Board of Directors
Chairman Steven Ferry was born in Southern England, where he attended private schools and Art College. He worked both in the hospitality industry and in private service in England during the 1980s before training as a butler in England and then working as one in the United States. In the early 1990s he established the International Guild of Traditional Butlers and wrote the basic manual on how to butle. By the mid-1990s, he had left private service to focus on his writing and consulting career.
Drawing on his early years as an educator in England, he published three textbooks for the profession: “The British Butlers’ Bible,” “Butlers and Household Managers, 21st Century Professionals,” and “Hotel Butlers, the Great Service Differentiators” and began to train butlers in private households and consult their employers about their domestic needs.
He subsequently broadened his campaign to improve on service standards using the butler model, by providing training and consulting services to the hospitality industry and founding the International Institute of Modern Butlers in 2004.
In 2003, he introduced the spa butler as a resource for hotels and resorts with spas, to assist them in bringing about the ultimate spa experience for guests. In 2006, he introduced rating standards to the industry for butlers in hotels. In 2007, he introduced the concept of the Guest from Hell and helped establish the HotelSafeguard program for hotels.
He is currently on the Editorial Board of Hotel Business Magazine and writes for a variety of industry trade magazines and newsletters. He has lectured at a number of venues, including Harvard University.
As Chairman of the Board of the International Institute of Modern Butlers, he oversees the operations of its offices and trainers around the world and personally trains butlers and other household and hospitality employees on the butler model of service in private households and estates, hotels, resorts, spas and private villas.
Prior to working in the hospitality profession, Steven was a professor of education and worked in the non-profit sector in various capacities. He has close to 20 books published, as well as hundreds of articles & photographs for major US publishers and corporations.
The British Butlers’ Bible, Mansion Publishing, 2001
Butlers and Household Managers, 21st Century Professionals, Imprint Books, 2002
Hotel Butlers, The Great Service Differentiators, Booksurge Publishing, 2004
Founder, International Guild of Traditional Butlers, 1992
Executive Member, International Guild of Professional Butlers (past)
Founder, The International Institute of Modern Butlers
Visiting Professor, The International Butler Academy (past)
Editorial Board, Hotel Business Magazine
Ms. Monica Ferry was born and raised in Holland. Speaking English and Dutch fluently, German and French acceptably, she worked in the non-profit sector in Europe and the United States in a variety of capacities, including as a teacher, for over 15 years.
Monica later worked as head housekeeper, as part of a household management team with her husband, in England. When they moved to the United States, she resumed an earlier profession as a paralegal and worked for various law firms in Anchorage, Alaska, including for the plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case. She subsequently earned her MBA, interned for the Small Business Administration in Alaska and then worked as the business manager for three small businesses in Florida.
She has run the day to day affairs of the Institute as the Executive Director at the Institute’s headquarters since its inception. From time to time she assists with teaching larger classes, including teaching executive skills to butler managers.
Amer A. Vargas graduated with a Tourism Degree specializing in hotel management from CETT (Center for Tourism Studies) in Barcelona and spent the following decade in the service industry. Beginning as a waiter and then supervisor in high-end restaurants, he was next made responsible for raising service standards through staff training programs. After receiving further training as a butler, he worked as a butler and valet in private service as well as hotels in England and Europe. During this time period, he translated the best-selling industry texts Butlers & Household Managers, 21st Century Professionals and Hotel Butlers, The Great Service Differentiators into Spanish.
As the Vice President of Spanish-speaking Markets, Amer is responsible for making the technology of butling available in, private residences and hotels in the Spanish-speaking countries of the world. He provides consultation, placement, and training services in these countries. He is currently creating butler training materials in the Spanish language.
Edmons Emanuels Alters was born and raised in Latvia. Mr. Alters worked at a number of high-end hotels and hospitality venues in London, England before graduating Cum Laude from the Institute’s Private Butler Course, in addition to completing The British Butler Institute’s training program.
Since late 2013, Mr. Alters serves as the Institute’s Vice President for Eastern Europe and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). Currently, he is developing the Institute’s representative office and materials for Russian speaking countries. Fluent in Russian and English, he also has acceptable French language skills.
Frank Mitchell grew up in South Africa and spent the first ten years of his career in the banking industry before training as a butler and working in private service, managing three properties.
