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Pro-Reform Mailing Leaders Applaud White House of Presidential Commission

Press release from the issuing company

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 11, 2002 -- Leaders of the nation's mailing industry today applauded President Bush's creation of a Presidential Postal Commission to consider reforms in the nation's postal system. The members of the Mailing Industry CEO Council said the President's announcement is a critical first step toward essential reforms in the system. The President asked the Commission to recommend legislative and other reforms to modernize the Postal Service. "The President has created a first class commission and has asked for expedited delivery of its results by next July. This could turn out to be the most important step taken to reform the postal system in the last 30 years," said Pitney Bowes Chairman and CEO Michael J. Critelli, president of the CEO Council. "There is much that can be done to enhance the mailing channel and fulfill its potential in the changing business environment, and this is an excellent beginning. The mailing industry shares the President's determination to bring about needed reforms and stands ready to assist in any way we can. We look forward to the Commission's recommendations." The CEO Council, which emerged earlier this year from the Mailing Industry Task Force, called on President Bush on October 30 to establish a postal commission. The Council, made up of corporate leaders of 17 major companies involved in different aspects of the mailing industry, has been focusing on those Task Force recommendations contained in the U.S. Postal Service's Transformation Plan, and it is working to promote the necessary legislative reforms. "A vibrant 21st century economy requires a vibrant 21st century postal system," said CEO Council member William L. Davis, who is Chairman, President and CEO of R.R. Donnelley. "That means fundamental change that makes the system as essential to growth in the new economy as it was in the old. There is reason to be optimistic, because President Bush has named a diverse group of people who are familiar with large institutions, who understand the nation's economy, and who, above all, know what it takes to effect change." The CEO Council highly encourages the Presidential Commission to focus on all classes of mail including first class mail, periodicals, magazines, advertising mail, and packages. The Postal Service faces a likely deficit of nearly one billion dollars for fiscal year 2002, following a $1.7 billion shortfall in fiscal year 2001. It routinely borrows funds from the U.S. Treasury and now owes the Treasury more than $11 billion. The Mailing Industry CEO Council was created as a result of the recommendations in the original Mailing Industry Task Force report. The Council, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to unifying the mailing industry in support of reform efforts and promote public understanding of the critical role that mail plays in business and commerce. Its members are leaders of a cross-section of companies that depend on the postal system for much of their business. In addition to working to improve public policy with respect to the mailing system, the Council will seek to establish industry standards that foster industry growth and improve the mailing channel. The $900 billion mailing industry employs approximately 9 million people. The CEO Council Board of Directors currently includes Mr. Critelli, Mr. Davis, and fifteen others: * Cathleen Black, President, Hearst Magazines * C. Hamilton Davison, Jr., President and CEO, Paramount Cards Inc. * David F. Dyer, CEO, President and Director, Lands' End, Inc. * T. Michael Glenn, Executive Vice President, FedEx Corporation * Richard M. Hochhauser, President and CEO, Harte-Hanks, Inc. * Judy F. Marks, President, Distribution Technologies, Lockheed Martin Corporation * Ann Moore, Chairman and CEO, Time Inc. * Charles D. Morgan, Chairman and Company Leader, Acxiom Corporation * Nigel W. Morris, President, COO and Director, Capital One Financial Corporation * Gary M. Mulloy, Chairman and CEO, ADVO * Thomas O. Ryder, Chairman and CEO, The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. * David M. Sable, President and CEO, Wunderman New York * Charles Schellhorn, President and CEO, DST Output * Michael P. Sherman, Vice Chairman, Crosstown Traders , Inc. * Dr. Jerome Swartz, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Symbol Technologies, Inc.