PHOTO BY EPHREM TILAHUN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
With the turn of the 20th century, signifying the beginning of the technological age, many young adults took an interest in the field of technology. As new courses were introduced and new jobs emerged, the market called for fresh and innovative minds. Among those who took advantage of this opportunity is Alabama State University alumnus Quincy Minor, who matured from a student in the College of Business Administration to the chief operating officer (COO) of Information Transport Solutions, vice president of Uniti Fiber, and owner of multiple restaurant franchises.
By supporting his degree with his commitment to success, Minor not only climbed the ranks in the world of technology management but also established himself as an esteemed business owner.
Minor grew up as the only child of parents Bertha and Willie Minor. Though he originates from Autaugaville, Alabama, his father’s active service in the U.S. Navy forced Minor to grow up in a number of different communities. The Minor family resided in Selma, Alabama, then to Abilene, Texas, and several years overseas in England. While his experiences traveling made him a more well-rounded person, he eventually settled back in Autaugaville during his teenage years.
Minor attended Autaugaville High School where he took part in the baseball program and delved into his passions for music. As a trumpet player for the Autaugaville High School Band, he participated in both marching and concert band. Through his activity with the band, Minor was first exposed to the word of Alabama State University.
“We always attended the Turkey Day Classic, so we always saw the band at the parade and while attending the game,” Minor said. “My band director [Charles Cooper], who was a former Marching Hornet, so he always took us over to see the band.”
This constant interaction with the Mighty Marching Hornets planted a seed of respect for the university inside Minor and would eventually influence his decision as to where to attend college. Upon his high school graduation in 1993, he chose to continue his education at ASU with hopes of eventually becoming a member of the highly regarded band.
“The only reason I attended was for the wonderful Mighty Marching Hornets, the best band in the land,” he said. “My former high school band director found me and made me join the band at ASU, and after my first year of marching, I was offered a music scholarship.”
Though his interests were centered on music, Minor never forgot that his true collegiate mission was to further his education. Upon enrollment, he chose to major in computer information systems, a then rapidly growing field. Though he did not have much experience in technology or computers, he was motivated by the promise of financial prosperity that came with the realm.
“I wanted to be a computer programmer and make $100,000 a year,” he said. “Those were my only two goals!”
His commitment to those goals made him a well-recognized and highly regarded figure in the College of Business Administration. Outside of his participation with the Mighty Marching Hornets, he worked as a computer lab aid with COBA. Minor’s years in the computer lab allowed him to accumulate a wealth of technological understanding, which led to an internship with the city of Montgomery Water Works’ technical administration department. His extracurricular experience in technology landed him a paid position with Maxwell Air Force Base as a help desk associate, all while maintaining his student status at the university.
“I was going to school at night because I had a full-time job making good money,” Minor said.
While he had his hands in a number of extracurriculars, he ensured that his classes and coursework came first. He encountered various instructors who pushed him to his maximum potential, but he most favorably remembers his time as a student of Montgomery Ph.D. Montgomery provided lessons of curriculum and professional development such as budgeting, maintaining financial stability, etiquette, and more.
“Back then, I felt that all the teachers pushed us harder to be better because they knew what the outside world was like,” Minor said. “They knew we had to be better than our colleagues of a different race.”
Throughout his tenure as a student, he gathered a countless number of fond memories and experiences. He assures that it was these moments that formed him into the productive adult that he is today.
“The long band practices,” he said when asked of his favorite memories. “The late nights in the College of Business, we always had projects and assignments that required us to be in the lab all night because that is where all the computers were. Just the camaraderie, the friends, and the hard work.”
Minor finished his undergraduate studies in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems. As expected in the fruitful field, he found minimal difficulty not only with finding a job but also transitioning fully into the working world. He began his employment with Alfa Insurance in 2000, where he was hired as a system administrator. In this position, he utilized his technological expertise to ensure the efficiency of over a hundred servers throughout the state of Alabama.
“I adapted very well because I firmly believe that the College of Business Administration prepared me for the working environment,” Minor said. “By the strenuous assignments and strenuous presentations, standing in front of the crowd in a team environment, that prepared me for the real world in that technology field.”
