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

Mercury in Retrograde

On the way home from the airport last week, my sister Jackie and I heard a news story on the radio about McAfee anti-virus software causing hundreds of computers to crash around the world. We looked at each other, smiled, and said simultaneously, “Mercury is in retrograde.” In astrology, Mercury goes retrograde three or four times a year, and each retrograde period usually lasts for about three weeks. During this time, the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards in the sky, and strange things happen. It is sometimes called … Continue reading

Something fresh for Cinco de Mayo

Living here in Southern California, Cinco de Mayo is promoted and celebrated widely. Admittedly, those of us in the food business joke that beer companies like Budweiser and the chips and guacamole folks have made it into a bigger holiday than it may have been previously. (Just as Hallmark has made Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day into bigger holidays.) Regardless, it’s always interesting to know about the history behind these holidays. Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day. That is on September 16. Cinco de Mayo – the 5th … Continue reading

Where do your grapes come from?

OK, I admit it. I am one of those shoppers. When deciding whether or not to buy grapes at my local supermarket, I sneak a sample. I always hope no one is looking when I grab a red or green grape to see if they are sweet or tart. So far, I have not been caught. We are so lucky that we can now find grapes all year-round in our produce departments. Did you know that here in Southern California, at this time of year (April), our grapes are most … Continue reading

Please Be Safe!

I think the biggest fear all parents have when their kids go off to college is their access to excessive drinking. I know it is my fear. Both my sister and I have our eldest young adult at college, and the last couple weeks have been very sad for us. You see, a young man who attended Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo was killed two weeks ago. He was just 21 years old. He was out on a Saturday night and probably had too much to drink. He decided to walk … Continue reading