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

You Can Tell Fall Is Here

I could tell it was autumn last week while I was traveling in the Pacific Northwest, even though the temperatures were in the 80- to 90-degree range. How? Because I saw HUGE hard-shell squash displays in every supermarket. (Note: It is normal procedure at most supermarkets to do a “fall reset.” Pumpkins, squashes, apples, and oranges are moved to the front of the department. Displays of cooking vegetables get bigger. And summer fruit displays become much smaller or disappear altogether.) Doesn’t this make you think of fall? Beautiful displays of … Continue reading

The Importance of a Smile

One of my favorite songs these days is “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Every time it comes on the radio, I get a huge smile on my face. So, when I was returning from a weekend trip in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., this past weekend and we were dropping off our rental car, I must have been thinking of that song. As I got out of the car, I smiled at the attendant. His reaction was amazing. “What a great smile you have!” he said. “Thank you!” I replied. “It’s not just … Continue reading