Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Going Green at the Miami P&DC

The Miami P&DC has has been actively engaged in energy management reduction programs since April 2009. In Fiscal Year 2009, the Miami P&DC and 2C Annex reduced the electric bill by over $450,000 (over 6 million kilowatt hours) even though they had to cope with higher than usual weather temperatures than the previous fiscal year. The Green Team expects to reduce energy consumption even more after the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) project is completed in late December 2009. For FY 2010, our South Florida District and Miami PD&C Green Teams are taking bold steps to reduce electric and water consumption, increase recycling projects, and reduce fuel consumption.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Comprehensive Look Back at 2009

The year 2009 will be remembered for the historic declines in mail volume and revenue. Equally important, however, is how USPS employees delivered great service and kept customer satisfaction at an all-time high.

In the face of challenges from the recession, which led to enormous spending cuts and workhour reductions, USPS was voted the most trusted government agency for the fifth consecutive year. The Postal Service also was ranked as one of the most trusted corporations.

The Postal Service made progress on several strategic initiatives to ensure affordable service in the years ahead.

Recent improvements to now make it easier to use Click-N-Ship and PC Postage, find and pay for a PO Box, schedule a package pickup — including parcels being returned — and apply for a permit for Business Reply Mail.

The Summer Sale showed that USPS can grow the mail through innovative pricing incentives. The popular Priority Mail Flat Rate Box TV ads and realignment of the USPS Sales Force strengthened customer outreach.

The new Customer Experience Management system — which measures everything from mailpiece design to preparation to customer service to delivery — is helping USPS listen more effectively to customers and adapt to their needs.

More customers are using Intelligent Mail barcodes, which provide a wealth of information about the status of mail in transit. Deployment of the Flats Sequencing System is reducing manual handling, resulting in more consistent service and lower costs.

The Postal Service continued its environmental leadership by expanding energy conservation and recycling efforts at facilities nationwide. It became the first federal agency and the largest U.S. organization to measure and report on its greenhouse gas emissions — an important step toward reducing emissions 20 percent by 2020. USPS also remains the only shipper to offer Cradle-to-Cradle certification for its Express Mail and Priority Mail packaging materials, as well as display materials in Post Offices.

Hope for the Future

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey reveals 89 percent of adults say it’s “likely” there will be a need for USPS in 10 years, including 64 percent who say it’s “very likely.” Only 8 percent believe it’s “not very” or “not at all likely” the Postal Service will be needed by that time.

The poll also revealed 77 percent believe it’s “very important” for communities to have their own Post Office. Another 15 percent say it’s “somewhat important.” Only 8 percent say it’s “not important” for their own communities to have a Post Office.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Aqui y Ahora' Presents Santa Claus

A star is born! Gaby, 9-year-0ld daughter of Ernie Cintado, Manager, Customer Service Operations, Miami, made her acting debut on Univision's "Aqui y Ahora" broadcast. Gaby's next leading role will be in a Santa Letter story to air on NBC 6 News at 7 pm on Wednesday and Thursday, December 23-24.

Four-month-old Jacob Rosseau, grandson of Hispanic Program Specialist Jacinto Acebal, perhaps was the youngest viewer watching the Santa Letter story on Univision's "Aqui y Ahora" broadcast. If young Jacob could write or talk, surely he'd ask Santa for a pair of boots to complete his outfit.

South Florida teamwork was the key ingredient to last night’s “Aqui y AhoraUnivision segment on the Postal Service’s holiday season and Santa letters. The program, which aired in 50 Hispanic markets across the country, featured an interview with Hispanic Program Specialist Jacinto Acebal and several local children who had written to Santa, as well as a tour of mail processing operations at the Miami Plant.

Earlier in the month, Univision Producer Daily Camacaro contacted South Florida Corporate Communications Specialist Debra Fetterly to discuss show format. Fetterly partnered with Acebal and Miami Manager Customer Service Operations Ernie Cintado who assist with Hispanic media opportunities throughout the year. For the Univision segment, the trio also worked with Rose Mesenger-Mannisto, Supervisor, Customer Service, and Kelly Levy, Santa Letter Program Coordinator and secretary to the Manager, Customer Relations.

Team members spent several hours with the Univision producer and staff at various locations --- including the Cintado home where 9-year-old Gaby and neighborhood friends shared their Santa letters with the production crew.

The team was very pleased with the results of their efforts, referring to the Univision segment as the “Super Bowl of media coverage.” Go team!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

So FL Holiday Stories Attract Nat'l Media

UnivisiĆ³n, Money Talks News, and MSNBC News are spotlighting holiday stories from South Florida. All three stories below will air nationwide this week.

