Al Curtiss, Sr., Industry Stalwart, Dies

Allen Curtiss, Sr., an industry stalwart instrumental in the creation of the mail and distribution profession, died February 1, 2021.

He was 84 years old.

As a support services manager at AT&T and later as an executive and operations manager for leading outsourcing companies, Curtiss was considered an expert in administration services, mail and distribution.

In the early 1980’s Curtiss was instrumental in the start of the Mail Systems Management Association and would serve as President. He helped launch the Certified Mail and Distribution Systems (CMDSM) professional certification and, later as VP of Education, helped ready candidates for the honor. He was a columnist for MAIL Magazine, spoke at conferences, and was active in building networks of fellow professionals.

Al Curtiss, Sr. with Sugar Ray Leonard and Al Curtiss, Jr. at MAILCOM 2004.

“Al was a great friend and a true professional to all that knew and worked with him,” said Lance Humphries, CMDSM, MCOM, MAILCOM Managing Director.

“I had the pleasure and honor of knowing him for over 30 years and he was always kind and helpful to everyone he met. His knowledge and wisdom for many in the mail and print industry has been an invaluable asset in thier professional education and development.”

His work in education continued with the start of MAILCOM in the early 1990’s where he served as Program Director, a job he held for the next 25 years. He is remembered by the thousands who saw him over the years as a true professional, always looking to educate and assist younger colleagues.


Besides his work in program operations, Al is equally remembered for his beautiful voice. Many spring and fall MAILCOM conferences were opened with Al singing “God Bless America”.

When he began work at AT&T Bell Labs in the 1970’s, there was no email, little faxing, and only mainframe computers. Postal mail remained the primary component of corporate communications along with the telephone. The decades that followed would see the introduction and integration of electronic technologies. Adapting to the technology of the times was Al Curtiss’ hallmark.

” I am eternally grateful for his friendship and guidance over the years, and he will be missed by all his MAILCOM family, friends, and associates,” Humphries said.

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