Saturday, October 26, 2013

Carrier Saves Customer's Life

On Tuesday, October 22, Letter Carrier Jesus Malvarez was delivering his assigned route at 4033 Park Ave in Coconut Grove.  Olga, a customer he’s known for the 10 years on the same route, was screaming for help.  Her door was open.  Olga was lying on the floor, trembling with chest pains.  He immediately called 9-1-1.  He stayed with the customer, being coached by paramedics on the phone until Fire Rescue arrived and took the customer to the closest hospital on South Bayshore Drive.  He is credited with preventing his customer from having a fatal heart attack.
Postal Supervisor Marietta Capote says Carrier Malvarez is a conscientious and caring person who is concerned about his customers and his community. 
"He deserves to be recognized on his good deeds above and beyond the call of duty," she said.
Capote has nominated her employee for PMG Hero recognition.

Photo:  Mariette Capote

'National PCC Day' Celebrates Partnership with Mailing Industry

The PCC of Broward County, Miami-Dade County PCC, and PCC of the Palm Beaches joined together for "National Postal Customer Council Day" at Jacaranda Villages in Plantation FL. Sponsors were posted on the above board which greeted postal executives/managers and mailing industry representatives.

Jo Ann Feindt, Vice President, Area Operations, Southern Area; Mary Hall, Voter Services and Registration Director, Broward County Supervisor of Elections Department; and Jeffery A. Taylor, District Manager, South Florida District, enjoy the opportunity to get together at the PCC event.  Photo:  Mirtha Uriarte

Hall joined the Broward County Supervisor of Elections on May 4, 1986 and is responsible for managing, planning and directing the activities of Absentee Ballots, Early Voting, Petitions and Voter Registration in the Voter Services Department.  Hall is responsible to ensure security and integrity of Absentee Ballot, Early Voting processing and cost efficient and effective operation of voter services for the Supervisor of Elections organization through strategic planning to promote Supervisor of Elections operations. 

Opa Locka Postmaster Manuel Ferrer (L) and West Palm Beach Postmaster Rich Fermo (R) take a moment to pose for the camera.  Photo:  Mailin Donahue

Friday, October 25, 2013

Priority Mail Commercials Prompt Miami Today Reporter to Write

Recently, the U.S. Postal Service revamped its Priority Mail program to raise revenue and drive new growth in its package delivery business. 
The agency now offers free online tracking for priority mail shipments, free insurance, and date-specific delivery so customers know whether a package will arrive in one, two or three days. 
Miami OIC Rick Suarez uses the SSK.
The changes include redesigned boxes and envelopes.  Postal officials expect the changes to generate more than $500 million in new annual revenue.
Miami Today Reporter Samantha Joseph was impressed. She requested an interview with Miami Officer-In-Charge Enrique (Rick) Suarez to learn more about Priority Mail, as well as other postal products, services, and programs --- to share with her Miami area readership.
And Suarez equally was impressed and welcomed the opportunity to be interviewed.
“I always welcome opportunities to tell our postal story and to generate revenue,” said Suarez.  “Miami Today’s readership is in the business, e-commerce, and international trade so I took advantage of the opportunity to share information on our products and services.”
The interview began with an overview of the mailing industry -- in a state of transition due to changes and advances in technology – to paint a financial picture for the reporter.
“First-Class Mail volume is steadily declining, and parcel-delivery volume is increasing rapidly,” Suarez told the reporter.  “Our expansive delivery network, along with the partnerships we’ve developed with competitors, such as UPS and FedEx, creates opportunities for non-traditional revenue growth. Our competitors save money by allowing us to pick up and deliver the first and last miles. And the Postal Service makes money by collecting and delivering with minimal processing.”
Suarez then shared the latest information on Priority Mail 1, 2, and 3-Day service, the Self-Service Kiosk (which also helps reduce Wait-Time-In-Line!), and the Premier Post Office Program.  
Miami GMF Sales & Service Associate Briggett Glinton accepts Priority Mail.
                                                                                                                                    Following the interview, Suarez met a Miami Today photographer in the Miami GMF Postal Store where he demonstrated the ease of use at the SSK.  Smiling Sales and Service Associates Briggett Glinton and Irma Knighton were photographed providing outstanding service to customers in the retail lobby.

