Pioneer spirit

Altha “Cookie” Rainwater-Lewis is distribution operations manager at the Lubbock, TX, Processing and Distribution Center. Image: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Altha “Cookie” Rainwater-Lewis didn’t realize she was blazing a trail when the Postal Service promoted her to distribution operations manager in Lubbock, TX.

Rainwater-Lewis is the first woman and the first African-American to hold the job.

“I had no idea that I would be making history,” she told the Avalanche-Journal last week. “Now that I do [know], it makes me even more proud to have reached this point in my career.”

Rainwater-Lewis, a 41-year USPS veteran, works at the Lubbock Processing and Distribution Center.

She oversees daily operations on tour 3, a 3-11 p.m. shift where as many as 45 employees sort mail.

The facility also handles the city’s outgoing mail.

Lubbock Postmaster Steve Olguin said USPS benefits from Rainwater-Lewis’s experience.

“She knows the ropes — she’s seen everything and she’s done everything,” he said.

Rainwater-Lewis has also earned the respect of her family, including her son, Louie Scott Jr.

“I’m extremely proud of my mom,” he said. “All of my life watching her work very long hours … and to finally see the recognition that I believe she deserves is really great.”