Friday, March 21, 2014

Money DOES Grow on Trees! Employee Engagement = Revenue

By Ellen Uptgrow, Business Development Specialist

The Southern Area has developed a new Employee Engagement Program (EEP) recognition campaign titled the FY 14 “Revenue Tree.” This program is designed to encourage Area-wide participation for EEPs by continuing to support current small business based customers, while expanding the reach to new business customers with the intent to achieve overall program revenue and employee participation.

Each District will receive one Money Tree Plaque. Districts will receive one magnetic dollar sign token to place on their money tree plaque for every 10 percent increase in total revenue achieved. Districts achieving the greatest revenue percent increment increase will be identified each Quarter by the Southern Area Marketing Manager and Controller. District performance will be monitored weekly using Business Connect Data Center reports.

At the end of Quarter 1, South Florida District earned five dollar sign tokens for generating estimated annualized revenue of $6,468,943 for EEPs.

Thanks to the employees listed below that submitted leads that resulted in achieving our Quarter 1 revenue:

Business Connect (Postmasters, Managers/Supervisors, Customer Service)  
Boca Raton Post Office:  Richard Boyle - $34,749; Carlos Rodon - $41,600
Boynton Beach Main Office:  Jordan Beabout - $76,298
Coral Springs Branch:  Rose Mannisto - $11,699; Ricardo Veiga - $1,961,869
Dania Post Office:  Paul Lopez - $781,050
Deerfield Beach Post Office:  Wilfred Belanger - $43,680 
Doral Branch:  Jeannette Burgos - $1,455,000
Flagler Station:  Rosalyn Bell-Mosley - $150,000
Jensen Beach Post Office:  Peter Torres - $624
Lake Worth Main Office:  Floyd Pierce - $6,500 
Loxahatchee Main Office:  Edith Roundtree - $480
Midport Station:  Patrick Cowley - $42,660
Olympia Heights Branch:  Lawrence Rogers - $572
Palmetto Lakes Branch:  Gelcys Peraza - $401,024
Palms Central Station:  Cynthia Mercy - $1,600
Promenade Branch:  Virginia McGinnity - $1,473 
West Carrier Annex:  Emelinda Ortega - $652,512
West Palm Beach Main Office:  Louise Warner - $17,925
Woodlands Station:  Joann Augustin - $23,296

Customer Connect (City Carriers)
Bright Station:  Joanne Preston - $17,160
Boca Rio Branch:  Vukko Russo$1,920; Liane Wright - $58,884
Carol City Branch:  Gloria Murray - $548
Hollywood Post Office:  Candido Perez - $320
Miami Gardens Branch:  Herbert Tomas - $960
Miramar Branch:  Teresa Evans - $1,818
Orange Avenue Station:  David R. Skinner Jr. - $5
Palms Central Branch:  Starr L. Hunter - $12,600
Plantation Branch:  Nina Mahle - $260; Cynthia Toney-Brown - $5,340; Stephanie Williams - $4,681
Stuart Post Office:  Kevin Byrne - $10
Sunrise Branch:  Mary P. Davis - $1,423
Tropical Reef Station:  Dean Robaina - $8,580
Weston Branch:  Thomas Lopresti - $25,688

Rural Reach (Rural Letter Carriers)
Coconut Creek Branch:  Orlando Blanco - $488,130
Islamorada Post Office:  Candy Brady - $2,288 
Port Saint Lucie Main Office:  Colleen Curry - $30,979
Summerland Key Post Office:  Ronald Morgan - $15 

Submit-A-Lead (Plant Operations/Support Services/Administrative Employees)
Boca Rio Branch:  Lori Cangemi - $1,872
Hialeah Main Office:  Pedro Couso - $250
Snapper Creek Branch:  Edwin Hernandez - $4,280

Clerks Care & Mail Handlers
Boynton Beach Main Office:  Rose Pierce - $728

Riviera Beach: Tennis, Anyone?

Riviera Beach Post Office employees purchased and donated three dozen tennis balls to students at John F. Kennedy Middle School, which is located next door to the Post Office. Students were losing tennis balls when hitting them over the fence and inadvertently onto postal grounds. The school expressed concerns over the lost tennis balls, which prompted the Riviera Beach Post Office to get into the game. Manager, Customer Service Pablo Estupinan received a handwritten note from Coach Clara Knight on behalf of the middle school students, thanking the following postal employees for their generous donation: Distribution Clerks Lisa Kerr, Jerry Ponce, Sharon Shufford and Kevin Young; Retail Associates Bernice Branch, Chris Medvetz, Maura Norris and Kevin Smith; Acting Supervisors, Customer Service Lavon Barnett and Tia Odum; Supervisor, and Customer Service Jackie Brady-Sager.

