Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

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?

Brian Schmidt:
“I brought doughnuts in for you, Brittany, since it’s Administrative Professional’s Day. Unfortunately, I don’t have a way to get one to you.”

Brittany Clinehens:
“Maybe you could just eat one over the phone very loudly?”

This past Wednesday was Administrative Professionals Day, and it was very thoughtful of Brian “Schmidty” Schmidt to buy doughnuts for Brittany and Megan, our indispensable Administrative Professionals. Now, Schmidty is in Loveland, while Brittany and Megan are in Sidney. Therefore Schmidty’s thoughtfulness leads to his stomach’s fullness, since he will get the doughnuts Brittany and Megan can’t actually eat. Coincidence? Or payback?

Doughnuts aside, we try to keep our three locations feeling like one (pun intended). We email each other to discuss the latest Cleveland Browns debacle… er, “management strategy.” We page each other to debate the minutia of traffic engineering. We video conference over lunch to watch old episodes of The A-Team. And we’ve been known to mail all of our least favorite Jolly Ranchers to another office as a “treat” (no one in Sidney likes Blue Raspberry, apparently).

So happy belated Administrative Professional’s Day to of the all administrative professionals out there, and of course to our own Brittany and Megan! Without you, our three offices would have way less organization, efficiency, laughter, Doritos, and delightful reasons to buy doughnuts. Perhaps someone in Sidney will buy you doughnuts next time, or at least share a few of their coveted Cherry and Watermelon Jolly Ranchers.

Nick Sanders:

“Gonna have to buy a second fridge to post all of my papers!”

It was company meeting quiz time again at Choice One this past Monday. As usual, Nick Sanders, always the over-achiever, had a perfect score. He’s not keeping count or anything, but this is probably his billionth perfect score in a row. And since he likes to hang his good grades on the refrigerator like any proud student, he’s realized he’s going to need a second fridge at home to post each and every company meeting quiz A+.

Now that we know Nick’s refrigerator(s) are full of Choice One quizzes, one might ask what is on the Choice One office refrigerators? Well, in Portland we can assume there are Arby’s coupons held by a Cleveland Browns magnet. In Sidney there’s this delegation poster, which memorializes the one instance of Tony looking like a genius. And in Loveland there is a list of prices for the Loveland Canteen. Ironically, Pop-Tarts are listed under both “Candy/Sweets” and “Healthy Food”, which Loveland Canteen manager Brian Schmidt explains as “the crust is healthy but the inside is sweet.”

Indeed, since Nick Sanders always scores 100%, we now have Not Nick and Obviously Nick—as in “Obviously, Nick Sanders got a perfect score.” Since there’s room on the Loveland fridge, perhaps we can send those perfect quizzes there. As long as the oldest ones aren’t too crusty, Brian Schmidt can post them under “Sweets.”

“Oh, and as you can see, I believe I found an appropriate spot for the trophy.”
Duane Puckett, City of Troy

With another Choice One Charity Cup in the books, the Charity Cup trophy is again displayed in a place of royal prominence, as is only appropriate for such a distinctive prize. For the next year, this majestic traveling masterpiece will be housed at the offices of the City of Troy, this year’s Charity Cup champion.

The tournament was grueling. Submersed for hours in the unforgiving world of 1970s disco, Team Troy Grey (l-r Paul Bryant, Duane Puckett, Choice One’s Tyler Thobe, and Scott Frazier) battled with the likes of Team Garmann-Miller Associates Grey in the final game of the ruthless 10-round cornhole tournament. Disco balls flew like Nick Sanders over a gas pump hose, and shag carpet was ruffled like Flat Tony’s leisure suit shirt, but Troy Grey emerged victorious.

All of the efforts were worth it, as the champions from Troy along with all of our incredibly generous clients and friends raised an amazing $5,104.00 for the Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU to all of those who donated and participated. We are completely humbled by and grateful for your contribution to help this wonderful organization bring joy to these wonderful families!

P.S. Check out a few photos on Choice One’s Facebook page, and stay tuned for the 70s photo contest and more fun from the Charity Cup at!

Andy Shuman:
“Since Tony is the only one in the room who was a teenager in the 1970s, I guess we’ll have to take his word for it that he was ‘cool’ and not ‘groovy’ back then.”

During a recent meeting regarding the upcoming, disco-themed Choice One Charity Cup*, the young punks around Choice One mistakenly thought that “groovy” was a term used in the 70s until Tony corrected them. Apparently “cool” was the term Tony [tried to] use for himself in the 70s.

To get everyone in a leisure suit frame of mind, we’ve been gathering photos of Choice One employees and Charity Cup invitees from the 1970s**. Granted, a lot of us weren’t alive in the 70s, although Matt Hoying submitted a photo of a cosmic twinkle, as he was “just a twinkle in his parents eyes” in the 1970s. And while we’ve been thoroughly enjoying these photos, the coolest and grooviest part of this disco-style Charity Cup is how much our clients and friends step up to support the amazing efforts of the Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association, the organization to which all of your generous Charity Cup donations will go.

Perhaps in an effort to prove that he isn’t really that old, Tony has yet to share a photo of his “cool” teenage self from the 70s. (Flat Tony helped us guess while Tony was on vacation. You can see that photo here.) Don’t be like Tony: share a photo of yourself to enter our Charity Cup 70s Photo Contest!

* The Choice One Charity Cup is just 12 days away on March 30!
** Pictured above (left to right, top to bottom) are the 1970s versions of Jeff Puthoff, Steve Bowersox, Brian Goubeaux, Wes Goubeaux, and Holly Fannon.

Megan Bornhorst:
“Tony is like a Choice One Mr. Potato Head.”

If you follow Choice One on Facebook or Twitter, these photos will look familiar. Since the last Mindset, we’ve been “embellishing” our Flat Tony, as the real deal is STILL vacationing in Florida. (Don’t worry, we really don’t mind.) He’s been a pirate, a Scotsman, Zorro, a ballerina, a hula girl… you know, typical things civil engineers aspire to be.

That gets us thinking: as kids, what did other Choice Oners aspire to be?

  • Andy, Not Nick, and Matt wanted to be fighter pilots. Too much Top Gun as kids, gentlemen?
  • Megan wanted to be a princess, Holly a movie star, and Casey a wedding dress designer. It’s no coincidence, then, that the glamour of engineering won their hearts.
  • Brian Schmidt, Kaye, and Ryan Francis wanted to be veterinarians. Come to think of it, they do work with a group of monkeys every day…
  • Surveyors Allen Bertke and Wes Goubeaux wanted to be professional baseball players. Driving hubs is just like driving homeruns, right guys?
  • Ryan Lefeld wanted to play for the Cleveland Browns. Don’t give up on your dream Ryan: at this point the Browns would probably draft someone of your experience in the first round.
Coincidentally, as he was growing up, Tony earned the nickname “Tater” during his time in college. So Megan referring to him as Choice One’s Mr. Potato Head is really pretty apt, except that Tony doesn’t keep a spare set of shoes or eyes in a rear-end compartment (at least we hope not). If you’d like to see Tony decorated as a particular character, reply to this email and let us know. As long as it’s embarrassing, we can probably make it happen!
P.S. We’re only 26 days from the 2016 Charity Cup! Don your best polyester and “hustle” over on March 30!