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

Jackfruit…Time for a Party!

Every summer, we bring our entire sales, marketing, and buying teams together for a three-day meeting to talk about trends, do training, and of course conduct some team building. This past summer during one of our sessions, the subject of one of our hottest, trendiest items, jackfruit, came up. It’s actually known as the largest fruit in the world—one fruit can grow to be 100 pounds! (Most of what we sell are 10 to 20 pounds each.) Because they are so big, they are quite challenging to cut and serve. … Continue reading

Do the Holidays Make You Happy or Sad?

Let me start by saying that I host my family for both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah dinners. We usually have about 25 people at each celebration. Fortunately, my kids are at the ages (27 and 22) that they both help prepare the meal. It is a happy time of year for me because I get to entertain in my home and have my closest family members and a few friends near me. If I need help cooking, I ask for help, or ask people to bring along their favorite dish. But … Continue reading