U.S. Postal Service First Day of Issue Dedication Ceremony Guest Speakers

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee is gearing up for the highly anticipated USPS First Day of Issue Dedication Ceremony for the new Forever Stamp titled "Elephants", which will take place at The Elephant Discovery Center in Hohenwald, Tennessee, on World Elephant Day, August 12.

Where: The Elephant Discovery Center, 27 East Main Street, Hohenwald, TN 38462
When: Friday, August 12 at 11:00 a.m. CDT

This in-person event is free and open to the public. Can’t join us? USPS will be debuting a stamp reveal video online, which we will share on social media and our website after the ceremony! The Sanctuary will also share a recap of the event the following week. Please note, there will be no live-stream coverage of the First Day of Issue Dedication ceremony.

We are thrilled to be hosting The U.S. Postal Service along with several guest speakers at The Elephant Discovery Center, including:

Jeffery A. Adams | Vice President, Corporate Communications, United States Postal Service

Jeffery Adams was named vice president, Corporate Communications in August 2020. In this role, he reports directly to the Postmaster General and chief executive officer and oversees all aspects of internal and external communications of the $73 billion (annual revenue) organization with 644,000 employees. The responsibilities of this position include oversight and direction of the Postal Service’s Corporate Communications nationwide team, comprised of Public Relations, National Events, Field Communications, Digital Communications, Employee Communications and Content Management, Strategic and Crisis Communications. Most recently, he served as the director, Corporate Communications for the Postal Service.

Adams has more than 30 years of extensive experience in the fields of strategic and crisis communications, public relations and marketing. Prior to joining the Postal Service, he was the head of global communications for military and commercial automotive manufacturer AM General. He also spent approximately 15 years at Lockheed Martin where he held a variety of strategic leadership positions with increasing levels of responsibility in the areas of program communications, advertising, branding and media relations.

Adams is a U.S. Army veteran. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University in Mass Communications and a master’s degree in Human Resources from Webster University.

Vicki Yates | Anchor, WTVF Channel 5 News, Nashville

Vicki Yates brings more than three decades of experience and award-winning reporting. In addition to her anchoring and reporting duties, Vicki co-hosts the annual Children's Miracle Network Telethon benefiting Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, a testament to her community involvement on and off the air.

Her career began in Detroit, Michigan while attending college. As a freelance reporter, she worked for Michigan's number one minority newspaper, The Michigan Chronicle. While a junior at Michigan State University, she was hired to work at WJIM-TV as a news reporter. She drew some tough assignments, including the crime beat and various issues at MSU. Vicki's experience and responsibilities grew while working as Assistant News Director, reporter and Public Affairs Director at WMJC Radio in Detroit. She was responsible for six daily newscasts and two weekly public service programs. From there, Vicki went on to work as a news writer, producer, and news reporter at two other stations in Michigan and Ohio.

Vicki's talent eventually landed her an anchor/news reporter position at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, where she helped make the noon newscast number one in the market. Before joining the NewsChannel 5 team, Vicki anchored and reported at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for five years. She has won six Emmys for, among other reports, a mini documentary "Bundles of Joy" on multiple births, a special news feature about the life of Olympian Wilma Rudolph, and for her news franchise, "School Patrol." In 2011, Vicki was invited by the White House to visit Washington, D.C. and interview President Barack Obama one-on-one.

Vicki spends much of her time on weekends, hosting events for local organizations or traveling to visit her much loved children.

Katie Ohh | Musical Artist & National Anthem Singer, Nashville Predators

Katie Ohh’s vocal stylings have been turning heads in Music City since 2013. Following her highly-acclaimed victory on NBC‘s “The Winner Is,” Katie quickly began making a name for herself as a vocal talent amongst the best in Nashville.  As a studio vocalist and songwriter, Katie has lent her voice to the likes of Carrie Underwood, Kathie Lee Gifford, Dustin Lynch, Jimmie Allen, Ryan Hurd, Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts, the Nashville Predators, and many more.

Ohh is riding the wave of a successful 2021, which included performances at the Grand Ole Opry and on stage at the “mother church of country music” Ryman Auditorium, with a breakthrough coming in the form of “Brokenhearted,” a featured song on Jimmie Allen’s highly anticipated new album, “Tulip Drive.” There, Katie finds herself in good company, as other featured artists include Jennifer Lopez, Ceelo Green, and T-Pain.

After nearly a decade in Music City, this “overnight success” is finally making her own way into the spotlight

Janice Zeitlin | Vice President and CEO, The Elephant Sanctuary

Janice Zeitlin is the Vice President and CEO of The Elephant Sanctuary of Tennessee, an organization that has provided elephants retired from entertainment and exhibition with herd, home, and individualized veterinary and husbandry care for over 26 years.

