Speaker: James Postl.
Jim Postl retired as President and Chief Executive Officer of Pennzoil-Quaker State Company, following its acquisition by Shell Oil Products U.S in October 2002.
Early Matters: Research is clear when it comes to the long-term implications of low literacy on the social and economic vitality of our society. In fact, children who do not read proficiently by the end of the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school, and dropouts are seven times more likely to live in poverty than a person with a high school diploma. More than 1-in-4 Houston-area children failed to meet even minimum expectations on the State-required 3rd grade reading exam in 2013. This data is startling, and impacts each and every one of us.
Recent studies show that investments in early education can yield an $8 return for every $1 invested. These results are consistent with other studies analyzing investments in early learning programs. Much like the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure,” investing in early education saves significant costs in remediation and ultimately incarceration. Therefore, it is no wonder that the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) has taken on early childhood education and development as its single-most important legislative priority.
During the past year, the GHP has built a broad-based coalition of business, civic, education, philanthropic and nonprofit organizations, along with community advocates called Early Matters. The Early Matters coalition is focused on raising awareness about the importance of high-quality early education and advocating for increased investments in children. The overarching goal is for children to achieve reading proficiency by the end of third grade. To learn more about Early Matters, visit www.houston.org/earlymatters.
Postl joined Pennzoil in October 1998, prior to the formation of Pennzoil-Quaker State Company. He was named president and chief operating officer and was elected to the board of directors when the new company was formed. In May 2000, he was named president and cief executive officer.
Postl has more than 30 years of management experience in consumer products. Over the course of his career, he has been responsible for a broad array of consumer products ranging from snack foods to soft drinks to health and beauty aids. He served as president of Nabisco Biscuit Company from 1996 to 1998 and was president and chief executive officer of Nabisco International from 1994 to 1996. Prior to joining Nabisco, Postl held a variety of management positions with PepsiCo, Inc. over a 19-year period. Prior to his tenure at PepsiCo, Postl held several brand manager positions at the Procter & Gamble Company.
He currently serves on the boards of American Funds and Pulte Homes, and in the past, has served on the boards of Pennzoil-Quaker State Company, Cooper Industries, Pan American Beverages, Auto Zone, Northwest Airlines and Centex.
Postl is also very active in the community. He serves on the national and regional American Heart Association boards. As well as serving on the Council of Overseers for Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University, and on the boards of the Society for the Performing Arts, Memorial Hermann Hospital System and Houston Zoo. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Greater Houston Partnership, and is Chair of Early Matters, a historic coalition on early childhood education. In the past, he has served on the boards of Houston Area Women’s Center and United Way of the Greater Houston Area. He was the 2005-2006 Chair for Houston’s United Way Campaign and the Hurricane Relief Fund.