Category: Crisp Experiences

12 Apr 2019

Crisp Experiences: D.E.A.R. Day

D.E.A.R. Day is celebrated every year on April 12th. It is also the birthday of popular author, Beverly Cleary. This day is celebrated to encourage people of all ages to take time each day or even an entire day to enjoy reading alone or with others.

We asked everyone in the Crisp office to tell us a bit about their favorite book, what they are currently reading, or the last thing that they read.


City of Thieves by David Benioff is my favorite book. City of Thieves is a 2008 historical fiction novel. It is, in part, a coming-of-age story set in the World War II Siege of Leningrad. It follows the adventures of two young men as they desperately search for a dozen eggs at the behest of a Soviet NKVD officer, a task which takes them far behind enemy lines. This book is amazing because Benioff sheds light and humor into one of the darkest periods in history, and proves that bonds can be made by the most unlikely of friends.”

-Jake Call, Lead UX Designer

“I’m reading two books at the moment. The first is one I’ve been working through for several weeks is Jane Kenyon’s Collected Poems. The second one is Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. Bourdain’s reverence for food has helped me become more experimental in the kitchen, especially with international cuisine. Because of him, I’ve cooked chicken tikka masala, gyoza, and a thai spiced rice bowl in the past several months. I’m happy to say that most of the recipes have been successful and delicious.”

-Kayla Pearce, Content Developer

“My favorite book would probably be A Brief History of Time by Stephan Hawking. I’ve always loved thinking about the universe, and this book explores scientific discoveries that have lead us to our current understanding of it.”

-Hayley Tillery, Lead UI Designer

“I am currently reading Good Omens by Neil Gaiman. It’s been in my TBR stack for a while, but I finally started it once Amazon announced that they were going to do a show based on the book. So far, I love it!”

-Hannah Verret, Content Developer

“The book that I am currently reading is called You are a Badass. This book has really helped me embrace my inner confidence to take on the world and venture out into things I’m passionate about without having the overwhelming fear of failing.”

-Kattie Ness, Sales Development Rep

“One of my favorite books is Death by a Black Hole by Neil Degrasse Tyson. The universe has always enthralled me and this book does an excellent job at explaining the mind-blowing phenomena that the universe constantly gives us. Although this book contains numerous gems of knowledge, you don’t feel weighed down as you’re reading it so you leave feeling full and informed instead of with a headache. I always bring it with me whenever I’m flying.”

-Lawrence Shaw, Multi-media Specialist

“I’m not a huge reader. I’ve just always been so active, I never sit down to put my mind into a book on a consistent basis. However, from my years of reading, my favorite is easily the Odyssey and The Iliad. I also enjoyed Dante’s Inferno. Outside of that, I’ve read more poetry than anything, but I’ve always been partial to the witty-style or more comedic poetry.”

-Jason Harmon, Senior Marketing Coordinator and Content Director

“I’m guilty of reading multiple books simultaneously, so that I always have a book to fit my mood (very Rory Gilmore of me). Right now I’m reading The Woman Destroyed by Simone de Beauvoir, The Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes, and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin.

The last book I finished was The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple by Jeff Guinn.”

-Allison Droke Erickson, CRM Manager

“I am currently reading 8 Attributes of Great Achiever an amazingly insightful read into the minds of the most successful people in world history. Including, Ghandi, Abe Lincoln, Ben Franklin, etc.”

-Devan Dillard, Digital Marketing Strategist

“Most of my recent reads have been sports-related articles. I generally do not enjoy getting my sports news through television. There are some fantastic local and national sports writers that I habitually read for daily sports news. In my opinion, sports writers and sports radio hosts are more entertaining and informative than television hosts.”

-Billy Wilson, Media Buyer

“I recently read the memoir Educated by Tara Westover. Westover overcame an insulated and sometimes abusive childhood on a mountain in Idaho — where she received no formal education at all — to move out, attend college and graduate school, and become a scholar.

I fell in love with her writing and was inspired by what she went through in order to move out of the situation she was in. We’re all defined by our families and upbringing in a sense, but this book really makes you think about questioning deep-seated thoughts and beliefs that might not be right or true. It speaks to the importance of education, and also listening to yourself and trusting your own intuition.

Although experiences growing up in her family were harrowing and later made her question everything she believed in, Westover gained an unsurpassed emotional and physical strength that she’ll always have, no matter where her journey takes her.”

