The Heart of a Community

City Carrier Leonard Frantz, Retail Associate Kathryn Woelk, and Rural Carrier Edward Weber.

City Carrier Leonard Frantz, Retail Associate Kathryn Woelk, and Rural Carrier Edward Weber.

Many customers have the pleasure of getting to know postal employees in their local communities. For one location in KS, the community has had the benefit of enjoying the superior service of three particular employees for more than 30 years.

For more than three decades, three employees have called the Hillsboro, KS, Post Office home. Rural Carrier Edward Weber, City Carrier Leonard Frantz, and Retail Associate Kathryn Woelk each began their careers at Hillsboro within 8 months of each other in 1984 and 1985. During that time, they’ve seen many changes within their office, including the people that have come and gone and two Post Office buildings that have housed operations.

“These three employees are just awesome and provide great service to the Hillsboro community,” said Hillsboro Postmaster Rebecca Tibbetts. “They each care and assist the customers they see every day. The Hillsboro community is lucky to have their dedication to mailing and delivering items daily.”

Sleeping in for a Change

Sleeping in

The Blodgett Country Store is home to a variety of food and beverage items that satisfies the interests of the local community. A special feature at this particular business provides shoppers with a service most other stores don’t offer – access to an in-store Post Office.

Blodgett, OR, Postmaster Nan Sumners has worked at this particular location nestled within a small corner of the store for 23 years, the last 13 in her current position. She enjoys spending time with the people of Blodgett, which made her decision to retire tomorrow a more difficult one.

“I love working so close to home, and I enjoy the people,” Sumners said.

Her sentiment toward the local community is a mutual one and reflected in a profile of her in the Corvallis Gazette-Times on the eve of her retirement.

Sumners didn’t start her employment at the Country Store with the Postal Service, but rather at the store itself. Shortly thereafter, the former Postmaster and store owner recognized Sumners’ dedication to her work and asked her to become a relief worker for the Post Office in 1991. When a full-time employee left to pursue other interests 10 years later, Sumners took over the position. In 2001, when the Postmaster position became available, she gladly accepted the opportunity to take over the role.

While many changes have occurred since Sumners first began her employment at the Postal Service, the biggest change she witnessed has been the evolution of technology.

“Thirteen years ago, the books were done manually, and we didn’t use the credit card machine,” said Sumners.

Sumners doesn’t have any major plans for her post-working life, but she does intend to switch off the alarm and sleep in for a change.

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.”

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?

Delivering Messages of Hope to a Grieving Community

Newtown PO Box 3700 More low res

A temporary Post Office Box was established in the community of Newtown, CT, to handle the thousands of cards, letters, fruit baskets, books, teddy bears, and more from around the world.

The January 2013 edition of Your Postal Podcast provides a look behind the scenes at the task of delivering hundreds of thousands of messages of sympathy and encouragement to the residents of Newtown, CT, after last month’s senseless shooting at an elementary school in that community.

You’ll also hear about one class of mail celebrating a significant anniversary this year.

The podcast concludes with a roundup of postal news, plus details on how you can enter to win free collectible stamp items.

Both the audio and transcript versions of this and previous shows are available at

  • Hello, I'm Benny the Blogger: I'm the world's most famous postal employee. My hobbies are snappy quotes, kite flying and publishing. I was born Jan. 17, 1706, but don't call me old.

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