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

Thanksgiving and my new perspective on tattoos

Last week I spent Thanksgiving in Dallas with my husband Garry’s family. Because we all travel from various cities, we stay at a hotel near the airport. This is the second year we have stayed at the Embassy Suites at the DFW airport. It was a lovely three days – and the highlight is that I get to spend quality time with my 94-year-old mother-in-law. But it was actually the short ride on the hotel shuttle back to the airport that changed my life. I was the only passenger on … Continue reading

Those annoying grocery store receipts

As I travel around the country visiting supermarkets, there is one big thing that annoys me: those unnecessarily long cash register receipts! You know what I’m talking about. You only buy one or two items, yet your receipt is so long that it has to be folded several times to fit into your wallet. I have often thought that supermarkets waste so much money on that coated paper. How many trees or how much petroleum is used to print those receipts? Can’t they make them shorter? And then, last week, … Continue reading

Today is World Diabetes Day

Clearly it is not a day of celebration, but rather a day to bring awareness to one of the worlds’ most prevalent and debilitating diseases. I first recall hearing about diabetes when actress Mary Tyler Moore disclosed that she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes shortly after she launched the “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in the early 1970s. Around the same time, one of my high school friends was diagnosed with diabetes and started daily shots of insulin. I remember wondering what caused her diabetes since she was not … Continue reading

Yes, men and women think differently

Like many company owners and chief executive officers, I belong to an executive roundtable group. This group of fellow CEOs from non-competing companies and industries serves as my unofficial “board of advisors.” It’s quite useful to have access to other CEOs to vet out issues and challenges, especially for a privately owned company. My group is called Vistage, and it has more than 20,000 members all over the world. The majority of the members are based in the United States, and my particular group is based in Southern California. On … Continue reading