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

I Love Carlos!

Everyone, this is Carlos. And I love him. Carlos works in the produce department of my local Ralphs grocery store. He’s the guy I go to when I can’t find something. I love his smiling face and we always say hello when he is there. He works on Sundays, when I usually shop, so I see him almost every week. I wonder if non-produce people get to know the produce personnel at their regular grocery stores? I hope so. It comes in so handy to have a personal relationship with … Continue reading

There Is a Special Place in Hell…

“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women”—Madeleine Albright, First female U.S. Secretary of State Earlier this week, I attended the March meeting of the Food Industries Sales Managers’ Club of Los Angeles. Since 1993, the March meeting of this group has highlighted women in the food industry. During the luncheon, I learned that this event started out many decades ago as an acknowledgment of National Secretary’s Day, but as more and more women joined the ranks of sales executives, the focus changed. Plus, … Continue reading

How to be a Great Friend

We all have many types of friends. First, we have “friends,” who are really acquaintances. But we call them friends, as it may seem a bit awkward or cold to label someone an acquaintance, plus they might be a bit more than that. Then we have “true friends.” People whom we know well. We may know their families or we may hang out in a circle of friends together, such as a GNO (Girls’ Night Out) group or a running club. We spend enough time with them that we know … Continue reading

Having a Great Place to Work

About this time each year, Fortune Magazine publishes its list of Top 100 Best Companies to Work For. Many of our supermarket clients are on this list: Wegmans (NY), Whole Foods, Publix (Southeast), and Nugget Markets (Northern California). A supermarket industry friend of mine, Kevin Coupe, who pens a daily blog wrote an insightful comment about this list: I always try to keep lists like this one in perspective. The companies that made it are to be congratulated, but they also are the ones that invested time and energy in … Continue reading