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

How You Put On Your Socks is Important

Each of us has two lives: our personal life and our professional life. You know, like the weekend vs. the rest of the week. Some people say you are two different people: the You that is at work—and the You on your personal time. But I do not subscribe to that philosophy. I believe there is one true You. If you know me, you know that a big part of my personality has always been that I want people to like me. When I opened up an April issue of … Continue reading

The Truth About Food Packaging

One of the first jobs I had when I started working for my mom after college in the early 1980s was ordering and designing packaging. And one of my projects was to look over our then-bagged Blackeyed Peas. We had introduced the “rehydrated dried, quick-cooking” Blackeyed Peas to the market in 1970, and it was about time we redesigned the package. Before I could give direction to our design firm, my mom suggested I go visit the head of the Food & Drug Administration in Los Angeles, whose office was … Continue reading

Why I Don’t Blog Every Week

You’ve probably noticed that some weeks I post a blog and some weeks I don’t. When I do, it’s because I have something important to say. When I don’t, it may be because my travel schedule has gotten out of hand or, more likely, because I don’t have something meaningful to write about. I feel that it’s better to skip writing a blog post if it’s not going to make a difference to you, my readers. I know many bloggers post daily or weekly without fail—even when they don’t have … Continue reading