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Transitioning to the future

Man gestures while speaking on stage at conference

The Postal Service has made several leadership announcements, including the retirement of a top executive, the promotion of several key leaders and a series of functional alignments that aim to better position the organization to achieve operational excellence and financial stability.

The changes include the announcement that David E. Williams, chief logistics and processing operations officer, intends to retire next year, capping a postal career that has spanned more than three decades.

“Dave Williams has been an outstanding leader within the Postal Service,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. “During his career with us, he has streamlined mail processing, delivery and operations. Dave has also been a leader in driving the use of data and information to advance innovation and system improvements. We value his many contributions and thank him for his distinguished service. I would also like to extend my personal thanks to Dave for all of the assistance he provided to me both before and during my transition to the Postal Service.”

Williams joined USPS as an industrial engineering trainee in 1987 and went on to work in several field, area and headquarters positions, including serving as chief operating officer from 2015-2020.

“The Postal Service has been my life for 33 years,” Williams said. “I love every aspect of this organization, its people and our collective mission to serve America. I will always be thankful to this organization for investing in me at the beginning of my career, and I will always take pride in the work I’ve done with my colleagues. I look forward to working with my successor and the rest of the team through this year’s peak delivery season to ensure a smooth transition into the new year.”

Other leadership appointments and structural modifications announced Nov. 19:

• Isaac Cronkhite, who currently serves as chief human resources officer, will succeed Williams as chief logistics and processing operations officer. In this role, Cronkhite will oversee 135,000 career employees at more than 300 USPS facilities nationwide.

• Doug Tulino, labor relations vice president, will become chief human resources officer. He’ll be responsible for the professional development of the Postal Service’s 644,000-member workforce and oversee labor relations, leadership and career development, compensation and benefits, and recruitment and hiring processes, among other responsibilities.

• Katherine Attridge, collective bargaining and arbitration manager, will become labor relations vice president. She’ll help manage the Postal Service’s relationships with its labor unions and management associations, along with providing Equal Employment Opportunity services for USPS and other organizations.

• Tom Foti, product management executive director, will become product solutions vice president and report to Steve Monteith, who will become chief customer and marketing officer after serving in the role on an acting basis since the summer.

In his new role, Foti will oversee Product Solutions, a newly formed organization that will oversee product management, pricing and classification services, product classification, new solutions, and commercial and business acceptance solutions.

• Marc McCrery, information technology vice president, will become technology applications vice president, and Bill Koetz, computer operations manager, will serve as acting network and compute technology vice president; both will report to Pritha Mehra, who will become chief information officer after serving in the role on an acting basis since the summer.

The groups that McCrery and Koetz will respectively oversee — Technology Applications, and Network and Compute Technology — will be created by splitting the Information Technology organizations. Technology Applications will oversee the IT solution centers, enterprise data warehouse, and commercial payments and systems, while the Network and Compute Technology group will be responsible for telecommunication technologies and compute technologies, including servers, software, cloud and data center operations.

As part of this change, the teams that make up the Mail Entry and Payment Technology group will be aligned with either Product Solutions or Technology Applications. Additionally, the Information Systems teams that support area and district offices will form a new organization, Enterprise Endpoint Technology.

• Gary Reblin, product innovation vice president, will become innovative business technology vice president and report to Scott Bombaugh, who will become chief technology officer after serving in the role on an acting basis since the summer.

Innovative Business Technology, a newly formed organization, will oversee mailing services, digital business, product technology innovation, and mail and package information systems.

• Linda Malone has been named engineering systems vice president after serving in the position on an acting basis since the summer. She will report to Bombaugh.

• Simon Storey, employee resource management vice president, will become human resources vice president. Jenny Utterback, human resources technology and innovation senior director, will become organization development vice president. Both will report to Chief Human Resources Officer Doug Tulino.

Human Resources will lead the planning and implementation of national human resource programs and policies in the areas of safety and injury compensation, health and medical services, hiring, staffing and retention, among other responsibilities.

