Captiva Island welcomes new postmaster
Robin Dunagan, who moved from Ashley, Ohio became Captiva’s new postmaster June 13. Dunagan worked as the postmaster in Ashley before she requested to transfer to Captiva.
“I had an opportunity to come here and this is where I eventually wanted to retire, so I took it a little earlier than I thought it would come,” Dunagan said.
Dunagan was previously a tourist before making a permanent transition to the island. She spent many summers here, in awe of Captiva’s beauty. When she found out there was an open position, she jumped on it.
“I knew when this office was available there wasn’t even a second thought. It was an automatic yes,” she said.
What drew her to Captiva were the beaches and the scenery. She is looking forward to watching many sunsets.
“I just love the island feel. I looked at other places in Florida, but none of them compared to this at all,” she said.
Dunagan has been with the Postal Service since 1985 and has worn many hats.
“I’ve done everything from deliver mail to sort mail on machines to work in small offices, large offices, you name it, I’ve done it. I have a lot of experience. This is like the perfect setting. This is the perfect job. This is what we all dream of in the postal service,” she said.
After graduating from high school, Dunagan decided college wasn’t for her and pursued a career with the postal service instead. According to Dunagan, she fell on that curve where it wasn’t exactly necessary to go to college to make a decent living.
“My family and I were middle class, so when I got a job with the post office, it was a big deal and I ended up being just as if not a little more successful than some of my friends who did go to college. So, back then, it wasn’t an automatic you go to college, like everyone does now, it was a choice,” she explained.
Shortly after finishing school, Dunagan landed a job sorting mail at a post office near where she grew up in Columbus, Ohio.
“It was at the main post office in downtown Columbus. They had machines that sorted letters. It was a brand new machine and I was one of the first people to work on it. It was an automated machine that actually read the letters and sorted them. I was on the up and coming of technology,” she joked.
Dunagan worked night shifts at first, which were a whole other world to her, but she got the hang of it rather fast. In her 31 years of working in the postal service, being a postmaster has been her favorite job.
“It breaks it up, you get to do a little bit of everything. I love working with the public. I love meeting my customers, they become a second family,” she said.
The location was not the only thing that enticed Dunagan, it is everything that goes along with it. She feels as though she’s found the whole package. Dunagan is especially fond of her co-workers. She can already sense that she and Carol Marlet, a clerk, are going to make a strong team.
“She’s been running this office by herself for awhile. I’m going to help her get a few things caught up. She’s been doing a fabulous job, but in season, it’s more than one person can physically do,” she said.
Since moving to the area, Dunagan has found it easy to adjust to life on the island and her new job. She said most of the processes are no different from her previous job in Ohio.
“The processes are all the same. You handle everybody’s mail, you sort it, you deliver it. We sell the same products. The location is the biggest difference,” she said.
When Dunagan isn’t working, she enjoys playing golf. She plans on looking for a golf league to join when she finds the time. She’s excited that she can golf year-round here. She hopes that she can move the rest of her family down here as well.
“I came down here to get established and get ready for everyone to come join me. We’ve all dreamed about moving to Florida. I was just the one who went first,” she said.