Unwind now with 5 local leaders’ recs of things to watch, read + listen to


Recommendations for how to unwind from senior leaders at Protective
Senior leaders at Protective. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

We reached out to senior leaders at Protective, a large local insurance company, to find out how they’re unwinding this summer and what they’re reading, watching and listening to. Here’s what we learned.

Meet the senior leaders at Protective

Protective, unwind, destress
(l-r) Derry Herring, Leigh Bern, Beth Carter, Sherri Hickman, Doyle Williams (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)
  • Derry Herring, SVP, Chief Auditor
  • Leigh Bern, SVP, Chief Financial Actuary
  • Beth Carter, VP, Head of Customer Service Operations
  • Sherri Hickman, VP, Head of Investment Accounting & Operations
  • Doyle Williams, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer

What they’re watching

Leaders at Protective, unwind, destress
Sherri Hickman (l) is a big fan of audiobooks + traveling, and is currently taking the stairs a lot to prepare for a trip to Italy. Doyle Williams (c) is on a sports kick, and Beth Carter (r) has watched her sons play baseball and soccer this summer, while helping her oldest get ready for college. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

While most of these senior leaders have spent a lot of time traveling and reading this summer, they did have some fun “What to watch” recs:

  • Quarterback on Netflix: “It’s the perfect way to start the countdown to the first kick-off of the season. The show follows the 2022 season of Kirk Cousins of the Vikings, Marcus Mariota of the Falcons, and, yes of course, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs.” —Williams
  • Harry Potter movies: “It’s even more fun to watch now that I have all the details provided by the books!” —Hickman
  • Jury Duty (TV show): “If you want to laugh and disconnect, check out this different approach to reality TV.” —Carter

Book recommendations

Protective Leaders
Leigh Bern’s favorite way to unwind when she’s not at work is enjoying great food and outdoor activities with her family. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

When you work at a company like Protective, with its focus on healthy living and decreasing stress, a good book—or audiobook—is a great way to unwind. Here’s what the five senior leaders recommend from their own summer reading:

  • Audiobooks: Several leaders noted how audiobooks allow them to immerse themselves in a story while walking, driving, doing chores or yard work and exercising.
  • Biographies + memoirs —Bern:
    • Extraordinary, Ordinary People, Condoleezza Rice
    • Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, Ben Montgomery
  • Business —Carter:
    • The Ride of a Lifetime, Robert Iger
      • “In this book, Robert (Bob) Iger shares the lessons he learned while running Disney and leading its 200,000 employees and the principles he feels are necessary for true leadership.”
  • Fiction —Hickman:
    • Harry Potter Books
      • “I love the overarching theme of triumph of good over evil, and that it’s not about what challenges life presents, but how we respond to those challenges.” 

Ready for a new choice with regard to your career? Protective is hiring.

Protective Leaders
Derry Herring is practicing not being in a hurry all the time and spending time at the beach down at the Gulf. He enjoys golf, scuba diving and weekend trips. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)
  • History —Herring:
    • The Gulf, Jack E. Davis
      • “This book covers the history of the Gulf of Mexico and the cities on its shores… covering many of the places, names and activities that I remember as a child growing up in Destin.”
  • Religious —Herring:
    • The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, John Mark Comer
      • “This book opened my eyes to how much I hurry and how much I see others hurry every day. Hurry is a root cause of negative issues such as anxiety, emotional instability, health problems, fatigue, miscommunication and more.”
  • Sports —Williams:
    • Open, Andre Agassi
      • “Listed as one the top 10 sports books ever written, with a raw and honest narrative that still resonates… a testament to the human spirit, highlighting resilience, redemption, and the transformative power of self-discovery.”

Want to work at a company where senior leaders are actively promoting strategies to unwind? Protective is hiring.

Sponsored by:

Protective refers to Protective Life Corporation and insurance company subsidiaries, including Protective Life Insurance Company (Nashville, TN) and Protective Life and Annuity Company (Birmingham, AL). Protective is a registered trademark of Protective Life Insurance Company. All trademarks, logos, and service marks are property of Protective Life Insurance Company and are protected by copyright, trademark, and/or other proprietary rights and laws.

Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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