Sheila Rawlins, 2011 Albany Herald Carrier of the Year, with Herald Circulation Director Michael Hill, far left, and State District Manager, Sam Sampson. Rawlins received the Carrier of the Year plaque and a check for $500.
ALBANY -- Do the math. In the nearly 20 years, Sheila Rawlins has delivered newspapers for The Albany Herald, she's driven well over a half-million miles, much of it through rain, wind and probably even some sleet.
This week, the independent contractor was awarded what circulation officials say is a well-deserved honor: Rawlins is The Albany Herald Carrier of the Year for 2011.
"My husband worked during the daytime," Rawlins said, "We had four young kids and I wanted something that would let me be at home during the day."
Rawlins began delivering in the Sylvester area, for both county and city homes.
"At first I did 118 miles a night, seven days a week," Rawlins said. "That was a lot. I did that for 11 or 12 years."
Upon the departure of another carrier who serviced racks and in-store accounts, Rawlins took over that account.
"That route was a lot more detailed but not as many miles," Rawlins said.
According to Rawlins, no one could have been more surprised than her to hear she'd won the award, which included a plaque of recognition and a check for $500.
"My feet really got knocked out from under me on that one," Rawlins said. "I was really in shock."
Sam Sampson, state district manager for The Herald, said the decision to give Rawlins the award hinged mostly on her reliability, resourcefulness and her "very low" CPM, or complaints per thousand deliveries.
"She's self-reliant," Sampson said. "If she has an issue, she usually handles it before I have a chance to do anything. She gives a lot of guidance to the other carriers and helps reduce my stress level."