Support Breast Cancer Research

Few things reach as many Americans each day as the mail --- and postage stamps provide an opportunity to raise money and awareness in support of important social issues.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and South Florida postal employees are reminding their customers that the Breast Cancer Research semi-postal stamp covers First-Class Mail postage and generates funds for this important cause.  During September 2013, the stamp raised more than $99,000 for research. Since 1998, the stamp has raised $77,628,062 for breast cancer research.
The stamp features artwork of a mythical "goddess of the hunt" and is available at your local Post Office.  Art director Ethel Kessler, of Bethesda, Maryland, herself a breast cancer survivor, was asked by the Postal Service to design the stamp. Kessler contacted illustrator Whitney Sherman of Baltimore to create the artwork.
Directing the project, with feedback from a postal design advisory board, Kessler discussed themes with Sherman that the stamp should depict, such as strength and courage, and to show an ethnically-vague woman. It was Sherman who came up with the solution of using Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt, protector of women, to symbolize the fight against breast cancer. The female hunter is depicted reaching for an arrow, to symbolize that she protects women from harm and to mimic the position women take during a breast exam. Sherman's illustration is a black line drawing of the female figure on a vibrant, abstract color field, done in pastel which gives the stamp its optimistic or uplifting feel. Kessler featured phrases, "Fund the Fight" and "Find a Cure" outlining where the right breast should be.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

'Excellence in Safety'

To recognize outstanding commitment to safety by our employees, the Southern Area Safety office has initiated the “Excellence in Safety” Awards Program.  

Recently Miami Officer-In-Charge Enrique (Rick) Suarez personally presented the award to two of his outstanding employees.
The first recipient honored was John Fehl, a Sales and Service Associate at Sunset Branch.  Fehl has been with the Postal Service for 29 years with no previous accidents.  In addition to his regular duties, he is the Safety Captain as well as the Communication Ambassador.  “The word ‘No’ is not in his vocabulary; he sets the example for others to follow,” said Dan Lopez, Manager, Customer Service.  
Along with Fehl’s co-workers, management staff participating in the recognition included; Dan Lopez, Manager, Customer Service; Manny Molina, A/Manager, Customer Service Operations; and Gale Williams, A/Miami PEG Coordinator.   
Gratigny Letter Carrier Marisel Collazo was the second recipient honored.   She also joined the Postal Service 29 years ago and has had no prior accidents.  She is the on-the-job instructor who provides quality training to current carriers and new hires.  “Carrier Collazo performs her duties professionally, always going above and beyond to help other carriers and customers.  She is an asset to the Postal Service,” said Raul Mayor, Manager, Customer Service.  
Her attention to all safety precautions while delivering mail curb side, demonstrating proper vehicle operations, use of seatbelt at all time, setting handbrakes, driving with LLV door closed and coming to a complete stops at all intersections are just a few of the driver observations that led to recognition.
Collazo’s co-workers, along with Ernesto Cintado, Manager, Customer Service Operations; Gail Davis, District Safety Specialist; Raul Mayor, Manager, Customer Service; and Gale Williams, A/Miami PEG Coordinator, attended the recognition. 


Chuck Winkelholz is an outstanding employee with an impressive safety record, according to Raymond P. Belanger, Supervisor, Vehicle Maintenance, Fort Lauderdale.  His duties as an Automotive Technician involve providing vehicle repair services to numerous stations and branches in the Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood/Pembroke Pines area.  He performs these tasks during hours of minimal sunlight, in inclement weather, and under severe conditions, including performing roadside repairs under heavy traffic conditions.

