Heidi Austreim began her work as the postmaster for the Flandreau Post Office on July 10.
Austreim, married to Andrew, a 1998 Flandreau High School graduate, first started working with the postal service four years ago as a city carrier for Brookings.
At the time, she was a stay-at-home mom, but looking to start working again.
“My kids were just coming to the age where we were looking at me going back to work and I hadn’t decided what I was going to do yet,” Austreim said.
The post office had left a flier in the mailbox stating they were looking for carriers. Austreim applied, got the job and worked up from there.
One year to the date that she began her position as a carrier, she became the supervisor of the Brookings Post Office.
She held that position for three years before coming to Flandreau.
Because she was familiar with town and has extended family here, she said the transition was an easy one to make.
She said she was able to recognize or get to know a lot of people by name.
One of the main reasons for the transitions from Brookings was that Austreim was looking for a bit of a change to a smaller office.
“I think the nice thing about the smaller office is I’m able to cross crafts,” Austreim said. “I’m able to help my employees in areas I couldn’t in the larger office.”
She said in Flandreau there is less of a hustle than in the Brookings office as well as fewer employees, less stress and less maintenance needed on vehicles.
“A new experience for me here is working the window,” Austreim said. “I love to work on the customer side of the job so I have really enjoyed that and it’s helping in getting to know the community, too.”
With some movement of postmasters in the past few years, either through retiring or switching to a different post office, she said people have asked if she’ll be sticking around.
Austreim said, with a smile, “I assure you I’m not going anywhere.”