Lights! Camera! Action! in Hallandale

Gladys Cowan, Lead Sales and Services Associate at the Golden Isles Postal Store in Hallandale FL sells stamps to KidVision host Penny Bernath and children starring in the production.  Photo:  Bobbie Sims

Lights!  Camera!  Action!   Three Hallandale employees were cast in starring roles in a virtual online tour of the Post Office!
WPBT Channel 2’s production crew videotaped delivery and retail operations at the Hallandale Post Office and Golden Isles Postal Store to provide pre-kindergarten teachers and students nationwide an online virtual tour of the U.S. Postal Service.  The production featured Gladys Cowan, Lead Sales and Services Associate, Golden Isles Postal Store; William Johnston, Letter Carrier, Hallandale Post Office; and Bobbie Sims, Officer-In-Charge, Hallandale Post Office.
KidsVision makes learning Florida’s Early Learning and Developmental Standards for four-year-olds lively and fun for everyone. Educational and entertaining virtual field trips --- including today’s postal visits --- establish meaningful learning opportunities that are extended into the classroom through hands-on lesson plans and student assessments for pre-kindergarten teachers.
In addition to Cowan, Johnson, and Sims, those in a supporting role and/or behind-the-scene production members included Lillian Castro, Program Manager, Communications Ambassador Program; Joseph Croce, Manager, Post Office Operations; Kenneth Edwards, City Carrier Assistant, Hallandale Post Office; Debra Fetterly, Communications Programs Specialist; Ivan Mitchell, Custodian, Golden Isles Postal Store, and Arlene Sanchez, Acting Manager, Marketing.
At the end of the video, the WPBT host reminded viewers to “keep mailing those cards, letters, and packages through the U.S. Postal Service!”

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Star-Spangled Banner Stamp 'Forever' Symbolizes Our Flag, National Anthem

The U.S. Postal Service showcased the Star-Spangled Banner Forever Stamp during a special ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, home to the 15-star, 15-stripe flag that inspired the national anthem.
“We’re here today to honor our country’s most powerful symbols, our flag and our national anthem,” said Kristin Seaver, vice president, Area Operations, Capital Metro Area, U.S. Postal Service. “When a young poet named Francis Scott Key saw those broad stripes and bright stars still waving at dawn on the top of Fort McHenry during the battle of Baltimore, he was so inspired, he put pen to paper and wrote the words that eventually became our national anthem.
“It’s impossible to look at this image and not feel proud and patriotic,” said Seaver. “Let it serve as a small reminder of a very big idea that in America, our flag isn’t just a patchwork of colored fabric. It’s a powerful symbol of our history, our heritage and the common ground we all share.”
This stamp design features a photograph of the flag that flies over Fort McHenry National Monument and His­toric Shrine in Baltimore, MD. This flag is a replica of the one that inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner” after realizing Fort McHenry had withstood the British attack of Sept.13-14, 1814.
The picture of the flag was taken against a backdrop of fireworks during an annual celebration of Defenders’ Day, a legal holiday in the state of Maryland commemorating the successful defense of the city of Baltimore on Sept. 12, 1814 from an invading British force during the War of 1812.

'Spidey-Power' Comes to USPS

To put some Super Hero Spidey-power into its promotion of Priority Mail, the U.S. Postal Service is teaming up with Sony Pictures for the release of the highly anticipated motion picture “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” in theaters nationwide on May 2. 
In a campaign to promote Priority Mail and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” the Postal Service and Sony Pictures are collaborating on a high-profile, multi-channel marketing campaign that begins this week and continues through the end of May.
One of the centerpieces of the campaign, which includes direct mail, digital and social media elements, is a television commercial that features Spider-Man circumventing all obstacles in delivering a Priority Mail package to a special showing for fans of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” USPS linked up with Sony Pictures through their mutual media agency, Universal McCann(UM), and DNA Productions to create the television spot with renowned directors, Rich Lee and Marc Webb, director of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Viewers can watch the new USPS/Spider-Man TV spot on the Postal Service’s YouTube channel at

Do Your Grocery Shopping Today for Letter Carrier Food Drive in May

It’s not too early to start thinking about, and planning for, the annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive on Saturday, May 10.  Between now and then, consider purchasing a few extra canned goods each time you’re doing your grocery shopping.  As always, be sure to check the dates on the cans!
* * * *
Hard work and dedication have served as the key ingredients to a successful Letter Carriers’ Food Drive ever since it went national back in 1993—and there is no question that the same will be true again this year on Saturday, May 10, when the NALC holds its 22nd annual national drive.
On that special day, hundreds of thousands of letter carriers, retirees, family members and volunteers will take to mail routes in every state and territory across America, pick up sacks of non-perishable food and deliver the goods to the food banks and pantries that serve their local communities.
“It’s quite impressive that our drive has managed to collect just under 1.3 billion pounds of food over the past two decades,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “But what really counts is that our extra effort each year on the second Saturday in May means that some of the people who are most in need and who live in our own backyards will be able to put a little more food on their families’ tables.”

