New BP postmaster wears many hats
Michele A. Lawson was named postmaster of the Blooming Prairie Post Office on Feb. 17.
“I wear lots of different hats,” she said. “For example, I was postmaster, supervisor, mail carrier, clerk, landscaper and maintenance person, all in one day.”
Lawson became acting postmaster on Dec. 28, 2016. Her 24 years of postal employment began in 1994 when she reported to the Owatonna Post Office as a part-time flexible clerk. She then became a city carrier.
Lawson grew up in the West Concord area, part of a family of four sisters and two brothers. She graduated from West Concord High School in 1978.
She is married to Kevin Lawson and the couple has three sons, Brad, Matt and Jeff, and seven grandchildren.
As postmaster, Lawson oversees employees and coordinates truck pickups and deliveries.
“We aim to provide the best service we can,” she said.
BPPO is a busy place, with over 1,600 addresses being maintained. Staff led by Lawson includes three regular carriers, two clerks, Eileen Loverink and Diane Bergstrom, and three substitute carriers.
“We do what needs to be done,” said Lawson said.
A clerk reports at 5:30 a.m. and carriers come into the post office to sort their routes at 7:30 a.m.
The post office is open from 9-11 a.m. and from noon to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10-11 a.m. Saturdays.
The local mailing station sees lots of foot traffic and sometimes it is a random meeting place for customers. Typically, all mail is delivered by 3:30 p.m.
First Class postage recently increased to 50 cents. The post office carries 20 varieties of First Class Forever Postage, the most recent stamp, which pays tribute to the late entertainer Lena Horne.
Lawson said she has seen many changes at the post office, most of them in the technology area.
“We have our own type of e-mail,” she said.
Training is very important in postal circles, with much of it being done through web conferences, Lawson said.
When not working at the post office, she finds time to spend with her family and also works about four to six nights a month as a server at the Hubbell House Restaurant in Mantorville.
“I also enjoy listening to bands,” she said.