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

Why I Renewed My Subscription to Prevention Magazine

I really don’t have time to read magazines at home. Honestly, I have tried reading them when I crawl into bed at night, and it’s like taking a sleeping pill. Read a paragraph. Instantly fall asleep. But there is one magazine I like to get at home: Prevention Magazine, published by Rodale Inc., which also publishes other health and wellness magazines like Women’s Health. So, when a postcard came in the mail reminding me my subscription had lapsed, I immediately signed up for another two years. As you can see, … Continue reading

‘Good Is the Enemy of Great’

I actually saw that quote in a video on excellence that a local real estate company sent me today. The reason the quote caught my eye is it made me think of some recent experiences I have had with customer service (like Zappos). I would say the vast majority of companies offer “good service.” They have been trained in “good-service speak.” You know what I mean—they say all the right words, but their hearts are not really in it. To me, it’s the heart that makes great service—when someone sincerely … Continue reading

The Smallest Citrus Fruit

One of the ways I know it’s kumquat season is that I look out into my backyard. When I moved into my house 12 years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had an orange and a kumquat tree in my planter, and this week my kumquat tree is completely filled with fruit. This weekend, I plan to harvest them and try my hand at making Kumquat marmalade. Kumquats are the smallest citrus fruit and are quite unique. Unique because, unlike all other citrus fruits, you do not … Continue reading