James Brandon leads the University Mail Services team that delivers more than seven million pieces of mail every year— keeping us and our work in touch with the world. At the same time, James and the team’s commitment to sustainability have eliminated more than 269 tons of waste, as they work to support the Three Zeros Environmental Initiative.
What is a typical day like in your job?
I’m constantly assessing the most immediate needs of our customers. That could be anything from working with a department on mailing concerns or issues, to making sure we have enough drivers on all our routes for that day. I also manage the budget and vehicles for University Mail Services.
How does your job support Carolina’s mission?
My job supports the Carolina mission by providing subject matter expertise in collegiate mailing operations. This provides operational integrity and leadership to our business unit, as well as being recognized among peer universities as a leader in technology and innovation. Customer services is also important to me. All our employees are mail piece design-certified.
What do you like most about your work?
I enjoy being able to see how I have been able to impact people’s lives in a positive way. That may be through coaching and mentorship, or through the experiences that have lead me to this point in my life and career. Being passionate about your work is contagious. I stop and speak to every employee, every day. I want people to see a person who is happy and excited to be at work.
What are some of the practices you’ve implemented at UMS?
We started having monthly meetings and recognitions for employees internally, and we now have departmental postal liaisons for each department who are the primary point of contact for each department on campus concerning mail. Also, we worked with academic departments and others around campus to reduce the amount of paper brought onto campus. We said that we would no longer distribute commercial rate mail to our facility and staff on campus, which eliminates waste and decreases the weight of our mail deliveries, saving on gas. We eliminated 269 tons of waste from the campus, which is enough to power 96 homes for a year.
What do most people not know about you?
I am the grandfather to two beautiful girls and I’m passionate about doing the right thing. You can do the right thing when people are looking all the time. Can you do the right thing when no one is looking? It will take you so much further in life.