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

  1. “I leave Rising Stars 2 with enthusiasm and tools to tackle real issues to facilitate positive change in my workplace. This is a must for natural foods management personnel. RS1 and RS2 were amazing experiences.”

James Munro, Operations Mgr

Big Carrot Natural Food Market, Toronto

  1. “Exceeded my expectations. The topics and conversations were at a much higher level than I anticipated. Even in areas I feel very competent in, I heard new things, and new ways of saying things – lots of take-aways.”

Sharret Rose, HR Mgr

La Montanita Food Co-op, Albuquerque NM

Seminar Schedule & Registration

Sept. 5-7

Minneapolis, MN

Rising Stars 1

Our Original Seminar Experience

Rising Stars 2

Our Advanced Seminar Experience

Our seminars are in places you’ll            want to visit, making it         easy to fly in for some cross-continental cross-pollination. Some stores actually prefer to send their folks out of town, to ensure they can fully immerse themselves in the experience.

We collaborate with great natural foods stores as our hosts to cater yummy foods made with organic and local ingredients, and to give you a special behind-the-scenes store tour.

Upcoming Seminar Schedule


We encourage but no longer require completion of Rising Stars 1 as a prerequisite for Rising Stars 2

  1.   3 seminar days, 9 am to 6 pm

  2.   Seminar Handbook with key systems, forms and documents

  3.   Great organic and natural foods lunches, abundant snacks and beverages

  4.   A behind-the-scenes store tour

  5.   An evening reception with beer, wine and appetizers

  6.   Access to our exclusive participant websites – featuring hours of video and audio clips, downloadable seminar documents, and more

  7.   Discounted lodging at our seminar hotel


Seminar Package Includes

We’re The Rising Stars Leadership Group –– Mark Mulcahy, Carolee Colter and Allen Seidner (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 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 60 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

The Presenterspresenters.html

What’s Their Feedback?

Schedule & Registrationhttp://web.me.com/unknown-account/Old_Rising_Stars_Pages/schedule.html

We ask for feedback and we get tons of it. We’ve used 18 years of participant feedback to continually refine and polish our seminars. Even people who walk in with high expectations tell us they’re impressed by how well we held their attention, how much they learned and how much fun they had. We’ve trained a galaxy of more than 2500 natural foods retail leaders, from the best co-ops and independents on the continent. Read their testimonials.

Schedule & Registrationhttp://web.me.com/unknown-account/Old_Rising_Stars_Pages/schedule.html

Rising Stars 1

Our Original Seminar Experience

An intensive introduction to natural foods

store and department excellence

Rising Stars 2

Our Advanced Seminar Experience

Our powerfully focused sequel

on issues critical for management masters

Open to Everyone



We encourage but no longer require completion of

Rising Stars 1 as a prerequisite for Rising Stars 2.

  1. The Success Pyramid

  2. Staffing For Success

  3. Hiring for Motivational Fit

  4. Interviewing

  5. Structuring the New Staffer Introductory Period

  6. Training That Works

  7. Bringing Your Passion to Work

  8. Controlling Your Calendar

  9. Developing Your People

  10. Conducting Evaluations That Inspire

  11. Daily Huddles

  12. Motivating Your Team

  13. Counseling & Consequences

  14. Playing by the Numbers: Sales, Margin & Labor

  15. SWOTting Out an Agenda

  16. Sampling

  17. Impulse Merchandising

  18. Burning Out & Renewal

  19. Taking It All Back Home

  1. The Marshmallow Challenge

  2. Forging A Team

  3. Meetings That Make Things Happen

  4. Embodying Leadership Integrity

  5. Conducting Difficult Evaluations

  6. Paying for Performance

  7. Developing Staff Succession Plans

  8. Promoting From Within

  9. Emotionally Intelligent Customer Service

  10. Mastering Middle Management

  11. Knowing When to Invest in Labor

  12. Developing Project Proposals

  13. Managing Up

  14. Resolving Conflict to Build Better Work Relationships

  15. Taking it All Back Home

Seminar Content

Natural Foods Leadership Development Seminars

Devoted to Department, Store & General Managers

Allen Seidner

Mark Mulcahy

Carolee Colter

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

Produced & Presented by

Participant Materials

Participant Logingrad_login.html

Participants leave their seminar experience with a wealth of materials to support their leadership development and to help implement everything they learn. 

