Postal Updates

Bobb-Semple appointed acting director of USPS stamp services June 16

Jul 27, 2023, 8 AM

By Allen Abel

Lisa Bobb-Semple has been named acting director of stamp services at the United States Postal Service, replacing William J. Gicker Jr. as the senior executive in charge of stamp creation, production, promotion, marketing and distribution.

Bobb-Semple’s appointment was made June 16 but was not publicly revealed by the USPS until July 3. The notice appeared on the Postal Service’s Link news website.

The Postal Service gave no reason for Gicker’s previously unannounced departure or for the delay in the public naming of his successor.

Bobb-Semple, who has served as manager of sales enablement and communications and in other marketing roles for the USPS since 2009, is a 1995 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

She holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. Her profile on LinkedIn, the online networking platform, credits her with being the “Primary architect of a broad array of high-profile marketing programs that increased Flat Rate Priority Mail revenue by 35% over prior year performance.”

A source familiar with the stamp services operations told Linn’s Stamp News on July 20 that Gicker, who succeeded Mary-Anne Penner on an interim basis on Feb. 1, 2019, before being named to the director’s position on June 26, 2020, had been removed from his position after 25 years with the USPS.

Among other roles, he had served as art director and quality control supervisor for hundreds of stamp releases that ranged from the controversial Harry Potter stamps of 2013 with their portrayals of identifiable, living human actors to more conventional commemorations of subjects such as U.S. presidents, entertainers, and the works of notable artists.

During his tenure with the USPS, Gicker oversaw the development and quality control of more than 700 stamp subjects and 1,900 stamp designs.

“Most people don’t take the time to think about stamps at all — or if they do, it’s just like, ‘Oh, look at that.’ But that’s it,” Gicker told PRINT magazine for a 2021 article about the stamp-production process. “But there really is a lot that goes into it—a lot of time, and a lot of energy.”

“Ultimately, at the end of the day, when a stamp is released, we want it to be a very good news story, Gicker said in the PRINT profile.

“We want it to be positive because we very much see stamps as honoring the best of American culture. When a stamp gets issued, we don’t want any bad news.”

Linn’s attempted to contact Gicker for comment but did not receive a response.

David Partenheimer, director of public relations for the Postal Service, told Linn’s that Gicker is still an employee of the nation’s postal agency.

In response to Linn’s query about Gicker’s current job title and responsibilities, Partenheimer declined to provide specifics.

“Regarding [Gicker], I’m not able to provide additional information other than confirming he is still an employee and that [Bobb-Semple] is currently acting in the position [of director of stamp services],” Partenheimer said.

“I will certainly let Linn’s know of any public updates I can pass along regarding this matter,” he said.

This story was updated July 27, 2023, with new information from the USPS.

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