Nick Selhorst:
“Michael found out he passed his P.E. on Friday morning so he hung up his “certificate” in Loveland.”

It may seem like just a sheet of paper, but to an engineer like Michael, passing the Professional Engineer (P.E.) exam and achieving licensure is a big deal. That piece of thicker-than-average paper means he has spent years preparing for a career in a glamorous field such as pavement analysis, water distribution modeling, or sewage pumping.

Obtaining a Professional Engineer’s license is a lengthy process. First, one spends five-ish years as an undergrad studying engineering. Indeed, some poor saps around here even suffered through this at the University of Dayton or the University of Toledo. Then one must spend four years under the tutelage of other Professional Engineers. Just imagine–four painful years under the scrutiny of uber-nerds like Matt, Tony, and Jeff Puthoff! Then, finally, one must pass an eight-hour P.E. test (and to get an engineer to think about engineering for ONLY eight hours at a time is a real feat…)

We could joke that we at Choice One also have a few other P.E.s besides our engineers around here (like Pizza Estimator Matt, Penny Economist Allen Bertke, or Pocket Eliminator Brittany). But we know it takes hard work to become a real licensed Professional Engineer. So here’s to Michael and all of the other P.E.s. Without you we’d still have gravel roads, no water pressure, and, yep… outhouses.

What’s in a Name?

Angela Polechek-Damron, Village of Ada:
“You guys should start naming all Choice One babies after communities you’ve helped design over the years!”

If you follow Choice One on Facebook or Twitter, you might have noticed that there has been quite a rash of Choice One babies born in the past few weeks. When Portland engineer Ryan Lefeld and his wife Diana named their little girl Adalynn (above, left*), our friend Angela from the Village of Ada speculated that Adalynn was named after her employer. (Also pictured above are Michael and Andrea Seeger’s son Carter, middle, and Mitch and Kate Thobe’s son Drew, right*.)

Just think if these little ones follow in the footsteps of their daddies! By the time Drew Thobe is a traffic engineer like Mitch, cars might be flying. When Carter Seeger is designing site plans like Michael, he might be designing sites on Mars. And when little Adalynn is designing sanitary sewer like her daddy, Ryan… well… at that point sewage will probably still run downhill just like it does today.

While Ryan hasn’t officially confirmed whether or not [potential] future civil engineer Adalynn was really named after the Village of Ada, we can confirm that apparently the trend of naming all Choice One kids after communities hasn’t caught on quite yet**. Fear not! There are four more Choice One babies due between now and October (including twins!), so there is plenty of time for a Van Wert Heitbrink, a Wapakoneta Hoying, and twins Lebanon and South Lebanon Kuck.

*By the way, Adalynn and Drew, you owe the company lunch since you’re wearing the old logo.
**We can add to this list Ellianna Marie–daughter of Loveland engineer Brian Schmidt and his wife Marielle–born just this week! …Wait, was she named after the Village of Anna?!

Say Cheese!

Nick Sanders:
“I also got up early to do my hair. 10 seconds early, to be exact.”

This week we’re taking a few new company photos. Some of us (ok, maybe just the ladies), have been discussing the extra time devoted to pre-photo hairstyling to make sure this most important picture looks amazing. Engineer Nick Sanders also thought some extra primping time was appropriate. As you can see those extra 10 seconds really paid off. Look at that ‘do!

These photos are being taken for our soon-to-be redesigned website. We’re infusing a little Choice One-ality into our individual shots, and Nick is featured with his favorite t-shirt—if you know Nick, you know that 14 of his greatest joys are his grandkids (indeed, if you’ll recall, number 13 was born during a Choice One company meeting). And if you know the rest of us, you can probably guess what will be featured in each photo… Farmer Jeff Puthoff with a John Deere hat (so predictable). Fast-food connoisseur Brian Schmidt with his elegant, sophisticated Burger King crown (naturally). And Mitch Thobe with his beloved, nerdy traffic counter, or his Cleveland Browns jersey (we don’t know which is more depressing).

Our other photo personalities might not be so obvious, so we’ll keep you guessing–hopefully you’ll visit the new site when it’s launched in the coming months to find out. While you might wonder if Kaye will be holding a ping-pong paddle or if Caray will be featured with two sets of jumper cables, you can bet there will be some amazing hair and smiles AND amazing Choice One fun to discover.

