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

Who took the vegetables out of Charleston?

Last weekend, Garry and I visited Charleston, South Carolina. It is a beautiful place and we were fortunate to stay at our dear friends’ townhouse on Kiawah Island. Kiawah Island, South Carolina As can be expected, I was on the hunt for some fabulous places to eat. One of my new favorite newsletters, John Mariani’s Virtual Gourmet, had just featured some great looking restaurants in Charleston. During our trip, we chose to eat at The Grocery, one of the featured restaurants. I knew to expect some fantastic tasting meats – … Continue reading

Ask Karen

The great thing about traveling so much is catching up on my reading during a long flight. In the produce industry, we have many trade publications. We have newspapers like The Packer and The Produce News, and magazines like Supermarket News, Progressive Grocer and California Farmer. We even have an online video resource called AndNowUKnow.com. And I definitely get funny looks on the airplane when I am reading Valley Potato Grower Magazine, Produce Business and Fresh Cut. When I was thumbing through a recent edition of Supermarket News, a headline … Continue reading

Wikinomics and Asthma Inhalers with GPS

My travels this week took me to Calgary in Alberta, Canada, the home of the famous Canadian rodeo, the Calgary Stampede. I was in town for the annual Canadian Produce Marketing Association Convention, where I spent a few days with 1,500 of my closest Canadian produce friends. As with all produce conventions, there were world class speakers and the speaker at Thursday’s lunch was no different. His name is Anthony D. Williams, the author who wrote Wikinomics (2007) and taught us how mass collaboration was changing the way companies communicate, … Continue reading

Dallas vs. Chicago

I’m not referring to sports teams here. I’m talking about airports, and the food choices available. I have been spending a lot of time in airports lately, and my personal choice is to always eat fresh fruits and vegetables and gluten-free products, so I pay attention to what is offered. When I was in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport last month, I was astounded by the healthy food options that presented themselves: cut fruits and veggies, hummus and veggies, fresh fruit juices, unsalted nuts, gluten-free snacks and fruit smoothies. Multiple kiosks … Continue reading