minimum 5 years’ experience in a domestic setting.  They should be well spoken and possess solid references.

  1. Do you place across the country or locally? If so where

Currently we are only in southern California.

  1. Do you look for any special training or certifications, such as college degrees, private service schools, etc?

Yes. Some college experience is helpful, and culinary arts program is a must.

  1. Where do you announce your open jobs?

I have a large date base of chefs already in place, but I also use social media and a few professional websites as well.  Many of our positons are posted on our website.

  1. How should a candidate apply for a job? Do you want an online application, resume or both?

We will accept both the application and / or resume through our website.

  1. Do you belong to any professional associations?

Yes. The Le Cordon Bleu.

  1. How can people contact you?

Email: info@privatechefsclub.com

Phone: (310) 773-6343

Website:    www.privatechefsclub.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/privatechefsclub

Instagram: www.instagram.com/privatechefsclub

LinkedIn:   www.linkedin.com/company/private-chefs-club

 

Educator Spotlight: Peak Technical Institute

Peak Technical InstituteIf you are looking to expand your knowledge and training for the Private Service industry, Peak Technical Institute teaches two unique programs. With campuses in both Tennessee and Colorado, Peak offers a variety of classes to cover virtually any topic the busy Private Service professional could possibly need. We had a chance to ask Theresa Stratton a few questions to get the inside scoop on their campuses and would like to share the responses with you:

 

How long have you been in business?

The genesis of Peak Technical Institute’s Professional Household Management (PHM) and Social Decorum Academy (SDA) programs stemmed from the Enlisted Aides PHM Certification program, which has been in operation since 2009.

 

In a nutshell, what do you teach?

Through the PHM program, we teach the fundamentals of management, leadership and responsibility for individuals who wish to administer both private and public estates.

Topics Covered: Professionalism; Sustainability Binder Development; Household Administrative Management; Housekeeping; Laundry; Wardrobe Management; Table Setting & White Glove Service; Global Etiquette & Protocol; Wine 101, Spirits, Mixology & Service Seminar; Event Planning; First Aid; Site Survey, Security Assessment & Protective Detail; Alarm Systems & Surveillance Assessment; Natural, Chemical/Nuclear Disasters & Contingency Plans

Through SDA, we teach the necessary skills and knowledge in business etiquette, international protocol, dining proficiency and leadership skills.

What makes your training unique?

Our trainings go above and beyond the typical courses of their kind to ensure that participants leave with the confidence required to use the skills they learn with exacting precision and care for each situation they are in.

Both programs are unique, providing participants with hands-on instruction and intensive real-world experience. Whether managing dining and social events or household and security situations, we help our students build a strong platform of knowledge, confidence and authority.

 

How long are the courses?

The PHM course is 175 hours over four weeks.

SDA offers three individual courses, each four hours in length. These include Outclass the Competition with Luncheon Tutorial®; How to Succeed in the International Arena with Working Lunch®; and Dine Like a Diplomat with World-Class Reception & Dinner®. Additionally, we offer a discounted package for clients who wish to attend all three seminars, which can be taken over a five-month period.

 

How frequently are the programs run?

Courses are held five times per year.

Do you have an online or correspondence courses?

No.

What are the requirements to attend your school?

We have ten enrollment prerequisites. These are found on our site under the application process.

http://youhavearrived.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/PHM-Application-Packet.pdf

Who is your ideal student?

The ideal PHM student is one who is passionate about the service management field, whether they have little experience or a decade of experience. They must have a desire for excellence in their field.

We encourage anyone with an interest in bettering their dining and etiquette skills to attend an SDA seminar. These classes are essential for the academic, corporate and social communities. Additionally, we are passionate about making this course available to anyone who wishes to join us.

Do you offer placement assistance to your graduates? What is your placement rate?

We facilitate relationships with placement agencies because we believe that building a firm relationship with both students and employers ensures a high rate of job acquisition and satisfaction to help build careers with long-term benefits.
 

Do you belong to any professional associations?

Yes, we are proud members of the Domestic Estate Managers Association, Protocol School of Washington, Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, Blount County Chamber of Commerce and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses.

