The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Brandon Cline

New postmaster is sworn in


August 16, 2017

Brandon Cline

New Goldendale postmaster Jennifer Zimmerlee (center) poses for pictures with her employees following her swearing in ceremony on August 10.

The newest postmaster for the Goldendale post office was sworn in on August 10, as Jennifer Zimmerlee has officially taken the reins from the previous postmaster, James Hamilton.

Tyrone Williams, the USPS Portland District Manager-which is the district that the Goldendale post office resides in-was on hand to swear in Zimmerlee, who has actually been on the job since the middle of June. Along with managing the Goldendale post office, Zimmerlee also oversees the post offices in Wishram and Dallesport.

Raised in Klamath Falls in Oregon, Zimmerlee made the cross-country trek to attend Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Zimmerlee earned her degree in marketing and business management, and also met her husband at Belmont. The two ended up living in Nashville for 17 years, before relocating back to the Pacific Northwest.

"I loved Nashville, the people and the food, but hated the weather," said Zimmerlee. "The tornadoes, the humidity, the heat, the humidity. Did I mention the humidity? It's a great place to visit, did not really want to live there all that long. When you're a Pacific Northwest girl all you can do is just come back to the Pacific Northwest."

Since returning to the Pacific Northwest, Zimmerlee has earned her master's degree in human resources training and development. She's also ran the Moro post office in Sherman County, Oregon, but the differences between running that post office and running Goldendale's are night and day. In Moro, Zimmerlee essentially worked with just one other staff member. In Goldendale, Zimmerlee manages six full-time carriers with six reliefs, a sub-carrier with a relief, and four clerks.

Zimmerlee says that because she also manages the Dallesport and Wishram post offices, she's not always in her office, which she says is a challenge. While customer's expectations reign supreme, Zimmerlee's focus is on making sure the post office is meeting its own expectations.

"Our customers have expectations-and we have to meet them-but we also have company expectations as any company does, and that's probably the biggest thing I focus on and try to make sure that everybody's happy," says Zimmerlee. "Here within the office, I like to have a lot of fun. I like my staff to have a lot of fun, and we spend too many hours at the post office not to have fun at our job. So I'm hoping because our clerks are having fun that our customers are, too. It's like 'happy wife, happy life.' Happy employees, happy customers."

Zimmerlee says the post office's biggest goal is obviously customer satisfaction, while also noting that the climate of the mail business is changing and becoming more challenging.

"It's a changing and challenging climate that we're in, with the nature of the business along with the location and changing technologies," says Zimmerlee. "So trying to provide and meet the needs of our customers is definitely a challenge, but it's something we strive for every day. I think we do a really good job here, and the team does an excellent job. But there's always refinement and we always try and provide that little bit of extra service if we can."

Zimmerlee's predecessor, James Hamilton, had been the postmaster for seven years, and was familiar with the post office's customers and the businesses in the region. For Zimmerlee, meeting with the customers and the businesses and forging a relationship is one of her priorities.

"I'm looking forward to meeting some of the customers and businesses and getting to know them better, while also providing solutions for them," says Zimmerlee. "We have a lot of cool programs and stuff that maybe they aren't aware of, and hopefully we can make them aware of what they are."


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