Safe driving three million miles in the making

City Carriers Randy Rabas, Rodney Riesinger, and Roland Barnes with Dakotas District Manager Doug Stephens (center)

City Carriers Randy Rabas, Rodney Riesinger, and Roland Barnes with Dakotas District Manager Doug Stephens (center)

At a recent employee gathering in Billings, MT, Dakotas District Manager Doug Stephens made a surprise visit with employees to celebrate three major milestones.

City Carriers Randy Rabas, Rodney Riesinger, and Roland Barnes each received the coveted Million Mile Award for 30 years, or one million miles, of driving without an at-fault accident.

“Randy, Rodney, and Roland’s achievement is a great accomplishment, and I’m proud of their commitment to safety on the road,” said Stephens.

Safely going the extra mile

Jamestown, ND, Rural Carrier Craig Neys

Jamestown, ND, Rural Carrier Craig Neys

When Jamestown, ND, Rural Carrier Craig Neys recently received a Million Mile award for 30 years of safe driving, he appreciated the recognition. Just as his commitment to safety is unwavering, so is his pride and passion for superior customer service.

Jamestown, ND, Postmaster Gerard Bercier appreciates the dedication Neys brings to his job and for the high level of service he offers to members of the local community.

“He is constantly going the extra mile for his customers,” said Bercier. “They all know him and I have received words of appreciation for his service on numerous occasions.”

Sick leave saver drives one million miles without accident

David City, NE, City Carrier Larry Bruns with Postmaster Sherri Helman

David City, NE, City Carrier Larry Bruns with Postmaster Sherri Helman

When David City, NE, City Carrier Larry Bruns began his career with the Postal Service in 1978, he never imagined he would be recognized for his safe, conscientious driving. After 30 years on the road as a carrier, he recently received that recognition from the National Safety Council and he’s now in an elite class of drivers.

Besides being an expert driver, Bruns also became a dedicated sick leave saver. That decision helped both he and his family survive financially during a difficult medical situation.

Five years ago, Bruns was diagnosed with West Nile Virus. Following the diagnosis, Bruns spent the next three months recovering from the illness and was unable to work during this time. If not for the sick leave he had saved, his family’s well-being might have been put in jeopardy.

“I’m so grateful that I had banked my sick leave and to be able contribute to the household budget and care for my wife and two sons,” said Bruns.

Safe driving no easy accomplishment

Grinnell, KS, Rural Carrier Joe Rehmer

Grinnell, KS, Rural Carrier Joe Rehmer

Delivering mail safely day after day is no easy accomplishment. It takes concentration on the task at hand and a keen awareness of one’s surroundings. Recently, one rural carrier in Grinnell, KS, received an award for his dedication to safe delivery.

Joe Rehmer received the coveted Million Mile Award earlier this month for 30 years of accident-free driving. Since he started in 1985, Rehmer has focused on the safe operation of his vehicle to ensure that he and his customers enjoyed consistent delivery without injury. He looks forward to continuing that effort.

“He’s a great example for others to follow,” said Oakley Postmaster Susie Paintin. “We’re proud of his accomplishment.”

The secret of safe driving

Phoenix, AZ, South Mountain Station City Carrier Richard Villa and Phoenix Customer Service Operations Manager David Coronado

Phoenix, AZ, South Mountain Station City Carrier Richard Villa and Phoenix Customer Service Operations Manager David Coronado

Safe driving is always worth the effort it takes to maintain an accident-free record. For Phoenix, AZ, South Mountain Station City Carrier Richard Villa, that involves 30 years of careful attention to all safety rules of the road.

Phoenix Customer Service Operations Manager David Coronado recently had the pleasure of presenting Villa with a Million Mile Award for his accident-free driving record. Villa started his career with the Postal Service in 1986, and has served at the South Mountain Station ever since.

When asked about his safe driving success, Villa shared his wisdom to help fellow employees follow in his footsteps of success.

“Always be aware of your surroundings when driving a motor vehicle,” said Villa.

Civil Servant of the Year

Civil servant of the year

Hamel, MN, Rural Carrier Shelly Breitenfeldt with her Civil Servant of the Year award.

Hamel, MN, Rural Carrier Shelly Breitenfeldt admits to being surprised when she was named a 2014 Civil Servant of the Year by the Federal Executive Board of Minnesota. But her record of volunteer service in her communities proves the FEB got it right.

