A Rotary Trailblazer
by Emily Stratton
David was 3 years old when he went to his first Rotary meeting. Many of us remember his dad, Marty Postic, who was one of our past district governors. When you grow up with a dad at that level, Rotary has a meaningful presence in your life early on. And that’s the way it was for David. One of his most memorable early Rotary moments was when he was a teenager in 2005 and went with his dad to the Rotary Zone Institute in Corpus Christie. David and Marty ran into Past Rotary International President Frank Devlyn in the DFW airport and flew with him to Corpus.
“I had no real concept of who Frank was or how important he was in the Rotary world, but he seemed like a fun guy and we hit it off,” said David. “That evening, my Dad took me to a barbecue dinner for district governor nominees, which my dad was at the time, that was hosted by none other than Frank Devlyn. It had come out in our earlier conversations that I was turning 15 that day, so past RI President Frank Devlyn led the room full of Rotarians in singing Happy Birthday to me.”
David continued to go to Rotary activities with his dad, including Rotary International Convention in Salt Lake City in 2007. But it was during his freshman year at OU that he really became interested in Rotary when he started a Rotaract Club. As head of the organization, he got to attend the Rotary International Convention and its Rotaract Preconvention in New Orleans in 2011.
“There I was able to meet other Rotaractors and see the amazing things that Rotaract Clubs were doing all over the world,” he said. That convention was a ‘Rotary Moment’ that really opened my eyes to the power of Rotary.”
Those not familiar with Rotaract may not know that our Rotary Club has sponsored one at OCU for several years through the leadership of Marty O’Gwynn. Rotaract serves 18 to 30 year olds, introducing its members to the idea of service clubs, with the hope they will eventually transition into becoming Rotarians. David said that that Preconvention showed him what Rotaract looked like in action. He got to interact with Rotaractors from Australia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Brazil and Germany, and “the world started to seem a lot smaller.”
However, David observed that Rotaracts in the United States were in steady decline over the past decade. Since U.S. clubs are based largely at universities, their entire membership generally turns over at least every four years, and often more like two. There were not training opportunities for officers or communication with other clubs to share ideas or collaborate on projects, leaving a sense of club isolation.
As David observed what was going on, he began talking with Rotaracts in other countries who had formed organizations that were addressing these problems. It was at this point that he knew what he wanted to do. After much research and discussion, he received approval from the Rotary International Board of Directors on April 25, 2016, and organized an informational organization for Rotaract Clubs in 11 states, combining two Rotary International zones in the Midwest. And, coming up with a catchy name, David and his team named it “Rocky Mountain Rotaract.” Its stated goals are (1) offering leadership training to Rotaract Clubs and district officers; (2) organizing an annual Rotaract Zone Conference; (3) facilitating communication between clubs and districts within the zone and collecting information about them; (4) providing assistance and support to District Rotaract Committees; (5) advocating for Rotaract within Rotary International; and (6) most important of all, encouraging Rotaractors to eventually join or form Rotary Clubs.
As head of Rocky Mountain Rotaract, David said the organization has many challenges, but he thinks they are going in the right direction to make Rotaract—and even Rotary—better than ever. And, David’s bit of advice for us Rotarians—attend a Preconvention Rotaract at International, or more conveniently, OU’s Sooner Rotaract Institute in the spring. “If you attend one of these events, you will be blown away by the energy, enthusiasm and level of discourse that exists at Rotaract,” he said. “I can guarantee that if you attend a Preconvention, you will be hooked on Rotaract (and Rotary) for life.”
What an inspiration to see what David Postic has done with his early life experiences—an example of leadership for all of us. David is now a young attorney in the law firm of Postic and Bates and a member of Oklahoma City’s Midtown Rotary Club. It will be interesting to follow David and the future paths he pursues—as well as how our own OCU Rotaract Club—with the help of Marty and now Jennifer Seal—evolves!