His willingness to “go the extra mile” to safely repair inoperable vehicles frequently means the difference between a vehicle having to be towed to the Vehicle Maintenance Facility for repairs (and being out of service for that day or longer), and the vehicle being repaired and back in service the same day as being reported. 

As his immediate supervisor for more than 17 years, Belanger attests that his employee has had no at fault accidents either vehicle or industrial, although he drives approximately 90 miles daily, in traffic, and repairs vehicles in less than an ideal environment. 

“His outstanding safety record is even more impressive taking into account the type of work he performs and the conditions under which he perform,” said Belanger.  “He is an extremely safety-conscious employee who is an excellent role model for all employees.”


City Place Letter Carrier Frankie Rodriguez is an on-the-job instructor who understands the challenges of delivering mail on foot and with the threat of loose dogs on the route.  Valerie Carbone, Manager, Customer Service, reports that Rodriguez is a very safety-conscious individual who maintains the security of the mail and his vehicle.  During safety observations, she has observed her carrier curbing the vehicle’s wheels to avoid rollaway accidents.  Rodriguez began his postal career 12 years ago. 

Letter Carrier John J. Booth is a 27-year postal veteran, also being recognized for practicing good safety habits at City Place Station.  He has volunteered to serve on the District Safety Program and always shares his safe practices to help other carriers remain safe. 

Carlos Rodriguez has served as Safety Captain for many of his 33 years of postal service.  Rodriguez is being recognized for his attention to ensuring vehicles are in proper operating condition.  In addition, he is always happy to assist another carrier with the driver checklist.  He emphasizes the importance of curbing your wheels to co-workers and calls attention to any safety violation and ensures immediate correction.  Rodriguez works at City Place Station.

Amalia Diaz-Beverly is the on-the-job instructor for newly-hired letter carriers at City Place Station.  She is an excellent role model who stresses the importance of performing your duties in a safe manner to all letter carriers.  Diaz-Beverly joined the U.S. Postal Service 28 years ago.

Letter Carrier Warrick Roundtree of City Place Station in West Palm Beach trains new letter carriers, ensuring that they understand and observe safe practices.  Completing the vehicle checklist is part of his daily morning routine.  Roundtree has been in the Postal Service for 37 years.

Riviera Beach Clerk Bernice Branch is a 26-year employee who consistently works in a safe manner and serves as a role model to others.  According to Pablo Estupinan, Manager, Customer Service, Riviera Beach Post Office, Branch is an excellent employee who has never incurred an accident.

Letter Carrier Jim De Benedictis is a 26-year postal employee.  He consistently works in a safe manner and emphasizes safe work habits to others at the Riviera Beach Post Office.  Sady Marquez joined the Postal Service six years ago and consistently works in a safe manner.  She has an accident-free safety record.  Kathleen Vitone-Washeck also has maintained an accident-free record.  She has been a postal employee for nine years and works at the Riviera Beach Post Office.

Remember to 'Fall Back' November 3

 You know the old saying:  “Spring forward, fall back.”  It helps us to remember how Daylight Saving Time affects our clocks twice each year.

Mark your calendar now so you’ll remember to set back your clock by one hour on Sunday, November 3.

During Daylight Saving Time, which begins in the spring, clocks are turned forward an hour. When Daylight Saving Time ends in the fall, clocks are set back an hour and Standard Time resumes.

The present schedule is determined by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. In effect, the United States springs forward at 2:00 am on the second Sunday in March, and falls back at 2:00 am on the first Sunday in November.

'Inverted Jenny' Making a Comeback

The $12 Stamp Collecting: Inverted Jenny souvenir sheet is available at your local Post Office.

Two eerie occurrences took place surrounding the nation’s first airmail flight. The pilot got lost, flew in the wrong direction and crashed. And due to a printing error of the stamp created to commemorate this historic event, the biplane depicted on the 24-cent Curtiss Jenny airmail stamp was upside down. A sheet of 100 stamps bearing this error was sold to the public. One stamp sold at auction in 2007 for $977,500. 

