Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

Kecia Flaute:
“Did you see Mitch opening up that box of traffic counter tube road tape? He’s the traffic engineer equivalent of a kid at Christmas.”

In case you weren’t paying attention to the date, Brittany and Megan (above) would like to remind you that it’s essentially six months to Christmas. (Don’t tell our resident Grinch, Jeff Puthoff.) And Christmas often means the newest, latest gadget to open on Christmas morning, much like Mitch and his treasured tape.

New gadgets that excite us at Choice One are often atypical to the digital doo-dads popular each holiday season. For instance, Matt Hoying fondly remembers that special day, many years ago, when we received our first traffic counter and tubes, and he officially became M. John, Traffic Superhero. Many of us have gathered around a computer screen, marveling at the latest edition of SimTraffic and Synchro traffic engineering software, watching the little animated cars go around and around an animated street (or to watch when the bathroom is available). And who could forget when we got our new coffee machine and all of the “joy” it brought Tony back in early 2012?

So what’s on the Choice One wish list this Christmas in July? Grain farmers Andy Shuman and Jeff Puthoff are probably dreaming of rain. Brian Schmidt is likely imagining Arby’s. Or Pop-Tarts. Or just food in general. And co-op Collin Schroeder is hoping that Mitch’s prized mastic road tape is just a LITTLE easier to scrape off those twelve, 30-foot traffic counter tubes next time.

Inquiring Mindsets* want to know:
“What is your favorite Choice One Canteen snack?”

 Nick Selhorst, Coffee Sampler
“Starburst, but only the red and pink ones. I secretly feed the yellow and orange ones to Schmidty.”

 Jeff Kunk, Doughnut Non-Buyer
“I only eat food from the Canteen when it’s expired and Barney puts it out for free.”

 Brian “Barney” Barhorst, Sidney Canteen Manager
“I don’t buy my own product because it would eat into my profits.”

Brian “Schmidty” Schmidt, Loveland Canteen Manager
“Pop-Tarts, which are both sweet and healthy. But only when yellow and orange Starbursts stop magically appearing on my desk.”


Tony Schroeder:

“How many Barhorsts does it take to scan?”

Three, Tony. It clearly takes three.

Brian “Barney” Barhorst’s daughters Carly (left) and Danielle (right) have been helping us this summer on our quest to make Choice One paperless by scanning plans and documents. If you’ll recall, our good friend Camille began a few summers back before heading to the University of Dayton to become a chemical engineer. (How dare she not want to be a CIVIL engineer, right?!)

Indeed, our employees’ kids seem to enjoy Choice One as much as their moms and dads. For instance:

  • Wes Goubeaux’s daughter Callie has mentioned that she “loves that Daddy gets to wear green every day!”
  • Jeff Kunk’s family mows, trims, and cares for the landscaping at the Sidney office (to Barney’s standards, which, mind you, is no small feat).
  • Just this past Father’s Day, Tony’s son Wade gave his dad a custom Choice One cycling jersey. That’s Tony’s son-in-law Nick on the right in the linked photo, stuck riding and tent camping with Tony for a whole week on the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure. Poor guy.

Even though Carly and Danielle recently commented, “Great, even our birthday cake is Choice One colors…” we like to think our families don’t mind admiring (or at least accepting) a closet full of green, cutting the grass just so, or spending a week pedaling with us. And maybe, just maybe, Kunk’s kids will pony up for him and buy the doughnuts their dad owes us.

Kurt Barhorst, President, Air Handling Equipment:
“Watching all the Choice One employees exit that conference room brings up childhood memories of 20 circus clowns coming out of one car!”

CLOWNS?! How could anyone compare us to clowns?!

Ok, so when the Loveland and Portland staff visit the Sidney office for companywide meetings, our conference room admittedly gets a little… full. But as long as everyone showers regularly, it’s not really a problem. Nevertheless, when we all spill out of the doorway after the meeting concludes (and rush for the bathroom), it isn’t hard to make the same association Kurt does.

We’d like to think that Kurt’s clown car comparison is based on the fact that we sometimes squeeze many highly intelligent geniuses into a relatively small space. However, we’re a realistic bunch, and we are well aware that, given his comfortable relationship with us, Kurt might be implying that we’re similar to a certain variety of slapstick jesters. (Indeed, we’ve recently been known to throw impromptu dance parties in our conference rooms.)

We don’t mind spending a little “together time” by cramming into our clown car, conference room, etc., once in a while (especially if there’s free lunch involved). And if you ignore our big feet, we’re pretty normal people. We’ll just assume Kurt was complementing our willingness to pack the place with smiling faces and not pointing out our inordinate love of pie, unique fashion sense, and occasional clumsiness.

Casey Heitkamp:
“Every girl’s favorite accessory… a hard hat.”

We’ve covered how Choice One employees are more about function than fashion. So it’s no surprise that engineer Casey Heitkamp and co-op Kristi Moorman were delighted to don their hard hats the other day to visit a project site.

We at Choice One tote typical accessories engineers and surveyors couldn’t live without—tape measures, clipboards, cold patch—the usual stuff. But as Choice One engineers and surveyors, we have a few unique accessories on hand:

  • Eric Kuck carries the “best NFL team cup, every day, even at home.” We’ll assume “best” is just one person’s opinion…
  • Kecia Flaute tows her giant purse daily, which her husband Kent has dubbed her “luggage.” Hey, you never know when you might need a week-old banana and a month’s worth of crumpled receipts, right?
  • Brittany Clinehens typically has a sippy cup of milk (which she says is her son’s…) that she forgot to leave with the sitter. Perhaps she could loan the cup to Nick Selhorst…

Whether our accessories be a hard hat on a job site, a daily green shirt, or a “briefcase” filled with soft tacos, we aim for practicality and simplicity at Choice One. Our accessories help us be safe, recognizable, and always in the mood for salsa.

Craig Frilling:
“I can actually take the keys out of my van’s ignition while it’s running and lock the doors.”
Michael Seeger:
“Because you think someone really wants to steal that piece of junk?”
How could Michael think that Craig’s exquisite, 1989 GMC Safari van with 236,000 miles on it is a piece of junk?! Just look at that [nearly] rust-free Light Quasar Blue Metallic paint job! And to hear that baby purr! If only this picture could transmit the remarkable roar it makes when Craig fires it up…
We have a few other relics hanging around Choice One. There’s a 5.25″ floppy disk from a sanitary sewer job in West Milton designed in 1996, kept just for looking at. Jeff Puthoff and Tony Schroeder still use their first mechanical pencils from when Choice One opened back in 1994. Heck, even a few clients–Jon Crusey (City of Vandalia) and Bob Bender (Developmental Disabilities of Clark County)–still use the Choice One pocket calculators we passed out circa 2002.
So Craig, don’t let anyone tell you that your aged automobile isn’t anything but amasterpiece of preservation and love. Sometimes the old is worth holding onto, even if it isn’t cutting-edge, maintenance free, or glamorous anymore. Why do you think we keep Tony and Jeff around?