KINGSBURG – Public service runs in the family of Kingsburg’s new Postmaster Dennis M. Gagnon. His father, Dennis Gagnon Sr., and brother Dustin are also postal workers while another brother, Derek Gagnon, serves as a police officer in town.

“I’m excited to embark on this part of my career,” Dennis M. Gagnon said after a swearing-in ceremony at Coffee Pot Park Oct. 20. “The sky’s the limit.”

Gagnon, 37, graduated from Selma High, attended Reedley College and started as a carrier at the Reedley Post Office. He worked there for 13 years before being promoted and served another three years there before this appointment.

Since his father has worked in the U.S. Postal Service for 38 years and now serves as Fresno Postal Service’s distribution operations manager, the elder Gagnon said his wife made a rule about not talking shop in the house after their son was first promoted.

“I’m one of the older people and my views are different from an upcoming employee. We learned from each other and he showed me different perspectives but we still had that rule about no talking about business,” Gagnon Sr. said.

Gagnon has lived in Kingsburg for the past 17 years and coaches Lions Pee Wees and Juniors football teams as well as for the Kingsburg Youth Baseball Association All Stars.

“So now I’m here to stay,” he said. “I’m in charge of all the mail, the clerks, carriers and all the mail that gets sent out to all the businesses on a daily basis.”

Gagnon also is in charge of Traver’s post office and between the two communities he’ll oversee delivery to 1,630 post office boxes and supervise nine carriers and 21 employees.

While Gagnon says he loves working with customers in the community, he also wants to improve relations amongst his own staff.

“I want to bridge the gap between the management and the employees. Sometimes there’s a huge gap, but I want us to become a team so I can motivate them and encourage them instead of other tactics. I just feel like it’s better for the postal service, better morale and that’s what I’m all about.”

The event was attended by Gagnon’s family including his mother, Patricia Gagnon, his brother Dustin Gagnon, and his sons, Dennis, 11, and Dylan, 9. Officials with post offices in Fresno, Parlier, Orosi, Sanger, Reedley, Selma, Atwater, Chowchilla, Friant, Biola, Orange Cove, Mendota and Coarsegold, along with local police and fire department personnel also attended the ceremony.

Before leading those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance, his brother Derek Gagnon said the day was an exciting moment for his family.

“It’s an honor to be standing up here alongside my brother for this big accomplishment. I know he’s going to be a very hard-working postmaster for the city of Kingsburg.”

Kingsburg Mayor Michelle Roman and Swedish Queen Lindsey Roman officially welcomed Gagnon as the new postmaster and recounted local post office history from a book entitled “A Bit of Sweden in the Desert.”

The town’s first post office opened in 1874 under the name of Wheatville but was changed to Kingsburg just two years later. At first there were only walking routes, but some postal delivery was completed by cars, horses and even a motorcycle.

“I think we’ve come a long way since that time and now with Dennis Gagnon being our new postmaster I’m very excited he’ll be servicing our town and being in charge now,” Michelle Roman said.

Gagnon said the postal service industry is fast-paced and can be stressful, but he’s excited that new services are being added to their system.

“It’s non-stop and so many things happen behind the scenes with packages coming from the plant. Now we just got Amazon. That’s new to Kingsburg as of yesterday. So we’ll be doing same-day delivery for Amazon,” he said. “So between the Amazon accounts, the FedEx accounts, we deal with UPS and we work with all the local delivery people. We’re in charge of getting all those out on a daily basis and in a timely manner and making sure it’s correct.”

He encourages postal customers to inform their office if mail has been delivery to the wrong address so delivery issues can be resolved.

“If there are any mistakes or problems with the service, the best thing to do is let us know. Sometimes customers don’t want to say anything because they don’t want anyone to get in trouble. Nobody gets in trouble instead the problem just gets fixed.”

Gagnon said now he’s going to focus on getting to know his employees and is looking forward to serving Kingsburg.

“I feel like the better you know your people, the better you can help manage them. I love working with this community. This is a great town to work in, an awesome town.”

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or lbrown@selmaenterprise.com.

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