UnivisiĆ³n will air an eight-minute story on "Santa Letters" at 10 pm (EST) on Tuesday, December 22. In South Florida, that's WLTV-TV Channel 23. The story takes place at the South Florida "North Pole Station" (filming at the South Florida Retail Unit in Pembroke Pines, in Miami Plant operations, and at the home of Ernie Cintado, Manager, Customer Service Operations, Miami). It will broadcast nationwide (in Spanish), available on cable in most of the country, with local stations in over 50 markets.

In November 2009, Money Talks News CEO/Host Stacy Johnson came to the Fort Lauderdale Main Office and Plant to interview Fort Lauderdale Postmaster Mike Fortunato. Money Talks News, a syndicated business show available in 85 U.S. markets, videotaped Fort Lauderdale retail and plant operations for a shipping cost comparison segment. The segment is posted at the following websites:
(Click on the thumbnail photo “Cheapest Overnight Shipping”) (Last year’s holiday segment, “Three Ways to Avoid Post Office Lines,” including an interview with Fort Lauderdale Postmaster Mike Fortunato, currently is posted.)

MSNBC News will feature an interview with Kelly Levy who is the South Florida District’s Santa Letter Program Coordinator. Tune in to hear what’s on the minds of local children who are writing to Santa this year. The interview will air on or before Christmas Day (no specific date or time available). After the broadcast, the interview will be posted at

WPB Employees Brighten Holidays for Kids

West Palm Beach employees have the holiday spirit as demonstrated by their participation in local programs --- including the U.S. Marine Corps Toys For Tots Campaign and Operation Santa --- to help those less fortunate this season.
TOP: (L to R): Pronel Dussek, Lynn Shorman, Gloria Hanigan, and Paula Bober pose with donated bicycles and a few stuffed animals collected for needy children.
MIDDLE: (L to R): Russell Desantis, A/Supervisor, Customer Service, West Palm Beach Main Office; Maribeth A. Norman, West Palm Beach City Postmaster; and Lynn Shorman, Custodian, West Palm Beach P&DC, pose with one of 14 bicycles purchased by West Palm Beach P&DC maintenance employees and mail handlers.
BOTTOM: Debbie Dalelio, Toys for Tots Coordinator for 334/349, and Todd Beadle, Palm Central Carrier Operations are pleased with employees enthusiasm for the Toys for Tots Campaign.
Photos: JoAnn L. Goodrich, West Palm Beach Customer Relations Coordinator

Friday, December 18, 2009

'A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words'

Torrential rains and blustery winds did not dampen the spirits of South Florida letter carriers who fought Mother Nature to deliver their appointed rounds today. Earlier this morning, the National Weather Service in Miami issued a tornado warning for Miami-Dade County, a tornado watch for Broward County, and a flood warning in South Florida.
“Neither rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Although it's not an official postal motto, it does apply today.
Pictured: North Miami letter carriers carefully navigate through the parking lot to effect delivery in the neighborhood. Photo Credit: Maria Cabarcos, Manager, Customer Service, North Miami

What Children are Telling Santa ...

South Florida children are sending their holiday wish lists and letters to Santa. Here are some excerpts of the more entertaining letters received at the North Pole’s “South Florida Station” this year:

“I have been trying to be the best in school. I have gotten all A’s on my report card. Santa, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.” -- Angelica

“What’s it like in the North Pole? I heard it’s pretty chilly.” -- Giulianna

“I have behaved really well and I’ve barely gotten into trouble.” -- Toni

“Is it true that you have a mailman up there in the North Pole? If so, does the mailman mail the naughty or nice papers or do you just go on the computer and print them out?” -- Mikey

“I wonder what will be inside that big present you are bringing me. Santa, you’re the best, but why don’t people see you?” -- Barry

“For Christmas I would like for you to bring all the sick children in the hospital a cure and their presents. You’re the greatest.” -- Salvatore

“All I want for Christmas is a live Siberian tiger cub.” -- Gabrielle

“Come to my house at 3 am. Put the presents in different places. Draw a map so I can find them.” -- Mandy

“A few years ago when I was a baby, my Mom used to tell me that the lights up in the sky were Santa’s lights and now I just don’t think that those are really your lights because they look exactly like the spotlights that people shine at the sky during concerts and other events. So I want to know if the lights are really yours or are they just spotlights that people shine at the sky during parties and stuff. Don’t get me wrong I still believe that you exist I’m just not so sure about those lights.” -- Eddie

Deerfield Beach Employees Brighten Holidays for Deerfield Park Elementary School Children

Deerfield Beach Postmaster Carlos Rodon, Jr. and Letter Carrier Jeff Munsell (aka "Captain Jeff") load Express Mail bags full of gifts from Santa onto truck destined for Deerfield Park Elementary School. Munsell is a member of NALC Branch 1071.