Are you accredited? If so, with what entity…

Yes, PTI is authorized for operation as a post-secondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the Colorado Higher Education Commission.

How much does your program cost?

Investment in PHM is $9,500. Room and Board is included in the tuition cost for classes scheduled in April and July.

SDA seminars are $250-$300, depending on the program. All three courses can be purchased for $700.

Are financial aid, scholarships or payment plans available?

We offer a competitive payment plan on a limited-basis for individuals who wish to finance their tuition.

How can people contact you?

Find more information at http://youhavearrived.com/ , call us at 1-855-399-PEAK, or contact our recruiter, Theresa Stratton, through email at tstratton@gopti.com

Benchmarks of success in every job search

We all know how hard it can be to find a job, and sometimes the task seems simply too daunting to take on. With the following guide, your milestones can be easier to track and you can see just how much time and effort goes into every job search. This content (and much more) is also available in Donna Shannon’s book, “How to Get a Job Without Going Crazy.”

benchmark job search infographic

 

 

 

Private Service Education Spotlight: Be the Ultimate Assistant

Within the personal assistant industry, Bonnie Low-Kramen has been helping PA’s become more effective in their roles.  From co- founding the New York Celebrity Assistants (NYCA) to writing her book, Be the Ultimate Assistant, Bonnie has strived to elevate the industry and the PAs who work so hard within it.

 

Along with Vickie Sokol Evans, Microsoft Office Master Wizard (okay, the technical term is Master Microsoft Certified Trainer, but we all know she actually works magic), Bonnie has branched out into comprehensive workshops.  Conveniently held in a different US city every other month, the workshops cover everything from technical computer applications to the crucial interpersonal skills.

 

In this month’s Educator Spotlight, Bonnie and Vickie share more about their unique workshops…

 

  1. How long have you been in business?

Be the Ultimate Assistant weekend workshops have been touring since November 2011.

 

  1. In a nutshell, what do you teach?

In a two-day 16 hour workshop, we teach our students what they need to know and do in order to excel.  Ideal for Personal Assistants, Executive Assistants who handle personal matters for her/his employer, Estate Managers, and this workshop is also appropriate for anyone in private service who is involved in personal work including nannies, household managers, and concierge staff.

Topics include: Communication, Organization, Problem-Solving, Travel & Event Planning, and Career Management. There is a 3-hour technology segment taught by Microsoft Certified Trainer Vickie Sokol Evans which includes tips for assistants in: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Social Media and Privacy.

Every student receives a copy of the best-selling book “Be the Ultimate Assistant” by Bonnie Low-Kramen and additional materials created specifically for the workshop. These include; check-lists, forms, and relevant articles.

 

  1. What makes your training unique?

Personal Assistants have been winging it for too long without any formal training to learn how to do their job. This is the workshop I wished had existed when I first started my career 25 years ago as the Personal Assistant to Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis. I designed the workshop to provide solid information for every aspect of the work including computer technology which has become increasingly more important with every passing month.

 

The 3-hour technology segment is taught by Vickie who is a former personal assistant turned Microsoft Certified Trainer. Vickie understands the demands of the private service professional and develops educational sessions that are both relevant and practical. Together, Vickie and I teach both the soft and hard skills necessary to excel at this work. Nothing like this has ever existed before and we feel strongly that this training must be taken around the country so that assistants everywhere have access to it. We don’t want assistants to have to wing it anymore.

 

  1. How long are the courses?

The workshop takes place over a Sat and Sun for a total of 16 hours – 8 hours each day.

 

  1. How frequently are the programs run?

Every other month in a different city.  Upcoming dates in 2014-2015 include: September 20-21 in Los Angeles; November 17-18 in London and February 28-Mar 1, 2015 in Austin.  Please see the website for more upcoming workshops. http://www.betheultimateassistant.com/

 

  1. Do you have an online or correspondence courses?

We run a one-day, 7 hour Virtual Class conducted in real-time over GoToMeeting. The material is the same as the weekend class. The main difference is that the technology portion is taught via recorded webinars.

