Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

Ken Carter, Centerville-Washington Park District:
“Matt, include in the proposal topographic survey, design, and a signed self-portrait that we can hang in our office.”


Don’t even try to guess the proposal fee for the above-mentioned project. The number of zeros would make Bill Gates blush. Luckily for our friends at the Centerville-Washington Park District, Matt provided this one-of-a-kind signed portrait (“To CWPD, With Love”) for FREE. And despite its immense value and likely requirement for armed bodyguards, Ken has daringly hung it unprotected in his office so that Matt might boldly stare at him from every angle.


We have shared some fine works of photographic art over the years. No one can forget (even those who want to) how well Nick Selhorst posed as Cousin Eddiefor the 2017 Christmas card. Kaye and Bellbrook’s Erin Harris (ironically another parks and rec friend) have dominated the “distinctive” animal-riding portraits market for four years now. The images of engineers singing and trying (but failing) to clap on beat can’t be unseen. And let’s not forget the time we ALL wore 80s workout spandex. Willingly.


Ken, don’t ever take for granted what you have hanging on your office wall. Despite your follow-up comment about you “rolling on the floor right now in tears of laughter,” once this Mindset is published you’ll surely have collectors beating down your door. We’ll warn those collectors for you: it’s clear that Ken is an exceptional person to deserve such a masterpiece, but don’t test him–if he’s actually hung it on the wall he’s clearly fearless!

Kaye Borchers: “Anyone break a lacrosse stick?”
Troy Niese: “No, but I can break one if you need some Mindset writing material.”


Meet Jacqui, one of our newest engineers and passionate guardian of lacrosse sticks. Despite not being our first Jacqueline (naturally, we can never have just one of any name), Jacqui is our first experienced lacrosse player.

Turns out casual lacrosse instruction is a great socially-distanced sports activity, and Jacqui was happy to share her lacrosse equipment and expertise with us for a beginner’s lesson. When Kaye casually asked if anything was broken during the lesson (we’re good at falling down, if you recall), we learned that Jacqui fiercely defends her cherished sticks. We understand, Jacqui. We get to listen to other sports enthusiasts defend things, like the Cleveland fans defending the Browns, Wes Goubeaux defending the Chicago Cubs, and Kyle Siegrist defending his undying passion for all professional sports.

While we’re sure “attackers” Troy Niese and Michael Kunzi are probably not serious, we appreciate your protective nature, Jacqui. You’ll need the practice. There’s no doubt it won’t be long before you need to defend your position in the Chipotle vs. Hothead debate, guard your red and pink Starburst considering your desk’s proximity to Nick Selhorst, and protect your hands from Christmas card signing cramps during the holiday season. Welcome aboard!

Inquiring Mindsets:
“What’s your favorite back to school memory?”


For many, August/September equals back to school. So back in the day, what did Choice Oners look forward to about a new school year?

Luke Hemmelgarn’s favorite memory? Playing euchre on the bus. That’s a life skill, there. Wes Wolters remembers that in fourth grade, “the school finally got belts and flags for flag football. You had to eat your lunch quick and sprint out to the field at recess to get one of the cool belts.” Because fourth grade life happens at recess. And Casey Reichert? “New school supplies—who doesn’t love the smell of fresh pencils in August?!” Apparently Matt Hoying and Jake Bertke: “What was fun about going back to school?”

It’s no surprise with our hungry crowd that many school memories included lunchtime. Many of us who attended Marion Local Schools in Mercer County (such as Mitch Thobe, Kristi Moorman, Ryan Bruns, and Casey Reichert) all agreed that the best school cafeteria lunch was  “chicken noodle soup and cinnamon rolls.” Apparently this soup and roll combo was a thing back in the day at Marion Local. The rest of us all would have bet the farm that the companywide consensus on “best school lunch” would have been rectangle pizza…

Whether they’re excited or not, here’s to a successful year for all the kids out there. May they not fall and skin their knees on the walk to school like Holly Fannon, may the Salisbury steak not be as rubbery as it was for most (except for Dane Sommer who claims it was amazing), and may they love their new backpack (and fresh late-80s perm) as much as Brittany Clinehens did.

Brittany Clinehens:
“Jack just told Megan that he scares easily.”

There are very few things we keep to ourselves here at Choice One, but one thing co-op Jack Poeppelman may regret sharing is that he scares easily… literally 60 seconds before this photos was taken.


Jack certainly isn’t the first person to experience a spirited scare at Choice One. Some of us have been known to jump out of closets, hide between cars in our parking lot, or even seal ourselves in a shipping box to surprise a variety of unsuspecting targets including the UPS man. We startle people in other ways as well—who can forget Nick Selhorst as Cousin Eddie or the terrifying idea of two Kayes?


Jack, thanks for sharing, even to your detriment. Since we already share our doughnuts (over the phone), names (we just hired our third Max), and passionate opinions on traffic engineering, it follows that we can’t help but share the “joy” of a scare-induced racing heart with you. And your reaction, wonderfully captured in the photo, certainly allowed us all to share in a laugh

Adam Gill:
“Luckily the ants are dumb enough to just fly right into it. It surprisingly works.”


Welcome to an installment of Choice Mindsets we’ll call “Choice One-genuity.” Because, hey, we’re engineers and we get really excited about fixing problems. Think of it as Shark Tank meets The Big Bang Theory with fewer celebrity investors and slightly more awkwardness.


Our first example of Choice One-genuity was developed by traffic engineer Adam Gill. Upon arrival at our Loveland office one morning, Adam and the rest of the crew discovered that a swarm of flying ants had moved in likely hoping to take advantage of the  free Flaming Cheetos from the Canteen  and a chance to hear some John Denver and Kenny Rogers. Without any formal tools or calculations, our engineers quickly MacGyver’ed a plan to thwart the insects with what they had on-hand: packing tape. Wait, what’s that ringing? Is that Mark Cuban on the phone ready to invest?


Whether Mr. Cuban or the other Sharks make an offer for the Packing Tape Fly Trap or not, well done, Adam. Your resourcefulness in the face of a cunning opponent is admirable. And as you kick them out, be sure to let those flying ants know that we ALWAYS pay for food from the Canteen and that no one can love John Denver and Kenny Rogers as much as Dane Sommer and Nick Sanders, respectively.
P.S. If you’re curious, the “Me” in the photo above is Matt Hoying.

Adam Gill:
“Check out the two dinosaurs out surveying in Russia.”

If you don’t recognize the two relics in the photo volunteering their time to provide field work for a new playground in Russia, Ohio, that’s Ryan Francis on the left and Wes Goubeaux on the right. Both have been with the company for about 20 years, making them knowledgeable, experienced, and, of course, ripe for picking on about their grey hairs.

Ok, so Ryan and Wes aren’t really that old, it’s more about the fact that they don’t operate in the field as often as they used to. With a larger sum of capable field surveyors on our team these days, Wes and Ryan spend most of the time in the [climate-controlled] office as they lay out property lines, perform research, schedule field crews, and create right-of-way plans and plats. And while that work is quite important, some may suggest it makes them a little rusty when it’s time to swing a sledgehammer, work in the sun all day, or navigate rough terrain on foot to get the perfect topographic shot.

Ryan and Wes, we certainly appreciate your willingness to volunteer your time to a great local cause. The students of Russia Local Schools will certainly have an accurately laid-out playground thanks to you. We just hope you don’t dry up and fossilize in the hot sun from being so out of practice in the field.