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Our multi-day trainings are for 20-50 of your store’s

top, middle and department managers,

and their key leads and assistants.

  1. “I am leaving with many good ideas and an agenda to put them into action. I felt engaged throughout and there was plenty of time for questions. I dislike math intensely, but enjoyed the way this segment was presented.”

Jim Watkins, Foodservice Mgr

Central Co-op, Seattle

  1. “Surpassed my expectations by far. It’s an incredible thing you three do, to create a learning experience that is chock-full of nuts and bolts, nitty-gritty content, that’s carried along (but not overwhelmed) by an undercurrent of spirituality and love. I would not hesitate to recommend this seminar to others and I would insist on it for anyone in a leadership position in my store.”

Patricia Smith, Operations Mgr

Willimantic Food Co-op, Willimantic, CT

  1. “Our managers came back completely inspired and invigorated by their time at Rising Stars 2. They expressed gratitude for the investment, and appreciation for the breadth and depth of the training. We are proud to continue our commitment to sending our managers through Rising Stars 1 and 2.”

Chris Maher, General Mgr

BriarPatch Co-op, Grass Valley CA

Kudos & Testimonials

More Testimonialskudos.html

We’ve trained a galaxy of more than 2500 natural foods retail leaders, from the best co-ops and independents on the continent. Over 20 years, their feedback has informed and continually inspired us to refine and polish our trainings -- and allowing us to earn kudos from many.

  1. “This training is engaging, perfectly relevant to all positions, and inspiring. There is no way to put into words the joy that I am leaving with. I have a refreshed vision of my role and my co-op. The content is presented in an inviting and entertaining way that forces you to suck it all in with a smile!”

Rachael Eide, Training Coordinator

Lakewinds Food Co-op. Minnetonka, MN

We look forward to our continued work with you.

Allen Seidner, Carolee Colter & Mark Mulcahy

Paying for Performance: Handling pay raise decisions when raises depend at least partly on individual performance. (A)

Accountability Counseling & Consequences: Understand the factors that motivate behavior. Learn how to give effective positive reinforcement and critical feedback. Practice skills needed at each stage of progressive corrective action, from verbal feedback to coaching to written warnings to termination.

Conflict Resolution: Tools for resolving workplace conflicts and building better work relationships between coworkers and between supervisors and employees.

Daily Huddles: Learn and troubleshoot (?) an effective two-way communications tool for keeping all members of a team informed and giving them input on decisions that affect their work. (B)

Teamwork on the Leadership Team: Forge a group of managers into a team with a meaningful purpose, specific performance goals, agreed-upon operating rules, mutual accountability and effective meetings. (A)

Sampling and Impulse Merchandising: Involve staff in increasing sales through sampling, cross-merchandising and display ideas.

Playing by the Numbers: Sales, Margin & Labor: Understand the basics of department financial statements and how all staff members can make a difference. (B)

Managing Up: Master the skills of middle management and build a better relationship with your own boss. Learn how to propose investing in equipment and labor to increase department results. (A)

Burn Out & Renewal: Practice self-care for a sustainable career in your workplace.

Embodying Leadership Integrity: Explore what integrity means in the workplace, assess your own integrity and provide leadership in your own team and organization. (A)

What’s New?

For 20 years people have traveled from all over the U.S. and Canada to engage in three full days of dynamic and career-changing work in our Original and Advanced 3-day seminars. While this set the standard for natural foods retail training we, like the marketplace and our clients, need to keep evolving. So we’re changing our model to better suit our clients’ needs and to create the best possible learning experience.

We’ll Come to You

Now, instead of you coming to us, we’re coming to you! That’s right. We’ll come to work with 20 to 50 members of your management team, right there in your own neighborhood — saving you money on travel and hotel costs to boot.

And We’ll Personalize the Training

Bringing decades of our content development and presentation experience, we’ll personalize our famous Rising Stars leadership development content to create a custom training workshop just for you!

We’ll review with you a quick-and-easy assessment form to help you select an optimal mix of topics. Later, we’ll request some

of years.


We’ve been owners, leaders and staff –– with specialties in human resources, produce and prepared foods. We’ve worked in co-ops, independents, a warehouse and for publicly held heavyweights. We’ve had bosses and we’ve been bosses. We’ve had staff and customers too, of course. Now, and for the past couple decades each, we’ve been consultants, to hundreds of great co-ops and independently owned businesses.


