Reps. Hochul & Higgins Join UPS to Honor Local Veterans & Longtime Employees

Oct 26, 2012 Issues: Jobs and Economy, Local Issues, Veterans

Representatives Kathy Hochul and Brian Higgins joined Erie County Department of Veteran Services Director Carlos M. Benitez and leaders from UPS to recognize several Western New York employees who have delivered outstanding service for the company and for the country.

"UPS is a perfect example of what is possible when companies partner with our active-duty and returning veterans. These individuals provide companies with the same unmatched excellence, integrity, and dependability that are cornerstones of our Armed Forces. I am honored to recognize these men who exemplify those traits on a daily basis," said Rep. Hochul.

“Time and again we are inspired by our U.S. Military who serve this nation with patriotism and purpose,” added Congressman Higgins.  “We commend UPS for their commitment to our active-duty and returning veterans and recognize these local employees for extending the same dedication and leadership in the UPS workplace as they did in the US Armed Forces.” 

UPS employees and leaders including:  Buffalo Package Operations Manager Mike Ferony, Buffalo Package Division Manager Kurt Marks, University Center Business Manager Wally Zielinski, Stadium Center Business Manager Greg Wagner, and Business Manager and Congressional Coordinator Mike Tomani came together to recognize their colleagues.

UPS is one of the largest employers of reservists and returning veterans.  On any given day UPS has about 3,100 employees who are on military leave and there are nearly 25,000 additional UPS employees working today who have served in the military at some point in their lives. 

In fact, Erie County Department of Veterans Director MAJ Carlos M. Benitez, a retired veteran of the New York Army National Guard, also previously worked for UPS. 

Maj. Benitez said, “As a retired UPS Service Provider for 30 years, I know very well the support UPS gave me during my activations. I commend UPS for their continued commitment and employer support to our local military and UPS veterans. I thank Tim, Dan and Mike for their selfless service to our country.”

In addition to being recognized by UPS leadership, Director Benitez and Congressmembers Hochul and Higgins, the three UPS employees received tickets to the U.S. Air Force vs. U.S. Army football game at West Point on November 3rd as a special thank you from UPS.  The Western New York UPS workers and veterans recognized were Tim Pfohl, Dan Veranjes and Mike Burns. 

Tim Pfohl has been with UPS for 23 years.  He is a member of the UPS Safety Committee, a mentor to new drivers and has 14 years of accident free driving.  Tim served in the U.S. Marine Corps for six years.  He and his wife Barbara reside in Hamburg, NY and are the parents of two sons, Dylan and Tyler. 

Dan Veranjes, also a Marine, served our country for eight years including duty during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Dan has been on the UPS team for 13 years.  He is known for his customer skills and is always there to help out new employees.   Dan is married to wife Erika and together they live in Hamburg, NY with their four children: Isabella, Griffin, Caleb and Zoe. 

Mike Burns is not only a veteran of the Marines, he is a 26-year veteran with UPS.  Mike served as a Reservist for six years out of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Center on Porter Avenue in Buffalo and received military training in Norway.  Mike has an exemplary record at UPS with 16 years of safe driving and an injury-free career.  Lancaster residents Mike and his wife Jennifer are the parents of 10-year old Madelyn.

Founded in 1907, UPS employs nearly 400,000 people worldwide responsible for the delivery of 15.8 million packages and documents daily.