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

Chinese New Year Celebration Everywhere!

As you probably know, today, January 31, is the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year. The celebration starts on the second new moon after the winter solstice and goes on for 15 days. This year, we welcome the Year of the Horse. According to Chinese legend, when the Jade Emperor—the Emperor in Heaven—summoned all the animals, he designated the first 12 that appeared to be calendar signs. Thus, there is a 12-year cycle of the lunar calendar, with each year represented by a different animal, with its own personality … Continue reading

Getting to Know Janet Yellen

The chairs of the Federal Reserve System have always been men. Now, the 15th leader of our national bank is Janet Yellen, the first woman to chair it. With this appointment, Janet is opening doors to women in economics and finance everywhere. In a way, her accomplishment reminds me of how my mother, Frieda, opened doors for women in the produce business, when she founded our company in 1962, as the first woman to own a produce business in the U.S. Seven years ago when I was a director of … Continue reading

The Nerdy Way to Know Fruit Is Ripe

Have you ever wondered how my company, Frieda’s, knows when fruit is ripe and sweet?  Well, today was a good reminder for me on just how we do that. Over the New Year’s holiday, my husband and I had friends visiting from Houston, and before they left, they stopped by my office for a quick tour. After a visit in the offices, we donned our hairnets, sanitized our hands and put on our gloves—all requirements for our facility. We walked through the repacking area where large boxes of products are … Continue reading