We’ve worked together creating and presenting Rising Stars Seminars, more than three score of them, since 1999. We love doing every single one of them, and that we get to work with the next generation of natural foods leaders. We see our opportunity to present seminars as a precious privilege, and we’ll hope you join us soon. Click here for more info about us.

The Presenters

Presenter Biospresenters.html
Inquire for info, pricing and availabilitymailto:risingstars@mac.com?subject=email%20subject

Leadership Development Workshop Topics

New for 2019!

Natural Foods Leadership Development Training

Customized and Presented Exclusively for Your Store

Allen Seidner

Mark Mulcahy

Carolee Colter

Learn the skills required to excel from top natural foods training professionals

Produced & Presented by

Participant Materials

2018 Participants Logingrad_login.html

Participants receive a wealth of materials to support their leadership development and to help implement what they learn. 

A Workbook

A well-organized workbook of our content-relevant proprietary forms, worksheets, articles and other docs.

Digital Documents

  1. We’ll share digital copies of content-relevant documents and encourage you to edit and use them.

Our trainings are renowned for holding people’s interest and it’s not by accident. We use a variety of teaching formats and differing lead speakers to collaboratively create a vibrant presentation. We continually polish our content to ensure our presentation is engaging and effective.

Our Seminars Are Dynamic

These interactive experiences are like no other management training opportunity in natural foods retailing. We use a variety of presentation formats to ensure your engagement and participation, including:


Presenters with Slide Show Content

We bring three very different voices and in any given hour you’re likely to hear from all three of us. Switching up the speaker is just one way we help keep your interest.

Small Group and Individual Work Projects

Some exercises involve self-reflection and you’ll work on these independently to respect your privacy. More commonly, we’ll break into smaller work groups so you can develop, converse, rehearse or complete a creative assignment.

Presenter Role-Plays

We present role plays as content-related models of (typically) good leadership. They’re the right blend of serious and funny, allow everyone to relate to the content and serve as a jumping off point for conversations and small group work.

We’d like to note that some roles are available for interested participants but that no one is ever required to speak before the group, except to briefly introduce yourself on the first day.

Work Games

Our seminars feature creative work games to give you experiential insight and have fun with the content. People do get competitive, but you don’t have to.

The Rising Stars Training Experience

materials (e.g., your staff handbook) so we can refer to your store’s policies and procedures.

Of course, we’ll work on the areas your staff most need — but with a deeper dive. We’ve redesigned much of our content to give participants more hands-on practice, so your team will more fully own and use what they learn.

Check out our Leadership Development Workshop Topics. We look forward to customizing a multi-day workshop to meet your training and leadership development needs on a whole new level!

Note which topics are of interest and we’ll help you make an optimal workshop agenda.

We have either basic or advanced content for most topics, so most are relevant for all audiences.

A few topics are (A) exclusively for experienced managers, or (B) only for new managers, leads and assistants.

Emotionally Intelligent Customer Service: Practice and develop the five skills of emotional intelligence— self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, empathy and social skill—to deliver outstanding customer service (and be a better supervisor).

Staffing For Success: Motivational fit is the degree of alignment between what a person seeks in a job and what the job is actually like. Identify what you're looking for in a new employee, learn how to tell if an applicant has it, and determine if there is motivational fit between the person and the job.

Structuring the New Staffer Introductory Period: Start new hires off on the right foot, and take advantage of the opportunity to address hiring mismatches promptly.

Training That Works: Create conditions for optimum learning and use techniques for training right the first time. (B)

Bringing Your Passion to Work: Connect with what you love about your work. Rediscover your capacity for playing while working, and inspire others with your enthusiasm.

Controlling Your Calendar: Techniques for using your time effectively.

Developing Your People, Level I: Grow your people’s skills and move tasks off your platter, freeing your focus for the most important parts of your job. (B)

Developing Your People, Level II: Create succession plans for management positions, and learn tools to implement the plans. Prepare staff for promotion. (A)

Conducting Evaluations That Inspire: Using your co- op’s (company’s) existing evaluation instruments, practice conducting performance evaluation meetings that focus on development. Learn how to handle particularly challenging evaluations.

Building a Shared Vision: Using SWOT analysis to set a group’s agenda

We’re The Rising Stars Leadership Group –– Allen Seidner, Carolee Colter and Mark Mulcahy (left to right). We’ve each spent pretty much our entire working lives in the organic and natural foods business. Obviously, we’re not kids anymore, so that’s a lot

Inquire for info, pricing and availabilitymailto:risingstars@mac.com?subject=email%20subject
Inquire for info, pricing and availabilitymailto:risingstars@mac.com?subject=email%20subject