Vina postmaster putting down his satchel after 30 years on the job

By Staff
Melissa Dozier-Cason, FCT Writer
VINA – After 30 years of dedication to the U.S. Postal Service one local man has decided to call it a career.
When Postmaster Ron Phillips leaves the Vina post office this afternoon, the next time he return's it will be as a customer.
Phillips began his career with the Postal Service in 1977 in Decatur. He transferred to Florence for a few years, and then to Glen Allen before settling in at the Vina Post Office in 1984.
"I have loved serving this small rural area for the past 22 years," said Phillips, who will retire this afternoon.
The Vina Post Office serves about 900 families and Philips said he has gotten to know his postal customers very well.
"Working in a small community, I have been able to really get to know our patrons, and that has been the best part for me," he added.
Over the years Phillips had several offers to move to a larger zip code, but choose to stay in Vina where he knew the people.
"Being Postmaster of a small community like Vina reminded me of growing up in the small town of Bear Creek," Phillips said.
Other than the Postmaster, Vina's post office has three employees: two carriers and a Postmaster relief, who serves as a clerk.
A private celebration has been planned to honor Phillips and a private celebratory meal will also help mark his last day.
Phillips plans to devote a large portion of his retirement to his hobbies, which include hunting, fishing, hiking and arrow head hunting.
"Besides my hobbies, I plan to volunteers at the senior citizen's center here in Vina," he said.
The Postal Service appointed Richard Ripley as the Officer in Charge temporarily. Ripley will travel from Bear Creek to Vina over the next few months until a replacement for Phillips can be found.
"The Postal Service will post the position as open, take applications and conduct interviews but that decision will be made in Birmingham," Phillips said.
Phillips added that Postmasters are positions that must be filled from within the Postal Service.
"They will only take applications from employees of the U.S. Postal Service," Phillips said.