Nobel author

The Postal Service celebrated the stamp release honoring literary giant Toni Morrison at Princeton University in New Jersey on March 7.

Morrison (1931-2019) was the rare author who achieved both critical and commercial success. Some of her best-known novels include “The Bluest Eye,” “Song of Solomon” and “Beloved,” which explored the diverse voices and multifaceted experiences of African Americans.

“One of the goals of our stamp program is to raise awareness and celebrate the people who represent the very best of our nation,” said Pritha Mehra, USPS chief information officer and executive vice president, who served as the dedicating official.

Morrison’s many honors include the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the National Humanities Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1993, she made history as the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature.

“It’s a privilege to represent the 650,000 men and women of the Postal Service as we honor Toni Morrison with one more tribute — our new stamp that will be seen by millions and forever remind us of the power of her words and the ideas she brought to the world,” Mehra said.

Joining Mehra for the ceremony were Chris Eisgruber, president of Princeton University; Carla Hayden, librarian of Congress; Gene Jarrett, faculty dean at Princeton; Ruha Benjamin, professor of African American studies at Princeton; and photographer Deborah Feingold, whose portrait of Morrison appears on the stamp.

Michael Cadden, a lecturer at Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts, was master of ceremonies.

The stamp features Feingold’s photograph of Toni Morrison against a bright yellow background. Ethel Kessler, an art director for USPS, designed the Forever stamp.

The Toni Morrison stamp is available in panes of 20 at Post Offices and

‘Natural conversation’

Sales leads from a complaints and inquiry clerk in Virginia have resulted in shipping deals worth a combined $34,500 for the Postal Service.

Shane Swann, who works at the Virginia District Consumer Affairs Office in Richmond, stopped by a local business to pick up some shirts she had ordered.

Swann struck up a conversation with the business owner about how the Postal Service could help him grow his business. The owner provided Swann with his contact information and she submitted a lead, which led to a shipping deal worth $10,374 in new estimated annualized revenue for the Postal Service.

Later, while attending a small-business expo in Richmond, Swann spoke with the owner of a business that sells cleaning products. She took the woman’s contact information and submitted a lead that led to a shipping deal worth $24,125 in new estimated annualized revenue for the Postal Service.

“Through natural conversation, Shane was able to identify these potential revenue-generating opportunities for USPS,” said JaLisa Joshua, a business lead development specialist for Virginia District. “By submitting the leads, Shane was able to assist businesses in need and grow revenue for the Postal Service.”

Sales generated from employee leads are included in the USPS Delivering for Main Street campaign to raise revenue through sales leads.

The Postal Service is encouraging as many employees as possible to submit at least one lead by Sept. 30 through LEADing Together, a new program that makes it easier to pass along sales tips.

The LEADing Together portal combines the Postal Service’s six employee lead generation programs into one.

Postal employees with ACE IDs can submit leads through the new Employee Lead Entry site on Blue by selecting the “LEADing Together” link under “Featured Topics.” Employees who do not have an ACE ID can access the site through LiteBlue by selecting “LEADing Together” under the “Featured Topics” tab.

Customer 360 users can click on “LEADing Together” to access the site on that platform. Letter carriers who use a mobile delivery device, or MDD, can enter leads while on street mode, under option “U.” Business Connect Portal users have to enter a lead through the Employee Lead Entry site if an activity requires sales assistance or has resulted in a sale.

The Small Business and Lead Generation Programs Blue page has more information about how employees can submit a lead.