Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

Ryan Francis:
“Someone did a pretty good job photo-shopping a bicep onto Dan’s arm.”

If you aren’t sure, that’s Dan in the sunglasses and blue headband, buying tickets to the gun show during Choice One’s Christmas card photo shoot. Dan, we’re fairly confident that your bicep (and therefore rest of the photo) is NOT legit, because we’re absolutely positive Jeff Puthoff would never be caught in a hot pink sequined hat in real life.

If you missed it, this Christmas card photo (and the full version here) speaks volumes, both in 80s hair and old school boom-box beats. From the spandex to the neon, we took Christmas to a new, totally rad level of ridiculousness by “pa-rum-pum-pum-PUMPING” up the ante on outrageous Choice One Christmas photos. (We had to out-do Cousin Eddie from last year.)

We do truly hope that our card, and the Christmas wishes that come with it, brightened your holiday season. From all of us at Choice One, may your holiday be pa-rum-pum-pum-pumped full of merry and glowing fluorescent bright!

Kaye Borchers:
“I’m already practicing writing ‘Frizz’ in my mind.”

It’s Christmas card signing time again, and surveyor Craig Frilling thought of switching things up this year and signing his nickname “Frizz” instead of “Craig” on the COEC Christmas card. Sounds like a simple thing to do, but when you’re signing your name 1,000 times, it’s important to pick the simplest, shortest version (to hurry along this most anticipated task) and internalize it for great speed and accuracy.


If you’re new to the world of Choice One, you’re likely to find that we have a few unexpected traditions. Yes, every single one of us hand-signs every Christmas card we send. (If you missed the card this year, it’s worth checking out here.) New employees are required to buy doughnuts with their first paycheck. We don’t have bosses–although we use Bosses’ Day an excuse to eat pie. And we have a tireless, long-standing tradition of giving each other a hard time evidenced by this: the official 200th Mindset!


Frizz, we don’t want you to spend too much effort working on your new signature. Especially since “Craig” and “Frizz” technically have the same number of letters if you didn’t notice. Besides, you’ll get PLENTY of practice signing your nickname 1,000 times next year.

Kaye Borchers:
“I think Kecia and Kyle should “race” down the hall.”

We’re not sure who’s going to win this crutch-assisted footrace down the Sidney office’s hallway: Kyle on a newly repaired knee, or Kecia on a newly repaired ankle. Whether there will be post-race repairs needed to their pride remains to be seen.

We’re pretty competitive around here, in case you haven’t noticed. Mitch has been deemed faster than electricity (but not the tallest). Andy is typically competing for the first snacks. Mike G. is the first to the thermostat. And if you missed the Loveland Charity Cup two weeks back, you can witness the highlight video featuring our typical, ultra-competitive nature (not to mention our obvious need for speed!).

We hate to see anyone injured, but if these two would knock each other down, perhaps it will knock some sense into them. Plus, if Kyle and Kecia are on the ground, the rest of us have a better chance of winning whatever it is we’re racing towards!

Amy Butler, Utility Clerk, Village of South Lebanon:
“When you add me to your phone contacts, just label me “Wonder Water Woman.”

Our friend Amy from South Lebanon offered to text this selfie to us, and she wanted her name in our phone’s contact list to be memorable. And we agree: when you’re a municipal utilities clerk, you really are a kind of superhero, keeping track of all of those thousands of gallons of water day in and day out.


The selfie, in case you were wondering, was taken during our annual Loveland Charity Cup event. The theme? Top Gun. The winners? Deerfield Township/MSA Design. The generosity of our clients and friends? AMAZING. At the end of the night, our clients and friends blew our goal out of any utilities clerk’s water by raising $8,210.68 for Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank. That means Sweet Cheeks can provide about 63,160 diapers to help keep over 1,200 children in the Cincinnati area in clean, dry diapers. We think everyone can agree that those are some incredible superhero stats!


Amy, we agree you’re a “Wonder Water Woman.” Without great utility clerks, we’d guess a lot of our communities would be like ducks out of water, up a creek without a paddle, and in deep water all at once. And without watering anything down, our great clients and friends like all of you have truly helped a wonderful organization do great things. For that, thank you!

Brittany Clinehens:
“You can never have too much Caray!”

While adding a new employee to the website (side note: meet land surveyor Chris, pictured lower-right above), we accidentally doubled Choice One Controller Caray Schmiesing’s website profile. Perhaps we can fool people into thinking we now have a legit set of clones? Indeed, double or triple names are nothing new around here.

If we’re going to double anyone here, doubling Caray would be a great idea. As the company’s controller, Caray processes payroll, pays the bills, and makes sure our accounting is spot on. Yet this wouldn’t be the first attempt at doubling a Choice Oner. We have already covered how two Kayes are better than one. And we did once consider cloning Jeff Puthoff, but then realized all that would get us is a 90s mullet* and awkward clown feet.

It’s no surprise that Brittany doesn’t mind double the Caray, double the fun. Whether she’s double-checking the payroll or simply doubling her smile on our website, the more Caray the better! And now we finally understand why she needs her van jump-started TWICE every time she leaves the lights on.

*This week we started celebrating 25 years of Choice One fun! That means we can wish Jeff Puthoff a happy anniversary of cutting his mullet when Choice One was founded.

Jacqueline Huelskamp:
“Nothing like working in someone’s armpit.”

Meet Jacqueline Huelskamp, a landscape architect, hobby photographer, and our newest employee. She started less than two weeks ago, and already we’re asking her to take on a rather daunting task: edit engineer Jake Bertke’s photo for the company Christmas card. Cross your fingers that she doesn’t run screaming from Choice One because of this initial task—we’d like to keep her around!

We don’t always give newbies such challenges in their first two weeks, but we do require a few things of a new hire at Choice One. Naturally, they must look good in green. They have to learn the difference among all the Jeffs, Brians, Ryans, etc. And they have to agree to be in a Mindset, even if it’s without much real choice. (So far, so good, Jacqueline. Just don’t forget to buy doughnuts with your first paycheck.)

Jake may be our resident “water model,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s simple to Photoshop. We’re sorry for the taxing task in your first days as a Choice Oner, Jacqueline, and hope that future tasks involve more plantings and greenspace and less… armpits.