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

My Favorite Things

At this time of year, I spend a lot of time going to the movies. My daughter Alex and I have had that tradition for many years. It’s like a marathon for us: How many awesome movies can we see between now and New Year’s? It seems that many great movies come out the last month of the year as the rush for the Golden Globes and Oscars begins. Last week I saw “Rogue One.” (I’m dating a Star Wars geek, so seeing “Rogue One” was mandatory.) Loved it! A … Continue reading

Volunteering During the Holidays

For many years, when my two daughters were younger and living at home with me, I wanted the three of us to spend Thanksgiving Day helping to feed the homeless or hungry. I remember calling multiple places to volunteer and I could not find a single place that was taking volunteers. (I’m guessing many people chose to do this during the holidays, so they didn’t have a need at that time.) I didn’t get too discouraged, but it has always been in the back of my mind to do this. … Continue reading

My Advice to Entrepreneurs

This week I was invited to give a keynote address to over 200 small business owners and entrepreneurs in Long Beach, California. They are all alumnae of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, based in Long Beach and Los Angeles. It is delivered locally and nationally, and coordinated by the very impressive Babson College. Members of the audience had completed the four-month program, meant to help ignite their businesses. The luncheon and daylong follow-up session was created to continue their development. I was given only 15 minutes to share … Continue reading