Kimberly J. Henson of rural Williamsville is overwhelmed with emotions as she comes to the end of her career with the United States Postal Service.
“I feel joy to have reached the end of a career with the United States Postal Service that has spanned from 1979 to 2019,” she said, “and to have spent the last eight years in the extraordinary community of Bloomfield. I feel excitement to enter into the next phase of life where I will have time to spend with my granddaughters, watch them grow and become our future but at the same time regretful that I cannot make time stand still and keep them safe from what might lie ahead.”Henson’s career with the USPS has covered many areas. She served as postmaster in Bernie, Centerview, Chaffee, Piedmont, Silva, and her final appointment as postmaster in Bloomfield. A great deal of her career was spent in Wayne County. She was sworn in as Piedmont postmaster on Aug. 7, 1993, and the Silva postmaster on Nov. 5, 1997.
Henson began as a clerk in the Williamsville Post Office in 1979. She then transferred to Poplar Bluff where she worked for 4 years, until she returned to college to get her Bachelor’s Degree. After completion of her degree, she returned to the post office and was appointed to the Bernie Postmaster position in December 1987.
Her career took her around the state. Henson served as Officer In Charge of many offices as well as appointments as Acting Manager of Accounting Services and Associate Office Coordinator in the Kansas City, MO, District Office. While serving as postmaster, she accepted additional duties as the Certified Examinations Specialist for Southeast Missouri where she administered new hire exams to thousands of potential employees, a trainer for new employees and newly appointed postmasters, facilitator for Orientation for New Employees, Team Leader for the Credit/Debit Card installations, Facilitative Instructor Workshop Presenter and many more. She also served on the Kansas City District Diversity Committee and the Retail Generation Committee in the Western Area Office in Denver, Colo.
Henson was considered a Subject Matter Expert in many areas including financial audits, recruitment and hiring and retail services. Along with her postal knowledge, she also had a strong voice, an outgoing personality and great stage presence. Over her career, she presented many workshops and classes throughout the state and represented the USPS at numerous community events as she could easily convey information while commanding and entertaining an audience. Henson was always available to assist a fellow Postmaster or provi.de guidance. She believes that you can teach the job to anyone but to be a true success you must possess the qualities of loyalty, honesty, respect, compassion and common sense as these cannot be taught.
Henson went to Bloomfield as Postmaster in May of 2012 after her current position was abolished by a Postal Service reorganization.
“I was given the choice of taking an early retirement or securing another position,” she said. “Knowing I was only five years from regular retirement, I chose to apply for the Postmaster position in Bloomfield even though I lived over 60 miles away.”
“When I was selected for the Postmaster position I sat down on my front porch and cried tears of sadness,” she continued. “I didn’t want to make the job change nor did I want to think of driving over 125 miles daily for the next five years.” Now nearly eight years later she sat her office at the Bloomfield Post Office again with tears of sadness streaming down her face.
“I am sad to be leaving the wonderful community of Bloomfield,” Henson said. “From the moment I arrived in 2012 the community welcomed me as if I were born and raised right here.”
Any apprehension she had was immediately whisked away by nearly every customer that came through the door.
“For eight years the community and I have worked together to help one another,” stated Henson. “When I needed help someone always came through and I pray they feel the same toward me. Few communities could compare with the heartfelt friendships that have been formed. ”