Vickie offers live and on-demand webinars, such as the most recent Excel 2011 for Mac Webinar Series specifically for Private Service Professionals via her website www.redcapeco.com

 

  1. What are the requirements to attend your school?

The requirement to attend our training classes is a sincere desire to learn and a willingness to participate.

 

  1. Who is your ideal student?

Our ideal student is a Personal Assistant, Executive Assistant or Private Service Professional who has been working for several years and is looking to raise their own bar of excellence in order to make themselves even more marketable, relevant, and confident.

 

  1. Do you offer placement assistance to your graduates?  What is your placement rate?

We assist our students in finding work through referrals to recruiters and contacts. There is no additional fee for this coaching and referrals.

 

  1. Do you belong to any professional associations?

Bonnie is a Rutgers University graduate and a co-founder of New York Celebrity Assistants (NYCA), International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). Vickie graduated from the University of Texas in Austin and has been teaching technology over 15 years. She is a Microsoft Certified Trainer she is qualified to prepare others for their own technology certifications.  Vickie is the author of the best-selling Tips in Minutes technology series on Kindle.

 

  1. Are you accredited?  If so, with what entity…

We are not affiliated with any other school or government agency.  Vickie is accredited with Microsoft Learning and Certification. This workshop is eligible for IAAP recertification points.

 

  1. How much does your program cost?

Our 2-day weekend workshops average $599 inclusive but Early Bird discounts are available as are discounts for members of NYCA, IAAP, DEMA, EAO, PAN, ANA, and other professional organizations.

 

  1. Are financial aid, scholarships or payment plans available?

Payment plans are available upon request.

 

  1. How can people contact you?

Contact: www.betheultimateassistant.com  bonnie@bonnielowkramen.com

Vickie Evans  www.redcapeco.com  vevans@redcapeco.com

 

Our Education Spotlight is provided as a service to job seekers, and is not a statement of endorsement.  All information is  provided by the participating school or educator.

Would you like your agency featured in our Education Spotlight?  There is no fee!  Contact Donna Shannon at 720-341-8229 to find out how you can be included.  

Review: “Be the Ultimate Assistant” Workshop

men and Vickie Sokol evansOn June 8 and 9, 2013, I attended the “Be the Ultimate Assistant” workshop hosted by Bonnie Low-Kramen and Vickie Sokol Evans at the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas, Texas. (See below for their full credentials.) The weekend workshop drew about 20 people from diverse locations, such as California, Colorado and Washington State.  Attendees varied from Executive Assistants, Personal Assistants and professionals who bridged the gap between the two roles.

It is important to note that Bonnie does contact each one of the students prior to the workshop to gauge not only their experience, but also their desired learning goals.  In this way, each workshop is tailored to meet the needs of the audience.  For this class, many of the students indicated that they struggle with the soft skills that make successful business relationships with their employers or principals.

When working closely with an employer, building a mutually beneficial professional relationship is critical.  Throughout the weekend, Bonnie shared many tools on how to build this type of trust and respect, while addressing such issues as conflict, communication and boundaries. Other assistants shared their experiences as well, which added to the conversation.  In future workshops, I hope that some role playing scenarios will be included to really practice this vital aspect of any top Assistant.

One of the underlying themes of the weekend was the importance of team work, especially in office environments.  From pulling out the talents of other team members to mentoring junior employees, the sharing of information is what makes each individual stronger, and creates a team that is more than the sum of its parts. For solo Personal Assistants, resources such as professional organizations were encouraged to make up for the lack of team environments.

As for tactical tools, The Accomplished Traveler provided a presentation on luxury travel.  For many of the students, this was eye-opening about the options, possibilities and unique problem-solving required for many High Net Worth (HNW) individuals.  Touring the Ritz-Carlton provided additional insight.

Personally, one of the things I look for in any workshop is the technical tools I gain.  Vickie Sokol-Evan’s “Tips in Minutes” for Microsoft Office was extremely impressive and helpful. Considering most of the students were already pretty advanced in these programs, even they learned tons of short cuts, formatting options and ways to streamline their productivity with better results.  The portion on social media privacy combined with MS Outlook was eye-opening; I consider myself pretty adept at the privacy issues, but I learned a lot of tactics and uncomfortable truths that I never suspected.

