The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfactionResolved Notter School of Pastry — Deceptive student and employee recruiting
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
This is a little long but read it before you accept a job with the Notter School or enroll as a student, there are other complaints you should also read on this and other complaint boards.
It all began in October of this year, scanning through the want ads on indeedjobs.com I discovered an advertisement for a school call the Notter School. I had never heard of it, but not being in the school business I wouldn’t have.
The position posted was for Executive director of Sales, income to $275, 000.00. I sent me resume since I did qualify, but didn’t expect to hear anything.
A few days later I received a call from a lady saying she was the registrar for the Notter School and was calling to make an appointment with me. I almost said no, because something didn’t sound quite right, but I accepted the invitation.
During my initial encounter with this school I was interviewed by a man by the name of Kiethen, he was extremely articulate and quite impressive. The office he interviewed me in the other hand was rather dismal and disheveled.
Once the interview was completed he walked me back to the original office where we met and said goodbye. I was left standing there so I left
A few days later I received a call saying my appointment time needs to changed, I explained to the lady that I did not have an appointment but agreed once again to respond.
This time I met with a lady who introduced herself as the president an CEOof the company her name was Beverly Karshner. I have to admit I took the bait hook line and sinker
She told me that the Notter School was the number Pastry School in the world. She stated that the school was training 200 students per year and she was expanding to 400 and was looking for a sales leader to make it happen. Someone to bring their knowledge of sales and experience in closings etc to take the reigns.
I went home and ran Notter School through Google and found a scathing complaint from a young man regarding Beverly Karshner and her accountant, but waived it off as a disgruntled ex-employee
She made me an offer and I accepted it, the compensation was based heavily upon the number of students that would start each cycle. Based on what she had told me I didn’t see where the numbers would be a problem
I was immediately exposed to a rude awakening and this is what I soon discovered about the lady who convinced me to work for her school.
I was shocked that no one asks for social security cards or if they do they don't follow up on them. There were several employees hired that never provided their social security cards
1. She was very indecisive and required my presence in her office 6 out of 8 hours each day for two weeks
2. She was rambling about herself, the school, the marketing consultants that she spent thousands of dollars on, the $20, 000 she spent on leads the previous month, $30, 000 she spent on the leads the previous month. The number changed frequently
3. The horrible job the advisors were doing at closing sales and their inability to convert the leads to tours over the phone
4. She advised me that she had 4000 leads in the system and they were not being handled right and she just spent $40, 000 on those leads seeking confirmation from her accountant who would agree that she spent that much money
5. The only printed materials that she had for the school admissions advisors was faded photo copies
6. No published catalog for students
7. No training manual or any training material for the advisers to follow
8. The advisors were never trained
9. There was no clear format for the advisers to follow when making out bound calls
10. The application and enrollment agreement forms were also faded photo copies
11. She would give me a directive in the morning only to change it completely in the afternoon telling me that she could hire an $8.00 an hour employee to do that, then ask me why it wasn’t done the next day
12. It was decided that that the two advisors should go since they were not enrolling anyone
The 4000 leads in the system were old and exhausted over half were DO NOT CALL and many others were BAD LEADS and leads that had been called some as many as 40 times
WE hired a group of telemarketing employees that were to be paid by the hour plus commission based upon how many prospects they invited, I was told this was a violation of the Department of Education’s rules, but she would just create a new company and that would keep it out DOEs reach.
All those bad and exhausted leads in the system, well she did fix that, she told her assistant Christine to go into the system and export the leads into excel and remove all of the negative comments and then put them back into the system as fresh leads
The concierges as they were dubbed were being cursed at and threatened hourly for harassing these people and when I expressed this to Beverly she said the concierges were not doing it right.
By the way the Executive Director of Sales Position, well it turned out to be a small telemarketing room supervisor position, she wanted me sitting with the telemarketing people the entire time I was at work that is if i was not in her office listening to her ramble
I explained that I was not a phone room manager and I was not hired for that, there was a discrepancy with the payroll for the concierges and she began ducking around corners and investigating the possibility of deception and impropriety on my part.
Beverly wanted 40 students for the November start but with the same exhausted leads that became more of an impossibility than anything else
Deceptive practices continued
1. We were telling the prospective students that 98% of Notter graduates were placed after graduation, the truth that I discovered was more like 27%
2. The 200 enrollments per year from what I also discovered for 2011 up to October was more like 37 then 11 after I started
3. The website for the school does not have any of the disclosures or calculators for prospects to look regarding enrollment to graduate ratios, the number of placements, the income to school cost ratios these things are required
4. The school is not ADA compliant, when a handicapped student appeared on the radar the president of the school Ian Gill and Beverly Karshner said we need to do everything we can to persuade the student not to enroll, because to accommodate him would be more than the school would make on the enrollment.
