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

Beyoncé — The Accidental CEO

I am a regular reader of Fast Company magazine. And it was interesting to me that Beyoncé graced the cover of the July/August edition. The cover blurb was “CREATE. DEFY. SLAY. What Every Business Can Learn From Beyoncé.” And then last Friday, there she was again. This time, in full color on page D-1 of the Wall Street Journal! The article was titled “Beyoncé’s Biggest Project Yet: CEO.” I respect these two business publications very much, so I knew they must be on to something. But first, my recent personal experience … Continue reading

When the Student Becomes the Teacher

Many years ago, when I first started working for my mother, my position was primarily handling consumer and public relations. The goal set for me was to get to know every food editor in America, personally. Remember, this was back in the 1980s, before we used the internet and email at our company, so developing relationships was about meeting people in person, corresponding by mail, and having meaningful conversations. One of the first publications I targeted was Sunset magazine. The beautiful glossy magazine caught my attention, and the stories and … Continue reading

Uber without a Smartphone

As our parents age, one of the biggest challenges is maintaining their “mobility.” You know what I mean: doctors’ appointments, grocery shopping, attending lunches with friends. As someone who has a parent (the famed Frieda) that no longer drives, I understand the challenge—who is going to drive them to all their appointments and social events? If you’re one of the designated drivers, it can really cut into your own time, and eventually can become a burden. Don’t you just want to say to your parent, “Can’t you just call Uber?” … Continue reading

How to Survive Your Daughter’s Wedding

All of us who have kids, especially those with daughters, know that day will finally come. The day that your daughter (or son) tells you they want to get married. If you’re like me, you will have figured it out far in advance of them telling you. A little over four years ago, my eldest daughter, Alex, met an awesome guy named Ben— online. Yes, there is a Jewish dating website, called “J Date.” And even though some of us who are a bit older find it odd to think … Continue reading