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

The Japanese Influence on School Lunch

Over 15 years ago, I recall being invited to be a keynote speaker at a Walmart Associate Summit in Kansas City and addressing 2,000-plus produce managers and company leaders on food trends. The overarching point I made during that 45-minute presentation was that food trends which have come from another part of the world, such as the popularity of Asian or Latin foods, end up permeating far beyond the food business and the produce department specifically. I did a deep dive into the increasing popularity of Japanese cuisine and also … Continue reading