Michael Shinay Excelled As Postal Executive, Mail Center Manager

Mike Shinay

Michael J. Shinay, a bright industry light who excelled as both a postal executive and mail operations manager, died January 23.

He began his career as a postal intern in Washington in 1969 and would go on to serve as Postmaster of Burlington, VT when Postmaster General Anthony Frank selected him to be his executive assistant in 1989. Shinay’s gentile and outgoing personality was the perfect compliment to PMG Frank — and the Postal Service enjoyed great relations with the business mail community.

It was that reputation that led to his appointment in 1992 as Postmaster of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“When I got here, there was extreme tension,” Shinay told the Journal in 1992 in a cover feature (see above). Only two weeks before former House Postmaster Robert Rota had resigned and others had been removed on charges of embezzlement. With intense national media focus on charges of drug dealing, theft of monies, and political abuse, Shinay stepped into a mail system in crisis.

Though it is called a Post Office, in fact the House operation is like a large university mail system that is independent of the USPS. Shinay helped move the House operation along with automation, having worked with PMG Frank to push the nation’s mail system into the automation age.

Among the key technology he utilized was the Champ mailing and shipping system and Bell & Howell Jetstar sorters.

Six months into the job as a mail operations manager, Postmaster General Marvin Runyon asked him to run the USPS Philatelic division. He declined. He said he preferred working in mail operations.

“I was told to operate the House mail system like a post office,” Shinay told the Journal. “But this is not a post office. It is a mail center.”

Mike Shinay stayed in the House position until 1995, when he accepted the job of USPS Consumer Advocate. In 1999 he retired from the Postal Service.

His industry insights were in high demand and in the ensuing years he served as a consultant at Pricewaterhouse Coopers and IBM Business Consulting and Global Business Services. He retired from consulting in 2013.

Click for Mike Shinay’s obituary.

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