Bonnie provided tools for managing schedules, itineraries, inventories and other critical information that all top assistants should strive to maintain.  Additional materials provided made sure that the attendees would have more resources beyond the classroom.  The only real problem was that we ran out of time on Sunday to cover absolutely everything on the syllabus.

Overall, the “Be the Ultimate Assistant” workshop provided a solid launching point for anyone striving to be either a Personal Assistant or Executive Personal Assistant.  As Bonnie Low-Kramen and Vickie Sokol Evans continue to teach their classes, I am sure the content will continue to improve and evolve.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS:

Bonnie Low-Kramen spent 25 years as the Personal Assistant to celebrity couple and Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis and Louis Zorich. Motivated by the lack of resources for assistants, she co-founded New York Celebrity Assistants (NYCA), a professional networking organization for assistants. Bonnie wrote the book on the subject – Be the Ultimate Assistant, A celebrity assistant’s secrets to working with any high-powered employer which is now a best-seller and her articles have been published around the world. Bonnie’s work with actress Olympia Dukakis included the Academy Award win for the film Moonstruck, the 1988 presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis, and travel around the world to places such as Sydney, London, Alaska and Prague. Because she has rarely chosen to do anything the easy way in her career, Bonnie is now passionately committed to effecting positive change in the American workplace – one assistant and one employer at a time. Visit her website: http://www.bonnielowkramen.com/

Vickie Sokol Evans is the founder and President of RedCape, a highly-regarded technology training company focused on real world technology skills needed for small businesses, executives and their assistants, as well as any business user who wants to maximize the technology at their fingertips. Bestselling author of the series for both PC & Mac, Vickie is a Microsoft Certified Trainer and a Microsoft Office Master Instructor with over 15 years of classroom training experience, specializing in the productivity platform, such as Microsoft Office, OneNote, SharePoint, and Lync and includes Microsoft’s latest cloud offering, Office 365. Formerly a business/data analyst with Microsoft, she travels the globe delivering live Jerry Maguire-inspired “Tips in Minutes” keynote presentations to a variety of audiences; teaching engaging instructor-led courses; and facilitating Microsoft Experience Center events for many of Microsoft’s largest customers. Visit her website: http://www.redcapeco.com

Book Review: “The Butler Speaks” by Charles MacPherson

butler speaks book charles macphersonFirst and foremost, this is not a “tell-all” book, disclosing the secrets of the high net worth families like the fictional accounts described in “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.  Instead, this is a guide to entertaining, etiquette and good housekeeping.  What makes the book really stand out is that it makes these arts relevant in today’s 21st Century modern home, not just the formal households of the ultra-rich from the Victorian or Edwardian eras.

The book does cover in detail the specifics of housekeeping and entertaining, such as the proper way to iron a shirt or how to carve a standing rib roast in front of a table of hungry dinner guests.  The instructions are easy-to-follow, accompanied by to-the-point graphics.  The writing is direct, but not as a boring text book.  It flows well, and held my interest even though I am probably one of the worst housekeepers in the world.  Fortunately, I learned a lot of new techniques that make cleaning more thorough without taking tons of extra time.

One of the most beneficial parts of the book is the modern etiquette lessons.  In particular, specifics of business etiquette are critical, from presenting business cards to how to behave during a business lunch.

As MacPherson states in the book, “Etiquette is not a set of classical rules for the rich, famous or snobby – rather, it’s a way of understanding other people and having consideration for their needs.”  In this way, we all need an etiquette lesson, and MacPherson does an excellent job of teaching this perspective.

 

The Butler Speaks: A Guide to Stylish Entertaining, Etiquette and the Art of Good Housekeeping

ISBN: 978-0-449-01591-9

Released: April 23, 2013

Publisher: Appetite by Random House

Price: US $27.95 | CAN $29.95

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Butler-Speaks-Etiquette-Entertaining-Housekeeping/dp/0449015912

Education Spotlight: Estate Management Solutions

Estate Management solutions logoBased in Dallas but producing weekend workshops across the United States, Estate Management Solutions was started by Peter Van Ryder.  Building on his consulting business to wealthy families, The Essentials of Household & Estate Management workshop covers some of the common tools that every successful Household Manager needs.

