Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

Eric Kuck:
“At least their company gets them a helicopter…”

Sometimes, these Mindsets just write themselves, no enhancements needed:

Mitch Thobe: Our surveyors should be glad they only have to fight through densely wooded properties or wade into rivers to collect survey data. A firm I know of in Alaska has to take a helicopter to survey certain rough terrains.
Matt Hoying: I don’t know, I would much rather topo in Alaskan snow on a glacier than in a dense woods.
Eric Kuck: At least their company gets them a helicopter…

It would be nice to have a survey helicopter, Eric. In addition to getting tricky shots like ones in the middle of a river, we could monitor traffic situations from the air (although we would run the risk of Craig Eley running the helicopter out of fuel watching roundabouts function). And we could get plans delivered without green flashing lights… although flashing lights are still pretty cool. But until we find a pilot–unanimously NOT Ryan Francis–you’ll just have to keep putting on your hip-waders and driving good old-fashioned wheeled vehicles!

P.S. If you know someone who would fit in with our loveable, hard-working survey crew, we’re looking for a field surveyor out of our Loveland office. Eric already spilled the beans that we don’t have a helicopter, but we do have… cool trucks. Check out the position here. Not sure what a surveyor does? Watch this short video to learn about Choice One’s crews.

Caray Schmiesing
“This will be my post-surgery cartwheel maiden voyage!”
If you recall, our controller Caray is really good at cartwheels, but then took advantage of that two-for-one shoulder surgery we “offered” about a year ago. As this week’s  photo series proves, the surgery was successful and Caray felt brave enough to once again able to perform a perfect cartwheel.


Caray is definitely an above-average cartwheeler, even post-shoulder surgery. Being above-average is pretty common here at Choice One. We are above-average pizza eaters. We find above-average spouses who are way more fun than us. And, of course, we probably wear more green than the average person.


Caray might try to be modest about her courage and say that others here at Choice One coerced her into this cartwheel. But those of us who witnessed this feat will tell you that Caray was very eager to prove her mettle without encouragement. (Just like we didn’t “encourage” her at all when she attempted to plow through the mud in the middle of Indianapolis and a vanload of us ended up stuck.) Caray, thanks for showing us all how to do it right: jump right in, face your fears, and come out right side up, every time!

Dana Bicknell, City of Lebanon
“Wait, Nick Selhorst won a Tough Man competition?”


A few weeks back, Nick Selhorst took a day off to celebrate winning a Tough Man competition. And Dana was… confused. We’ll assume it’s not that Dana thinks Nick isn’t a tough guy, but that when most of us think of Tough Man competitions, we think of Arnold Schwarzenegger-types pulling dump trucks with their bare hands and stacking 300-pound rocks 20 feet high. Which (no offense Nick) is not Nick. Rather, the Tough Man competition Nick won was a golf tournament held at the Mercer County Elks.


Really, Nick is just following the Choice One habit of participating in events with semi-misleading names. If you’ve ever attended one of Choice One’s Charity Cups, you know we call it a “cornhole tournament” or “bucketball tournament.” Of course, that only applies if your typical cornhole/bucketball involves spinning around three times and then throwing with your non-dominate hand while standing backwards. Heck, even our internal tournament bracket pools are based on fast food preferences rather than sports. And play to win? No way! It’s better to come in second so you don’t have to buy lunch for the whole office with your $20 in winnings.


Nick tells us that the golf tournament is called “Tough Man” because organizers make the holes as challenging as possible. Despite the difficulty, we shall congratulate “Seahorse” and his team-his dad and brother-who were the toughest men on the course that day. We’re very sure Nick didn’t have to swing his club while hopping on one foot with his eyes closed, but we’re VERY sure Nick won a little money, so we know he will be buying us lunch!

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.