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

Technology Is Just Amazing

When was the last time you wrote a personal check? Or deposited one with a teller in a bank? Today you can bank without setting one foot outside your house. Using your smartphone, you can deposit your checks, transfer your money, and pay your bills without touching a piece of paper or signing any form. And I have to admit: I love it! I can sit at my desk, take out my cell phone, snap a couple of pictures, and “poof,” my check is deposited. And just to think, 30 years … Continue reading

Are You Ready for the Year of the Rooster?

I know everyone celebrates New Year’s on January 1 of each year, but have you ever thought of mixing it up a bit by celebrating the New Year when the Chinese do? Every year around January or February, many parts of the world celebrate Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year. The date changes from year to year because this holiday is part of a lunisolar calendar based on lunar cycles and therefore different from the Gregorian calendar which we use on a daily basis. This year, the Year of … Continue reading

Why I Now Love Southwest Airlines

As you may know, I travel quite a bit. Mostly it’s for business. Because I’m a frequent traveler, I have apps on my smart phone for the airlines I frequent: United, American, Jet Blue, and Delta. I can check in and access my boarding passes via the app, and as the year progresses, I continue to check my mileage so I can qualify for “frequent flyer status.” Sadly, due to all the recent mergers, I cannot remember the last time I got upgraded. So, the only benefit of status is … Continue reading

My End of the Year Donation

At the end of each year, a lot of people make monetary donations to charitable organizations. Some make donations because they are passionate about the cause. Others do it because they are looking for an end of the year tax deduction. For me, personally, I am not motivated by the tax deduction—I’m always driven by the cause. As you know, I’m passionate about eliminating hunger, so I donate to food banks and organizations that support them. I’m also passionate about mentoring people (young people, women, business owners), so the way … Continue reading