Deerfield Park Elementary School Principal Constantina Pettis (standing L) reads names of good girls and boys as "Captain Jeff" (center left), Letter Carrier Ruby Cortes (center right), and Deerfield Beach Postmaster Carlos Rodon, Jr. (far right) distribute gifts.

The holidays are brighter for many neighborhood children thanks to the generosity of Deerfield Beach postal employees. Each year under the direction of Letter Carrier "Captain" Jeff Munsell, employees purchase gifts for needy local elementary school children. But first the Captain gets a list of deserving children and their ages so that "Santa's helpers" purchase age-appropriate gifts. This year more than 40 gifts were distributed to children at Deerfield Park Elementary School. Postal employees also donate gifts to other area schools.

The Captain and his crew often volunteer their time to a local community group that organizes phone calls from Santa. This year, the Captain (Oops! Santa!) had a lot of explaining to do when he was on the phone with a young boy who remarked that Santa was riding on a parade float passing by his house at the same time of the call. Now just how did the Captain handle this most delicate situation?

"That's my cousin," he said.

Miami 'Holiday Store' Generates $660 in Just Four Hours!

(Clockwise): SSA Briggett Glinton sets up the “holiday store” at the Miami Plant employee entrance; Operation 030 Employee Dedra A. Goudas and Consumer Affairs Clerk Lori Lazar purchase items from SSA Briggett Glinton; Human Resources Specialist (Training) Pat Nolan and Mail Processing Clerk Iris Murgado take a look at some of the products for sale from SSA Briggett Glinton; Electronic Technician David Mena purchases his holiday stamps and Mailhandler Rosa Vazquez checks out the products available as SSA Brigget Glinton assists. Photos: Rose Castro, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator

A holiday store set up at the Miami Plant employee entrance generated $660 in revenue in just four hours!

“Employees were thrilled with the convenience of purchasing their holiday stamps and postal products before or after reporting to work or during their breaks,” said Rose Castro, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator. “Miami GMF Postal Store Sales and Service Associate Briggett Glinton has done a fabulous job promoting our products.”

Castro says the holiday store will be open one more day to accommodate last-minute shoppers from 5 pm to 7 pm on Tuesday, December 22. Castro would like to thank Dale Walker, A/Plant Manager, Miami Plant; Rick Amezquita, Manager, Maintenance; and Dalila De La Torre, Manager, Customer Service, Miami GMF Postal Store, for working together as a team in support of the holiday store.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Check Out this Video: Military in Afghanistan Sort 200,000 Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes

Friday, December 11, is the Postal Service's recommended deadline for shipping packages using First-Class Mail and Priority Mail for December 25 deliveries to most military bases around the world.

To help the friends and families of service members, the Postal Service offers four different size and shape options at convenient flat-rate pricing, including a Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box with a $2 discount for APO/FPO destinations.

Click on the link below for footage of service members volunteering at a Post Office in Afghanistan to sort through more than 200,000 pounds of holiday mail destined for the troops.

(Once on the site, click on the arrow in the middle of the screen.)

Marine Staff Sgt. Clinton Firstbrook produced this video for the Military News Network.

For additional information on shipping packages to military personnel stationed at APO/FPO addresses anywhere in the world, go to

Friday, December 4, 2009

Boca Raton's Abey Koshy Generates Revenue at Every Opportunity

Bonnie Fitzgerald, Supervisor, Customer Service Support (L), congratulates Boca Raton Sales & Service Associate Abey Koshy (R) on his successful promotion of the Priority Mail Flat Rate Box. Koshy works at the Woodlands Station.

Boca Raton Sales & Service Associate Abey Koshy and members of his church collected items for care packages to troops stationed overseas. He told the congregation about the Priority Mail Flat Rate Box with the $2 discount to APO/FPO addresses --- only $11.95 regardless of package weight.

"If it fits, it ships," he said.

And at $10.35 a box, this Priority Mail shipment generated $517.50 in revenue.

Abey makes it his "priority" to promote the Postal Service and its products and services. Last year Boca Raton Postmaster David Kolp recognized Abey for selling the most Breast Cancer Research semi-postal stamps (totalling $4,825.00!) at the Woodlands Station during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. More recently, Abey provided several sales leads that resulted in a projected revenue of over $200,000. Business Solutions Specialist Phil Leonard appreciates the leads generated from this partnership.

