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

Information Overload

Information overload – that’s what my nephew, Frankie, said to his dad (Doug). “Dad, how can I possibly keep up with what’s going on in the world – it’s all too much. Isn’t there one place I can go to keep up on what’s happening?” That was two years ago, when Frankie was a junior in high school. As luck would have it, my brother-in-law Doug was at a doctor’s office a few weeks later, and as he thumbed through the obligatory stack of magazines, he saw a publication titled, … Continue reading

Get that New Zealand Feeling

“Get That New Zealand Feeling” was the name of one of Frieda’s first trade advertising campaigns. After we began marketing the Kiwifruit from New Zealand, we were introduced to many other fruits from the land down under. Passion FruitThose purple egg-shaped fruits came first. I remember my mom telling our customers, “Yes, it’s okay if they get wrinkled and moldy – that means they are ripe!” Well, I don’t know about the mold, but passion fruit definitely wrinkles when it ripens. The best way I’ve described the flavor is that … Continue reading

Staying Connected

Many years ago, I was invited to sit on a board of advisors of a small marketing firm, called M/S Database Marketing. My company worked with them back in the 1990s to develop some of our “cutting edge” marketing. We didn’t realize how cutting edge it was, until Information Week magazine interviewed us in 1994 for an article called, “Who’d Eat a Blue Squash?” Joining me on this small board (there were two of us outsiders and the two owners), was Carl Terzian. Carl owns an innovative public relations firm … Continue reading

Watermelon Time: Hold the seeds, please

I am so glad that watermelons are “back in season.” Yes I know that they seem to be available all year round, but as my 16-year-old daughter Sophia has told me, “Mom, why do you keep buying watermelons in the winter? They don’t taste sweet – it’s not their season.” So, frankly, I avoid buying watermelons until the weather has warmed up. In the last two weeks I have purchased two seedless watermelons and it’s almost time to put them on my weekly shopping list. Seedless watermelons bring back such … Continue reading