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane!

Don Harrod, Village of Minster:
“Hurry up! I don’t know how much longer I can fly!”

Evidenced by his billowing green cape, Don Harrod (Village of Minster Administrator) is indeed a superhero. However, maybe his super power is something other than flying. It probably didn’t help that photographer Joan Schroeder may have “encouraged” Don to hold his flying pose far longer than was necessary to snap a few photos. Don happened to win the Charity Cup raffle’s Grand Prize–a personal drone–so we hope the drone is able to fly a little longer than Don himself…

This past Wednesday was Choice One’s annual Charity Cup, during which our clients and friends helped us raise funds for a couple of great organizations. We invited guests to enjoy a night of food, drinks, and a few competitive rounds of comic book Superhero Bucket Ball. Over the course of the night, we saw a few Supermen, a few Wonder Women, and LOTS of Jokers!

Words don’t quite do our appreciation justice, but since that’s all we have, THANK YOU to all you for your amazing generosity and a really fun night. Because of your donations, we were able to collect $6,560 for two great causes. We can again sponsor the Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association’s family day at Young’s Jersey Dairy, and we are able to send three veterans on an Honor Flight to Washington D.C.!

Despite Mr. Harrod’s “heroic” efforts, it was the City of Vandalia taking home the first place trophy. Congrats to Vandalia’s Rob Cron, Ted Baker, and Chad Baughman! Watch for more Charity Cup photos, videos, and updates on Choice One’s Facebook and Twitter.

Super Duper

Inquiring Mindsets want to know:
“If you were a superhero*, what would your superpower be?”

Caray Schmiesing, Controller
“Read people’s minds. Maybe I could prevent my teenagers from doing something silly.” Or at least keep them from leaving toast in your briefcase…
Josh Craig, Project Engineer
“Teleportation, so I wouldn’t have to deal with traffic when driving to the office.” Hmm, maybe our traffic nerds could help you with that, Josh?

Andy Shuman, Project Manager
“Be two places at once.” Sorry, Andy, Jeff Puthoff has that covered:Tony cloned him years ago.
Holly Fannon, HR/Accountant

“To be like Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie–just blink and things would be done!” As long as you’re not referring to anything that might be done in an episode of I Dream of Diaper Genie, Holly!”

*Want to see some of these superhero wannabes in action? Join us Wednesday, March 29th at the Choice One Charity Cup! We will be raising funds to support the Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association and to send real-life heroes on the  Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. Raffle prizes include a drone and virtual reality goggles. Be there! 

Sum Surveyor

Dan Perreira
“You know, if you add Craig Frilling’s age and my age, we’re still not as old as Tony.”

There’s no need to repeat the fact that Tony is really old. We all know that by now. Instead, we might consider what we would get if we added up the skills and traits of Choice One field surveyors Dan Perreira and Craig Frilling. Indeed, what we might get if we added up any two people here at Choice One?

Let’s imagine what might result from a few Choice One equations, shall we?

  • OSU alum Michael Seeger + UM enthusiast Tyler Thobe = An Ohio State alum/fan who LOVES Michigan.
  • 10-year dance lesson veteran Brittany Clinehens + clumsy, goofily-limbed Kaye Borchers = A dancer who can’t control her arms and legs.
  • Fast food fan Brian Schmidt + tacos in her “briefcase” Caray Schmiesing = A box full of Arby’s and Starburst.
  • Shopping extraordinaire Holly Fannon + penny-pincher Allen Bertke = An avid shopper who doesn’t spend a dime.

Anyhow, back to the original question: what might we get if we combine Dan and Craig? A field surveyor squared? A SUPER field surveyor? Nah. As Ryan Francis might say: “If you’d combine the powers of Craig and Dan, you’d get someone almost as awesome as me.”

Poetic License

Garmann/Miller & Associates:
“Roses are red, violets are blue. We made this sign GREEN, just for you!”

