As part of the journey to build a ‘Culture of Connection’ that is more equitable, inclusive and where everyone feels like they belong, Pizza Hut has kicked off its “Slice of Life” employee spotlight series. This new series will highlight fellow Team Members’ unique backgrounds, life experiences, different cultures, and the interesting journey they’ve taken to get to Pizza Hut.
In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we sat down with Jade Charlot, consumer insights and market intelligence – Marketing, to discuss her heritage, how she stays connected to her culture and how her heritage has shaped who she is today.
Tell us about yourself – where are you and your family from?
“I was born and raised in Tahiti, French Polynesia. When I was 15 years old, I moved on my own to Poitiers, France, to attend high school and enter a tennis academy. After graduating, I got recruited to play tennis for Tarleton State University here in Texas and have lived in Texas ever since. Now, I’m an American citizen who is married with two boys.”
How do you stay connected to your culture here in America?
“I listen to Tahitian music and try to cook some recipes from home. My mom also tries to visit us every year here in Texas, which then soothes my homesick heart a bit.”
What is your favorite food from your country of origin?
“Tahitian salad (a raw tuna salad with coconut milk).”
What myth would you like to debunk about your culture?
“Although Tahiti is a French territory, we very much have a distinctive culture with unique food, music, and dance. We also have our own flag and currency.”
How has your heritage shaped the person you are today?
“I think that in the Pacific, we have a strong sense of belonging. We make everyone feel welcomed and included and help each other. I’ve carried that with me throughout my personal and professional life.”
What are three words you would use to describe your culture?
“My three words would be: Flowers, gathering and music. A bonus fourth word would be food.”
What is one unique thing about your culture that most people may not know or one thing you’d like people to know most?
“If you come to Tahiti for a visit, we welcome you into our country with flower necklaces. Then, before you leave, we gift you shell necklaces.”
What about your nationality makes you most proud?
“I am proud to have been born and grown up in such a beautiful place and can call it home as much as Texas is my home too.”