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

Artisan Lettuce and why your comments matter

As I’ve shared before, the produce industry is not made up of fruits and vegetables. For me, it’s made up of personalities, families and friends. When I think of a particular fruit or vegetable, the first thing that comes to mind is the good friend or acquaintance who happens to grow it. And that is the case with a relatively new product, Artisan Lettuce. You’ve probably seen this product in your local produce department, sold near the rest of the salad greens. It’s a combination of green and red lettuces … Continue reading

Flashcarbs

No, that is not a typo. My daughter and I were getting our flu shots last week at our local Target store, and while we waited, I started wandering through the aisles. And that’s when I saw this small white box – about the size of a large deck of cards — with the title, “Flashcarbs®.” I was intrigued. Flashcarbs cards are a learning tool for people living with diabetes. I am guessing that McNeil Nutritionals, the company who makes them, realized that there was an opportunity to reach out … Continue reading

Mario Batali’s EATALY – OMG!

Photo credit: mrsdewinter, flickr Last week, I was in New York City for the first annual New York Produce Show. Yes, we have produce mini conventions all over the country and this one was amazing. Typically, regional produce organizations host one day expos, where vendors (produce sellers) from all over the country (primarily from growing regions like California, Texas, Florida, and Washington State), gather to show their produce to local retailers and chefs. Surprisingly, there has never been a produce show for the largest metropolitan area in the country…until last … Continue reading

Bees are on my mind

Bees seem to be everywhere for me this month. Here are three stories… First, take a close look at this photo. Yes, that man is covered with live bees. His name is Norman Gary and he is a retired beekeeper, entomology professor and researcher from the University of California, Davis. As I was reading through this month’s copy of California Farmer, I saw this article and was amazed. Like many people, I was stung by bees when I was young – actually I was stung 22 times by yellow jackets. … Continue reading