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

Having a purpose

When I started my blog three years ago, you probably didn’t know what my inspiration was and thought I just wanted to jump on the social media/blogger bandwagon. What inspired me was John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods. He was in the news quite a bit at that time and his personal blog was causing a bit of a stir in the Wall Street community. But it made me think… The CEO of a company should have their own voice, separate from the corporation. So, I went to my marketing … Continue reading

Disneyland in 2013

My youngest daughter Sophia is a freshman in college at Eugene Lang of The New School in New York City and is home for her 5-week winter break. I cannot believe how fast her time at home was going by, so I asked her if we could schedule a Mommy-Daughter Day with her choice on what we do. She chose a day at Disneyland! Before we left in the morning, she said, “Mom, I want to go to Disneyland with my ‘mommy’ – not the CEO of Frieda’s!” (Did I mention … Continue reading

True Food Kitchen

Several times a month I get the opportunity to entertain clients. For me, they are usually men, and I  assume dinner means going to a steak house. That was until one of my clients decided to go healthy and lost a significant amount of weight by changing his eating and exercise regime. We set up a dinner and when I asked him what kind of food he was in the mood for, he said “something healthy.” I have to admit – I was very excited! Since I started my vegan … Continue reading

Doing Good at Age Nine

Last summer, I attended a two-day produce conference in Chicago, which I do quite a bit, so I wasn’t expecting anything extraordinary to happen. But then I met Katie. Katie is a 14-year-old entrepreneur from South Carolina. In 2008, Katie planted some cabbage seeds as part of a school gardening project. She did such a good job of nurturing her cabbage that it ballooned to 40 pounds! When her class project ended, she donated the cabbage to a local soup kitchen. Those 40 pounds of cabbage ended up feeding 275 people! … Continue reading