“The stamp is much more than a misprint,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in dedicating the stamp. “It also symbolizes the Postal Service’s pioneering role in American history. Air mail turned out to be one of our most successful innovations. By showing that air travel could be safe and useful, we helped create the entire American aviation industry, which went on to reshape the world.”

Pan Am, TWA, American, United, Northwest and other airlines originated as air mail contractors before passenger service began. Additionally to help commercial aviation get off the ground and to speed the mail, the Post Office Department helped develop navigational aids such as beacons and air-to-ground radio. Today the Postal Service continues as the commercial aviation industry’s largest freight customer. Mail also flies on FedEx and UPS cargo aircraft.

Visit this link at the National Postal Museum to see examples of Postal Service innovations.

Ray Charles Joins Music Icons Series

The U.S Postal Service is honoring musician Ray Charles with his own Forever stamp, the third issuance in the Music Icons series.

This extraordinary composer, singer, and pianist, blind since the age of seven, went beyond category, blending blues, gospel, country, jazz, and soul music in a unique and highly influential pop music style. His many hits included “I’ve Got a Woman,” “Georgia on My Mind,” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You.”

Looking back over the course of his long career, there seemed little Charles couldn’t do. His work spanned almost the entire breadth of American music and brought him 17 Grammy Awards, plus an award for lifetime achievement in 1987. His many other prizes include the National Medal of Arts (1993), the Polar Music Award (1989), and the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986. That same year, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The stamp sheet was designed to evoke the appearance of a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. One side of the sheet includes the stamps and the image of a record appearing to peek out of the top of the sleeve. A larger version of Charles’ photograph and the Music Icons series logo appear on the reverse side.

West Palm Beach Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

By LuAnn Warner, Customer Relations Coordinator, West Palm Beach

Riviera Beach Manager, Customer Services, Pablo Estupinan dedicated an enlargement of the Puerto Rican Flag Stamp to the Herencia Experiential Art Center. The dedication was part of the Puerto Rican Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s closing celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month.  West Palm Beach Postmaster Rich Fermo presided over the event. Sam Roman, President and Chairman of the PRHCC, will accept the enlargement on the Chamber’s behalf.

Fermo also will welcome the Postal Customer Council of the Palm Beaches to the event as educational information will be provided on using U.S. Postal Service webtools to grow your business to PRHCC members. 

The Puerto Rican flag stamp was issued on August 11, 2011 as a Forever stamp in the fifth set of ten stamps in the Flags of Our Nation series. Puerto Rico's flag features horizontal red and white stripes and a blue triangle with a star. Shown in the lower right corner of the stamp, is a colorful little bird, the Puerto Rican Tody. Art director Howard E. Paine collaborated with award-winning artist Tom Engeman on the 60 stamps in this series.  In addition to the official flag, each Flags of Our Nation (Forever®) Set 5 stamp design includes artwork that provides a "snapshot view" of the state or other area represented by the pictured flag. In most cases, an everyday scene or activity is shown, but occasionally the view is of something less commonplace — rare wildlife, perhaps, or a stunning vista. 

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.  The observations started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

Delray Beach Carrier Palmer Aids Elderly Customer on Route

Delray Beach Letter Carrier Tim Palmer quickly responded to a cry for help on his route. 

A high school student walking in the area got his attention and asked him to help an elderly woman lying on her patio.  Tim helped stabilize the woman and called 9-1-1.  He then shaded her from the sun while he and the student waited for the ambulance to come until help arrived.  The elderly woman is could have possibly spent hours by herself in agony without Tim’s assistance as she lives alone.  The customer is recovering from broken hip in a rehabilitation facility.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Employee Benefits Fairs Coming to a Post Office Near You

Open Season for health, dental, and vision insurance (and Flexible Spending Accounts) will be from November 11 through December 9. 

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has announced the average premium rate for the 8.2 million people covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program will increase by 3.7 percent in 2014. 

