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

Gearing up for the Holiday Season

When some people think about the upcoming holiday season (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas), their heart starts to beat a little faster and they break into a sweat.  I have heard that it is actually quite a stressful period of time for some people. So, when I was at my CEO Group’s couples retreat this past weekend, I found the speaker’s topic to be quite timely. When Dr. Jerry Kornfeld walked into the room, he looked kind of familiar.  After hearing his introduction, I realized where I had met him.  Back in … Continue reading

What vegetable to make for Thanksgiving this year

It’s no secret that for the first and only time in our lifetime, the Jewish Holiday of Hanukkah will fall during the Thanksgiving festivities. So, this year in our family, instead of having a Thanksgiving dinner celebration (with all the trimmings), and then a family Hanukkah party–we call it a Latke (potato pancake) party–a few weeks later, we are combining the celebrations into one giant dinner with about 25 people. With the many different branches of our family, we have so many dining options. A few years ago, I decided … Continue reading

My dinner in Beverly Hills – a surprising lesson

Have you ever heard of the fashion designer BCBG or BCBGMaxazria? You probably have seen their clothing in magazines, in department stores or in their own showrooms and stores. I first became acquainted with BCBG when I heard their Chief Creative Officer, Lubov Azria, speak at a luncheon last year. What most inspired me about Lubov’s story was that she combined her humble beginnings from the Ukraine with her passion for fashion to create a fashion-forward clothing line that is approachable and affordable for all women. So, when a friend … Continue reading

The Power of Purple

Last week, our company was in New Orleans at our industry’s annual trade show and convention, the PMA (Produce Marketing Association) Fresh Summit.  When we arrived at the Marriott Hotel, I noticed a chef in the lobby.  Of course, we struck up a conversation.  It turns out that Chef Chad Roldan is the Executive Chef of the New Orleans Marriott. Naturally, our conversation turned to produce. Chef Chad asked us about our purple theme, and of course, I told him about the newest purple vegetable that we have introduced: the … Continue reading