"I am proud of Abey Koshy for working as an ambassador for the U.S. Postal Service and bringing in much more retail revenue," said Boca Raton Postmaster David Kolp. "Employees who step up to the plate and find new business/revenue should feel a personal pride as the Postal Service reports increased volumes. You, Abey, are one of these special people!"

Photo: Phil Leonard, Business Solutions Specialist

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dalelio Says Give Lots to 'Toys for Tots'

Debbie Dalelio, Human Resources Specialist in the Learning Development and Diversity Office at the West Palm Beach Plant, set up one of the very first Toys for Tots display in the South Florida District.
Employees may donate new, unwrapped toys in designated U.S. Marine Corps "Toys for Tots" containers at their work units now through December 18. This year the district is holding a contest to see which plant and Post Office/station/branch/finance unit collects the most toys from employees. Contest winners will be visited by the Marines who will present a plaque to employees.
"The holiday season works on our hearts, and we tend to increase our generosity at this time of year," Dalelio said. "We all need to be good to our fellow man by being generous to those in need.
The Toys for Tots Campaign is one way that we can make the season a bit larger and brighter for the needy kids in South Florida."
Photo: JoAnn L. Goodrich, West Palm Beach Coordinator

Customers 'Adopt' Kids' Santa Letters, Purchase Santa CD

Rose Mesenger-Mannisto, Supervisor, Customer Service, South Florida Retail Unit (L), promotes the new Santa CD to customer as Sandy Bliven, secretary to the Manager, Operations Programs Support (back L), and Kelly Levy, secretary to the Manager, Customer Relations (R), bubble with enthusiasm for the "Santa Letter" Program. Photo: Debra J. Fetterly, Communications Programs Specialist, South Florida District

Angela Randle, Manager, Customer Service, Fort Lauderdale Main Office, shares the details of the Santa Letter Program with customer who adopted a letter. Photo: Tashia Romano-Kravitz, Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator

The "Santa Letter" Program officially kicked off nationwide on Tuesday, December 1. Locally, there were lobby events at the Fort Lauderdale Main Office, Miami GMF Postal Store, South Florida Retail Unit, and the West Palm Beach Main Office. Customers (including employees) interested in adopting a Santa letter written by a child may do so by contacting one of the following coordinators Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm:
Tashia Romano-Kravitz
Fort Lauderdale Main Office
Rose Castro
Miami GMF Postal Store
Rose Mesenger-Mannisto
South Florida Retail Unit
JoAnn Goodrich
West Palm Beach Main Office
Participants will be required to complete an application and provide identification. To protect children and their privacy, participants will receive a photocopy, instead of the original letter, without personal information, including the name and address of the child. Participants will purchase a gift and bring it back to one of the designated locations and will pay the Priority Mail postage to send the package to the child. Holiday packages must be returned to a designated Post Office on or before 5 pm on Wednesday, December 23.

'Operation Santa' at Miami GMF Postal Store

"Operation Santa" kicked off in the lobby of the Miami GMF Postal Store earlier this week. Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Rose Castro encouraged her customers to "Make a Child Smile Today ... Send It the Priority Way!" Several customers signed up to "adopt" a Santa letter (actually a photocopy) to brighten the holidays for some local children. Photo: Nilda Paredes, Sunset Branch

Dalila De La Torre, Manager, Miami GMF Postal Store (L) convinced customer to use the Priority Mail Flat Rate envelope because it's affordable and a great value. Photo: Rose Castro, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator

Dale Walker, A/Plant Manager, Miami Plant (L), and David Boardman, Miami Postmaster (R), heard that Santa was purchasing greeting cards from the new lobby display and took the opportunity to put in a good word for themselves. Photo: Rose Castro, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator

Sunset Branch employee Nilda Paredes was one of Santa’s elves who shared information about "Operation Santa" to customers in the lobby. Photo: Rose Castro, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

'Holiday Hugs from Home' a 'Priority' for Congressman Klein

Veterans join Congressman Ron Klein (third from left) and West Palm Beach City Postmaster Maribeth A. Norman (fourth from left) at the third annual "Holiday Hugs from Home" Program at the West Palm Beach Main Office. Photo: JoAnn L. Goodrich, West Palm Beach Customer Relations Coordinator

Retail Associate Regina Bean cheerfully accepts several Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes from Congressman Ron Klein at the West Palm Beach Main Office. Photo: JoAnn L. Goodrich, West Palm Beach Customer Relations Coordinator
Congressman Ron Klein reads a holiday greeting from a homemade card during his presentation at the Fort Lauderdale Main Office. Photo: Tashia Romano-Kravitz, Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator

For his third annual "Holiday Hugs from Home" Program, Congressman Ron Klein made it his "priority" to ship cards to American troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq via Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes. He shipped thousands of homemade holiday greeting cards from school children in the Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach area on Monday, November 30.
“If it fits, it ships” --- for only $11.95 no matter the weight to any APO/FPO address.