In this Education Spotlight, Peter tells us more about his intense, 2-day program:

1. How long have you been in business? 

Estate Management Solutions was founded in 2011 with the goal of providing consulting services to the high net worth clientele of Texas.  Over the years we have noticed that there is lack of affordable and accessible education for the Private Service Professional.  The results are the courses you see today.

2. In a nutshell, what do you teach? 

Estate Management Solutions’ The Essentials of Household & Estate Management provides concrete and proven methods to help you manage your service environment and become a better professional.  Upon completion you will have the skill set and resources needed to create a Household Manual.  EMS  begins by covering intangibles that no one talks about to be successful.  You will go on to learn how to compartmentalize the estate or residence in which you work.  We will tackle the integration of this information to help with accounting, task sheets, punch-lists, administrative duties and creating the components of a Household Manual.

 3. What makes your training unique?

There are some valuable schools out there for our profession all over the world, but few can afford $10,000 – $15,000.  Some students may also struggle with taking 4-8 weeks away from their jobs to attend those longer programs.  EMS wants to bring the education to the professional, make it accessible and affordable.  Two-day classes that are below the industry average of $250 per day.

 4. How long are the courses?

The Essentials of Household & Estate Management is a two-day, 14-hour class.

5. How frequently are the programs run?

EMS runs the Essentials class as often as needed and requested.

6. Do you have an online or correspondence courses? 

No, we believe in the importance of meeting your fellow professional and sharing stories.  Part of what makes these courses so beneficial is the input and experiences of your colleagues.  Walking away from a class not only with documents and spreadsheets that will help you with your search and employment, but resources that can help you for the years to come.

7. What are the requirements to attend your school? 

A desire to learn, share and be involved with raising standards in the Private Service Industry.

8. Who is your ideal student?

Anyone that wants to improve their skill set and increase their worth.

9. Do you offer placement assistance to your graduates?  What is your placement rate? 

No, EMS is not a placement agency, but we do offer a list of preferred placement agencies as well as a list of other agencies that can help with placement.

10. Do you belong to any professional associations?

EMS is a member of the Domestic Estate Managers Association and provides a 10% discount for DEMA members in good standing as a part of the DEMA Perks Program.

11. Are you accredited?  If so, with what entity…

No, but CEU credits will be assigned to the course as we continue to develop the DEMA Institute.

12. How much does your program cost?

The Essentials of Household & Estate Management is $495, and members of the Domestic Estate Managers Association receive a 10% discount. (Please verify current costs through their website – Ed, 5-3-13.)

13. Are financial aid, scholarships or payment plans available? 

While none of these are offered as a standard, this is about the betterment of the industry.  We encourage everyone to reach out.

14. How can people contact you?

We can be reached through our website at www.VanRyder.com, by emailing Peter at Solutions@VanRyder.com or by calling (214) 808-1301.

Education Spotlight: Be the Ultimate Assistant’s Bonnie Low-Kramen and Vickie Sokol Evans

men and Vickie Sokol evansWithin the personal assistant industry, Bonnie Low-Kramen has been helping PA’s become more effective in their roles.  From co- founding the New York Celebrity Assistants (NYCA) to writing her book, Be the Ultimate Assistant, Bonnie has strived to elevate the industry and the PAs that work so hard within it.

Along with Vickie Sokol Evans, Microsoft Office Master Wizard (okay, the technical term is Master Microsoft Certified Trainer, but we all know she actually works magic), Bonnie has branched out into comprehensive workshops.  Conveniently held in a different US city every month, the workshops cover everything from technical computer applications to the crucial interpersonal skills.

In this month’s Education Spotlight, Bonnie and Vicki share more about their unique workshops…

 Bonnie low kramen be the ultimate assistant book1. How long have you been in business?

Be the Ultimate Assistant weekend workshops have been touring since November 2011. (Editor Note: Bonnie was a celebrity assistant for over 25 years.  Her book, Be the Ultimate Assistant, was published in 2008).

