Our People Operations Team’s Favorite Reads

By Jessica Nerad and Yessenia Gonzalez

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (read it in French if you can!) 

It has a storyline filled with revenge, betrayal, love, and redemption! The theme of justice and revenge is something I am drawn to as well as exploring human nature. We get to see the best and worst aspects of humanity and the choices people face with difficult circumstances. With working in HR and People Ops you'll encounter a wide range of personalities, motivations, and behaviors in the workplace. Exploring human nature is really effective with managing employee relations, fostering a positive work environment, and making informed decisions.

-Jessica Nerad, People Team Director, PHR

"Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes."

The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt by Russ Harris and Steven Hayes

Growing up in Nashville as a Mexican immigrant, I have always felt the weight of two worlds on my shoulders. I was always striving to assimilate to the American culture, while also holding on tightly to my Mexican roots. Being a first-generation college graduate, I constantly battled with feelings of guilt and imposter syndrome for reaching places my parents and relatives never had the chance to reach. I’ve struggled with disconnect to my American peers wondering if they somehow knew something I didn’t and in turn lacked confidence.

The Confidence Gap resonated with me because it reminded me that confidence is not about eradicating fear but acting in spite of it. This book served as both a validation of my experiences and a guide to push forward, even when I was burdened with self-doubt. It is essential to place importance on action over feeling.

-Yessenia Gonzalez, People Generalist

"The actions of confidence come first; the feelings of confidence come later."

The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

I find so much value in self-help books because I continuously gain insight and self-awareness. The Power of Moments drew my attention because of my intrinsic inclination and joy in recognizing and celebrating loved ones. Growing up in a close-knit family that constantly made me feel cherished and supported, I know the power of these special moments. These moments form the core of our most cherished memories.

As an HR generalist, I actively seek to understand the needs of my colleagues, ensure they feel acknowledged, and craft personal moments for them. This book reinforces the belief that it's the well-thought-out moments of recognition, appreciation, and genuine connection that create a special moment. Creating these moments for my family, friends, and colleagues is not just a responsibility, but something that I truly enjoy; it's a way for me to create ripples of positive experiences in the lives of those around me.

-Yessenia Gonzalez, People Generalist

"Our lives are measured in moments, and defining moments are the ones that endure in our memories."

A few cool things we've done

Strategic Consulting

Mars Petcare

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Brand Building

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

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Integrated Campaigns


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