As the story
goes, Rich gave his first paid speech at the age of
eight. “I took plastic dinosaurs and set them up on a
table in my basement, then invited everyone in the
neighborhood to hear me talk about them. As I recall, I
charged five cents per person to get in!” That was over
30 years ago, and Rich has been speaking and training
With over twenty-five years of successful experience
as a salesperson, sales manager, training director,
professional speaker and seminar leader, Richard Scott
Fenton is uniquely qualified to teach and motivate
people to reach increased levels of performance.
Growing up in Chicago, Rich started his employment
career in the restaurant industry, moving quickly from
busboy to manager in just six months and eventually
becoming the company trouble-shooter at only 18 years of
age. "I would travel around the country as a
'turn-around expert' of sorts, sometimes having to
replace entire management teams for lack of performance.
I look back at what I was called on to do at that age
and realize what an incredible experience that was."
Rich’s next job was working in the automotive
industry. As an account executive in the fleet sales
department for the largest Chevrolet dealer in the
country, Rich learned to sell and serve from a true
master who just happened to also be his father. After
five years in the "car-biz" Rich moved to California
where he quickly put his sales experience to work,
landing a position with Walt Disney Productions in their
film distribution division.
Eventually, Rich would make his way into the world of
retail, starting as a clothing salesman for Saks Fifth
Avenue and working his way up to the position of
Director of Training & Development for Macy’s in
Beverly Hills, California. Following that, Rich served
as Training Director for clothing giant Hart, Shaffner
& Marx, and LensCrafters, the world’s largest
retailer of eyeglasses.
greatest passion was speaking and training, Rich decided
to go into business for himself. In late 1997, along
with partner Andrea Waltz, he launched Accelerated
Performance Training (now FentonWaltz) to design and
deliver programs for America’s most prestigious
Rich is co-author of three books for retailers,
"Unlocking the Secrets of Retail Magic,"
"The Run with the Lions Sales Safari” and most
recently, “PLUCK! Providing Courageous Take-Charge
Retail Service.” In addition, Rich is the author of
a book that works for anyone who faces rejection
(salesperson or not) called, "Go For No! The
Ultimate Strategy for Failing Your Way to Success!"
A sought-after expert for various trade magazines,
Rich also writes for “Getting Results through Others,”
FentonWaltz’s complimentary bi-monthly newsletter.
Rich’s greatest compliment and the one that he hears
over and over is that he connects with his audience.
Rich's presentations are packed with stories, strategies
and skill development techniques that he has personally
practiced and perfected; he does not “preach” about
success. He shares practical and hard-hitting ideas in a
fun way that pay-off immediately when implemented.
Andrea Waltz co-founded Accelerated Performance
Training (now FentonWaltz) with Richard in 1997.
She started her retail career as a sales associate
with Hallmark while finishing school at Long Beach State
University in Southern California. In 1993 she accepted
a position with the world’s largest retailer of
eyeglasses, LensCrafters, where she quickly moved
through the ranks, becoming one of the youngest managers
in the company’s history. Her stay also included a stint
in the training department where she got the bug to
teach and develop others.
Andrea also served two years as the Training Director
for Centinela Pet Supplies based in Los Angeles. While
there she designed and delivered sales, management and
product knowledge workshops and learning materials, also
creating and hosting a highly successful 2 ½ week
Andrea has co-authored three books for retailers and
has been the publisher and editor of a bi-monthly
newsletter for frontline managers and trainers in the
retail industry since 1998. She is also frequently cited
as an expert in retail trade journals, most recently
contributing to publications such as Dance Retailer
News, In-Store (a jewelry store
publication), Specialty Retail Business, and
Andrea assists Richard in the designing and
development of their workshops and public seminars and
frequently travels with him to deliver programs for