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

Give yourself a “Meeting-ectomy”

Meeting-ectomy is a word I invented last summer. When I first said it to my daughter, Sophia, she pondered for a moment and said, “You got rid of your meetings?” Yes, I decided that I had too many meetings at work every day, and it actually prevented me from getting any meaningful work done. Do you feel that way sometimes? I got concerned about all my meetings when my co-worker, Aldo, told me that in business school, they call meetings “The Monster,” and warn graduates to beware of them when … Continue reading

Why lettuce prices are going up

Garry and I have a favorite local restaurant, called Preveza. The cuisine is Mediterranean, which means the menu has both an Italian and a Greek flair. The last time we dined there we chatted with the owner, Nicolas. I told him how much we enjoy the food and the service. I also told him that one of my favorite things about the restaurant was that I could tell they used whole head lettuce and cut it up themselves, instead of buying processed, pre-cut lettuce like many other restaurants. I love … Continue reading

Dining at Chez Panisse

Karen and Alice Waters at Chez Panisse Alice Waters is probably one of the most renowned chefs and restaurant owners in the world. She resides in Berkeley, California, and is one of the most delightful, genuine and authentic people on the planet, in my humble opinion. There appears to be a halo around her sincere, bubbly smile. I’m not sure when I first met Alice, but I believe it was at an American Institute of Food and Wine event in Santa Monica, California. Mom and I were there on a … Continue reading

My recent interview with The New Yorker

It was kind of scary yet exciting to have an interview with the infamous New Yorker magazine. Because our company is a resource about specialty produce, it’s not unusual for us to get calls several times a week for interviews. Last week was a busy one – I did an interview with both the Wall Street Journal (see the story here) and The New Yorker. New Yorker writer John called our company because he was doing a story on a tropical fruit. (I can’t tell you which one, as I … Continue reading