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

Baby Kiwifruit

As you know, our company roots run very deep when it comes to Kiwifruit. It was back in 1962 that my mom, Frieda, was first introduced to the Chinese Gooseberry, which was then being commercially grown in New Zealand. She immediately imported her first shipment of about 240 boxes, but it took her more than four months to sell them. That’s how she discovered that Kiwifruit has a great shelf life! The next season, she suggested that the Kiwifruit growers produce some marketing materials to help educate the produce buyers … Continue reading

Have you heard about cloud computing?

Three years ago when my daughter Alex bought her Mac computer for college, my husband recommended she get a “back-up drive,” so she could save a copy of all her work, in case something happened to her computer. When I asked Alex about it, she said, “Yeah mom, I subscribed to Apple’s back-up service for less than $100 a year.” “But Alex, you need to get a back-up drive.” “No mom, I am going to just back it up to the cloud.” “The cloud?” Never gave it a second thought, … Continue reading

It’s National Apple Month

If you are not in the produce industry, you probably didn’t know that there is a National Apple Month. Actually, I just read that the U.S. Apple Association has made National Apple Month into a three-month promotion – September, October and November… I think that makes it an oxymoron! Regardless, having an apple month is a great way to communicate to consumers that freshly harvested apples are available. We are so spoiled here in the United States — almost all of our fruits and vegetables are available 12 months out … Continue reading

The Future of the Vegetable Seed Industry

Most of us probably don’t give a second thought to the vegetable seed industry, but I can tell you that in my business, seed companies are extremely important. There are trade groups, such as the American Seed Trade Association, and there are the big seed companies, like Syngenta, Monsanto and Nunhems. There are also niche seed companies such as Stokes Seeds, Paramount Seeds, Corona Seeds, Seedway, Seeds by Design and Siegers Seed Co. — just to name a few. I’ve mentioned before that I read some pretty crazy publications in … Continue reading