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RIDERS (Risk-taking Initiatives to Develop Executive Resources and Skills) is an intensive, adventure-based workshop that uses the experience of riding and ranch activities to build powerful teamwork and excellent leadership skills.

Watch Brian Banmiller's report on the Team Riders program.

Experiential learning
As you and your team ride through today's changing business environment, new approaches are needed. Leaders and their teams do not operate in the safety of a classroom; their training should not be passive either. The unique learning environment of our workshops mirror the challenges and rapid change within 21st century businesses. The territory is uncharted and the individual who can find his or her way--and facilitate the movement of others--can truly be called a leader. In today's organizations, nothing can be taken for granted.

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Lessons that last
In the spectacular surroundings of a scenic mountain ranch -- using horseback experiences, teaching sessions, and related training methods -- you will improve your team's performance and your leadership potential. Leaders learn deeply through situations in which they demonstrate and practice leadership; groups succeed only if they communicate well and perform as a true team. It is our belief that the best leadership and team training is a combination of head, heart, and hand. This integration begins with the RIDERS workshop and continues afterwards, as you apply new knowledge back in your own organization. RIDERS workshops include follow-up sessions to ensure that lessons last.

Meet the Program Leaders

RIDERS leaders combine riding experience with business expertise to ensure that the lessons learned in the saddle are beneficial in the boardroom as well.

Jeri L. Mersky, Ph.D.

jeriJeri L. Mersky, Ph.D., president of JLM Associates, conceived of the RIDERS Workshops in 1994 as a way to combine a love of horses with her passion for innovation, change and teamwork in organizations. Initial marketing research indicated that women leaders were quite intrigued by the RIDERS concept; soon after she created the first Women RIDERS workshop. Jeri and Rebecca Proehl conducted Women RIDERS sessions while developing new RIDERS programs for teams (Team RIDERS) and for mixed leader groups (Lead RIDERS). RIDERS Workshops have been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, including an in-depth segment about Team RIDERS on the Fox News Channel.

Dr. Mersky has consulted to a wide range of organizations since 1978. Her consulting expertise ranges from large systems redesigns—including strategic planning, cultural change and work redesign—to team building, training, and executive coaching. She has developed and conducted training courses in a wide range of subjects, such as leadership development, communication and conflict management skills, negotiation, problem-solving, and team effectiveness. A partial list of private sector clients includes: Adobe Systems, Apple Computer, Blue Shield of California, Catholic Healthcare West, Contra Costa Times, Intraware, Novell, PeopleSoft, Stanford University. Jeri has also consulted to and trained leaders in public and not-for-profit organizations, such as: Internal Revenue Service, Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, San Francisco Municipal Railway, National Transit Institute, BART, Center for Elders Independence, the Exploratorium.

Dr. Mersky is a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops, regularly presenting at the national conference of Women in Technology International (WITI). She has published several articles and monographs, and was affiliated with The Professional School of Psychology (a Ph.D.-granting institution in San Francisco) for over five years. Her doctorate is in Organizational Psychology, received in 1987 from the Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA.

Jeri had always dreamed of having "a horse of her own" but did not pursue it seriously until later in adult life. She finally purchased a 10-year old Thoroughbred, and made the dream a reality. With the RIDERS Workshops, Jeri enjoys discovering and sharing the myriad ways that horses teach us about who we are and how we partner. She lives in Northern California with her husband, two children, a dog, and a horse.

Rebecca Proehl, Ph.D.

rebeccaRebecca A. Proehl is Professor and Chair of the Management Program at Saint Mary's College of California. Dr. Proehl has extensive experience in teaching, training, and consulting with managers and executives in such varied settings as Advanced Micro Devices, Domaine Chandon, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Delta Dental of California, Saint Anthony Foundation, and Santa Clara Department of Aging and Adult Services. At Saint Mary’s College, she teaches coursework in Sustaining Work Team Effectiveness, Leading Organizational Change, Management and Organizational Theory, and Managing Diversity. She also offers a variety of classes and seminars for women leaders, having personal experience as the first woman Dean of the School of Management at John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, Calif. She is the author of numerous articles on organizational change and cross-functional teams and has recently published a book entitled Organizational Change in the Human Services (2001) by Sage Publications.

Becky has a Masters Degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Doctorate in Organizational Psychology from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, Calif. She fully enjoys all aspects of western riding and has a particular affinity for lassoing.


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