-Joan Biddle, Senior Content Developer

“My girls are asking me the same question almost every single day, “May we have a dog?” So I decided to read a book A Dog’s Purpose. A dog is born, lives a short life, and is surprised to find he is reborn! With each new life, he believes he has served his purpose and will be allowed to rest, but he is reborn 6 times before he’s allowed to finally rest. Throughout his lives, the dog learns lessons that allow him to find the first person and then another, and to help them better their lives… Though it might sound like a sweet story, it makes your heart cry when you read it.”

-Aleksandra Kirievskaya, Junior Web Developer

08 Jan 2019

Crisp Experiences: New Year’s Resolutions for 2019

We asked our office to share their New Year’s resolutions with us for 2019 and here is what they had to say…


“In 2019, I’d like to continue to improve at all my hobbies (guitar, photography, art, etc.) I’d also like to continue to gain even more muscle and weight from working out. Finally, I will be taking a web development course in a couple of weeks so I’d like to be good enough to make a decent website by the end of the year.”

-Hayley Tillery, Lead UI Designer


“I used to do New Year’s Resolutions, but I stopped a few years back. I’ve really been putting a lot more focus on making my resolutions a daily habit and not just at the beginning of the new year. I’ve learned and changed a lot, but It made a difference to make it daily versus a one-time resolution.”

-Jason Harmon, Senior Coordinator/Content Director


“My words for 2019 are Faith, Strength, and Bold.”

-Joan Biddle, Content Developer


“My resolution is to expand my skill set so I can design better user experiences that are both influential and meaningful.”

-Jake Call, Lead UX Designer


“I don’t have a New Year’s resolution because I’m terrible with follow-through and I don’t like to set myself up for disappointment. I do have a word for the year, however, My word for 2019 is ‘growth.'”

-Kayla Pearce, Content Developer


“1. Return texts faster, 2. Read More and 3. become a more well-rounded person.”

-Lawrence Shaw, Junior Multimedia Specialist


“I don’t make myself a list of resolutions, but I do make general goals for each year. My main goal for 2019 is to pay off all debt. A bonus would be to get in shape & lose some weight… but one thing at a time.”

-Hannah Verret, Content Developer


“New Year Resolution: My NY Resolution is to make it to the gym at least 3 times weekly and no bread until March 1st. (Personal diet experiment)”

-Devan Dillard, Digital Marketing Strategist


“Thanks to an awesome suggestion from a coworker, I’ve decided to focus on a word for 2019 instead of doing the whole resolution thing. My word is “Future”. For me, this means I’m going to work on letting go of the past, and focus instead on building a solid and successful future. Paying off old debts, putting money away in savings, and working on my photography business are my smaller goals. Setting my sights on the horizon will hopefully keep me on track to a more positive year. Hopefully, haha.”

-Carisa Wenstrom, Lead Multimedia Specialist


“I don’t have any resolutions. Usually, if I want to do something, I just do them right away instead of waiting for the new year.”

-David Calhoun, Email Marketing Manager


“In 2019, I want to make more time for hobbies. While trying to juggle all the balls 2018 threw at me, I completely neglected carving time out to do the things I actually like to do.”

-Allison Droke Erickson, CRM Manager


“About my resolution… I can’t tell much, because this year I feel like the new year stands before me like a new chapter in my book of life, waiting to be written, and somewhere in the middle of it is going to be a trip across the ocean.”

-Aleksandra Kirievskaya, Junior Web Developer

30 Nov 2018
Christmas Gift

Crisp Experiences: Favorite Christmas Gifts

We asked everyone in the office what their favorite Christmas gift to date was, and here’s what they had to say:


“My favorite Christmas gift was an authentic personalized home Detroit Tigers jersey. My name and usual number are stitched on the back. My wife thought I didn’t like it because I never wore it. But actually, it is just too beautiful and pristine to wear. I’ll be keeping it so nice, it will outlive me.”

-David Calhoun, Email Marketing Manager


“It was December 25, 2017 when I received the best, most epic Christmas gift of my life. The present was cleverly wrapped in a sizable box to enhance the surprise; it was successful. I saved the gift for last, and when I finally tore the pretty patterned paper to shreds and sliced through the annoying box tape, I saw it. Time seemed to slow as I took hold of the handle, and as the braided leather fell – so did my mouth. There I stood, on top of the world, with a 12 ft. whip in my hand. My excitement couldn’t be contained; I immediately ran outside in the freezing cold, swung my gift through the air, and as it broke the sound barrier with a loud crack, I knew my life would never be the same again.”

