Thursday, June 20, 2013

Melrose Vista Reunion Honors Manager for Saving Carrier's Life

(L to R) Fort Lauderdale Postmaster Scott R. Bower, Manager, Customer Service Virginia Rhodes, retired Letter Carrier Joseph “Zeke” Ondrizer, Letter Carrier Gregg Camacho, and Letter Carrier David Randy Dixon.  Photo:  Ray Chang

Manager Jeffery A. Taylor and Fort Lauderdale Postmaster Scott R. Bower presented Melrose Vista Manager, Customer Service Virginia Rhodes with a Service Award for her life-saving efforts.

Rhodes is credited with recognizing the early warning signs of a stroke and reacting quickly to save the life of Letter Carrier Joseph Ondrizek. He said that he felt fine, but the determined Rhodes called 911 anyway. Paramedics arrived, conducted an examination, and then transported Ondrizek to the hospital. While walking to the nurses’ station, “the floor was moving under my feet, I lost my balance, and fell backwards to the floor,” recalls Ondrizek. He suffered paralysis on his left side, spent five days in the hospital and two weeks in an inpatient rehabilitation center. He now receives therapy as an outpatient.

A retired Ondrizek returned to Melrose Vista Station to be reunited with his manager and co-workers for the presentation. The District Manager emphasized the importance of “people first” vs. “ink and paper.” The Postmaster read excerpts of Ondrizek’s letter of appreciation praising his manager to the District Manager. The letter noted how much Ondrizek enjoyed being a letter carrier and the camaraderie with co-workers.

“I will be forever grateful for Virginia’s actions, and appreciate a manager of her caliber and character overseeing postal operations,” said Ondrizek.

It's 'Miller' Time at FEOY Luncheon!

Recently, the South Florida Federal Executive Board sponsored its annual “Federal Employee of the Year” luncheon/awards program.  
Jann M. Miller, Manager, Human Resources, was named a finalist in the Management category. She was described as “an invaluable and exceptional contributor on the South Florida District Leadership Team” and was recognized for “inspiring teamwork among her staff and district personnel to accomplish very challenging goals in Fiscal Year 2012.” In addition to outstanding on-the-job performance, Miller was cited for her contributions to the community --- including her role in many church functions --- and for her devotion to her family.
Safety Specialist John L. Zeigler was nominated for his service to the community. Zeigler organized several fundraising events that benefited underprivileged and/or disabled children, as well as college-bound children. He also established a network of adults who volunteered and supported various charitable organizations in South Florida.

South Florida Employees Welcome Jeffery A. Taylor as District Manager

Jeffery A. Taylor has been named District Manager, South Florida District. He had been detailed to this position since January 2013.

“I’d like to thank all of the employees who have extended a warm welcome to my family and me,” said Taylor. “I’m very happy to be part of the South Florida Postal Family.”

Prior to being detailed as Acting District Manager, South Florida District, Taylor was District Manager, Rio Grande District. During his career, he also was District Manager, Arkansas and Louisiana Districts and was detailed as Acting District Manager, Dallas and Houston, TX.

Taylor began his career as a city letter carrier in Bessemer, AL and has been promoted to positions of increasing responsibility in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington DC during his career. He served as a Delivery/Retail Analyst in Birmingham and for the Alabama District and was an Operations Program Analyst for the Southwest Area and Manager, Operations Programs Support in Oklahoma and Lancaster, PA. He also was Officer-in-Charge for Knoxville, TN and Little Rock, AR.

Taylor earned a Bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama and graduated from the U.S. Postal Service's Advanced Leadership Program and Plant Manager Development Program.

“Since coming to South Florida earlier this year, I have observed that our employees are committed to providing outstanding service to our customers each and every day,” said Taylor. “Working together as a team, we will continue to provide great service, ensuring that our customers consider the Postal Service as their first choice to meet their mailing and shipping needs.”

Coral Springs Letter Carriers are 'Making a Difference' in Community

On June 14, Coral Springs Police Officer Jeff Heinrich visited with Coral Springs letter carriers and introduced a new joint effort --- "Making a Difference" --- between the Postal Service and the Police Department. Since letter carriers are the eyes and ears of the community, they were asked to join in this new initiative.

"Carriers know their customers --- and some carriers have been on the same route providing outstanding service to their customers for years, said Rose Mesenger-Mannisto, Acting Manager, Customer Service, Coral Springs Branch.