Here's How to Get a 'North Pole' Postmark

Yes, Virginia ... There is a Santa Claus ... and you may get a "North Pole" postmark on your letter from Santa or on your holiday greeting cards this year.

Letter from Santa
You write a letter to your child and sign it from Santa. You place this letter into an envelope addressed to your child with the return address from SANTA, NORTH POLE. Please make sure you have a First-Class stamp affixed to the envelope. Place that envelope into a larger envelope, with appropriate postage, and address the larger envelope as indicated below.

Holiday Greeting Cards
You write your greeting cards like you normally would. You place the cards into their envelopes. Address the envelopes to the people you want to receive them. Place First-Class stamps on the envelopes and either have the return address from the NORTH POLE or from you and your address. Then place the greeting cards into a larger envelope or box, with appropriate postage, and address it to:

FAIRBANKS AK 99709-9998

The letters from Santa and the greeting cards need to be received in Fairbanks AK before December 15, 2009. After that date, they should be sent via Express Mail.

16 Billion in 30 Days: Our Employees Will Deliver the Holidays!

Between now and Christmas, our employees nationwide will collect, process, and deliver 16.6 billion cards, letters and packages across the country and around the world, a task that will require more than 190,000 vehicles, including 142,000 half-ton trucks.

The Postal Service expects to deliver more than 3 billion cards and letters over the holidays. This year, a postmark of Kermit the Frog will appear in the upper right-hand corner of holiday cards and letters mailed throughout the month of December.

The busiest mailing day is set for Monday, December 14. More than 830 million cards, letters and packages should be mailed on that day alone, compared to 583 million on a typical day. Wednesday, December 16, will be the busiest delivery day.

More than 41 million customers will skip the trip to the Post Office this holiday season and take advantage of the Postal Service’s convenient online shipping at They'll print shipping labels, pay for postage, and request free package pickup while sipping hot cocoa or baking holiday cookies from the comfort of their home.

And we'll deliver free shipping supplies, including the popular Priority Mail Flat Boxes, and also pick up packages for free when customers ship online using the Postal Service’s website.

'Santa Letter' Program Comes to South Florida

(L to R) Customer Carol Armstrong asks West Palm Beach City Postmaster Maribeth A. Norman if there really is a Santa Claus. Photo: JoAnn Goodrich, West Palm Beach Customer Relations Coordinator

The Postal Service and Santa Claus have more in common than delivering gifts.

"Letters to Santa" is the Postal Service's letter-writing campaign that lets members of the public, including our employees, and charitable organizations, respond to letters written by children to Santa Claus.

For the first time in history, the South Florida District is participating in this program. Earlier this week, Santa's postal helpers (Sandy Bliven, Rose Castro, JoAnn Goodrich, Kelly Levy, Rose Mesenger-Mannisto, Tashia Romano-Kravitz, and Tina Stringer) were stationed in the lobbies of the Fort Lauderdale Main Office, Miami GMF Postal Store, South Florida Retail Unit, and West Palm Beach Main Office where customers could sign up to adopt a letter (actually, a photocopy without the child's name or address).

Watch for future blog entries with additional information and photos on the "Letters to Santa" Program.

Fort Lauderdale's 'America's Moms for Soldiers' Ship 500 Priority Mail Packages in Two Days!

The Fort Lauderdale Chapter of "America's Moms for Soldiers" appreciates the $2 discount on Priority Mail packages destined to APO/FPO destinations --- especially during the holiday season.

On Tuesday, December 1, Sales & Service Associate Josephine Clark at the Fort Lauderdale Main Office accepted 200 Priority Mail shipments from Tom Kelaher, Director, “America’s Moms for Soldiers.” Kelaher also brought 300 Priority Mail packages to the Fort Lauderdale Main Office the prior day.

The organization’s mission is to gather supplies for soldiers who are on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq. What began as a personal mission for 20 soldiers in June 2008 has grown to hundreds of soldiers in Florida and thousands nationwide. Care packages include a combination of hygiene items, comfort items, snack foods and over-the-counter medications. Each package includes a personal note and a prayer to the soldier letting him or her know how much his or her service and sacrifices are appreciated back home.

Photo: Tashia Romano-Kravitz, Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator