Toni Guist is a natural.
The Postal Service retail associate has handled passport applications for less than a year, but she already has been honored for her work by the U.S. State Department.
Guist, who works at Clarence B. Craft Station in Fayetteville, AR, was one of four finalists for a special recognition citation in the department’s annual passport awards, which honor agents and facilities that deliver excellent service in handling passport applications.
“I wasn’t aware the contest even existed,” said Guist, who was nominated by Fayetteville Postmaster Tyler Harris and a co-worker, Gretchen Neumann, a distribution clerk who trained Guist and serves as her mentor.
Although Guist only recently began handling passport applications in her job, she is no stranger to the Postal Service.
She joined the organization five years ago. Her parents, sister, brother, uncle and boyfriend also work for USPS, while her grandfather and another uncle are postal retirees.
“This is a great achievement that I can add to our ‘postal proud’ family,” said Guist, adding that her three children are also proud of her.
Harris describes Guist as a “very passionate” postal employee. “In one of the busiest offices in the state, she knows customers by name,” he said.
Since the State Department announced its passport award honorees a few weeks ago, Guist was interviewed for two local TV newscasts.
She also attended a ceremony in Washington, DC, with other honorees, including individuals who process passport applications for universities, public libraries and military agencies.
“The attendees represented all one community,” Guist said. “We bonded and exchanged tips about how to handle different scenarios.”
Guist looks forward to putting those tips into practice and helping an organization she loves continue growing its passport business.
“The Postal Service is a really good job and to commit to it is a really great career,” she said.