Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hellgate Employee Debuts on Broadway

Louis Pagan's Joe DiMaggio picture postmark debuts on Broadway (photo credit: JAF Clerk Frank Rodriquez)
Congratulations to Hellgate Sales & Service Associate Louis Pagan whose design won the New York District's Joe DiMaggio picture postmark contest. Not only was Pagan's drawing  of the "Yankee Clipper" selected to cancel all the DiMaggio stamps and cachets at the First-Day-of -Issue event held at Bronx GPO, but his postmark design was in rotation on the PR Newswire jumbo video screen in Times Square for all to see.
Chalk one up for the home team!

SSA Louis Pagan holds Joe DiMaggio Commemorative program featuring winning picture postmark  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Special Cancellation for Rough Rider

          The New York District joined the National Park Service in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site by offering visitors a special pictorial cancellation.
          The Roosevelt family lived at 28 East 20th Street in Manhattan until 1872 when Theodore Jr. was 14 years old. The house that stands there today was reconstructed in 1923 to reflect what Theodore Jr.'s home looked like while he lived there. The National Park Service has administered the museum site since 1963.
          Forever associated with organizing the Rough Riders––a volunteer cavalry regiment that fought in Cuba during the Spanish-American War–– the 26th President of the United States championed antitrust laws (restricts monopolies by big business), was a force behind the completion of the Panama Canal, and as an outdoors man and naturalist, promoted conservation.
          Roosevelt's policies were characterized by his famous slogan, "Speak softly and carry a big stick" and were instrumental in negotiating and end to the Russo-Japanese War, which won him the Nobel Prize in 1905.  He died in 1919.  

Visitor Herb Niemirow looks on as SSA Evelyn Boyd cancels commemorative cachet
at Theodore Roosevelt National Historic Site

Commemorative Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace Cachet with special 50th Anniversary cancellation

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Scouts Honor

In honor of the 100 year anniversary of scouting, the Madison Square Post Office hosted a special cancellation ceremony for the Celebrate Scouting First Class Forever stamp–– with the New York District’s own Scout Leader presiding over the festivities.
 Marketing Manager Raschelle Parker, who was once a Girl Scout and today is a Troop Leader, was joined by the CEO of the Girl Scout of Greater NY Barbara Murphy-Warrington and scouts from Brooklyn Troops 2-711, 6-271 and 2-379 at the event.
“We are honored to join USPS in unveiling the Celebrate Scouting Forever Stamp,” said Murphy-Warrington at the event. “The girls depicted in this beautiful stamp reflect the courage, confidence and character of Girl Scouts everywhere.”
Scouts, philatelists and customers alike took the opportunity to purchase the Celebrate Scouting Forever postage stamps and beautifully designed cachets and commemorative items at the end of the ceremony.
“Being a girl scout for me meant having a group of friends for a lifetime,” said Parker.  “Never in my wildest dream did I think becoming a leader would be so enriching.  Scouting is more than selling cookies. Scouting is about nurturing the talent and potential of our girls so that one day they become great leaders in their own unique way. The Celebrate Scouting FC Stamp exemplifies the legacy that Girl Scouting has created.”

L to R: Girl Scout Reps Rhonda Boston, Charmaine Chung, Barbara Murphy-Warrington join NY Marketing Mgr. and Scout Leader Raschelle Parker at Celebrate Scouting event

Over Achievers

          Customer Connect–– the program that encourages Letter Carriers to leverage their relationship with business customers to identify new revenue––is picking up momentum.
          Bronx Postmaster Howard Sample recently paid a visit to Highbridge and Boulevard stations in the Bronx to congratulate the Letter Carriers for reaching 100 percent participation in the Customer Connect program. Sample presented each station with a Certificate of Recognition and treated the employees to a continental breakfast.
          “You are in the front lines every day,” said Sample to the Carriers. “You are the first to notice if a customer is using another competitor, and you know if a customer is unhappy with all the surcharges they have to pay. You are the ones who can not only help your customers, but the Postal Service as well.”
          “The Letter Carriers here at Highbridge understand how important the Customer Connect program is and they bought into it right away,” said Highbridge Mgr. Joseph Fabris. “In fact Highbridge was the first station in the District to reach 100 percent participation.”
          “The Postal Service is better at mail delivery than our competitors,” Boulevard Mgr. Carlos Lagares told his staff. “You prove that every day when you submit a lead card which results in your customer switching to the Postal Service.”

