By Seth Daniel
When Nick Francescucci took his first step as a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service (USPS) in 1985, it was on Mt. Vernon Street in Beacon Hill, where he happily delivered the mail to customers for years.
So it was only fitting that on Friday, Sept. 16, he stood on Beacon Hill – in the State House’s Hall of Flags – to be sworn in as Boston’s 53rd Postmaster.
“I started right behind the State House on Mt. Vernon Street and delivered to Beacon Hill,” said Francescucci, a North End native, at his swearing in ceremony. “That was my very first route when I joined the Postal Service. I had great customers there. They always looked forward to seeing me and I looked forward to seeing them. I enjoyed that route quite a bit.”
In a ceremony hosted by Charlestown State Rep. Dan Ryan, Francescucci officially took the reins of Postmaster, which includes a vast tract of territory. As the Postmaster of Boston he will oversee 100 plus stations, branches, retail units, and carrier annexes, in the Boston area of the Postal Service. These locations encompass the entirety of the 021, 022 and 024 zip codes with the exception of the City of Cambridge. This area is comprised of 47 cities and towns in the Boston area with a total population of more than 2 million customers with approximately 708,000 delivery points. He will manage more than 4,000 employees throughout Boston.
Francescucci said he believes that the Postal Service is a vibrant government service and is poised to be ready to carry the growing e-commerce business to the front doors of Boston customers – as well as to continue delivering the regular mail that drives communication and traditional commerce.
“We go to these neighborhoods everyday anyway,” he said. “It makes total sense. We believe we are the number one delivery company. The e-commerce has been huge and will continue to be. It drives a lot of revenue. We have stabilized the letters and there was a while when that was falling off, but we’ve stabilized that now. The parcels, though, have increased 22 percent. It’s pretty incredible…I think the mail is still really important. It’s commerce. People need the mail and a lot of people pay their bills using the mail. There are still a lot of people who do that.”
Another wave of the future, in the very near future, for the Postal Service will begin later this year, when Amazon Fresh – located in Everett – begins using the Postal Service to deliver fresh foods and groceries to homes in the Boston area on a daily basis.
Francescucci has come full circle as the 53rd Postmaster of Boston, having been born in the North End and spent his first 12 years there. Likewise, much of his career involved working and managing the post offices in the downtown area – including JFK, Back Bay and Kenmore.
In fact, it was at Kenmore where he was first introduced to a management role, he said.
“I was working the retail counter in the Kenmore branch and the manager called me into his office,” recalled Francescucci. “I didn’t know what he wanted, but he said he wanted to take a few days off and wanted me to be the manager. I thought he was crazy, but he encouraged me to become a manager and had more faith in me back then than I had in myself.”
That small assignment set Francescucci on a tremendous career path that took him, first in 1990, to a management role in the Back Bay Post Office, where he was the supervisor of customer service.
From there, he held numerous management positions throughout the Postal Service including, Manager of Kenmore Square, Manager of Lexington; Officer in Charge (OIC) in Burlington and Woburn, as well as Pawtucket, RI. He also served as the Postmaster of Andover and Dedham. He also served as acting senior operations manager for Northern New England, overseeing Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire.
State Rep. Dan Ryan (D-Charlestown), who hosted the heavily attended gathering at the State House and whose uncle was a postmaster in Foxboro, said it was a celebration of federalism and a successful service provided by the federal government.
“Today, we’re celebrating our federal government and the idea of federalism,” he said in comments. “I can’t think of a better place to hold this ceremony than at the seat of state government in Massachusetts, where we first started this idea…The United States Postal Service represents what was founded here on this Hill so long ago, and people like Nick represent it every day in our neighborhoods.”
Francescucci is the proud son of Angela, and the late Nicola Francescucci of Burlington, formerly of the North End. He currently resides in Burlington with his family and is the loving husband of wife Theresa and proud father of daughter, Angelica, and son Nicholas.