Flickr_Gauthier DELECROIX

Is ‘Networking’ a Bad Word?

I attend a lot of events. Many are for business, like the one I attended in San Francisco earlier this week—#BrandStorm. About 200, mostly strangers, gathered in a giant ballroom listening to interesting speakers and then moving to meal functions and breakout sessions over two days. Just before the second day’s morning session, many people were taking their seats around the room, arranging themselves at the round tables for 10. And I noticed something. I immediately put my things down, grabbed my coffee, and started moving around the room, saying hello to a few industry friends and familiar faces. If I didn’t know someone at a table, I smiled, and then introduced myself Continue Reading

The Unexpected Question about Cannabis

I was surprised by the last question asked from the audience when I participated as a panelist at the THRIVE AgTech conference earlier this month: “What do you think is the future of cannabis in California agriculture?” I was even more surprised when the moderator turned to me and said, “Karen, why don’t you take that question, as I would consider cannabis a specialty crop, wouldn’t you?” I smiled and jokingly said we could sell it in 1-ounce packages, like our other specialty items. But seriously, I then mentioned my presentation … Continue reading

Tom Brady…Need I Say More?

Anyone who knows me is probably shocked to see me writing about Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. It’s no secret that I don’t pay much attention to sports—but I love attending live sporting events. I haven’t been to a football game in a while, but I am well aware of the Super Bowl, which now seems better known for the commercials that show during the game than for the actual game. I did spend the afternoon at my daughter’s watching the game, but that’s not what I wanted … Continue reading

A CEO ‘Getting Naked’

I was invited to be a panelist at the THRIVE AgTech Innovation Forum held last week in Menlo Park, California. After lunch, the program focused on what the consumer wants from the fresh produce industry and what insights that may provide for the technology business. My fellow panelists included Gareth Keane of Qualcomm Ventures, Hank Giclas of Western Growers Association (a group of growers in California and Arizona) and Michael Teel, CEO of Sacramento-based retailer, Raley’s. I was excited to meet Michael, as I had been following his career for many years. … Continue reading

What’s Up with Charcoal?

When I see or hear the word “charcoal,” I immediately think of those black briquettes that are used for grilling (if you don’t have a gas grill). At one time, the only way to grill or barbecue was to buy charcoal briquettes, splash some lighter fluid on them, and light a match. Your food might taste a bit like kerosene, but, who cared? Now here we are in 2017, and charcoal is one of the top food trends for this year. And no, it’s not the same as the barbecue … Continue reading