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

It Sucks to Be Sisters AND Business Partners

That’s exactly what my sister (and business partner) Jackie said to me yesterday. Let me give you a bit of the backstory. Jackie and I have been business partners since we bought Frieda’s from our parents in 1990. Of course we have been sisters much longer than that. And when Jackie became chief operating officer of the company in 2012, our business relationship was taken to a new level. At that time, we implemented a weekly partner meeting on Wednesday mornings at 5:45 a.m. Yes, 5:45 in the morning (we … Continue reading

Silicon Valley Meets Salinas Valley

Last week I attended a conference in Salinas, California, which is known as “the salad bowl” of the country. More than 70 percent of all the lettuce grown in the United States is from the Salinas Valley. Sponsored by Forbes Magazine, the AgTech Summit was the brainchild of former Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue and entrepreneur Bruce Taylor. Donohue is also a produce grower and marketer of vegetables, and Taylor was born and raised in Salinas by a multi-generation produce-growing family. He is also the founder and CEO of Taylor Farms, … Continue reading

‘Meeting-less’ in California

I like to think I coined the term “meeting-ectomy” when I wrote a blog about it in 2011. As you can imagine, it means “getting rid of your meetings.” I got the idea of a meeting-ectomy when I had so many meetings during my workday that I actually couldn’t get any real work done. So last week when I read an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “So Busy at Work, No Time to Do the Job,” it really caught my attention. The article featured Hugh Welsh, the executive/general … Continue reading

Getting 4th graders excited about weird-looking produce

A few weeks ago, I turned on my computer and saw this email from one of our newest sales department employees, Matthew. My sister teaches 4th grade at a local elementary school, and they are currently working on nutrition. When the students were asked what their favorite fruits/vegetables were, they all responded they have tried every fruit there is. My sister knows I work at Frieda’s, so she mentioned a few of our unique items, and the kids had no idea what they were. So, I worked with our warehouse … Continue reading