What Curiosity are You Practicing?

July 27, 2020

Posted in Education

At Johnson Bixby, one of our core values is to practice curiosity and believe in continuous learning and improvement – both professionally and personally. In this week’s Planning Matters blog post we are sharing a few ways we’re expanding our minds this summer by podcasts we’re listening to, books we’re reading and things we’re learning. What kind of curiosity are you practicing this summer? Hope you enjoy our list.


Jeri Boston, Insurance Specialist 

I just ordered, Beginner’s Pluck: Build Your Life of Purpose and Impact Now. Author, Liz Forkin Bohannon lives in Portland and owns Sseko Designs, an ethical fashion brand that works to educate and empower women.

I’m also doing a six-week book club/discussion group and we are reading Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen. 


Lana Alvarez, Compliance/Audit Manager

Thanks to my daughter who is learning to cook more vegan-style, I’ve been reading more about nutrition and plant-based diets. It’s been good bonding during the quarantine and healthy for the family.


Cynthia Boman Thompson, MS, CFP®, COO/CFO

I just finished Missing Boy: The Search for Kyron Horman by Rebecca Morris. (The search happened in my neighborhood, making me intensely interested in the case and having a lot of personal history with it – I was there making snack and water runs for the search teams, chatting with teachers  before they were put under a gag order, etc.)

I’m now reading Tiny Habits by Dr. BJ Fogg and am trying to follow his plan for making some new habits!


Zach Reuter, Client Services 

I’m reading The Underground Railroad, a novel by Colson Whitehead. I picked up this 2017 Pulitzer Prize winning novel to better educate myself about the history of slavery and to help support Black authors. One chapter in and I’m already hooked!


Mandy Peterson, Client Services

I needed a break from reality and just started a fiction book by Alafair Burke, The Wife. Wishing I could be on the beach in Hawaii or café in Paris reading it!


Paula Lee, Director of Talent & Culture

A friend recommended I listen to, Dolly’s America, a podcast about the life of Dolly Parton. I was surprised by his endorsement knowing he wasn’t a fan of country music. This is one of the best podcasts and or documentaries I have heard! It’s so rich and filled with history: American history Appalachian history, music industry history, and creativity, compassion, forgiveness, genius, women in the United States, relationships between men and women. Dolly’s boundless humility, compassion and storytelling ability are moving in itself.


Rachel Gorretta, Marketing Communications Director

I’ve been a fan of her two books and now enjoy her weekly podcast, Be Well by Kelly. A holistic nutritionist, wellness expert and celebrity health coach, Kelly Leveque is passionate about the science of human nutrition. Each Wednesday she drops a podcast episode where she hosts a guest in the health and nutrition field.


Jennifer Morris, Director of First Impressions

Thanks to my year-old granddaughter, my summer reading consists of kid’s books where we are currently reading and pointing to our face, nose, eyes and ears. 


Becky Salsburg, CFP®, EA

Three recommendations:

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is a historical fiction piece about women who helped downed allied pilots escape from France and women who helped hide Jewish children.

The Train by Georges Simenon. Germany is overtaking Belgium and France, and Marcel eagerly sheds his timid former self to embrace his new fate.

1984 by George Orwell. A must read or read it again!


Kartr Johnson, Director of Information Technology

Three podcasts I’m enjoying include:

Football Weekly, a UK podcast covering football (soccer) from around the globe. Insightful and entertaining for fans of the sport with a rotating panel of contributors. 

The Fall of Rome Podcast is a new look and understanding brought to a much-researched topic and well-presented. 

The Dollop is a witty—if sometimes a bit racy—podcast by comedians Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds. The premise is one brings a story from, mostly, American history and the other has no idea what the topic will be. Much banter and a deep dive into lesser known American history topics and events. 


Karen Brown, Client Services

My summer learning includes learning Spanish by using Duolingo, a free online resource, and lessons on YouTube by Dr. Danny Evans. Taking a multi-approach for learning Spanish is helpful, interesting, a bit challenging, but also nice to be learning something new. I don’t know enough yet for conversations but will get there!


Lynn Snyder, CFA, Investment Analyst

I’m probably the last person in Oregon to read Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, but really looking forward to it. Everyone I have spoken to that has read it says it is a great business book, but the stories he shares are equally entertaining.

I’m also reading The Overstory by Richard Powers, a Pulitzer Prize winning novel about trees and documents among other things the timber wars of the Pacific Northwest. 


Heidi Johnson Bixby, CFP®, CEO & President

Recently I found myself rereading two great business books – Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time and Fierce Leadership: A Bold Alternative to the Worst “Best” Practices of Business Today. Both written by Susan Scott, they offer insightful feedback into our communication styles that are even applicable in today’s remote world.  


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