Breitenfeldt’s compassion for those in unfortunate circumstances shines especially bright. She works to free young girls from the horrors of the sex trade, working with law enforcement and court officials in three counties to provide training and other programming to increase awareness and reporting of human trafficking.

She also works to help those with addiction issues, people with disabilities, and to break down stereotypes through education. She takes her inspiration from those she meets; friends, family, co-workers, customers or total strangers. Her drive to help comes from what might be called her personal version of the Golden Rule.

“It’s so much easier to just do something nice for somebody,” she says. “In the end, everybody just wants to be loved.”

World Mail Awards

World Mail Awards

Most industries hold annual events to celebrate the significant accomplishments of outstanding performers. The celebration provides recognition of a job well done, and serves as an encouraging example for others to follow. The mailing industry also holds such an annual event, and the nomination period for 2014 opens on January 2, 2014.

The World Mail Awards (WMA) is an annual celebration of mailing organizations that have demonstrated impressive successes throughout a given year. Originally created in 2000 with only four categories, the WMA has expanded to 10 categories, including Corporate Social Responsibility, People Management, Customer Service, E-commerce, Innovation, Growth, Retail, Technology, Industry Leadership, and Security. Only one winner is selected for each category annually.

Any organization in the mailing industry is qualified to apply for the WMA, and a business can submit entries into more than one category if it so chooses. Third parties are also able to submit entries for another entity.

There is no cost for submitting an entry, but there is a fee for attending the awards ceremony should an organization make it to the final few in the winner selection process.

The US Postal Service has previously won several World Mail Awards in multiple categories including Customer Service in 2005, E-commerce in 2000, Innovation in 2000, 2001, and 2005, and Marketing in 2004 (category was discontinued in 2006).

To learn more about the World Mail Awards, click here.

Which categories do you think USPS could enter for the 2014 World Mail Awards?

Superior Civilian Service Medal

Superior Civilian Award

Minnesota National Guard Major General Richard C. Nash recently presented St. Paul Postmaster Mike Larson with the Minnesota Superior Civilian Service Medal for his work supporting service members overseas and at home.

Under Larson’s leadership, the annual Shop, Ship & Share (SSS) event, which links the efforts of USPS, the American Legion, schools and other community organizations, has provided more than 3,500 holiday gift boxes in the past six years – more than 875 this year alone — for area service members stationed overseas.

Nash also praised Larson for his participation in an annual Veteran’s Day recognition event and a leadership style “that makes the St. Paul Post Office a veteran and military-friendly workplace.”

The Superior Civilian Service Award was created by the Governor of Minnesota in 2008 to recognize the efforts of those, who in the execution of their civilian job, go above and beyond the call of duty to support and aid military members. Larson is the 15th recipient of the honor.

Seldovia OIC Voted “Citizen of the Year”

Rosanna McInnes 

Seldovia AK OIC Rosanna McInnes has been voted “Citizen of the Year” in her community of about 250 people on the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage.

She was cited for her conduct at the Post Office as well as for her numerous civic activities.  As one voter noted:  “She does non-stop volunteerism in school, with the arts, and at community events.  She is the best Postmaster we have ever had.  She sets a wonderful example with her positive energy that she brings to every endeavor.  There is no one like her.”

“I am honored to receive this recognition,” McInnes said.  “I have been in this office for three years and performed all of the duties that are necessary to run a Post Office, which is why many of the people refer to me as the Postmaster, even though I am not.  I hope to someday be the Postmaster which has been my goal since I came here.”

Postal Employee Receives People’s Choice Award

Peoples choice award

The People’s Choice Awards are a popular way for fans to vote for their favorite movies, actors, musicians, and a variety of others aspects of the entertainment industry. Its application, however, isn’t limited to those in front of the camera as one postal employee recently discovered.

The Flume, a Park County, Colorado, publication, is issued every Friday for members of the local community. Recently, it published its 2013 People’s Choice Award list, including the category of best postal worker. Taking top honor in that area was Retail Associate Josh Carotenuto.

Carotenuto is a part-time, flexible employee at the Fairplay Post Office. He began his postal career in December 2007, and his customer’s affection for his positive attitude and courteous nature have grown every year since.

Postmaster Loretta Millemon works with Carotenuto to serve the 1,400 residents of the Fairplay community. While Carotenuto’s infectious personality and upbeat banter with customers made him a strong candidate for the award, his selection wasn’t entirely unexpected as he took the runner-up slot for the same award in 2012.

Do you think more publications should have similar awards for postal employees in their communities?

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