He next switched to the hospitality industry and helped open the first all-butler hotel in the Mediterranean, training the butlers on a program that he developed. He was subsequently asked to join a Swiss hotel management company, on behalf of which he trained hotel butlers at various locations in the Indian Ocean and Russian Federation. His responsibilities included hiring and training staff, procuring equipment, writing SOP¹s, and drawing up departmental budgets. Mr. Mitchell joined the Institute in late 2007 as a trainer and consultant.
Mr. Neal Yeh is the Institute’s Vice President for China. Born Nien Lun Yeh in China, he was raised there and later studied at York University in England, where he majored in linguistics — speaking six languages — and became naturalized as a British citizen.
Based in Beijing, and working in various European countries and England, he has focused for the last three decades on connecting British and European businesses with the Chinese culture and market, effecting a cultural exchange. In this way, he was the first to recognize the value of the British Butler and to introduce butler training in China in 2005. He continues to do so on behalf of the Institute.
Mr. Yeh is a published author in Chinese and English, a member of English P.E.N. and the General Secretary of the Britiish Association of Writers in Chinese.
Mr. Florian Grein Bernal was born (and raised) in Germany in 1979. He served a three-year apprenticeship as a hotel specialist in a 5-star hotel in 1997 before working as a Steward, Butler, Head Butler, Housekeeping Manager and Operations Manager in five-star cruise and hotel environments around the world, followed by seven years as a private-service butler in Germany, Thailand, and Portugal. Since 2011, Florian has been managing his own Rent-a-Butler agency in Munich, Germany. He speaks German, English, and Portuguese.
Ms. Jane Alevizos has written materials for and trained tens of thousands of personnel at four and five-star hotels and resorts in England and South Africa over the last three-plus decades. She currently runs her own consulting and training agency based in South Africa.
Ms. Alevizos received her initial training in Hotel and Catering Operations and then Hotel Management and Administration in England, and has been involved with hotel butler training since 2002.
Born and raised in Indonesia, Mr. Prihardjanto has worked as a Head Butler for ten years in several five-star / diamond, award-winning hotels in the Middle and Far East before working his way up to the level of General Manager. His experience working in Rosewood, One & Only and Four Seasons properties includes establishing butler service, recruitment and training of butlers, as well as running Rooms Division, Front office, Room Service and Housekeeping.
Mr. Prihardjanto joined the International Institute of Modern Butlers in 2006 as a trainer and consultant for its Far East Operations, and has supervised correspondence courses for most non-Western countries. He currently serves as a General Manager in a luxury resort in Bali.
Wayne Fitzharris is a Master of H.C.I.M.A. (Hotel & Catering International Management Association) and studied marketing at Cornell University. As Director and lead trainer he oversees The International Guild of Butlers and Housemanagers, (IGBH) which looks after the recruitment, placement and training of Executive Butlers, Household Managers and Household Staff around the world. Wayne has also been asked to supply consultancy and etiquette training for many of the families he worked for around the world. In addition to his training commitments, Wayne is a Director of Global Search International responsible for the Executive Recruitment of some of the Hotel Industry’s leading players in some of the finest resorts around the world.
Wayne began his career at the Dorchester Hotel, and helped open St Andrews Old Course Hotel in Scotland, which won the Caterer Magazine’s “”Hotel of the Year” award. Two years later he took on the role of Household Manager for the Royal Family of Jordan, in Amman, where he supervised over 750 staff, and was tasked with training and bringing the standards up to date.
In 1996, Wayne developed his training skills at various luxury resorts and restaurants around the world. By 2002 he had set up Global Search International and in 2006, joined forces with the Institute.
Ms. Canan Yonsel graduated from the Tourism School and also completed her MBA at the Bosphorus University in Istanbul. She worked in Turkish and US corporations, reaching the position of financial controller for Union Carbide before returning to the tourism field.
There she worked in management and sales for the 5 star Etap Marmara Hotel and Moevenpick Hotel before partnering in a travel agency that organizes meetings, seminars, product launches, press relations, and PR for multinational corporations She also freelances as an executive consultant for international executive search companies. Combining her tourism and executive search background, she next developed the executive search department of an international hospitality consultancy company, Servus International, serving Turkey and the Middle East, where she also placed many top- and middle-level managers for leading hotels and restaurants in the region.