-Jake Call, Lead UX Designer


“The best Christmas gift I ever got was old school Nintendo. I had waited years for it! I also believed in Santa for many years longer than I should have.”

-Joan Biddle, Content Developer


“The best Christmas gift I’ve ever received was my first car. It ended up turning out to be a lemon…but I was so excited when I first got it that I ran outside to see it and immediately slipped in some mud. And yes, it was all caught on video.”

-Hayley Tillery, Lead UI Designer


“My favorite Christmas gift is a two-part answer. My favorite material gift was definitely when I opened my Pioneer Home Stereo System. It was the 80’s and the popular time to blow out your windows with incredible wattage. It had a stereo tuner, 101 cd disc player, dual cassette deck, and 15-inch subwoofer speakers. You get the point. I still remember the excitement from getting it all put together. Comparable to this, however, was my first Christmas with my daughter. Will never forget hearing her wake up and then carrying her into the living room as her little face lit up with happiness as she saw the tree and gifts. That experience with her is easily what I consider a greatest Christmas gift.”

-Jason Harmon, HR and Content Director


“My very favorite Christmas gift was from December 2011. My parents (along with the help of my college fund) bought me a Macbook Pro! I had been wanting one for years and my dad surprised me by taking me to the Apple Store on the false pretense that he was getting his phone fixed. I was so surprised when the Apple employee approached me asking about which Macbook I wanted. I was very annoyingly impatient waiting another week before I could actually have it on Christmas.”

-Hannah Verret, Content Developer


“My favorite Christmas was from my now fiancé. We were both with my dad in Men’s Warehouse shopping for his birthday when she showed me a pair of striped socks that I suddenly became very interested in, but because I was low on money I gave up on the idea of getting them. Fast-forward two days later, she gives me a neatly wrapped box that not only had the striped socks in them, but an entire set that included socks, ties, a handkerchief and a wallet. It meant a lot to me because of the thoughtfulness of the gift and the person who gave the gift.”

-Lawrence Shaw, Multimedia Specialist


“My favorite Christmas gift was my first drum set. It was a complete surprise. My parents had set it up in the living room, and once it was set up, it was too large to wrap. So once I entered the living room, I was immediately blown away. It was great!”

-Billy Wilson, Media Buyer


“My favorite Christmas gift was receiving a PS2 after begging for one for 2yrs and having to watch my cousins get all of the new PS2 games and I couldn’t even ask to borrow them LOL! Was a glorious day for my gaming life. I had to save up my own money to get my first PS.”

-Devan Dillard, Digital Media Strategist


“The best gift I ever received was a car. I felt completely privileged and humbled by such a big gift. I named it Frankie and we spent 14 years together. The gift meant so much to me because it meant my parents trusted me.”

-Kayla Pearce, Content Developer


“When I was a kid, there was this huge poster-sized photo hanging up in our house. It was of my father wearing his cowboy hat, making one of his notorious faces. I loved it because it embodied so much of who he was. My father was a terrific guy, and I looked up to him. He passed away in 2002, and the photo disappeared. I asked everyone in our family if they knew where it was so I could have it, but no one could find it. I was heartbroken over it. Years went by, and I had lost hope of ever seeing it again. Last Christmas, my family and I were celebrating the holiday at my aunt’s farmhouse in rural Iowa when my cousin Tim walked over and handed me a large present. Everyone gathered around us as I tore off the shiny foil wrapping paper, and saw my dad’s picture staring back at me. The same cowboy hat and goofy smile that I remembered from my childhood. I finally had my dad’s photo. Tim was cleaning out his attic and found it buried behind some boxes. I was so happy I nearly started sobbing right there on the sofa in front of everyone. Best Christmas present ever.”

-Carisa Wenstrom, Lead Multimedia Specialist and Director of People and Culture


“Everyday of the year, I struggle to behave well, so Santa will bring me my best present ever… and it it just being able to see my kids excitedly open their presents, bouncing around, randomly emitting high-pitched noises, and leaving behind a heaping mess every year on Christmas morning.”

-Aleksandra Kirievskaya, Junior Web Developer