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

Eating out and eating healthy

I often write about shopping in supermarket produce departments because that’s where most of us buy our fresh produce. But I am fully aware that about 50% of average American meals are consumed outside the home … That is, when we go out to eat. Whether it’s picking up coffee at Starbucks or McDonald’s on our way to work, grabbing a salad for lunch at a restaurant (because we were too busy to pack a lunch), or going out to dinner with our family or friends, most of us eat … Continue reading

It’s potato season!

As you shop at the grocery store each week, you may or may not have a sense of the seasons. If you are paying attention, you will notice that in late May through September, there are sizable displays of aromatic fresh tree fruits like peaches, nectarines, and pluots. In the next few weeks, those displays will be reduced or eliminated, as the California growing season ends. And taking their places will be all kinds of apples and pears. In late August and September, all across the country, apple harvest is … Continue reading

It is what it is

That’s the saying that my sister, Jackie, has adopted in the last few months. Back in early July, she was diagnosed with breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma). Fortunately, it is a slow-growing cancer and after seeing a team of doctors (an oncologist, a surgeon, a plastic surgeon, a radiologist and her regular ob/gyn), it was decided that she could delay her surgery for 2 months and spend almost two weeks in Kauai celebrating her 25th wedding anniversary with her husband Doug. Her surgery is this Tuesday, September 20. Well, let … Continue reading

In times of sadness

During the last two weeks, two of my closest girlfriends have lost a parent. Both Barbara’s mom and Vivian’s father were around 90 years old and had lived a long and happy life. Still, it does not make it any easier to lose a parent. So what do you do as a friend, when one of your friends has a death in the family? Many people don’t know what to do. They feel uncomfortable. They don’t know what to say. So, often times they stay away from their grieving friends. … Continue reading