BX PM Howard Sample, Area C Mgr. Ivonne Warden, Customer Connect Coord. David Velazquez, and BDS Wilma Rivera present Certificate of Recognition to Highbridge Letter Carriers, staff and Mgr. Joe Fabris 

BX PM Howard Sample, Area C Mgr. Ivonne Warden, Customer Connect Coord. David Velazquez, and BDS Wilma Rivera present Certificate of Recognition to Boulevard Letter Carriers, staff and Mgr. Carlos Lagares 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yankee Clipper Back in the Bronx

          New York Yankee Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio, considered by many to be the greatest baseball player of his time––and in fact was voted the sport's greatest living player in a poll taken in the baseball centennial year of 1969–––hit a proverbial grand slam over the weekend at commemorative stamp events in Cooperstown NY and the Bronx.
Postal officials, local politicians, and New York Yankees representatives joined DiMaggio’s family in unveiling the Joe DiMaggio First Class forever stamp in front of a packed house at Bronx GPO.
Very honored, very proud, very exciting,” said DiMaggio’s granddaughter Kathie DiMaggio-Stein at the event. “I'm so glad that the US Postal Service decided to bestow this honor on him."
L to R: Bronx Borough Pres. Ruben Diaz Jr., Joe DiMaggio's grandaughter  Kathie DiMaggio-Stein, NY Marketing Mgr. Raschelle Parker, Bronx PM Howard Sample unveil stamp at Bronx GPO
The previous day, the Major League Baseball All-Star First Class stamp set, which along with DiMaggio includes Boston Red Sox Ted Williams, Pittsburgh Pirate Willie Stargell and Cleveland Indian Larry Doby was unveiled at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Sales & Service Associate Louis Pagan designed the winning
 postmark for the dedication
Hellgate Sales & Service Associate Louis Pagan won the New York District postmark contest and his design was used on the all the first day souvenirs sold in Manhattan and the Bronx.
          DiMaggio, the son of Italian immigrants, is of course best known for his record 56 consecutive games hitting streak. But that’s only part of the story.
Morgan P&DC General Clerk Joseph Morales sings
National Anthem at event 
The “Yankee Clipper” played center field during his entire 13-year career with the Yankees, won three Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, was selected for the All Star game in every season he played and led the Yankees to ten pennants and nine World Series championships. At the time of his retirement, he ranked fifth in career home runs (361) and sixth in career slugging percentage (.579). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.
          Culturally, DiMaggio was at the forefront of breaking down the stereotypes that many Italian-Americans faced during his playing days. His parents were among the thousands of German, Japanese and Italian immigrants classified as "enemy aliens" by the government after Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japan. They carried photo ID booklets at all times, and were not allowed to travel outside a five-mile radius from their home without a permit. His father, Giuseppe DiMaggio was barred from the San Francisco Bay, where he had fished for decades, and his boat was seized.
            DiMaggio’s marriage to Hollywood Actress Marilyn Monroe in 1954 was the premier high profile celebrity wedding, but despite the scandals and tragedies that ensued, the Mr. Coffee and Bowery Savings Bank endorsements, the reference in the Simon & Garfunkel song and the Ernest Hemmingway novel, DiMaggio remained a private person who took great pride in helping to raise funds to establish the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood Florida. It meant more to him than being elected to the Hall of Fame.
          “The saying that a person is not always remembered by what they say but by their actions holds true for this baseball Hall of Famer,” said NY District Marketing Manager and MC Raschelle Parker. “It is fitting that more than a half-century after his playing days ended; not only Yankees fans, but baseball fans everywhere honor major league baseball’s “Yankee Clipper” with a Forever First Class Postage Stamp.”  

 Sales & Service Associates set up tables for customers to purchase Joe DiMaggio commemoratives
 L to R:  SSAs Charlene Bazemore, Evelyn Boyd, Deven Ortiz, Joe DiMaggio's granddaughter
Kathie DiMaggio-Stein, Special Events Coord. Deborah Hart, SSA Dale Neil Cooper

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It All Starts With The Letter Carrier

          Letter Carrier Vincent Kiernan was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation and a gift bag of goodies at Village Station for submitting a Customer Connect lead that resulted in $79,560 in sales of Priority Mail Services. The presentation, held at the station by Business Development Specialist (BDS) Wilma Rivera and Branch 36 Customer Connect Coordinator (CCC) David Velasquez, followed a Service Talk that emphasized the value of submitting Customer Connect leads.

