University of La Verne

Do College Students Need More Life Skills?

It all started on the golf course. Early last year, I attended the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. As I was wandering around the clubhouse, I ran into Mark Brian Smith, the filmmaker who produced and directed “Fear No Fruit,” the documentary about my mom and our family business. He had with him a longtime personal friend Simon, a banker. As per usual, we shook hands and exchanged business cards. So I guess I was a little surprised when six months later I received an email from Simon, who had changed banks, inviting me to be the keynote speaker at a CEO summit. As it turns out, his new bank, Union Bank, is a sponsor of the CEO Summit at the Continue Reading

Deliciousness is a Cherimoya

I just read an update from our procurement team that Cherimoyas are now at their peak of season! I just love Cherimoyas. For those of you who are novices in the exotic fruit category, the Cherimoya is a subtropical fruit that grows in California and contra-seasonally in Chile and New Zealand (and probably in other countries that I do not know about). I like to describe its looks as a cross between an artichoke and a hand grenade! (Got the picture?) Besides the fabulous flavor (smooth vanilla-pineapple-pear-custard), my special closeness … Continue reading

The Federal Reserve Bank

Sometimes when I go to cocktail parties or meet other business people, they don’t take me seriously. I mean, really, here I am a 50-something woman (not always dressed like a CEO), trying to make interesting conversation and appear relevant. My absolute favorite conversation starter is to mention that I used to be a director of The Federal Reserve Bank. Yes, THE Fed. And, yes, I met Chairman Alan Greenspan. But, that’s another story. Mostly people want to know just exactly HOW I got to be a director. And that’s … Continue reading

Arugula: Spice of Life

Arugula. Arrugula. Rocket Salad. Roquette. Rugola… It has many names but it’s all the same thing. This peppery, leafy green has become quite popular with chefs over the past 10 years. It’s that long leaf salad green with scalloped leaves and a strong, distinct peppery flavor. It’s often found in mesclun salad mixes, or even alone as a bagged salad. I vaguely recall when we first got a request for “Rocket Salad.” It must have been in the 1970s when we were just beginning to market fresh herbs. (That’s right, … Continue reading

Business Cards: Don’t leave home without them!

I am getting ready to pack for another business trip soon, so I need to make sure I have enough business cards. When should you carry business cards? Always. And I mean always. There is never a time when I leave my house without them: Heading to a baby shower. Business cards in my purse. Attending a training conference. Business card holder in my briefcase. Going to a cocktail party, wedding or Bat Mitzvah. A few loose cards tucked in my evening bag. Going to a convention. Filled business card … Continue reading