Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Happy (Lunar) New Year!

The U.S. Postal Service began celebrating the 2014 Lunar New Year by issuing the Celebrating Lunar New Year:  Year of the Horse Forever stamp.  
Although a horse appears in the upper left hand corner of the stamp image, the Postal Service chose to tell a more enriching story by including essential elements in celebrating the Lunar New Year such as the drum in this case. Last year, firecrackers were used on the Year of the Snake Forever stamp.

“The Year of the Horse is a time for setting our sights on the future and committing to efforts that continue our progress together,” said San Francisco City and County Mayor Edwin Lee. “I would like to thank the U.S. Postal Service for choosing San Francisco, the Innovation Capital of the World, to dedicate the Year of the Horse Stamp.”

The Lunar New Year is celebrated primarily by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and Mongolian heritage in many parts of the world. In the United States, as elsewhere, the occasion is marked with parades, parties and other special events. Drums, such as those depicted in the stamp art, are played to celebrate this time of renewed hope for the future, with drumsticks sometimes painted red for luck. Monetary gifts are given to children and others. Lucky foods are eaten and festive lanterns are hung as decorations.

TheYear of the Horse stamp is the seventh of 12 stamps in the current Celebrating Lunar New Year series. The stamp art depicts Chinese drums with drumsticks, painted red for luck, of the sort traditionally played to welcome the New Year.

The U.S. Postal Service originally introduced a 12-year Lunar New Year stamp series in 1993 depicting the artwork of Clarence Lee. In 2008, the series resumed with the work of Kam Mak’s Year of the Rat stamp. The series will continue through 2019 with stamps for the Year of the Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar. This limited edition stamp is being issued in plenty of time for customers to mail new year’s greetings. Lunar New Year begins Jan. 31, 2014 and ends Feb. 18, 2015.

Love is in the Air

Love is in the air. The United States Postal Service today dedicated the Cut Paper Heart Forever Stamp, this year’s limited-edition Love stamp.

In addition to a stamp dedication ceremony in New York City, the Postal Service hosted a workshop to create handmade valentines. The Cut Paper Heart stamp takes its inspiration from the folk traditions of papercutting.

The digital illustration depicts a large white heart enclosing a smaller pink heart with a saw-toothed edge along its left-hand side. Surrounding the central hearts are pink swirls with smaller hearts imbedded in the design, and a ragged-edge motif that echoes the edging on the small pink heart.  The hearts and swirls are contained within a red square that has "pinked" edges, as if cut with pinking shears. A white border frames the entire design. 

Pendarvis Delivers 'Gift of Courtesy, Kindness' to Nettles Island Customer

Jensen Beach Officer-In-Charge Peter L. Torres says Sales and Service Associate Theresa Pendarvis (above) is "an awesome clerk" who runs the Hutchinson Island Post Office. Recently, a customer sent below Letter to the Editor published in the Stuart News. Photo: Peter L. Torres

Stuart News  1/20/14
Letter to the Editor

Positive Visit to the Post Office

After hearing many stories about the hassle of sending packages, I dreaded going to the Post Office.  This letter is written to commend Terri Pendarvis, one of the nicest and most efficient workers I encountered during the Christmas rush.  Terri works at the Hutchinson Island Post Office and has such a positive attitude toward her job and the people she deals with.  She helped me with decisions on packaging and the best cost for mailing gifts.  Terri did her job seemingly effortless and smiling all the time.  Her line moved along quickly, without anyone grumbling about the service.  I walked away feeling I had received a gift of courtesy and kindness.
Nettles Island, FL Customer 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

  Miami-Dade County Postal Customer Council Presents 
  "Branded Color Mobile Technology Promotion"
  January 24, 2014 
Please join us for our upcoming complimentary event featuring "Branded Color Mobile Technology Promotion" on Friday, January 24, 2014. The event will take place at the Miami GMF, Postmaster’s Conference Room # 535, 2200 NW 72 Avenue, Miami FL from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Limited seating is available; register early by replying with your company information, number of attendees and their names.

Meeting Agenda:
  • USPS Headquarters Guest Speaker
  • Briefing of 2014 Promotions - Branded Color Mobile Technology Promotion
  • Information/Benefits on becoming a Miami-Dade County PCC Member
  • Refreshments
QR Codes have become more commonplace in integrated marketing campaigns and have both marketing and brand value, however marketers still express concern that they are visually unappealing. Creativity can turn those QR codes into valuable assets. 

The 2014 Branded Color Mobile Technology Promotion encourages mailers to push the envelope and expand their mobile technology usage beyond basic QR codes. Attention grabbing QR codes can be the differentiator in getting consumers to become aware of and engage with your brand. By participating, mailers will have the opportunity to receive an upfront postage discount on qualifying mailpieces that use creative elements such as color and/or graphics in their mobile print technology.