5. Telling international students to file for a tourist visa. Why? Because the school is not registered with the Department of State, We were told to tell the students to apply for a student visa after they arrive
6. No one was aware of the school’s financial problems, a lawyer went onto the website and put down he was interested in the school because he said it was the only way to get someone to answer his calls, he had filed a law suit against Karshner and she ignores his calls and letters
7. The lead distribution program was shut off for several days due to a delinquent payment, but was passed off as a discrepancy with a fraudulent card. An email from Leads360 said otherwise. We were chastised for not having any outbound calls during that time period
8. The lights were disconnected a couple of times in one of the offices, once for the entire day, and the bathrooms rarely were operational in the school
9. Instead of paying for labor for events she would have students doing them for free
10. The check cashing store next door to the school would not cash checks issued by the school
11. The school has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau
12. Routinely checks issued to employees bounced
13. I witnessed Beverly Karshner humiliate employees in the presence of others embarrassing me
14. She hired a school director about the same time as she hired me and directed him to humiliate the very registrar that invited me for an interview. He refused and was gone within the week as was the registrar
After not hitting the 40 enrollments that Beverly had projected she became very upset and bitter, avoided eye contact with me and demanded that if I needed to communicate with her I needed to see send her an email. She would put her hand like a crossing guard if I approached her office (put it in a email she would exclaim)
She held me responsible for a start of 11 or so instead of the 40, yet the concierges were calling the same people repeatedly and to think the results would be different is I believe the definition of insanity. None of us had been there more than a month
She finally called me into her office with Ian Gill the president and said that she was felt that I was a complete failure in the school’s admissions effort, but she wanted to change me to a position as the outside marketing director
She wanted me to generate leads by going to events and doing in-store demos and anything I could do to generate leads. She cut my base pay by 40% and hung a huge a carrot in front of me offering to pay me $20.00 per every lead generated for the school with a huge income potential
She handed me an offer that projected my income in the mid 200, 000 range. She stated that she would accept leads for
1. People interested in baking and pastry as a career
2. People looking for a career assessment
3. People interested in community classes (because we converted some of those from the Women’s Show she said)
4. The leads had to 18, HS grads and willing to relocate to Orlando
She told me that Publix, Williams-Sonoma, BJs, they all loved her and the School and she said she knew lots of people to contact that would aid me in making contacts for in-store demos and events
When asked for these names she did not have even ONE for me, ended up she knew no one.
She wanted me to market the school with collateral materials that were off centered and printed on post cards that could have been created by elementary school students
I contacted the Florida Mall and discovered we could do weekend leases for lead generation for 1000.00 per weekend, when I told her this she said she was unaware this could be done and said we could do that every weekend
We generated almost 150 leads that weekend and she decided that she was going to run them through telemarketing before she was going to pay me for them. I think what happened was she saw that I could easily generate over a 1000 leads per month and that would make her carrot a reality that she could not pay for.
She changed her mind again and said only leads that would quality were people interested in attending the European Baking and Pastry program. She decided not to pay me for the leads. She still has them in the system and will be calling them but refusing to pay me the $3000 that is due me
Attempts as reasoning with her were futile, she would raise her hand and refuse to hear it
Regarding the Notter School, do your homework, it appears to be suffering from financial issues, the CEO Beverly Karshner changes her mind daily, she paints a very deceptive pictures to hire staff and immediately changes once they are hired. She refuses to accept responsibility for her own actions and her own failures. There is absolutely no consistency in leadership and the school is losing its credibility daily
In all of my years I have never met, worked with or for anyone like this woman, I felt so bad that I had to apologize to the staff that I hired based upon the misrepresentations of the CEO.
If you are one of the 1000s being violated by the school’s disregard for your privacy file a complaint with Florida Attorney’s General, The Florida Department of Education, or the State Attorney.
If you are a former employee that was not paid as agreed file a complaint with the Florida Dept of Labor or consider filing a law suit in small claims court.
If you are a former student promised placement based upon the 98% claim file a complaint with the Dept of Education, enough of these complaints and the school will be stripped of its accreditation
Now, everyone that writes something negative about the school always praises Chef Ewald Notter, I too was overwhelmed by this man’s integrity and found him to be genuine. It is unfortunate that all of his years of doing what’s right may crumble soon because of some else doing what’s wrong.
My recommendations to Ewald based a simple solution would be to ask Beverly to step down and he needs find someone that can take his good name and run it back up the pole.
My apologies go out to Benny, Melendi, Kenny, Jason, Sandra, Victor, Kiethen, Ms. Conde, and Ciera, you were all affected by decisions made by me my due misrepresentation from my boss
AS for as Ian Gil the new president I understand that at times some of us have to put a pay check over honor. Good Luck to you. I lasted my expected two months, if the school does not have any marketing money and she does not get her projected starts, well you can use my name as reference Ian