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

The influence of my dad

About a year ago, I received an email from a former childhood neighbor, Steve, who asked why I never talked about the influence my father had on me growing up. My dad, Al Caplan, was a force to be reckoned with. His mom died when he was 13 and he caught a freight train from Chicago to move out to California when he was a teenager. Then he joined the Marine Corps. He was underage when he enlisted, and there was no Internet to verify his date of birth. After … Continue reading

I’m sorry it’s 85 degrees today

Yesterday morning I made a phone call to a client in Pennsylvania. As part of the conversation, I asked about the weather. “Cool and raining” was his answer. I apologetically told him it was going to be 85 in Southern California. What I didn’t tell him was that I was going to be trekking throughout the citrus groves of the Citrus Variety Collection at the University of California Riverside (UCR) later in the day. At 8 a.m., my colleague Dorian and I got in my car, and by 9 a.m. … Continue reading

Turning your passion into a business

Last week I wrote about my recent trip to the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. Held by the National Association of the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT), this show brings together many foodies, producers of artisan foods and buyers, and many others. For many, it’s also a show for reuniting with old friends in the food business. As I headed down the last aisle on the show floor around 3 p.m. that Sunday, a big smile came over my face. I saw my long-time friend, Paula Lambert, of the Mozzarella … Continue reading

I left my heart in San Francisco

This past weekend I took my youngest daughter Sophia, on her first business trip. Each January, the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) holds the Fancy Food Show at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco. I like to attend this show — even though they don’t typically have any fresh produce — as many of the newest foods and food trends start here. Since the show starts on Sunday, I decided that Sophia and I would fly up on Saturday morning and spend the day touring the … Continue reading