SHU Mailroom Manager Named to National Postal Service Committee

News Story: September 7, 2008

Art Gerckens, manager of the mail and duplicating center at Sacred Heart University, has been unanimously voted to a seat on the advisory committee of the National Postal Customer Council (PCC), a business-relations branch of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).Gerckens has been a Sacred Heart University employee for 15 years and currently resides in Derby, CT.He is the only member of a university or nonprofit to be part of the National Postal Customer Council.

According to the USPS website, the PCC was established in 1961 “to improve communications between U.S. Postal Service customers and managers,” and later adopted business mailing issues as its primary focus. More than 200 local councils boast a combined 120,000 members across the country.

The committee consists of four representatives from the USPS and four representatives from the private sector of postal customers. Committee members’ responsibilities include educating PCC members on the use of postal services in order to grow their businesses, serving as liaison between members and the USPS, planning major PCC events and meeting three times a year to steer the program.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do to help the organization,” Gerckens says. “I am excited, and it seems like quite an honor.”

Gerckens has been involved with the PCC since he was named to his position at SHU in 1998. He admits he knew little about running a mailroom at the time, so he researched online for information to educate himself. He found that the PCC had a chapter in neighboring Bridgeport, so he joined.

“It was great experience,” Gerckens says. “I got to work alongside the postmasters of nearby towns, along with the heads of mailrooms at big local companies such as General Electric, People’s United Bank, and some of the big insurance companies.”

Two years after joining, he was named industry co-chair of the chapter. In 2006, the Bridgeport and Stamford chapters merged to form the Fairfield County Postal Council, and Gerckens continues to serve as chair.

Earlier this year, Gerckens arranged for SHU to host Susan Plonkey, the USPS’s vice president of Business Customer Relations, for a meeting with local PCC members. Plonkey was so impressed with Gercken’s operation at SHU that she arranged for a New York City film crew to visit campus and produce a 3- to 4-minute video about him. The segment will be broadcast nationally on the Postal Satellite network on National PCC Day, Wednesday, September 17. “All post offices in the U.S. will be having events on that day,” Gerckens says, “and anywhere in the U.S. you’re going to be able to see this clip of the interview they did of me and my staff.”