Friday, March 14, 2014

Jimi Hendrix Experience Now Forever

The Postal Service took center stage on the South by Southwest music festival’s Outdoor Stage at Butler Park in Austin, TX, Thursday for the dedication of the Jimi Hendrix Forever Stamp.
After the stamp dedication, a concert celebrating Jimi Hendrix featured performances by guitarists Wayne Kramer of Motor City 5, Slash of Guns N’ Roses, Rusty Anderson of Paul McCartney’s tours and Perry Farrell, lead singer for Jane’s Addiction.
Hendrix is widely recognized as one of the most creative and influential musicians of the 20th century. The Jimi Hendrix Forever Stamp kicks off the 2014 Music Icons series, which will include Janis Joplin, to be commemorated with a stamp later this year. The 2013 Music Icons series honored Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and Lydia Mendoza.
The Jimi Hendrix Forever Stamp is on sale at Post Offices nationwide, online at, at the Postal Store on eBay at, and through 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724).

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

National Consumer Protection Week

During National Consumer Protection Week (March 2-8), the US Postal Inspection Service Miami Division reached out into the South Florida community to educate the public on fraudulent schemes, focusing on scams targeting the elderly population. Special thanks to Postal Inspectors Blanca Alvarez, Del Alvarez, Cesar Cerecedo, Lucy Dalmau, Jeffrey Esser, Taylor Fernandez, Scott Horne, Bryan Masmela, Johnny Niedzwiedzki, Ivan Ramirez, Bladismir Rojo, and Julio Santiago, along with Operations Technicians Karina Capo, Robert LaTorre, and Mary McCurry, and Postal Police Officer Craig Clarit.

CBS 4 reporter interviewed Postal Inspector Ivan Ramirez on fraud prevention in the lobby of the Miami GMF Retail Unit. Photo: Mirtha Uriarte

L to R:  Postal Police Officer Craig Clarit, Inspection Service Operations Technician Karina Capo, and Postal Inspectors Ivan Ramirez and Bladismir Rojo worked together as a team, providing the public with information on scams targeting the elderly population. Photo: Mirtha Uriarte
Postal Inspectors Jeffrey Esser (L) and Johnny Niedzwiedzki (R) embraced the opportunity to educate customers on lottery and timeshare resale scams in the lobby of the West Palm Beach Main Office.  “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” said Esser.  “We’re here to protect the consumer by delivering trust,” noted Niedzwiedzki. Photo: Gale Jackson
Postal Inspector Jeffrey Esser shared information on fraud prevention with customers in the lobby of the West Palm Beach Main Office. Photo: Gale Jackson 

Customer Connect Lead = $25,000

Duane Hunt, Manager, Customer Service, Weston Branch commends Letter Carrier Thomas Lopresti for a Customer Connect Lead that generated a sale of $25,000 with customer T Tool USA, located in Weston FL. Thomas noticed a UPS truck as he was delivering mail and approached the customer with an offer he couldn’t refuse.  The customer was looking to reduce shipping costs and is very satisfied with our service. 
Weston Letter Carrier Thomas Lopresti (L) and Manager, Customer Service Duane Hunt (R) are all smiles over new revenue. Photo:  Adrienne Savino

It's in the Cards at South Miami PO

L to R:  Retail Associates Judy Ferguson, Raymond Loor; Lidia Cruz, A/Manager, Customer Service Christine Perez; and Retail Associates Oscar Carvajal and Joshua Albo.                        

Story & Photo:  Mirtha Uriarte, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator

The Postal Service provides a variety of greeting card at most retail units throughout Miami.  One unit excelled during the month of January, generating the most revenue in the South Florida District. While the other units in the District sold from 216 to 226 greeting cards during this timeframe, South Miami Branch sold 361, an average of 17 cards per day!

Miami Postmaster Enrique Suarez was very pleased with their motivation of selling the greeting cards and wanted to know the individual strategies that encouraged the sales. 