The Branded Color Mobile Technology promotion provides business mailers with and up front two percent postage discount on Standard Mail® and First Class Mail® letters, flats and cards (presort and automation).

To register, contact Mirtha D. Uriarte at 305-470-0386 or

EAP Welcomes New Counselor

 The South Florida District welcomes Heloisa Aguiar as the newest member of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Aguiar is a Licensed Mental Health Clinician with 17 years of counseling experience.  She’ll be covering the Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach areas --- with offices in both locations --- Fort Lauderdale Main Office and Hub, 1900 W Oakland Park Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach Main Office/Processing & Distribution Center, 3200 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach. 

At press time, her office hours were flexible, depending on needs at each location.  Employees may leave a message at 954-527-6191 (Fort Lauderdale) or 561-697-2191 (West Palm Beach).  Also remember you can call 800-EAP-4YOU (800-327-4968), 877-492-7341 (TTY for deaf and hard of hearing employees) … or visit

The EAP is a confidential counseling and referral service that can help you and your family members successfully handle life's challenges. EAP services are available to you at no cost, as the Postal Service has prepaid these services. Confidential help with work, family, and personal matters is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Retail Offices on Road to Silver, Gold

At the modern Olympic Games, winners of a sporting discipline receive a gold medal in recognition of their achievement.

In the U.S. Postal Service, the road to gold in is paved with a retail initiative to improve customer experience, maximize revenue, and improve cost efficiency.  The Premier Office Program provides Post Offices with the necessary tools to do just that!

The program includes 82 South Florida Post Office of the 3,100 national sites selected.  Participating Post Offices represent the retail face of the Postal Service and account for 44 percent of all Post Office walk-in and self-service kiosk revenue. Each site has annual revenue exceeding $1.5 million.   

South Florida participating offices have achieved Bronze status.  They’re now focused on Silver and Gold certification.

To qualify as a Premier Office, Retail Associates in all participating offices successfully completed training modules on a variety of topics, i.e. telephone courtesy, the customer experience, and lobby assistance.

A/Retail Specialist Fred Romero conducted certification training for participating Postmasters and Managers, Customer Service.  Premier Offices also must comply with an itemized Retail Standardization checklist (i.e. retail lobby has the correct point-of-purchase marketing materials, is clean, and is properly stocked with packaging materials). Additionally, these facilities must be current on their Facilities Data Base certifications. 

The higher levels of certification process --- silver and gold – require more training and standardized processes.  Offices in the program must attain silver certification by March 31, 2014.  The ultimate goal is for all 3,100 offices to be gold certified no later than September 30, 2014.

BOCA RATON:  Boca Rio Branch, Downtown Boca Raton Station, Woodlands Station 

BOYNTON BEACH:  Boynton Beach Main Office, Jog Road Station

DEERFIELD BEACH:  Deerfield Beach Main Office, Village Station

DELRAY BEACH:  Delray Beach Main Office

FORT LAUDERDALE:  Davie Branch, Fort Lauderdale Main Office, Oakland Park Branch, Plantation Branch, Southside Station, Sunrise Branch, Tamarac Branch, Weston Branch, Westside Station

FORT PIERCE:  Fort Pierce Main Office

HALLANDALE:  Golden Isles Postal Store, Hallandale Post Office

HIALEAH:  Hialeah Lakes Station, Hialeah Main Office, Miami Gardens Branch

HOLLYWOOD:  Flamingo Branch, Hillcrest Postal Store, Hollywood Main Office, Pembroke Pines Branch, South Florida Main Office, University Postal Store

HOMESTEAD:  Homestead Main Office

JUPITER:  Jupiter Main Office

KEY LARGO:  Key Largo Post Office

KEY WEST:  Flagler Finance Station, Key West Main Office

LAKE WORTH:  Greenacres Branch, Lake Worth Main Office

MIAMI:  Blue Lagoon Branch, Buena Vista Station, Coconut Grove Station, Coral Gables Branch, Country Lakes Branch, Doral Branch, Father Felix Varela Branch, Flagler Station, Jose Marti Station,  Kendall Branch, Ludlam Branch, Metro Postal Store, Miami GMF Postal Store, Milam Dairy Branch, Norland Branch, North Miami Branch, North Miami Beach Branch, Olympia Heights Branch, Pinecrest Postal Store, Quail Heights Branch, Snapper Creek Branch, South Miami Branch, Sunset Branch, Tamiami Station, Town and Country Postal Store, West Dade Branch

MIAMI BEACH:  Carl Fisher Finance Station, Miami Beach Main Office, Normandy Station, Ocean View Station, Surfside Branch

OKEECHOBEE:  Okeechobee Main Office

PALM CITY:  Palm City Main Office

POMPANO:  Atlantic Branch, Coral Springs Branch, Lighthouse Point Finance Unit, Margate Branch, Pompano Beach Main Office, Tropical Reef Station

