The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 24, 2012

MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Ellen Opperman

By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — The Clinton Post Office recently welcomed a new postmaster.

Ellen Opperman, 52, of Bettendorf, has spent the past 20 years working with the United States Postal Service. Throughout the years, she has enjoyed interacting with the public and fellow employees.

Ellen previously worked as a radiologic technologist for years. When she and her husband moved to the Quad-City area in 1990, she was unable to find a job in her field. She took the postal exam and applied for a job. She started at the Davenport office in 1992 as a transitional employee, leaving that location in 1993 to start as a part-time carrier at the Bettendorf Post Office. In 1999, she moved to the Muscatine Post Office to be a customer service supervisor.

Ellen received her first position as postmaster in 2002 in West Liberty. She served there four years before becoming the Blue Grass postmaster in 2006.

Since the Blue Grass post office was downsized, Ellen recently decided it was time to make a change. She sees herself as having many more years until retirement and thought she should position herself to continue in the postal service by being part of a larger post office. She began at the Clinton Post Office this month going from a place with seven employees to one with more than 50 employees.

“The most important thing to me is to make myself visible to my employees and accessible to my employees,” Ellen said. “They feel more involved. I feel more involved if I have direct contact with them.”

Ellen is working to get used to the new location. She has worked on details in Clinton including audits and walking with routes. She also served as the officer in charge for six months in Camanche during the winter of 2009.

Ellen is primarily working to get to know all of her employees. She said that right now, there are a lot of changes in the United States Postal Service. Last year, the Clinton Post Office absorbed carriers from several nearby communities.

“We have some things going on internally, but the mail’s going to keep coming. There’s no question about it,” Ellen said. “It may not be in the way, shape or form that we know it right now, but it will be there. And I intend to be there with it.”

Ellen also hopes to get to know the rest of the Clinton community. She likes to be active in the community and was involved with the chamber of commerce and Rotary club in the towns she was previously postmaster in. Once the holidays are over, she plans to introduce herself to the people in the area.

When not working, Ellen spends time with her family. Ellen and her husband, Paul, have been married for 32 years. They have a daughter, Gina, and a son, Benjamin. They also have three grandsons. One of Ellen’s favorite pasttimes is traveling.

“When time and money allows I will spend it traveling with my family,” she said.