Organization Development will be responsible for leading learning and development, compensation and benefits, human resources technology, and talent acquisition and diversity, among other areas. This organization will focus on developing programs, policies and processes that align with corporate and human resources strategic initiatives and work closely with the Human Resources and Labor Relations groups.

• Jeff Adams has been named corporate communications vice president, a role he has served in on an acting basis since the summer. In this role, Adams will oversee the Postal Service’s relationships with the media, as well as employee communications, social media and other responsibilities.

These appointments help better align the Postal Service and also demonstrate the organization’s commitment to the career development of its own employees by building talent and promoting from within. Altogether, these announcements include 11 promotions, five new officers, two lateral moves and one detail assignment.

These organizational changes will not initiate a reduction-in-force. The hiring freeze, announced in August to facilitate employee reductions through natural attrition, remains in place.

Further organizational modifications are expected to continue in phased approaches during the next several months.

‘Home’ for Christmas

The Postal Service’s new holiday television commercial began airing Nov. 13.

The commercial, titled Home,” shows holiday mail and packages working their way through a mail processing center and being loaded onto trucks while mail carriers get ready to start their delivery rounds.

Carriers are then shown making deliveries in rain and snow. The commercial ends with a carrier — played by Sandra Delgado, a real-life letter carrier in Burbank, CA — leaving a package on a customer’s holiday-decorated porch before adjusting a flickering light.

The one-minute commercial, which features the classic tune “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” also show a customer using a mobile device that displays an Informed Delivery message.

During this week’s all-employee video message, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy previewed a 30-second version of the commercial, which can be seen on traditional broadcast and various online channels.

The ad is part of a holiday campaign that includes a seasonal mailer being sent to customers that highlights how mail helps people connect during the holidays.

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Health care ABCs

Do you know the difference between a deductible and a copayment?

If you don’t know, you’re not alone. Many people are confused by health insurance terminology.

To help you navigate your way through this year’s open season benefits enrollment period, here are some important definitions:

Deductible: This is the amount you pay for covered health care services before your health plan starts to pay. You can find the amount, and how much you’ve paid toward it, through your health insurance plan’s web portal.

• High-deductible health plan: This is a plan with a higher deductible than a traditional insurance plan, but usually with lower monthly premiums and a health savings account.

Copayment: This is a fixed amount paid for certain covered health care services.

Coinsurance: This is similar to a copayment, but refers to a percentage paid for some covered health care services rather than a fixed amount paid.

Flexible spending account: This is an account set up to pay for out-of-pocket medical or dependent care expenses on a pretax basis.

Preventive services: This describes routine health care that includes screenings, patient counseling and vaccinations, such as flu shots. Preventive services are covered at 100 percent under your health plan if you go to an in-network provider.

The Open Season LiteBlue page has additional information to help you better understand your plan options, including a link to a comparison tool from Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees.

Open season runs through Monday, Dec. 14.

Touch points

“News Quiz” is a weekly feature that lets you test your knowledge of recent Link stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. The Postal Service is working with the Sandboxx app to help customers use Informed Delivery to connect with whom?

a) College freshmen
b) Kindergarteners
c) Military recruits
d) None of the above

2. True or false: USPS is offering its “Making the Most of Open Season” webinar multiple times in November and December.

a) True
b) False

3. The Postal Service’s shipping guidelines aim to keep what kind of items out of the mail?

a) Hazardous items
b) Restricted items
c) Perishable items
d) All of the above

4. Fill in the blank: The Combined Federal Campaign allows federal employees, retirees and contractors to contribute to more than (blank) charitable organizations.

a) 7,000
b) 70,000
c) 700,000
d) None of the above

5. When did the Mayflower arrive in what is known today as Plymouth, MA?

a) Sept. 6, 1620
b) Oct. 30, 1620
c) Nov. 28, 1620
d) Dec. 16, 1620

Answers: 1) c. 2) a. 3) d. 4) a. 5) d.

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