Graduating third in her class from Glades Central Community High School, Benita D. Hamilton first thought of pursuing a career in health care. Completing coursework at Palm Beach State College, she began her career as an office cleaner for the Janice Haberberger Cleaning Company before spending time with the Visiting Nurse Association of Florida. From 1982 to 1987, she held the role of medical secretary with the Hospice of Palm Beach County. While working as a newspaper carrier with the Palm Beach Post, she got to know a co-worker who was a postmaster with their local post office, and Ms. Hamilton was immediately interested in pursuing a similar career. Thus began her tenure as a clerk with the United States Postal Service.
Ms. Hamilton’s first experience as a postmaster came when she was hired to fill in for a postmaster taking time off. During her time in this office, she had the opportunity to serve as both an inside clerk and a mail carrier, which gave her a great appreciation for the work of mail carriers and how they truly form the backbone of the postal service. Eventually rising to become officer-in-charge, she became a postmaster with the South Bay Post Office in 2005. In her day-to-day duties, she is responsible for mail delivery, the sale of stamps, overseeing the passport office, stocking inventory, budgeting, customer service, and more. Over the course of her tenure, Ms. Hamilton has worked with six different post offices in delivery and customer service, including the Pahokee Post Office, where she has been a postmaster since 2015.
With considerable expertise in customer service, Ms. Hamilton considers being a postmaster the highlight of her career as it is the result of years of hard work and determination. She notes that customer service is essential, and, as a result, she always goes above and beyond to help her customers. A particularly impactful moment for her was when she was able to help a customer get mailboxes placed on a piece of property that she owned. Several people were living on the property in mobile homes, but they did not have mailboxes, and Ms. Hamilton was able to accommodate the customer’s request and get mailboxes placed.
Ms. Hamilton is also very proud to have carried her two post offices through the difficult early days of the COVID-19 pandemic when many of their staff were sick. During this time, with package delivery tripling, she spent three consecutive months working simultaneously at both the South Bay and Pahokee post offices. Though they faced many challenges, Ms. Hamilton and her team persevered and overcame those challenges through constant communication and cooperation, which reflects her life motto, “One step at a time, you will get there.” Notably, she has been presented with a Top Honors Award by the United States Postal Service.
Outside her primary career responsibilities, Ms. Hamilton is an active volunteer in her local community. She spent five years as a mentor for the Boys & Girls Club and has been involved with Toastmasters International since 2011, receiving recognition for her contributions to the latter organization in 2016. Additionally, she enjoys giving speeches and has spoken on body pain and aches for middle-aged people, as well as giving humorous speeches on the aspects of the world that she finds funny, which is almost everything that exists. Citing her favorite speech as, “Let the Children Come to Me,” Ms. Hamilton’s speeches have won her the Division Humorous Speech Championship and the Area 44 Humorous Speech Contest.
In her personal life, Ms. Hamilton is very close to her family, which includes her elderly mother, who she helps to take care of; her brother; two sons, Raymond and James; and one grandson, Mikial. Mikial is currently pursuing an education at Pace University and is excelling as an actor and musician. Looking toward the future, Ms. Hamilton hopes to retire from full-time work in the next five years and start ticking items off her bucket list, such as taking a cruise to Alaska.