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

How driverless vehicles will help our food supply

About 30 years ago I attended a conference in downtown Los Angeles called “The Future of California.” It was not a large gathering—maybe 100 attendees—but the speakers were impressive. I remember Kathleen Brown, then State Treasurer (and sister of current California Governor Jerry Brown), talking about her daily investments of the state’s money. My favorite speaker, though, was Alvin Toffler, author of “Future Shock.” I read “Future Shock” when I was in high school, so it was a treat to hear the original “futurist” speak in person. Toffler spoke about the … Continue reading

My Choice for Mother’s Day

I did an informal survey of some of my co-workers, family, and friends to find out what moms really want for Mother’s Day. Interestingly, it was not universally, “Go out to brunch or dinner.” My moms with young children want their hubbies to take the kids away for the day, so they can chill out—by themselves. For my working moms, a pampering day at the spa is high on the priority list. My older moms love being treated with dinner out and some quality time with their kids or grandkids. For … Continue reading