 2. In a nutshell, what do you teach?

In a two-day 15 hour workshop, we teach our students what they need to know and do in order to excel.  Ideal for Personal Assistants, Executive Assistants who handle personal matters for her/his employer, Estate Managers, and  this workshop is also appropriate for anyone in private service who is involved in personal work including nannies, household managers, and concierge staff.

Topics include: Communication, Organization, Problem-Solving, Travel & Event Planning, and Career Management. There is a 3-hour technology segment taught by Master teacher Vickie Sokol Evans which includes tips for assistants in: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Social Media and Privacy.

Every student receives a copy of the best-selling book “Be the Ultimate Assistant” by Bonnie Low-Kramen and additional materials created specifically for the workshop. These include; check-lists, forms, and relevant articles.

 3. What makes your training unique?

Personal Assistants have been winging it for too long without any formal training to learn how to do their job. This is the workshop I wished had existed when I first started my career 25 years ago as the Personal Assistant to Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis. I designed the workshop to provide solid information for every aspect of the work including computer technology which has become increasingly more important with every passing month.

The 3-hour technology segment is taught by Vickie Sokol Evans who is a former personal assistant turned Microsoft Certified Trainer. Vickie understands the demands of the private service professional and develops educational sessions that are both relevant and practical. Together, Vickie and I teach both the soft and hard skills necessary to excel at this work. Nothing like this has ever existed before and we feel strongly that this training must be taken around the country so that assistants everywhere have access to it. We don’t want assistants to have to wing it anymore.

 4. How long are the courses?

The workshop takes place over a Sat and Sun for a total of 15 hours – 7.5 hours each day.

 5. How frequently are the programs run?

Once a month in a different city.  Upcoming dates for the spring of 2013 include: April 27-28 in New York City;  May 18-19 in  Toronto and  June 8-9  in Dallas.  Please see our website for more upcoming workshops. http://www.bonnielowkramen.com/

 6. Do you have an online or correspondence courses?

We run a one-day, 7 hour Virtual Class conducted in real-time over GoToMeeting. The material is the same as the weekend class. The main difference is that the technology portion is taught via recorded webinars.

Vickie offers live and on-demand webinars, such as the most recent Excel 2011 for Mac Webinar Series specifically for Private Service Professionals via her website www.redcapeco.com

 7. What are the requirements to attend your school?

The requirement to attend our training classes is a sincere desire to learn and a willingness to participate.

 8. Who is your ideal student?

Our ideal student is a Personal Assistant or Executive Assistant who has been working for several years and is looking to raise their own bar of excellence in order to make themselves even more marketable.

 9. Do you offer placement assistance to your graduates?  What is your placement rate?

We assist our students in finding work through referrals to recruiters and contacts. There is no additional fee for this coaching.

10. Do you belong to any professional associations?

Bonnie is a Rutgers University graduate and a co-founder of New York Celebrity Assistants (NYCA), International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) and of the Domestic Estate Managers Association (DEMA.) Vickie graduated from the University of Texas in Austin and has been teaching technology over 15 years. She is a member of the Domestic Estate Managers Association (DEMA) and as a Microsoft Certified Trainer she is qualified to prepare others for their own technology certifications.  Vickie is the author of the best-selling Tips in Minutes technology series on Kindle.

 11. Are you accredited?  If so, with what entity…

We are not affiliated with any other school or government agency.  Vickie is accredited with Microsoft Learning and Certification.

 12. How much does your program cost?

Our weekend workshops are $549 but Early Bird discounts are available as are discounts for members of NYCA, IAAP, DEMA, IAPSP, ANA, and other professional organizations.

 13. Are financial aid, scholarships or payment plans available?

Payment plans are available upon request.

 14. How can people contact you?

Contact: www.bonnielowkramen.com  bonnie@bonnielowkramen.com

Vickie Sokol Evans  www.redcapeco.com  vevans@redcapeco.com

Our Education Spotlight is provided as a service to job seekers, and is not a statement of endorsement.  All information is  provided by the participating school or educator.

Would you like your agency featured in our Education Spotlight?  There is no fee!  Contact Donna Shannon at 720-341-8229 to find out how you can be included. 

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