Choice Mindsets

Choice Mindsets

Kristi Moorman:
“Our Afternoon Walks are getting more dangerous. We now have FOUR flying objects.


Most afternoons, a good portion of the Loveland office takes an official Walk down the road to the mailbox to gather the day’s mail, get some fresh air, and… throw things.

The Afternoon Walk originated as a stationary “recess” in a detention basin, and has grown to a moving cloud of footballs and frisbees, all buzzing about as the group travels on foot along the low-traffic road. As they walk, you might hear “What project are you working on today?” followed by “GO DEEP ADAM!” Another 30 yards and it’s “How are the kids doing?” paired with “HEAD’S UP JACQUI!” And before they head back in the door, it might be “What’s up for the weekend?” before an “OOPS! SORRY SCHMIDTY!” as a few last second tosses finish the outing.

Although Choice One was founded in 1994, our Loveland office has been adding “ballers” since 2011, and 22 of our current 69 employees call the Loveland office home. So if everyone in Loveland takes the Afternoon Walk, that’s about five people per “flying object.” So Kristi, hope that makes you feel like you’re in less danger. To keep safe, just don’t let the Afternoon Walk get crossed with Sledgehammer Putt-Putt

Nick Selhorst:
“Zach, you left your UD Flyers cup here in Loveland. I took care of it for you.”

Nick, an Ohio State grad, sure was kind to help Sidney-based Zach when he [gasp!forgot something at the Loveland office last week. Nick’s offer to “take care of” the cup wasn’t too alarming to Zach—he keeps a few* spares around the office.

We keep spares of lots of things around Choice One (sledgehammersglassesCarays, etc.). And really, can one have too much of a good thing (despite Nick’s opinion of UD)? We’re pretty sure there can never be too many roundaboutsbright lights, or Choice One green pens. And no way can we ever have too much Skyline Chilihugging, or fun.

All that said, we could use a couple of extra engineers and surveyors these days (apply!). And although Jeff Kunk finally bought, we will always accept spare doughnuts, pizza, or cookies. So Zach, if you don’t mind, please stop amassing UD Flyer cups and instead stock up on a few more Jeffs and a perhaps some tasty snacks to share.

*Despite leaving a cup
in Loveland, Zach still
had this many UD Flyer
cups to take home at once.


Nick Selhorst:
“Ryan, will you still be using the same lunchbox 10 years from now?”

As the saying goes: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So yes, engineer Ryan Lefeld has had his little purple and green lunchbox for the past 10 years, (and likely before he ever started at Choice One). And unless there is some kind of future, unknown mini-cooler catastrophe, he’ll still have 10 years from now.

Like Ryan, we are all pretty stereotypical engineering-types: practical, consistent, and frugal. From Megan wearing bags on her shoes to Caray using an old box as a briefcase, we like sensible, simple reliability. We do get out of our comfort zones, like wearing shirts without pockets or making coffee in the morning AND afternoon. But getting a new lunchbox after 10 years? Probably a little too progressive for our typical engineer.

Assuming he doesn’t resort to grabbing his daughter’s lunchbag, we’d bet that Ryan still has the same lunchbox in 10 years. Make note, Nick, to check back in 2032—by that time, it’s sure to be stylish again. As the saying goes: “What’s old is new again!

Adam Gill:
“I’ll take the Mario and Luigi costumes…”

…because who doesn’t want to be a classic video game superstar for a day?

Once in a while we have to straighten up a supply closet or clean up around the office, and something random is put up for grabs. So who could blame engineers Adam Gill (Luigi, left) and Troy Niese (Mario, right) for calling dibs on an old Charity Cup costume to become a couple of Nintendo legends whenever they want?

With these hats, it’s fun to imagine that Adam and Troy might be like a Choice One version of the heroes, donning their special costumes whenever a super power is needed. Perhaps they could bust through brick walls with their bare hands when Choice One decides to renovate again. Having the ability to eat a star and become temporarily invincible would have it’s benefits considering the injury-related hardware around here. And, truthfully, it would be handy to have them be able to slide down into pipes to figure out how old sewers are connected for replacement or modeling.

While there’s not a princess to save at Choice One (unless you count Kaye’s stint as a “Survey Princess”) or coins to collect beyond what Brian Barhorst collects in our Canteen, we appreciate Adam and Troy’s enthusiasm. If nothing else, with the Mario Bros. around, we might finally have a couple of decent plumbers around here to fix the coffee machine!

Troy Niese:
“Congrats on the Nobel Prize, Schmidty! Can’t believe I had to read about this at home instead of hearing all about it from you.”

Choice One Engineering

We’ve had a few people here at Choice One Engineering win an award a time or two—indeed, Choice One itself was recently named the #1 Small Dayton Business Journal “Best Place to Work” and the Zweig “Best Civil Firm to Work For” in the nation. But a Nobel Prize in Physics?! Things are getting serious now.

We shouldn’t be surprised that a “Brian Schmidt” has won a Nobel Prize. When our Brian Schmidt introduces himself to new employees and explains his position at Choice One, he says he does “pretty much anything around here”—from box culvert design to taking out the trash. One might say he does “everything under the sun,” except that wouldn’t be true, because his capabilities go far beyond the sun: he is apparently making discoveries at the edges of the known universe.

Congrats, “Brian Schmidt.” Keep making strides forward in supernovae, combined sewer separation, and flying pest control. To celebrate your 2011 Nobel Prize, we’ll get Dane to order a plaque or something.

(P.S. Know a civil engineer interested in a “Best Place/Firm to Work”? Send them to our careers page!)

Megan Bornhorst:
“I ❤ MJH *Try really hard not to punch him.”

Megan once used this physical note to reminder herself that “MJH” (Matt Hoying) is still loveable, even when teases her about things like using paper to go paperless. Hey, sometimes it takes a reminder to break habits.

  • There are a few of us with notes referencing the digital RGB color mix for Choice One Green (R=130, G=188, B=0 in case you want the secret recipe).
  • Field Surveyor Jim Niergarth has a post it that reads “leave the keys,” reminding him to leave the survey truck keys at the office when he goes home. Forgetful Zach should stop reading others’ Post-Its.
  • Brittany Clinehens once had the note “Jeff Kunk = Survey,” reminding 2010, new-to-Choice-One Brittany who took survey/staking calls (which was Jeff back then). Now our survey schedule managers are Ryan and Jesse, which gives us the equation “Jeff Kunk = Ryan Francis + Jesse Waggoner.” Not sure whose feelings that equation hurts the most…

Our Post-Its definitely indicate our priorities around here. And we would argue that many are truly essential—like Jonathan Whitesell’s: “Make sure you laugh at Jeff Puthoff’s jokes. They probably won’t be funny, but it will make him happy!” Reminders break habits, indeed!