L to R:  Branch 36 CCC David Velasquez, Village Station CCC  Natan Sheyer,
Letter Carrier Vincent Kiernan, BDS Wilma Rivera

          Kiernan, who has been a Letter Carrier at Village for more than 20 years, explained how the sale came about.
          “Kevin Brynan, the owner of a retail shop on my route was telling me one day how his business has been doing really well these past few years, but his profit margin was not increasing because all his money was tied up in shipping fees. I told him that using the Postal Service might be a better option than the shipping company he was currently using. He definitely wanted to learn more,” continued Kiernan, “So I submitted the lead to my Customer Connect Coordinator Natan Sheyer, who got the ball rolling.”
          Business Solutions Specialist (BSS) Edy Mattia made the initial phone call to Brynan, who subsequently met with Senior BSS Lorriane Leak. After a thorough analysis of Brynan's shipping needs, Leak suggested a platform of delivery solutions that would minimize the company's mailing expenses. Brynan was sold and promptly switched to Priority Mail Services.
          “Vincent did the right thing,” said Sheyer. “More Letter Carriers need to participate in Customer Connect. It helps their customers’ business and it helps the Postal Service too.”
“Now when I see Kevin on my route, he tells me he is already seeing the benefits of using The Postal Service over our competitors,” said Kiernan. “I always look out for potential new customers on my route. It all starts with the Letter Carriers.”   

Monday, July 16, 2012

Bronx Letter Carrier Tells Tall Fish Tales

          When 20 year Bronx GPO Parcel Post Letter Carrier Ron Parker isn’t delivering mail and interacting with customers on his route, he is participating in some of the most competitive bass fishing tournaments in the north east. Parker, a member of the Southern Connecticut Bass Anglers Club, is currently in 3rd place in the club rankings and in 2nd place in The Bass Federation of Connecticut (TBF of Ct.) “B” division tournament. (The divisions are typically categorized according to entry fees.)
BX GPO Letter Carrier Ron Parker with
large-mouth bass he caught at tournament 
          “Fishing is my passion,” said Parker who owns a 17 ½ foot Pro-Craft boat with a 140 HP outboard motor. “I go out and practice fishing all the time at Candlewood Lake in Connecticut, where we hold the tournaments. It’s a beautiful serene place with pristine water. And the camaraderie among the club members is great. We all pull for each other.” 
          They may all support each other, but the competition to win the coveted title of “Mr. Bass” along with cash prizes and a plaque is fierce.
          There are 10 events that comprise the TBC of CT. tournament, which begins in April and ends in November. At every event, the angler who catches–– and keeps alive–– the largest five fish (by weight) at the end of the day wins that event. The fisherman whose “catches” add up to the most total weight by the end of tournament, wins the coveted TBF title. The average weight of the fish range from 1 to 5 pounds, and in case you were wondering, yes, the fish are always released back into the lake after each event.  
          Last year Parker finished in 2nd place in the club and took 3rd place over-all in TBF of Ct. “B” division rankings. This year he is expecting to do even better. “It takes some luck, but also intuition and knowledge,” explained Parker. “The fish have different habits at different times of the day and even the seasons. You also have to know which baits and lures work best for the situation you’re in.”
           Parker, who has been fishing since he was eight years old in Charlotte North Carolina, started getting serious about fishing and joined his first tournament in 1993. He purchased his first bass boat in 1998 and has been reeling them in ever since. “My wife is my great inspiration,” said Parker. “She fishes and practices with me, and in fact we won a co-ed fishing tournament together in 2010.”
          Parker proclaims he is the only tournament bass angler in the Bronx and is grateful to be working for the Postal Service. “I love my job, I love being outdoors and talking to my customers, and the Post Office helps me to pay for my passion,” he said.
Ron Parker and his bass boat  
          With a few more events left in this year’s tournament, Parker is gearing up to catch the big one that will put him over the top and provide him with plenty of tall fish tales to tell his co-workers.
“Everybody here at the Post Office knows how passionate I am about fishing,” he said. “I’ve taken some of my co-workers out with me. They love it. They all want to go out on my boat.”

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

JAF Photoshop Master

Clerk Frank Rodriquez is best known around the JAF Post Office for his remarkable Photoshop skills.
Rodriquez enjoys taking pictures of his co-workers, importing the photos into the popular Adobe Photoshop software program he has at home, and changing the background or manipulating the image to express a theme or a certain style. During his 26 years of service, he has compiled an extraordinary portfolio.
Here is a small sample of his submissions:

JAF Letter Carrier Miguel Amill
"holds" over-sized cans of food

JAF Letter Carrier Francis DiCandio towers
over James A. Farley Post Office

JAF Letter Carrier Marguerite Brybag-Kelly
announces baby Mia to the world
Typical tourist riding the NYC subway
Recently retired JAF Custodian Delia Johnson