Deb Abraham Spalding
Jim Adams (pictured right), Postmaster at the Thurmont Post Office, officially retires on November 30, 2021, after 22 years with the United States Postal Service.
While retirement will provide Jim with more time with family and opportunity for travel, that doesn’t mean he won’t miss the great team of postal workers at the Thurmont Post Office. About them he said, “I’ve been very blessed, and I will never ever take them for granted.”
He explained, “I don’t care what the challenge is from one day to the next, we all pull together and get the job done each and every day.”
With the cumulative goal for postal workers being to get a letter or a package from its point of origin to its destination as efficiently as possible, Jim said, “Our focus is to be fully engaged and providing nothing but outstanding service to our customers, and each and every member of our team has the same commitment and focus every day they come to work.”
Jim is one of six children and was raised in Elyria, Ohio. While working his way through college at Cleveland State University, Jim lost his job and moved in with his sister and brother-in-law in Baltimore, where work was plentiful.
With a fresh degree in psychology from UMBC, it was the degree, not the field of study that charted his postal career. “There wasn’t a tremendous amount of opportunity with that degree,” he explained.
While living in New Market, Maryland, he responded to a big “Help Wanted” banner in front of the post office and was hired as a rural carrier associate by Pat Sortino. Pat served as a mentor and nudged Jim along as he worked his way up towards management.
He rose within the profession, serving as the Retail and Bulk Mail Supervisor in Frederick, Officer in Charge of the Rocky Ridge Post Office, and then left there for an Associates Supervisor program where he received very extensive postal training.
He started his management career as a level 15 supervisor at the Hagerstown Post Office. After about seven years, opportunity knocked again, and Jim went to Frederick.
The piece that was missing in his career was retail, but his bulk mail experience in Frederick set a foundation for his move to Thurmont.
After 11 years at Thurmont, the step for retirement is now. “I have five grandchildren who have me wrapped,” Jim said.
Family is important to Jim, he’s very close with his brothers and sisters, and they are celebrating his decision to retire right along with him.
Jim and his wife, Ellen, have a blended family, with his daughter Jessica and her three children, Ashley Brianna, and Curtis. Truly one family.
Jim is ready to celebrate family and already has trips planned to spend quality time together.
The plan for Jim’s replacement had not been announced at the time of this interview, but Jim assures that there will be a seamless transition for a new postmaster.
He said, “I only hope that as the Postmaster that I have provided outstanding customer service to each and every individual that I was responsible for in Thurmont, and also the Rocky Ridge, Sabillasville, and Cascade zip codes. It’s my hope that whoever comes in behind me has that same passion and that same focus of providing nothing but outstanding service. That’s all that we have to offer.”
Jim has been very passionate about the postal service.
“I was raised in a family where it’s always important to show appreciation. It’s been an honor and a pleasure.”
Photo by Deb Abraham Spalding