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

Millennials, Baby Boomers, Traditionalists, and Gen Xers — Oh My!

April is our company’s anniversary month; we launched on April 2, 1962. So one of our traditions is that we sponsor our local produce organization luncheon each April as a way to celebrate our anniversary and give back to the Fresh Produce & Floral Council. My daughter Alex Jackson represents us as our spokesperson and yesterday she gave a five-minute talk. I want to share some of the highlights. The audience at the luncheon is made up of produce people from age 20 to 92 (my mom, Frieda, was there), … Continue reading

Eating by Example

As an employer, I always wonder what should or could be my role in helping the people who work for Frieda’s make healthier food choices. It’s kind of a difficult position to be in. When people join a company, they don’t expect to have their employer help them make better food choices. But this has been something I’ve been struggling with for a number of years. Like most companies, we have a community lunchroom—with vending machines. One has refrigerated beverages, offering Coke, Pepsi, iced tea, and water. The other one … Continue reading

‘Fifty Shades of Kale’

Well, if that title doesn’t catch your attention, then I don’t know what will. Last weekend while attending a produce conference in San Antonio, Texas, I was able to meet and hear Drew Ramsey, M.D., who co-authored the cookbook “Fifty Shades of Kale.” His day job is as an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University in New York City. He is also a leading proponent of eating for brain health. After hours, he is better known as the co-founder of National Kale Day, which is celebrated every year … Continue reading

Love Your Produce Manager…Texas Style

Tomorrow, April 2, is a very special day. It is “Love Your Produce Manager®” Day, a national day first celebrated in 2012. I usually make a point of going into my local Ralphs where I shop and saying a special “thanks” to my produce manager, Paul. Last year, I even wrote about one of my produce guys, Carlos. This year, I am in San Antonio, Texas, attending a produce trade show called “Viva Fresh.” It’s mostly Texan and Mexican growers and buyers having conversations and displaying their produce. I arrived … Continue reading