She joined The International Institute of Modern Butlers LLC as its Director of Operations for Turkey and the Middle East, responsible for sales, marketing, placement, and the coordination of training and consulting activities.
Born and raised in England, Mr David Robinson received his initial hospitality training there, which prepared him for future work in both private service and the world of hospitality.
Over the years, he has managed high end, luxury inns, worked as a butler in private service, and assisted in the opening of a 5-Star 5-Diamond hotel by helping to establish the large butler department.
He currently works as a private butler in the residence of the Governor of North Carolina, United States.
Mr. Hogan is a butler/estate manager with many years of international experience. An Australian by birth, he has resided in the USA since 1992. More recently, he gained notoriety as “the butler” on the two hit television reality shows, “Joe Millionaire.”
Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Mr. Hogan entered the Australian Diplomatic Service. Over the next two decades, he served in Canada, Yugoslavia, the Caribbean, Los Angeles and Argentina. The complete management of Australian Embassies became his area of expertise and as a Consul, he provided assistance to fellow countrymen who found themselves in need.
As a butler/estate manager, Mr. Hogan has worked in Aspen and New York City, with short-term assignments in the United Kingdom, France, and Italy.
Vicki Butcher is a communications and public relations professional who started her career in London in 1989, soon setting up her own PR consultancy. A move to South Africa in 1997 offered Vicki the opportunity to focus her interest in the customer experience by joining global technology PR firm, Text 100. Vicki returned to the UK in 2002 as European Vice President adding the company’s German, Italian, and Spanish offices to her South African responsibilities. Her subsequent appointment to Global Client Services Director in 2004 allowed her to reshape the company’s thinking on what makes a superior customer experience.
Vicki left the corporate world in August 2008 to spend more time with her family and joined the Institute in 2009 as Vice President for Temporary Butler Services, UK. Originally from Northern Ireland, Vicki holds a BA Honors degree in French from the University of Reading, England.
Born in Northern Ireland, Ms. Nuala Galbari studied hospitality management with the City & Guilds (London) Institute at the College of Business Studies, Belfast and Theatrical Arts at ILEA, Notting Hill Gate, London. She worked in hospitality marketing during the early 1970s and later joined the airline industry, where she held positions as flight purser and in-flight supervisor for several international airlines.
Moving to the United States in 1981, she completed studies in fine arts and graphic design at the Minnesota School of Business and worked in advertising before forming a consulting company. She is the author of numerous articles and writes regularly for the tourism and aviation industries.
Mr. Leopoldo Perez worked in hospitality for several years in Mexico’s leading hotel chains before becoming a butler and then head butler at One & Only Palmilla in Los Cabos. During his tenure, the hotel was recognized as the #1 resort in Latin America for two consecutive years.
Mr. Perez then left for private service as an Estate & Household Manager for several properties in Los Cabos. In recent years he has returned to the hospitality industry and currently serves as the Operations Manager for the Viceroy Resort in St. Lucia in the Caribbean.
Dr. David L. Justis completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Dubuque, IA and the University of Iowa, and graduate studies and medical school at the University of Cincinnati, OH. He completed his post-doctoral training at Hennepin County Medical Center, and the University of Minnesota where he later served as an associate clinical professor.
Dr. Justis has worked in emergency medicine and education for over 38 years and served as senior vice president for Emergency Physicians Professional Association. He was medical director of Mid-Continent Airlines during the 1970s and 1980s and helped develop the emergency medical curriculum for Sun Country and Northwest Airlines flight crews.
Dr. Justis was a national speaker in various medical fields and is a Fellow Emeritus of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. He took an active role in placing defibrillators in hotels, airports, and onboard aircraft around the world as a medical advisor to SurViva-Link, Physio Control and Vital Health Technologies.
Okan Güdü graduated from Tourism Management & Hotel Administration in Istanbul, Turkey before working in various positions up to General Manager at different hotels between 1985 and 2003. He then established a consultancy for the hospitality sector, pioneering Mystery Guest services in Turkey and conducting quality reviews at over a hundred establishments in Turkey, the Middle East, and Russian-speaking countries.
He also provides trainings and management consultancy for high-end hotels. Mr. Güdü began his collaboration with the Institute in 2007 and joined its ranks as Vice President for Mystery Guest Visits in 2008.
N.B. Image has been ‘photoshopped‘ to hide Mr. Güdü’s identity, so he can perform his mystery guest visits.