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 beginning of my vegan journey

I have something very bold to announce (at least I think it’s bold!) I am going to start following a vegan diet. The definition of vegan is eating only a plant-based diet. No foods or products that come from an animal. No eggs, cheese (that one will be hard), meat, fish or dairy. You may be wondering why I have made this decision since I have never been a vegetarian or anything so extreme. Here is my thought process. It all started about 3 weeks ago, when my 48-year-old niece Jennifer came over for … Continue reading

Recipes for the kids

I was off to another produce show this past weekend in beautiful Monterey, California. The region around this seaside town – the Salinas Valley – is also known as the “salad bowl” because of the number of vegetables grown here. The produce show was part of the Produce Marketing Association’s annual foodservice conference where thousands of distributors, restaurants and schools meet up for inspiration. The conference allowed attendees to chat with growers, food suppliers, see and taste new products and visit with friends in the industry. But perhaps most importantly,  the conference … Continue reading

Local Produce Expo at Disney

There is quite a vibrant produce industry trade association based right here in Southern California. It’s called the Fresh Produce and Floral Council (FPFC) and it has been around since 1965. It was founded as a forum for buyers and sellers to get to know each other on a more personal level, and of course, before there was such a word as “networking,” that’s really what was needed.  My mom, Frieda, was one of the council’s first members, and when I was in high school I attended my first FPFC … Continue reading

How LinkedIn Are You?

Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram or  QR codes we all know that “social media” is the buzz these days. Earlier this week I spoke to a group of business owners in Southern California (http://www.lbcc.edu/ERD/10000sb-index.cfm) and one of my topics was how to use LinkedIn effectively. I’ve always considered LinkedIn, “Facebook for business.” I feel that for the most part, Facebook is used to communicate and build your network in your personal life, but for business, LinkedIn is the place to be. For example, I knew that one of my … Continue reading