Herald-Whig honors top carriers, salesperson

Mary Morgan
Posted: May. 16, 2013 11:28 am Updated: May. 30, 2013 12:15 pm
Billy Johnston

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Two Quincy Herald-Whig carriers say they like doing their job -- and doing it right.

The attitude paid off for William "Billy" Johnston and Brenda Orebaugh.

Johnston has been selected as the Motor Route Carrier of the Year, and Orebaugh took top honors as Foot Route Carrier of the Year.

"I try to deliver the way I want mine delivered," Orebaugh said. "I'm particular on where my paper sits, exactly where customers want them."

Orebaugh, a carrier since September 2005, has seven routes in the Quincy area. Her complaint ratio is under 0.14 per 1,000 papers delivered for all seven routes.

"She received compliments on the job she does, and there are never any worries about the routes being done," said Nathan Genenbacher, Herald-Whig distribution director. "She is always willing to go the extra mile for her customers."

Orebaugh said many of her customers are older residents who might have trouble bending and reaching for the newspaper.

"I usually ask if there's someplace they want the paper," she said. "I try to do anything to please them."

Orebaugh began delivering The Herald-Whig when her youngest child, now 20, was in a stroller. Illness forced her to stop, then she took over a stepson's routes and expanded to even more routes, including a Saturday-only route for another carrier. She also subs for other routes when needed.

"When I was sick in the hospital, I had people here and there and everywhere doing routes for me," she said. "I feel turnabout is fair play. People were there for me. I like to be there for somebody else."

Johnston, a carrier since April 1997, delivers to carriers, single-copy locations, and customers in LaGrange and Canton, Mo.

"I like doing it. You get to be out in the wide-open spaces," he said. "It's kind of a short day, a five-hour day. It's just fun."

Johnston delivered 30,491 papers last year and had only three complaints, for a ratio of 0.10 per 1,000 newspapers delivered over his motor routes, which cover 125 to 130 miles per day.

"He has delivered for 16 consecutive years without a day off, other than the few days we do not publish a paper," Genenbacher said. "Since 2007, Billy has made 215,807 deliveries and had a complaint per 1,000 ratio of 0.18."

With a route covering so many miles, Johnston often has to battle the weather to make his deliveries.

"Wintertime is interesting, but I didn't miss anybody all them bad days. It helps when you've got a four-wheel drive," he said. "There's probably been days I shouldn't be doing it, but I'm out there. I come when the mail carrier doesn't even come."

High water this spring disrupted some routes.

"I had to detour a little around LaGrange at the casino, the old highway there and come in the back way," Johnston said.

The Herald-Whig's top salesperson for the year is Mary Morgan. She has been with The Herald-Whig since 2011.

"We place a huge emphasis on customer service in circulation, and the three winners this year continually provide excellent service to all the customers on their route day in and day out," Genenbacher said. "We wanted to recognize them for that commitment to quality service."