At the presentation, the carriers were given keychains with a direct phone line to the Coral Springs Police Department. Officer Heinrich stressed that carriers were not to get involved in any activity, but to be aware and make a call, if they see suspicious individuals in the neighborhood. He added that crime has been on the rise lately, and that the Police Department has been doing everything it can to keep the community safe and secure.

NALC Branch 1071 President Mike Gill and Pompano Beach Postmaster Ed Coppola gave their 100% support to "making a difference" at the presentation. Mesenger-Mannisto says that every carrier welcomed the idea and pledged to cooperate to "making a difference" in the community.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

'Forever' May Flag Stamps Wave at West Palm Beach VA Medical Center

Participants salute the flag as VFW # 10132 Present the Colors.

(L to R) Recognizing Flag Day and dedicated block of four stamps are Andrew Moir, Customer Service Manager, Palms West Station; Melissa Durity representing Lois J. Frankel, US House of Representatives; Charleen Szabo, VA Medical Center Director; and Rich Fermo, Postmaster, West Palm Beach. 
VFW Post #10132 poses with VA Medical Center Director Charleen Szabo and West Palm Beach Postmaster Rich Fermo (center) after the Presentation of Colors.  VA Chaplain Anthony Beazley is in back.  

Story & Photos by LuAnn Warner, Customer Relations Coordinator, West Palm Beach

From the heights of sunny summer to the snowy depths of winter, The American Flag never looked more beautiful than on the US Postal Service’s A Flag for All Seasons Forever Stamps. The set of four stamps were celebrated on Flag Day in a dedication ceremony held at the VA Medical Center in West Palm Beach

Devotion to the American Flag was evident as one traveled the driveway that led to the Medical Center’s chapel. Flags waved freely as they adorned each side of the driveway. Inside the chapel, veterans, public officials, and staff members gathered to participate in the ceremony.

After the Presentation of Colors by VFW Post # 10132, Kyle Croce, VA Staff, opened the ceremony with a Pledge of Allegiance. Croce had just returned from his tour of duty 3 days prior. George Hunter, VA Staff, then led the audience in song with “God Bless America.

 “The American Flag is the fabric of our nation,”said Andrew Moir, Manager, Customer Service, Palms West Station.  “How similar the seasons of the stamp are to the seasons of the very people in this room today – whose struggles are also testament to their longevity and their histories of how many seasons they have passed through to acquire with pride the knowledge of what the American flag symbolizes to our nation.”

West Palm Beach Postmaster Rich Fermo then presented the set of four stamps to VA Medical Center Director Charleen R. Szabo.  She accepted the stamp presentation and proudly spoke of her father’s appointment by Harry S Truman, to a Postmaster position in New York.  Szabo presented the Postmaster in return with a Medical Center coin. Representatives from Congressional offices in attendance were: Melissa Durity, US House of Representatives Lois J. Frankel; Dan Liftman,  Congressman Alcee L. Hastings;  and Team Murphy from US Congressman Patrick E. Murphy’s office.

Each of the four A Flag for All Seasons Forever stamps shows an American flag, viewed from below, flying from a pole against a background of trees that evoke one of the four seasons of the year. The stamps were originally issued on May 3, 2013. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Focus on Forum Photos for Fun!

(L to R) Postal Inspector Ivan Ramirez – USPIS, Officer Clarit – USPIS, Captain Martin – USPIS, Officer Jumon – USPIS,  Special Agent Lowry – OIG, Special Agent Davis - OIG at the Forum.
Suncoast District Manager Nancy Rettinhouse conducted an etiquette class.

(L to R)  Captain Martin, Officer Jumon, and Officer Clarit of the Inspection Service Miami Division take a moment to pose for the camera before reporting for duty.

(L to R) Carl Powell, Manager, Maintenance, at the West Palm Beach Plant, talks with employees about careers in the maintenance field.
(L to R) Lead Maintenance Manager Ricardo Amezquita and Manager, Maintenance Operations Bob Balzan of the Miami Plant address the audience on the benefits of working in the Maintenance Department.