A Workbook

A well-organized tightly edited 120-page binder of our content-relevant worksheets, forms, checklists, manuals, articles and other proprietary documents. With the notes you add and our Table of Contents you’ll be able to quickly find and make good use of your Seminar Workbook.

Digital Documents

  1. Log in to access downloadable digital copies of all relevant workbook documents, more than 30 from each seminar. You’re encouraged to edit and use them throughout your organization.

Audio & Video Seminar Excerpts

Proliferate your experience by gathering colleagues to watch and discuss several hours of recorded seminar content, including many of our acclaimed role-plays. From each seminar, about a dozen audio, video and merchandising slideshow clips are available.


After the seminar, your login name and password provide a year of access to our exclusive seminar materials.


Join our Facebook page, exclusive to Rising Stars participants, where we share
articles, merchandising photos and tidbits of wisdom -- and you’re invited to share materials and participate, too.

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:

  1. Intellectually Challenging Small Group Work Projects

  2. Creatively Challenging Work Games

  3. Presenter-Performed Skits

Although some roles are available for interested participants, no one’s ever required to speak before the group, except for your brief introduction on the first morning.

We Deliver Pertinent Content

Our seminars are packed with material that’s directly applicable to your everyday work as a natural foods grocery leader. You’ll hear fresh ideas for being better at all the basics, and about things you didn’t know that you didn’t know. We’ll give you practical tools while helping you open your mind (and heart) in becoming an even more successful natural foods store leader.

We Have Fun

We’re passionate about our work and take it seriously. We start and end on time and we have a tightly organized agenda. And, we’re flexible, intuitively responding to the varying needs of each seminar group.

We’ve known each other for decades and there’s no way to hide how much fun we have creating and sharing a seminar with you. We’re not classically trained MBA graduates. We’re old-time natural foods retail grocery folk, and (probably) a lot like you.

It’s a Best-in-Class Seminar Experience

You’ll eat an abundance of great meals and snacks, made with organic and local ingredients. We’ll take you to our host store for a special behind-the-scenes evening tour. You’ll network with great new colleagues and we’ll share time together at a second-evening reception. This isn’t your typical seminar experience and you’ll be glad you came.

Schedule & Registrationhttp://web.me.com/unknown-account/Old_Rising_Stars_Pages/schedule.html

Presentation Methods

Our seminars 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.

You’ll experience most of these methods several times every day:

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 Work Projects

Depending on the exercise, we break you into smaller work groups several times a day. Sometimes you’ll work with people from your own store, sometimes with people from other stores who have similar jobs, and sometimes with a random mix of peers.

Individual Work Projects

Some exercises involve self-reflection. You'll work on these independently either because the work is too specific to each person’s workplace, or because it’s possibly too personal.

Presenter Role-Plays

We present about a dozen role plays per seminar as content-related models of good (or awful) leadership. They’re the right blend of serious and funny, allow everyone to relate to the content and serve as a great 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.

Group Asks

We regularly check in with our participant groups to ask for the wisdom of the group, and to verify that specific content is as relevant as we expect. For as tightly planned as is our agenda, we regularly make adjustments to optimally suit each participant group.

The Rising Stars Seminar Experience

Schedule & Registrationhttp://web.me.com/unknown-account/Old_Rising_Stars_Pages/schedule.html

Who Are These Seminars For?

Department Managers & Key Assistants

Shift Leaders, MODs and Floor Managers

Store Managers, General Managers & Owners

  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 Natural Foods. Minnetonka, MN

Our Last Ever

Rising Stars Seminar Presentations

We’re retiring our program after a

Special 20th Anniversary Event in 2019