Upbeat, melodic sounds from the Pan-in Motion Steel Orchestra welcomed everyone into the banquet hall at The Pine restaurant on a beautiful Friday morning. The tropical sounds were more than fitting for the newly sworn-in postmaster.
Dawned in a lavender suit with a floral button down and shoes that reflect blue and green at the heel, Livingston became the 13th United States Postal Service (USPS) postmaster of the Bronx and the first Trinidadian woman to hold the position.
Livingston was named to the position back in September but wasn’t officially installed until Aug. 18 — she has been covering the position in an acting capacity since October 2021.
“It’s exciting, It’s humbling. It’s a relief to say ‘Woo I made it, I finally made it.’ I’m an executive,” said Livingston. “There are a very few of us that are women and of color.”
Livingston was born on the island of Trinidad and Tobago but moved to Brooklyn — where she still lives today — with her mother in 1969.
Starting her postal career in 1987 as a part-time flexible city carrier at Rugby station in Brooklyn, she has served numerous roles. Livingston has worked in everything from women’s program coordinator and manager of customer service operations to postmaster of Staten Island.
“A lot of what prepared me is a lot of support. A lot of people helped me … taught me, [and] took the time to give me the opportunity and the knowledge,” said Livingston. “I’m grateful for my team, because I couldn’t do any of this without them. I’m grateful for them trusting me to meet them.”
During the ceremony at The Pine on Bronxdale Avenue, Livingston was honored with remarks from some of her most avid supporters: Dennis Jackson, retired manager of Brooklyn’s USPS Customer Service Operation, Frank Calabrese, USPS district manager of New York 2 District, Regional Vice President of the National Association of Postal Supervisors Tommy Roma, Lorraine Castellano, USPS district manager of New York 1 and West Farms USPS Supervisor Nancy George, who hosted the event.
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, also of Trinidadian descent, presented Livingston with a citation of merit. In her speech, the borough president highlighted the historic significance of the appointment. Gibson, herself, is no stranger to firsts — she’s the first woman and African American to serve as Bronx borough president. Gibson said she knows how important it is to be a first, but also not the last.
“Our young people can look at all of us and see themselves, their own hopes, their dreams, and all of their aspirations. You cannot be what you cannot see,” said Gibson.
The last line resonated with Livingston, who wants to be an example for little brown girls and boys that they can do anything even when it’s hard, especially her two nephews.
As a postmaster, Livingston oversees 1,600 employees who provide services to Bronx residents through 24 delivery units and 22 finance stations. She is responsible for administering postal operations for about 1.5 million Bronxites, in addition to 533,343 residential and business delivery points across the borough.
Castellano picked Livingston because she was the perfect person for such a vital role. She said the postmaster “serves the community” properly and “knows what the issues are” while staying in compliance with the Postmaster General’s Delivering for America plan.
“(Livingston) really focuses on the employees and the development of the employees. She’s very knowledgeable. She has many years of service and she has great leadership,” said Castellano.
Through this position, Livingston is ready to learn more about the Bronx and the people who call it home. She has been enjoying her time in the borough which has been easy to acclimate to since it’s similar to Brooklyn.
“I want the Bronx to have optimum service. I want people to be able to trust that they’re gonna get their mail on time, that they’re gonna get the right mail. We’re going to protect the sanctity of the mail, “ said Livingston. “I want to provide the best services we possibly can to the customers because they deserve it.”
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