Retail Associate Lidia Cruz: “The location of our greeting cards display plays a huge role in the sales.   The area is well lit which allows the customers to review the cards with ease while in line.  Customers will come in to mail a birthday package and browse through the card selection.  Other times I suggest the purchase during the transaction when they are mailing a gift. We actually have customers that only come in just to purchase two or three cards at a time.  The Hallmark representative frequently rotates the cards which are very creative and inexpensive. The cards with dogs are the most popular.”

Retail Associate Oscar Carvajal:  “I get a lot of female customers purchasing cards, it seems women, more than men, notice the display while in line and are attracted to the cards.  Men usually make their purchases during special holidays.”

Retail Associate Raymond Loor:  “The location where we have the display is completely to our advantage.  Customers must pass the display while in line and will pick one up as a distraction and before they realize it they are viewing several and making the purchase.  The cards are also very affordable which is a big plus.”

Retail Associate Judy Ferguson: “I have a lot of elderly customers purchasing the cards; it is a great convenience to have greeting cards available at their local Post Office.  The prices are reasonable, and the variety for all occasions is great. I always suggest the greeting cards as additional supplies.”  

Fort Laud's Varughese Helps Recover $260,000 in Telemarketing Fraud

Manager, Customer Service Operations Alejandro Sepulveda (L) is recognizing Retail Associate Korah Varughese (R) of the Fort Lauderdale Main Office for his efforts in assisting the US Postal Inspection Service, Miami Division, with a Priority Mail Express interdiction.  The interdiction was designed to intercept monies enroute, from elderly victims of telemarketing fraud to “money mules” operating in South Florida.  More than $260,000 was recovered.  Varughese was instrumental in facilitating the conversion of funds recovered for the eventual return to the victims.  Photo:  Adrienne Savino

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Congratulations to Million Mile Drivers in Hialeah, West Palm Beach

According to the National Safety Council, more than 10,500 postal employees nationwide have achieved a distinction most people never even get close to in their lifetimes—driving more than one million miles, accident-free

Palms West Letter Carrier Richard Glander (center) 
In South Florida, recent Million Mile Award winners include Ceaser Erwin, Frank Gonzalez, Ray Rivera, and Rick Rossetti of Hialeah’s Palmetto Lakes Station. Palms West Letter Carrier Richard Glander also was recognized for safe driving when West Palm Beach Postmaster Richard Fermo presented him with his National Safety Council Million Mile Safe Driving plaque. 

When asked how he managed to remain accident-free for 30 consecutive years despite the growing population accompanied by increasing traffic, Glander replied, “…with luck as well as the fact that I had a park–and-loop route for over 20 years.” Currently, Glander has a curbside route which makes him happy. This safety-minded group is among the 300,000 city and rural letter carriers and truck drivers who log more than 1.2 billion miles annually when delivering to America’s 152 million addresses. There are nearly 214,000 vehicles in the nation’s 31,000-plus Post Offices. The Postal Service’s has the world’s largest civilian fleet.

Fort Lauderdale VMF Crew Rebuilds Long Life Vehicle Totaled in Fire

Story & Photos:  Adrienne Savino, Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator

On the road again… Delivering service, the Vehicle Maintenance crew is recognized by Fort Lauderdale Postmaster Scott Bower for rebuilding a Long Life Vehicle (LLV) totaled in a fire. 

Left to Right: From the VMF Ray Belanger, Ray Archer, Mikhail Gayle, Belardo Lorenzo, Albert Masi, Charlie Cox, George Kendjelic, Vakeram Ramjit, Tom Dusch, Ramon Vazquez, Gary Marek, Charlie Sydney, Nayda Charneco, Ken Corona, Lisa Mallonn, Marcos Tacher; and Letter Carrier Rogers Williams, Manager, Customer Services Joe Marrone and Postmaster Scott Bower.

Fort Lauderdale Postmaster Recognizes Retail Successes

Fort Lauderdale Postmaster Scott Bower is recognizing team success with the Retail Customer Experience (RCE). The following offices achieved 100 percent Postal Quarter II (to date): Causeway Postal Store, Colee Postal Store, Coral Ridge Postal Store, Galt Ocean Postal Store, Gateway Postal Store, Inverrary Branch, Melrose Vista Branch, Plantation Branch, Sabal Palm Postal Store, Sawgrass Postal Store, Tamarac Branch, and Weston Branch.  Special thanks to the Colee Postal Store, Galt Ocean Postal Store, Sawgrass Postal Store, Weston Branch, and Westside Branch for not having any failures this quarter.