Previously served as a volunteer and advisory council member at The Sanctuary, Janice joined The Sanctuary staff as Senior Management Coordinator and Board Liaison in 2012. In 2013, the board appointed Janice COO, responsible for day-to-day leadership and management. Then in August 2014, she was appointed CEO. Janice currently sits on the board of directors for The Elephant Sanctuary of Tennessee and Wild Welfare U.S.

Her leadership efforts have focused on establishing whole elephant care, using best practices to meet the needs of aging elephants in captivity, evaluating and updating systems for long-term organization sustainability, expanding education programming, and establishing international partnerships with organizations working to protect elephants in the wild and improve the welfare of captive elephants around the globe.

Dan Ashe | President and CEO, Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)

Dan is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, an organization of more than 230 aquariums, zoos, and science centers. Dan is charged with advancing AZA’s vision, mission, and strategic priorities.

A lifelong animal conservationist, Dan joined AZA in January 2017 after serving as the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for nearly six years, successfully leading the agency and its thousands of employees, during a period of significant challenges. Following a 13-year career as a professional staff member of the former Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries in the U.S. House of Representatives, Dan held positions of increasing responsibility at the service. They include assistant director for external affairs, chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, science advisor to the director and deputy director.

Dan earned a bachelor's degree in biological science from Florida State University and a graduate degree in marine affairs from the University of Washington, where he studied under a fellowship from the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. His master's thesis, on estuarine wetland mitigation, was published in the Coastal Zone Management Journal in 1982.

Dan’s journey to the greater DC area was made possible by the National Sea Grant College Program. He was awarded a National Sea Grant Congressional Fellowship in 1982.

Dr. Richard Rhoda | Chairperson, The Elephant Sanctuary and Executive Director Emeritus, Tennessee Higher Education Commission

Richard G. Rhoda retired in 2014 as executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, after serving in the post for 17 years. He dedicated his entire 40-year career to higher education in Tennessee, first joining the Tennessee Board of Regents staff as a graduate student. Over the course of his career, he served in the administration of Tennessee State University and was a member of the senior staff of the Tennessee Board of Regents. He held interim appointments as president of Nashville State Community College and Austin Peay State University, and as chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents. He also taught at Vanderbilt University as a full-time and adjunct professor.

Over the span of his tenure at THEC, Rhoda chaired the legislative committee that designed the

Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship program assumed executive responsibility for the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, and contributed to the design and implementation of the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010 and the Drive to 55 initiatives. Upon retirement, he was named executive director emeritus of THEC.

Rhoda chairs the board of directors of The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee and serves on the Nashville State Community College Foundation Board and the Equal Chance for Education board of directors.

Breanne Black | Coordinator of Community Engagement, Working Dogs for Conservation

Breanne graduated from The University of Montana with a B.S. in Natural Resource Conservation. She spent the first couple years after college working and volunteering on conservation projects in Montana and Washington. She moved back to Missoula and has spent the last 12 years working for local and national animal welfare groups.

Breanne has filled many roles with animal welfare organizations, including development, volunteer management, cruelty and disaster response, and behavior and training. For the last two years, Breanne has enjoyed combining all her passions to help WD4C expand their mission in Missoula and beyond.

With commitment to improved conservation and welfare of all elephants, The Elephant Sanctuary partners with Working Dogs for Conservation to help increase the presence of canine teams used to rapidly identify, track, and stop poachers in the elephant range countries of Africa.

Crystal Nash | Director, Lewis County Public Library

Crystal has served as the Director of Lewis County Public Library and Archives since 2010 where she inspires a talented team of compassionate and motivated librarians. Through the relentless pursuit of positive change, Crystal and her staff impact the lives of thousands of residents each year.

Crystal believes that knowledge and history should be accessible and meaningful for everyone who seeks to learn. She is responsible for establishing the Lewis County Archives and serves as the official Lewis County Historian and County Archivist. Under her leadership, the Lewis County Public Library and Archives was named one of four national finalists in the 2021 ALA - Penguin Random House Library Award for Innovation.

Crystal and her staff absolutely believe the library can improve the lives of the patrons they serve and Lewis County through educational programs and community partnerships, including The Elephant Sanctuary.

Our limited pre-order bundle including elephant postcards and the Elephants Forever Stamp is now sold out; however, USPS will have stamps available for purchase at the event, and a limited number of postcards will be available in-person at The Discovery Center. You may also purchase stamps and other philatelic products through the Postal Store, by calling 844-737-7826, by mail through USA Philatelic, or at Post Office locations nationwide.

The elephants' habitats are closed to the public. Visitors to The Discovery Center and First Day of Issue Dedication Ceremony attendees will not see or interact with elephants.

Envelope + stamp image courtesy of United States Postal Service.

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