Photos:  LuAnn Warner, Customer Relations Coordinator, West Palm Beach

Tip Your 'CAP' to These Ambassadors

L-R Back Row:  Chris Powers, North Miami Branch; Freddy Fernandez, Olympia Heights Branch; Teresa Harris, Norland Branch; Leandro Rodriguez, North Miami Beach Branch; Servando Iglesias, Flagler Station; Olivia Gaines-King, Quail Heights Branch; Tony Rachel, Lauderridge Carrier Annex;  Enrique Suarez, Miami OIC/Senior Ambassador; Gloria Humphrey, Lauderridge Carrier Annex.

L-R Middle Row:  Ed Drozdowski, Fort Lauderdale Senior Ambassador; John Fehl, Sunset Branch; Kannee Durden, Jose Marti Station; Leona Yerks, Tamarac Branch; Rosalyn Bell-Mosley, Central Miami Lead Ambassador; Mirtha Uriarte, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator; Lori Chomiak, Sunrise Branch; Diana Garcia, North Miami Beach Branch; and Lillian Castro, Communications Ambassador Program Manager.

L-R Front Row:  Cal Collins, North Miami Branch; Barbara Garcia, Snapper Creek Branch; Ken Williams, Norland Branch; and Chandra Shields, Fort Lauderdale Main Office Carrier Annex.

On May 4, 2013, the South Florida District vowed engagement by rolling out Phase I of the Communications Ambassador Program in 30 Miami and Fort Lauderdale parent offices and finance units.  Through the use of stand-up talks, informational postings, personal conversations, and feedback with open lines of communication, all employees are getting the message, sharing a common goal, and traveling with clear direction on the thrust of one another to achieve success as a team.

“Pilot programs are always challenging because of the many revisions involved along the way.  However, the rewards experienced totally outweigh all obstacles,” said Lillian Castro, Communications Ambassador Program Manager.  “Ambassadors today represent the Postal Service of the future.  Today, we make history as we collective take steps in achieving effective communications among all – a very necessary element in any equation resulting in success.”

Johnny Cash Walks the (Retail) Line

John Carter Cash, Larry Gatlin, Jamey Johnson, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Roys, Marty Stuart, Randy Travis and other entertainers paid tribute to Johnny Cash as he was inducted into the Postal Service’s Music Icons Forever stamp series at the Ryman Auditorium.

“It is an amazing blessing that my father, Johnny Cash be honored with this stamp. Dad was a hardworking man, a man of dignity. As much as anything else he was a proud American, always supporting his family, fans and country. I can think of no better way to pay due respect to his legacy than through the release of this stamp,” said singer-songwriter, producer John Carter Cash, Johnny Cash’s son.

“My family is thrilled that my father will grace a Postal Service Forever Stamp, a great honor for any American, and an honor that would have particularly delighted him. It is a joy to know that generations will use this stamp, and my father will forever be where he loved to be: traveling the world,” added singer-songwriter and author Rosanne Cash, the music icon’s eldest daughter. 

Johnny Cash stamp sheets may be purchased at your local Post Office.

NALC Food Drive in South Florida

Friday, June 7, 2013

La Florida Stamps to Bloom at Plantation Historical Museum

The Plantation Historical Museum has invited USPS to participate in its celebration of “Florida – 500 Years of History, 1513-2013.

Alex Sepulveda, Manager, Customer Service Operations, Fort Lauderdale, will deliver remarks on the La Florida stamps at 2:30 pm at the museum on Saturday, June 8.  The official celebration is from 2 pm to 4 pm and is free to the public.  Attached is a flyer about other museum activities at the celebration. 

Location:  511 North Fig Tree Lane, Plantation FL

Museum Phone:  954-797-2722

This is an off-the-clock event for postal employees.

From the moment Ponce de Leon arrived on these shores, Florida has been a destination for dreamers.  Our state occupies a special place in the American imagination, and so these stamps give people another way to share the wonders of Florida

Known today for its towering palm trees, flourishing orange groves and opulent displays of flowers, the state earns the name — La Florida — given by the Spanish in 1513.

The first written record of European exploration was the landing of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon in March 1513. Traveling with three ships, Ponce de Leon came within sight of the peninsula during Easter week of 1513. He named the land La Florida after Pascua Florida, “Feast of the Flowers,” Spain‘s Easter celebration, and for the display of vegetation visible beyond the shores. 

In 1845, 332 years after Ponce de Leon first stood on its shores, Florida became the 27th U.S. state.