The average premium increase for the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) will be less than one percent for dental coverage and average premiums for vision benefits  will decrease by 1.3 percent.

Off-the-clock Employee Benefits Fairs open to all employees are scheduled as follows:

West Palm Beach P&DC Cafeteria, 3200 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach
6:30 am – 10:30 am and 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

International Service Center Cafeteria, 11698 NW 25 Street, Miami
6:30 am – 10:30 am and 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

South Florida L&DC Cafeteria, 5500 NW 142 Street, Opa Locka                                           6:30 am – 10:30 am and 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Miami P&DC Cafeteria, 2200 NW 72 Avenue, Miami
6:30 am – 10:30 am and 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Ft Lauderdale Hub Cafeteria, 1900 W Oakland Park Blvd, Ft Lauderdale
6:30 am – 10:30 am and 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Former South Florida P&DC Cafeteria, 16000 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines
(No fair scheduled, but pamphlets will be available.)

They're in the Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness 'Race for the Cure'

L to R:  Georgia Winfield, Jann Miller, Joe Croce, and Dylan Croce "race for the cure" in downtown Miami.
Front:  Paul LaCentra
Back (L to R):  Marguerite Goulet, Patricia Barfield, Ileana Valdes, Georgia Winfield, Rose Mannisto, Mary Jane LaCentra, Diana Segreto, Jann Miller, Maxx-Anne Miller, and Marsha Hennessey.

Manager, Human Resources, Jann Miller and daughter, Maxx-Anne show their support for breast cancer research.  

The Miami group participated with the Coral Gables Sr. High School, Gablettes Team (shown in this picture), Coral Gables Post Office Clerk, Ana Mendez, Charles Noguera, Nicole Vilar, Kimberley Perera, Allyssa Dobkins, Claudia Perez, Carolina Cancela, Dayde Moreno, Natalie Pacheco, Sasha Teman, Alexis Mendez, Gablette Team Captain,  Estrella Noguera, Miami OIC, Administrative Assistant and her son Edward Noguera.

Article & Photos by Mirtha Uriarte, Customer Relations Coordinator, Miami

The Susan G. Komen foundation and the U.S. partnered again this year in the fight against breast cancer’s “Race for the Cure.”  Susan G. Komen foundation is on their 18th year of raising money for breast cancer research. 

This year's race included over 20,000 participants.  Some participants walk, others run and then there are some that cannot make it on the day of the race and register as “Sleep in for the Cure.”

“The importance is that we’re ‘making a difference,” said Captain Marguerite Goulet.  “The South Florida District’s ‘Dream Team’ participated and raised $704 which was 70% of their goal.”  

This year District Dream Team members included Gwendolyn Banks, Patricia Barfield, Dylan Croce, Joseph Croce, Bernardo Deoleo, Astrid Flemmings, Reynaldo Flemings, Marguerite Goulet, Nicole Goulet, Marsha Hennessey, Michael Hennessey, Debbie Hobbs, Mary Jane LaCentra, Paul LaCentra, Charise Lindo, Rose Mannisto, Barbara McCall, Jann Miller, Maxx-Anne Miller, Pretti McNeil, Tayloria McPhee-Johnson, Patricia Nolan, Phyllis Pierre, Katherine Preston, Diana Segreto, Paul Sirois, Iliana Valdes, Juan Vazquez, Georgia Winfield, and Sheia Wright.

The Miami group participated with the Coral Gables Sr. High School, Gablettes Team.  Participants included Miami Officer-In-Charge Administrative Assistant Estrella Noguera, along with her sons Charles and Edward Noguera, and Coral Gables Clerk Ana Mendez and daughter, Alexis, who is captain of the Gablettes.  

All in the Family

Ernie Cintado, Manager, Customer Service Operations, North, tells granddaughter Lola about the benefits of Priority Mail service, reminder her that the boxes are free!

