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

Lime Caviar: The newest citrus fruit

About 14 or 15 years ago we got some very interesting visitors: Two ladies who managed the Citrus Variety Collection at the University of California at Riverside — Tracy and Tootsie. (Tootsie has since retired, but I had the great pleasure of touring the Citrus Collection with Tracy earlier this year . . .following her in her Volkswagen Bug around the citrus groves.) Tootsie and Tracy brought us dozens of samples of all kinds of new citrus varieties that were either growing or being developed there. As it turns out, … Continue reading

New Traditions

To me, Thanksgiving is a mix of old traditions and new traditions. And it’s OK to be personal and unique. As I am leaving for Dallas to be with my husband’s family for Thanksgiving Day, many people in my office have stopped by to say goodbye. I am struck by all the different personal traditions there are, just in our office. One team member is flying to Colorado to be with her only daughter. Her daughter lives there and she is making dinner for her mom. One team member is … Continue reading

Enchantment and Steve Jobs

I’m a big believer in continuous learning. Every year, I make sure I sign up for a few professional development seminars, and pick a few good business-related books to read. Fortunately, I get a lot of outside ideas from my CEO group, Vistage. (Read my previous post about Vistage here.) At most of our monthly meetings, we have an outside, world-class speaker who shares state of the art information with my group. Whether it’s on sales, the economy, finance, or personal health, it’s a great way for me to stay … Continue reading

What happened to Thanksgiving?

Those are the words that my assistant, Linda said to me at the end of the day. “What happened to Thanksgiving?” She commented that everywhere she shopped (even before Halloween), all the stores were featuring Christmas decorations! I know the feeling. It seems even before one holiday ends, the stores have already moved onto the next “Hallmark” holiday. This weekend I noticed the Christmas decorations were up at my local Costco (and they were handing out shopping flyers for “black Friday.”) But, I’d like to ask you to pause and … Continue reading