PORT ST LUCIE:  Midport Station, Port St Lucie Main Office

STUART:  Stuart Main Office

WEST PALM BEACH:  Haverhill Branch, Palm Beach Gardens Branch, Palm City Main Office, Palms West Branch, Riviera Beach Branch, West Palm Beach Main Office

District Welcomes Sanchez as Acting Manager, Marketing

The South Florida District welcomes Arlene Sanchez as Acting Manager, Marketing.  Alain Iglesias has retired from the U.S. Postal Service.
Sanchez began her career as a markup clerk in Fort Worth, TX in 1985.  She also worked as a distribution clerk and a clerk-stenographer prior to a promotion to the Marketing Department in the Dallas District in 1993.  In 2000, Sanchez was promoted to Customer Relations Coordinator EAS-17 at the Dallas Post Office, and in 2004, returned to Fort Worth when she was selected as the Hispanic Program Specialist for the Fort Worth District.  In 2006, Sanchez was selected as Manager, Consumer Affairs and Claims; then as Manager, Business Service Network in 2009;  and as Manager, Consumer and Industry Contact in 2011.  She has served on numerous detail assignments in Diversity Development, Marketing, Public Affairs and Communications, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. 

“Arlene brings a wealth of postal knowledge and marketing expertise to the South Florida District,” said District Manager Jeffery A. Taylor.  “I am pleased to have her on assignment in our district.”

Suarez is our New Miami Postmaster

Enrique M. (Rick) Suarez has been selected as Postmaster, Miami.  He had been serving as Officer-In-Charge in Miami since February 2013.

“Rick is an outstanding leader who is committed to providing the highest level of customer service,” said Jo Ann Feindt, Area Vice President, Southern Area Operations, in announcing the selection.

As Postmaster, Suarez is responsible for the overall administrative and operational activity for approximately 2,218 employees working  in 29 stations and branches, 10 finance units, three carrier annexes, and seven Postal Stores.  With an operating budget of approximately $205 million, Miami and its suburbs have 741,459 possible city deliveries and 22,589 possible rural deliveries.

Suarez began his postal career as a City Letter Carrier in Miami in 1984.  He quickly rose to positions of increasing responsibility, including Manager, Customer Service, Miami and Hialeah FL.  In 1999, he served as Postmaster, Hialeah, and later became Manager, Post Office Operations for the South Florida District.  In 2006, he was named Postmaster, Fort Lauderdale, and two years later, moved from Customer Service to Mail Processing, serving as Plant Manager at both the Miami Processing and Distribution Center and South Florida Processing and Distribution Center.

The new Miami Postmaster is a certified Lean Six Sigma Executive Green Belt and is a graduate of Barry University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and Public Administration.

“Rick has a proven track record as an exceptional leader in our district,” said District Manager Jeffery A. Taylor.  “Please join me in wishing Rick continued success in his career.”

'Jenny' Has Her Ups and Downs

Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin when a petri dish accidentally became contaminated in his lab.

Christopher Columbus discovered America when he took a wrong turn on the way to India.

And the Postal Service commemorated the first regular airmail service with a stamp misprint.

In 1918, U.S. Army pilots flew the route, which went from New York City to Philadelphia to Washington DC, and to mark the occasion — and to help cover the cost of moving mail by air — a special 24-cent stamp was issued. The stamp featured an image of the biplane used to carry the mail: a Curtiss JN-4H, also known as the “Jenny.”

There was just one problem. When the stamps were printed, some of them showed the plane upside down.

The stamps had been rushed into production to be issued May 14, the day before the airmail service began. And because the design required two colors, sheets were placed on the printing press twice — a process that made human error seem almost inevitable.

Stamp Collector William Robey knew this was a possibility. He went to a Post Office in Washington DC and purchased a 100-stamp sheet of “Inverted Jennys.” He became the owner of the only misprinted stamp sheet to fall into the public’s hands. Days later, he sold it to a Philadelphia stamp dealer, who resold it to another collector. The stamps were eventually broken into blocks and singles — and a legend was born.

For nearly a century, stamp collectors have chased the Inverted Jennys and have accounted for nearly all 100 of them. This error has resulted in the nation’s most publicized rarest collectable. One of the remaining originals sold at auction in 2007 for $977,500.

Now collectors can purchase a Souvenir Sheet featuring a new version. Reprinted with a $2 denomination to make them easily distinguishable from the 24-cent originals, the six Inverted Jennys on this sheet commemorate the many ways a single stamp can turn a moment in history upside down.

Perhaps the stamps will take your breath away, the way the original stamps did when a stamp collector purchased them from an unknowing postal clerk in 1918. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to take up stamp collecting, or use them for mailing. Whatever the reason, let the Inverted Jenny serve as a reminder that sometimes gaffes can become gifts.