Grandpa Ernie (center) takes time from his busy schedule to visit his granddaughter, Lola (center) and classmates, along with their teacher, Ms. Karina.  Is the Postal Service in Lola's future?
Ernie Cintado, Manager, Customer Service Operations, North visited Ocean Reef Academy in Bay  Harbour Islands, FL where his granddaughter Lola attends.  Cintado provided the children with the opportunity to peak inside the Long Life Vehicle (LLV).  He also explained the details of how mail was processed and delivered to each of their homes.  Cintado gave the children postal coloring books and magnets of cuddly puppies and kittens. 
“The kids were super excited to learn about the Postal Service and see the vehicle used to deliver their mail,” said Cintado.
He also promised the children he would return during the holidays to pick up their Santa letters and personally send them to the North Pole. 

Safety in Sunrise

(L to R) Fred Dino, Safety Specialist; Ed Drozdowski, Acting Fast Team Leader; Scott Bower, Postmaster, Fort Lauderdale; Tammie Jo Cadwell, NALC 2550 Branch President; Sunrise Letter Carrier Becky Morgenbesser,  and Sunrise Manager, Customer Services, Johnson D'Souza.

Sunrise Letter Carrier Becky Morgenbesser was presented with an "Excellence in Safety” Award. Becky
has maintained an excellent safety record since becoming a city letter carrier in 1981.  Johnson D’Souza, Manager, Customer Services, nominated Becky for recognition. “She always follows all safety rules and regulations,” he said.

There's a New Face in Hollywood

There's a new face in the South Florida District --- David Guiney is Hollywood Postmaster.

As Postmaster of the 12th largest city in Florida, Guiney will lead a team of 532 dedicated postal employees who are committed delivering outstanding service to their customers in Hollywood, Miramar, Pembroke Park, Pembroke Pines, West Park, and a portion of Cooper City.

Guiney began his career as a letter carrier in Cambridge, Massachusetts in1986.  Nine years later, he joined the managerial ranks as Supervisor, Distribution Operations, at the Boston Processing and Distribution Center.  Throughout his career, Guiney has held many positions with increased levels of responsibility including Manager, Customer Service in the Greater Boston area --- Fenway Park Station, Fort Point Station, Malden Station, Melrose Station, Central Square Cambridge Station, and Wellesley Hills Station.  In 2007 he was promoted to Postmaster, Portland, ME, in the Northern New England District.  Most recently, Guiney completed an extended detail assignment as Officer-In-Charge, New Haven, CT, in the Connecticut Valley District.

Our new Hollywood Postmaster is a 2013 graduate of the Advanced Leadership Program and is a Corporate Succession Planning candidate.  He is enrolled in Lean Six Sigma training to finalize his Green Belt.   

Watson Named Plant Mgr, SFL L&DC

Jack R. Watson has been selected as Plant Manager, South Florida Logistics and Distribution Center.

In this position, Watson will be responsible for 789 employees in a facility that last year, processed approximately 477, 594,582 pieces of mail.  This  facility has a total operating budget of $84 million.
Watson began his career as a Multi-Position Letter Sorting Machine (MPLSM)/Distribution Clerk in 1983.   Seven years later, he became Supervisor, Mails, Fort Lauderdale, FL.  He continued to accept positions of increased responsibility --- Supervisor, Distribution Operations; Manager, Distribution Operations; and Manager, Customer Services --- all in Fort Lauderdale.  In 2004, he became the Senior Manager, Distribution Operations at the North Metro facility in Duluth, GA.

In 2006, Watson was named Plant Manager, Augusta (GA) Processing and Distribution Facility.  Later, he was selected as Senior Plant Manager, Processing and Distribution Center, Detroit, MI.  In 2013, Watson returned to Florida as Plant Manager, South Florida L&DC, Opa Locka.

Watson is a graduate of the Advanced Leadership Program and the Executive Leadership Program.  He also is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.  He served 20 years in the U.S. Army, achieving the rank of Master Sergeant.