CSUN Distinguished Alumni Awards 2014: Phil & Gayle Tauber





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Published on Apr 29, 2014

Philip Tauber '68 (Music) and Gayle Tauber '72 (Political Science) are a genuine dynamic duo. They bring a driving passion to everything they do, from their personal pursuits to the entrepreneurial arena where they have been involved for the last 40 years. The couple, who married in 1968 while students at then-San Fernando Valley State College, went on to create several businesses, most notably, Kashi Company, an innovative natural food product enterprise that grew into an international company.

As a young married couple in 1970s, they started their first business. After identifying a need and market gap, they created The Plant Pusher, an indoor plants business with national sales; pioneered the plant and tree maintenance and rental service industries; and distribution to reach everywhere from business offices to supermarkets. Along the way, they created several new, related products, such as beaded macramé plant hangers.

The Taubers sold that business and partnered in 1978 with Vince Gironda, legendary bodybuilder and celebrity trainer. Working with Gironda, the Taubers soon were at the forefront of private training with the first co-ed gym, as well as diet and supplement products for athletes.

In 1981, they moved to San Diego with their two daughters. With a continued interest in the growing physical fitness market, the Taubers tapped their nutritional knowledge and searched for a high-protein, high-complex carbohydrate, low-fat and low-sodium natural food source. That was the beginning of the Kashi Company, a producer and marketer of institutional and retail consumer cooking and ready-to-eat cereals and cereal-based products. The couple were marketing mavericks, pioneering "end-of-the-race feeding" at athletic events; partnering with and supporting nonprofits that used athletic events to promote their causes; and creating a "Kashi Army" concept prior to social networking. After 18 years of operations, Kellogg's purchased Kashi in 2000.

The Taubers currently serve as CEO and chairman of Seedling Fund LLC, a family investment company that takes positions in first-stage companies. The couple is very active in philanthropic and civic activities. Gayle is past president of The Trusteeship, an affiliate of the International Women's Forum, co-founder and immediate past co-president of Women Give San Diego, past board member of the Women's Foundation of California and San Diego Women's Foundation. She is an artist and a devoted athletic enthusiast.

Philip is a composer and accomplished musician/trumpet player who backs up visiting international artists through his affiliation with the Musicians' Association of San Diego County. His book, Solo Fluency: Jazz Improvisation for Trumpet, is used worldwide by professional and amateur players. Philip is a director of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UC San Diego, past board member of San Diego's Lyceum Theater and Los Angeles-based Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity. He is currently a board member of Yapert, an online celebrity social media company. Philip additionally studies and practices all forms of martial arts.

The Taubers are still Valley kids at heart. They grew up, met and married in the San Fernando Valley, are proud parents and grandparents, and have shared their resources with CSUN as donors to the Valley Performing Arts Center Fund.


The Taubers Acceptance Speech:

Filmed by: Richard Chambers, Hailey Graves, Joseph Monterroso
Visual Effects by: Jonathan Wong
Edited by: Richard Chambers
Music by: The Music Bed (licensed with permission)
Produced by: CSUN University Advancement Marketing & Communications

© 2014 California State University, Northridge

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