Miami Trifecta Improves PEG Scores

L to R:  Ine Diaz, Supervisor, Customer Service; Servando Iglesias, APWU Shop Steward; Vicki Purdy, Safety Captain; Steven Rolle, Custodian; and Rosalyn Bell-Mosley, Manager, Customer Service.  Not pictured:  Supervisors, Customer Service Ariel Hernandez, Chris Lopez, Obed Rodriguez,and Michelle Whitehead.

Story & Photo:  Mirtha Uriarte, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator

The 2014 Program Evaluation Guide (PEG) reviews have kicked off in the Miami MPOO 2 group. PEG evaluates Post Office, station and unit safety programs. Flagler Station was the first unit to be audited and received a year-to-date (YTD) score of 88 percent. North Miami came in with a significant improvement YTD score of 94 percent and Jose Marti with a preliminary score of 83 percent. Final scores will be available at the end of Quarter 4. 

Last year’s final scores for these units were: Flagler, 24 percent; North Miami Beach, 14 percent; and Jose Marti, 8 percent. Miami Postmaster Enrique Suarez is very thankful for the improvements. “It has been a team effort ensuring everyone is involved and understands the importance of our safety programs,” he said. “Managers, Customer Service, along with the Manager, Customer Service Marcia Pedraza (Central), Ernie Cintado (North) and Supervisor, Customer Service Gale Williams, have worked very closely with their units to ensure that everyone is on task.”

Carrier Stephenson Saves North Miami Beach Neighborhood from Fire

L to R:  Teresa Mason, Supervisor, Customer Service; Rickie Miller, NALC Union Steward; Shelly Stephenson, Letter Carrier; and Jose Martinez (A) Manager, Customer Service

Story & Photo:  Mirtha Uriarte, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator

Recently, North Miami Beach Letter Carrier Shelly Stephenson noticed smoke near Oleta Drive on her route.  Stephenson immediately approached the area and realized the fence between two houses was on fire. She first called fire department and then knocked on the door of one of the houses. When she did not get a response, she went around the house and knocked on the windows of both residences.  The customers had been asleep and were startled by the loud knocking on their windows.  All were unaware of the fire in their backyard.  The fire spread quickly and the shed at one of the houses completely burned down.

Stephenson resumed her delivery route when the Fire Department arrived.  The situation could have been worse and the fire could of spread to the homes.

On behalf of Miami Postmaster Enrique Suarez and Manager, Customer Service Operations (North) Ernie Cintado, and all of us in the South Florida District, “thank you, Shelly, for vigilance and quick response.”

SFL&DC Employees Say 'Thanks & Good Luck' to Steve Browning

On Thursday, February 27, maintenance employees at the South Florida L&DC had a going away party for Supervisor, Maintenance Operations Steve Browning.

In March 2013, Steve was detailed to the SFL&DC when the South Florida P&DC closed, joining many of his old P&DC colleagues.  Steve will be leaving March 17 to take an assignment as a Tour 3 Maintenance supervisor at the Miami GMF.  

The party was organized by Sharon Ricci with help from Maria Velazquez, Gail Thompson, and Shirley Currington.  Good luck Steve, and best wishes!

--- Tim Holdeman, SFL&DC

Shirley Chisholm Legacy Lives On at Riviera Beach Library Event

Riviera Beach Library Director Cynthia Cobb (seated left) is photographed with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority members from West Palm Beach and Broward County Chapters.  Seated:  Cynthia Cobb, Freddie Calloway; Second row:  Tanya Francisco, Sandra Turnquest, Karen Hoskins; Third row:  Marilyn Pickens, Gale Jackson, April McAdoo, LaToya Ricketts, Debbye Raing

West Palm Beach Customer Relations Coordinator Gale Jackson planned the dedication of the Shirley Chisholm stamp as part of the Black History Month celebration at the Riviera Beach Library.  

During the ceremony, West Palm Beach Postmaster Richard Fermo spoke of Chisholm’s accomplishments before a standing-room-only crowd and presented an enlargement of the stamp to library officials.

Shirley Chisholm was a courageous and pioneering woman whose legacy lives on with the issuance of this special stamp.  We are proud to honor this great American who shattered barriers of race and gender. Shirley Chisholm fought for the rights of women and the poor as a true champion for justice and equality for all,” he said.  

Fermo was joined by Mayor Thomas A. Masters, City of Riviera Beach; Dr. James H. Chester, Pastor, Orthodox Zion Primitive Baptist Church; Edith Roundtree, Postmaster, Loxahatchee; and Pablo Estupinian, Manager, Customer Service, Riviera Beach Post Office.  In addition to the City of Riviera Beach Library Staff, in attendance were several members of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. West Palm Beach and Broward County Chapters; and children from Jay’s Ministries.