Our good friends at Garmann/Miller & Associates (GMA) invited Jeff Puthoff to a meeting at their office this Valentine’s Day. They pillaged a past Mindset and displayed a surprise, personalized Valentine’s Day welcome graphic when he arrived. Naturally, Jeff couldn’t help but take a photo of a photo of himself sporting his killer 1993 mullet.

Time to get a little sappy: it’s friendly clients that help make Choice One an enjoyable workplace. And while these Choice Mindsets show the slightly ridiculous side of the fun we have at Choice One, we have the opportunity to work hard with great partners that make our days fulfilling-ly fun, too.

So first, thanks to all of our clients and friends for making our work fun and fulfilling, and providing opportunities to feel warm and fuzzy (you know, as warm and fuzzy as engineers ever feel…). And second, thank you GMA for giving us yet another delightful opportunity to give Jeff a hard time. If you need inspiration for his next visit, we have some ammunition… er… “suggestions” below.

Hall of Honor

Megan Bornhorst:
“Goub, you could measure the driveway in cartwheels.”
Brian Goubeaux:
“Nah, I think Caray does that better.”

When Brian “Goub” Goubeaux almost forgot his tape measure, Megan suggested a resourceful measurement technique. Because, if you weren’t aware, the main hallway at Choice One’s Sidney office is 11 cartwheels long, according to our Controller Caray Schmiesing. Now, 11 cartwheels in a row is quite a feat for any person (Kaye can’t even do a somersault). But to add a little perspective, Caray played basketball before there was a three-point line for girls. Therefore, her 11 cartwheels in a row is feat of impressive talent and grace.

The long, runway-like hallway at Choice One is an exceptional place. It’s where Megan holds her three o’clock dance parties (more on that in Mindsets and social media posts to come). We’ve held three-legged races and indoor bowling competitions down it during company parties. And Choice One visitors under the age of six can’t help but run up and down it at top speed (as well as top “stomp” and top “scream”).

Now that the hallway has been “officially” measured, plotting distances in cartwheels might be a new standard at Choice One. Perhaps the next time we design your water main or sewer line, it will be labeled in C.W. (cartwheels) rather than L.F. (linear feet). Hopefully Caray can perform more than 11 cartwheels in a row, because we’re guessing when Goub needs to measure and design several thousand feet of pipe, he may need just a few more cartwheels.

Time Flies

Matt Hoying:
“Starting the next succession plan.”

Last week, Tony had scheduled both a Choice One meeting and Very Important Grandpa Duties at the same time. So Matt staged the meeting with both Tony and his grandson Luke. Indeed, Luke might as well get in on the Choice One action now–heck, at three months old, he’s already in a custom-made Choice One onesie.

Comparably, our youngest full-time employee Lexy was born in 1996, two years after Choice One was founded. So, if you can imagine, she could have been an infant sitting in on a meeting with Tony, Jeff Puthoff, and the other old guys back in the “Batcave”. Kaye would have been in Junior High, getting her braces checked by her orthodontist one floor down in the same building as Choice One’s first Sidney office (and boy did she need braces). And Matt was likely nerding it up at nine-years-old, writing complicated formulas (about Nintendo games or something) on paper since he didn’t have MS Excel yet.

Luke may not choose to work at Choice One someday, but regardless of his future career, he has been born into Choice One family and is stuck with the curse of “Gang Green.” Poor kid—at least the rest of us can say we chose it!

Second Fiddle

Nick Sanders:
“Allen, be sure that Jake understands right away that he’s the ‘Other Bertke.’”

Surely you’re all shocked to hear that we have a new employee with an old name. Allen Bertke (left), meet Jake Bertke (right). On his first day at Choice One, Jake boldly declared that he might be the most distinguished Bertke in the company. And then Nick swiftly crushed Jake’s dream by prompting Allen to defend his status as the First Bertke of Choice One.

Aside from his last name, our new engineer Jake already has a few things in common with us at Choice One. For instance, he originally hails from Maria Stein like Tyler, Mitch, and Casey. He has a twin brother like Allan Heitbrink. He enjoys horseback riding like Kaye, Lexy, and Jeff Kunk. And most importantly, he looks good in green (although really, who doesn’t around here?).

So welcome Jake, it seems like you’ll fit right in. Hope you don’t mind being relegated to the Second Bertke. At least you have a unique first name… For now.

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