Consultants & Trainers
Chairman Steven Ferry was born in the South of 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 career.
Drawing on his early years as an educator in England and Florida, he has 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. He also consulted employers about their domestic needs and occasionally assisted with personnel procurement when requested. He subsequently broadened his campaign to improve service standards using the butler model, by providing training and consulting services to the hospitality industry.
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 hospitality industry for butlers in hotels. In 2007, he introduced the concept of the Guest from Hell and helped establish the HotelSafeguard program for hotels. Mr. Ferry has lectured about butlers and butling at a number of venues, including Harvard University.
Mr. Ferry currently 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. He is on the Editorial Board of Hotel Business Magazine and writes for a variety of industry trade magazines and newsletters.
Prior to working in the hospitality profession, Mr. Ferry was a professor of education and worked in the non-profit sector in various capacities. He has published close to 20 books, 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
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 moving up to 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 in 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, Mr. Vargas 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. Currently he is creating butler training materials in the Spanish language.
Ms. Monica Ferry was born and raised in Holland. Speaking English and Dutch fluently, French and German 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 a head housekeeper in England, as part of a household management team with her husband. When they moved to the United States, she resumed her earlier profession as a paralegal for the Small Business Administration in Alaska and for the plaintiffs on the Exxon Valdez oil spill case. She subsequently earned her Masters in Business Administration and worked as the business manager for three small businesses in Florida.
She currently runs the day to day affairs of the Institute from her position as the Executive Director at the Institute’s headquarters. From time to time, she assists with teaching larger classes, including teaching executive skills to butler managers.
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. 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 with primary responsibilities for the African Continent, Middle East and Indian Ocean regions.
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 International Institute of Modern Butlers LLC.
Paul 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 completel 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.
John Robertson develops and presents business etiquette seminars and workshops for service professionals in the luxury residential and hospitality markets and for front-line professionals in businesses where service is the essential factor in corporate success.
His business protocol and etiquette seminars attract professionals from a wide variety of industries, whose products are essentially the same as the competition’s and where one-to-one contact with the client is the defining difference. Management consulting firms employ John’s skills to groom candidates seeking career change, as well as improving their own consultants’ business etiquette skills.
John has taught service skills in luxury hotels and exclusive clubs, in private homes and aboard private yachts. His experience in private house management includes service to families at the highest end of the Forbes list.
He received his formal protocol and etiquette training and certification from The Protocol School of Washington; is certified in the Starkey Household Management System; trained at the Ivor Spencer International School for Butler Administrators in London; is a graduate of the University of Toronto and of Concordia University; attended Harvard University’s summer program in business administration; and his cumulative education and experience has been determined by Cornell University the equivalent of a Bachelor of Arts degree in hospitality management.
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 VP Mystery Guest visits in 2008.
NOTE: Image has been ‘photoshopped‘ to hide Mr. Güdü’s identity, so he can perform “mystery guest” visits.