Like many people who enter the private service industry, Peter van Ryder stumbled upon the sector by accident. A tech specialist with a background in hotels, Peter was on the lookout for a new challenge when his first wife, a chef, suggested he look into private service.

Seeing a gap in the market, Peter relocated to Dallas, Texas from New York. Fast forward just over 10 years, and Peter’s business Estate Management Solutions is one of the state’s leading training and placement programmes for the private service industry.

In episode 14 of our podcast series, Life in Private Staffing, Peter tells us about his journey into education and how he found his passion in private service.

Read on as we round-up Peter’s inspiring story in this short blog.

A gap in the market

When Peter first moved to Dallas, he quickly spotted a gap in the training market for private service professionals. The courses available were either incredibly expensive, very long, or not fit for purpose. Peter made it his mission to make private service education accessible to all.

On top of this, Texas lacked an agency infrastructure for private staffing professionals. Almost every role – from chefs and security, to maids and drivers – was being brought in from outside of the state. 

Peter decided it was time to change things in Texas. So in 2010, he set up his own company, Estate Management Solutions, one of the first real placement agencies in the state.

Training for all 

Throughout his career, Peter has always had a passion for education and learning. As such, he wanted to create a training course that would benefit everyone, from new recruits to experienced professionals. 

In order to appeal to both types of candidate, Peter set up his courses to offer more than just training – they offer peace of mind, too. In addition to new skills and techniques, Peter’s course offers professionals a chance to connect. By attending one of his courses, candidates gain a network of at least 10 other people.

In an industry that can at times be isolating, Peter sees this as a valuable asset to have. Having someone to talk to – someone in a similar role to you – can be the first step in dealing with stress and other mental health issues, says Peter.

Mental health in private service 

A big advocate for mental health awareness, Peter is passionate about helping private staffing professionals open up about their problems. However, it hasn’t always been easy.

Time and time again, Peter has spoken to people who are reluctant to reach out because they feel it may jeopardise their position. In some cases, professionals fear they will violate their non-disclosure agreements by seeking help; in others, principals have outright stated they feel uncomfortable with staff seeking help.

For Peter, it’s an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. “I’m sorry, that just does not fly with me. You deserve a life outside of that home you work in, and you deserve to know that somebody out there is having the same struggles as you,” he says.

One of Peter’s goals is to support professionals to find that help. According to him, there are ways to talk openly without disclosing intimate details about principals and their families. Regardless of how – it’s an issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. In the past year, mental health issues have exploded in the US hospitality sector, with over 70% of staff now suffering from a mental health condition. 

Further information 

Aside from training, Peter is also an expert in private service placement. He offers consultations for HNWI (high net worth individuals) and advice on the day-to-day running of households.

Watch the full episode 

If you’d like to learn more about the different career paths available within the private staffing industry, listen to the full episode on Spotify, Apple podcasts or YouTube

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