By Royal Appointment

The instructors

Our instructors have been carefully chosen by The International Butler Academy for their field experience as well as their ability to teach. Every instructor has a minimum of 10 years’ experience in his or her chosen field of work, and must undergo the training program at The International Butler Academy, and of course graduate successfully, before he or she is allowed to teach. All instructors have been in private service for many years and/or held positions in esteemed households or corporations. This combination of comprehensive knowledge and considerable experience, coupled with a deep pride of and affection for a singular and respected profession ensures that all students will benefit from such devotion to duty. We are the only school with a comprehensive written syllabus that provides a framework and standard for all of our instructors to follow. Information on Guest Instructors is here. Our core instructors include, but are not limited to;

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Robert Wennekes

CEO & Chairman of the board - profile

Professor Robert Wennekes is CEO & Chairman of the board of The International Butler Academy (TIBA), and serves on the board of directors of the prestigious International Guild of Professional Butlers. With more than 37 years of experience in private service, including 17 years as a professional butler working in the USA, Austria, Germany and The Netherlands, Professor Wennekes teaches butling, table culture, and interviewing skills & techniques.

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Ineke van de Laak

Director International Training - profile

Ineke van de Laak's professional experience includes 10 years at KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines, and 10 years as training manager at the Amstel Hotel in Amsterdam, which is considered the finest hotel in The Netherlands. She is internationally certified as a hospitality and management trainer. At our Academy she teaches butling plus Etiquette & Protocol. Mrs. van de Laak is also responsible for implementing change management structures for our corporate clients.

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Sven Lipperts

Executive Head Butler - profile

As Executive Head Butler, Mr. Sven Lipperts is responsible for the smooth running of the house and the estate. He is also responsible for the well-being of the family, and the well-being of the students. Mr. Lipperts is of course one of our core trainers, and as such he teaches butling. Because of his current responsibilities, and the many years of experience in private service, in combination with his excellent technical skills, he also teaches housekeeping and estate management.

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Melchior van der Meulen

Senior Butling Instructor - profile

Melchior van der Meulen is a highly experienced butler, gentleman's gentleman and valet, with more than 22 years of experience in the private service profession. He knows his business like no other. At The International Butler Academy, Mr. Van der Meulen is responsible for teaching butling plus valeting, in all of its many and varied facets. Mr. van der Meulen uses real life settings in his hands-on training, something the students truly value.

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Paul Huizinga

Recruitment Director - profile

After a long career in international banking, Mr. Huizinga followed his dream by becoming a professional butler. At The International Butler Academy, Mr. Huizinga is responsible for recruitment, and he is repsonsible for the Academy's International Internship programs for its students. He finds it very satisfying to assist TIBA graduates securing a rewarding position. Mr. Huizinga works closely together with the graduates once they are finished at TIBA. Mr. Huizinga also teaches house & household management.

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Gordon Munro

Butling Instructor - profile

Mr. Munro is a trained butler, and a National golf champion. His real passion however is the theatre, and it is this passion that links him to our Academy. As a trainer, Mr. Munro is specialized in training body language and expression, rhythm, speech-level technics and service situations. Through drama classes and body language training he is able to bring the students a wealth of knowledge about posture, decorum, style and grace, all pillars of the private service profession.

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Open letter from our trainers - "The Modern Butler in the Changing World"

“It is a commonplace saying that “the world is changing”. Indeed, it is changing very fast. In the past, before telephones and automobiles and computers, when time was slow and gracious, and life was lived with elegance and style, the butler was the glue that held the world of the wealthy and powerful together. Today, the modern butler is still that glue, but there is a difference. Instead of horses and carriages, there are cars of increasing luxury and speed. Instead of handwritten letters, there is email, Facebook and Twitter. Instead of squadrons of specialized servants to run a house, there are computer systems to coordinate the light, the heat and the sound systems. Instead of a home being a retreat from the busy world, media hunger and invasive spying have made privacy, safety and security increasingly problematic for the wealthy and powerful.

New materials, new designs, new products have changed the way we care for the fabric of our lives in the twenty-first century. Brick and wood, plaster and stone have given way to concrete, exotic woods, and space-age plastics. Heightened awareness of our fragile planet and the environment have made us question how we look after our lives. The training at The International Butler Academy is actively engaged in the process of preparing butlers for these changing challenges of the modern world. We, the trainers at the Academy, work continuously to find the balance between the fine traditions of the past and the modern revolution of technical innovations. Equally important, the Academy takes care to ensure that its graduates have the right attitude to approach all the developing trends, so that the modern butler can continue to balance her or his superb service with rapidly changing technologies. It is vital that the modern butler is able to consider carefully what to change and what to keep, in order to adapt. At The International Butler Academy, technology and change are never held captive by tradition.

The training at The International Butler Academy is innovative in all areas. The teaching processes and topics are adjusted, as demand and feedback from clients from around the world show what is necessary in order to be on the cutting edge of preparations. So, while professional email is a “given”, other media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, are also important aspects of communication for the modern butler. Worldwide travel, computers, and high speed internet make the world faster and “smaller”, but often less gracious. Houses are now run by computers instead of fleets of specialized servants. Security and safety are increasing issues for the wealthy and powerful. Media hunger makes privacy problematic. We continue to develop ways of raising both the awareness of these issues and their possible solutions in our curriculum. Graduates and the Academy continue to maintain professional mutual contact. Our staff is available for advice, suggestions, support and friendship. We welcome suggestions from graduates “in the field” to help us maintain our first class, cutting edge curriculum, as we prepare future butlers for the modern world.”

By Royal Appointment