In 2003, he accepted the position with Information Transport Solutions (ITS) as a senior systems network engineer. With ITS providing wireless infrastructure, telecommunication technology, and various other services to many esteemed clients, one being his alma mater, Minor found his niche. Though he was initially hired to manage clients’ business objectives and system monitoring, his efficiency allowed him to climb the ranks.
“They hired me as a system administrator, so I worked my way up and eventually became a manager,” he said. “Eventually, I worked my way up to become a vice president as the company grew. I ran the company for a considerable amount of years as the vice president and then became the president and COO of Information Transport Solutions.”
It was his work with ITS and plans of promotion that drove Minor to work toward a graduate degree. In 2010, he enrolled at Auburn University to pursue an executive master’s degree in business administration with a concentration on technology management. Though Auburn offered Minor a wealth of knowledge and resources for his success, he believes that his time as a War Eagle set him back socially.
“They treat you like all students are the same, but in real life, all students are not the same,” he said. “Caucasians have an advantage in the workplace. When you get in the workforce, it will not be the same as how you were treated in school, so it creates a false perception of what actually goes on in the real world.”
Fortunately, his previous years as a Hornet prepared him for the harsh realities of racial disparity in the workplace. Receiving his EMBA in 2012, Minor then had the credentials to not only better his chance for promotion but also to make a statement as a minority in such a competitive environment.
Over a span of 10 years with ITS, Minor held a number of positions and fulfilled an even larger number of responsibilities. He oversaw the implementation and execution of over $40 million worth of services to clients and work of approximately 140 employees. He officially became the president in 2014, a position that he would maintain for nearly seven years.
“I ran the company,” he simply said. “I made all the financial decisions, hiring decisions, budgeting decisions, as well as strategizing the vision of the company.”
While he was more than qualified for the position and had been for a while before the title, it was as president that he received the most conflict amongst his team. No matter the amount of expertise and leadership he provided, he was rarely respected and regarded as the president of ITS.
“During that time I ran the company, I was constantly overlooked as being the president,” Minor said. “Others who were less qualified and did not have the educational background that I had were placed in their positions because of their race, not because of their skill set or work ethic.”
While he was faced with this racial bias and adversity, he did not allow it to contaminate the work that he was meant to do. Motivated by the goals set as a college student, he reported to work every day eager to fulfill his responsibilities as president and chief operating officer.
“It took hard work and determination,” Minor said. “I did not want to continue to live in a state of uncertainty.”
In 2020, he made the presidential decision to sell ownership of ITS to Uniti Fiber, a company providing a larger output of infrastructure solutions, wireless operations, improved network reach and quality, and many more services concerning technology. With Uniti Fiber having a larger geographical reach, Minor knew that the change in ownership would allow ITS to grow to its highest potential.
“The market was good, and they made me an offer that I could not refuse,” he said.
Though he has now put his company and employees in a better position for advancement, Minor wishes that he was still in a recruitment position. As an administrator of ITS, he was able to open doors for a multitude of young African Americans hoping to get their start in tech. He prides himself on his role as a mentor and leader for those brought on and considers that to be the most rewarding aspect of his work.
“I try to give back, hire, and help as many Black young adults that I can,” said Minor. “I was not given the opportunity by a Black person. It was a caucasian. So, I want to be that person that reaches back and helps others be successful, financially stable, and provide generational wealth … Back before I sold ITS, I made a conscious effort to hire as many alumni as I could. I hired 12, and that was me giving back and giving the opportunity to those who come from where I come from.”
He now serves as the vice president of government and education at Uniti Fiber, where he brings in and monitors revenue. In this executive position, Minor continues to offer expertise and radiate excellence through his work.
Along with his work in the technological world, Minor has also recently begun his entrepreneurial career. In 2020, he opened a franchise of “Wing It On!,” a casual dining restaurant offering fresh and quality cuisine in Prattville, Alabama. Motivated by his dream of creating generational wealth for his family, he found that the passive income of the franchise would do just that. His passion for food and interest in culinary arts called for him to join the restaurant business.
“I have a passion for food,” Minor said. “I do not drink. I do not smoke. But I eat!”
Considering “Wing It On!” was opened during the tumultuous economic crash caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it prevailed with great success. The restaurant maintains a four out of five-star rating on Google and has received glowing reviews from satisfied customers. Priding themselves with excellent customer service, cleanliness, and quality taste, “Wing It On!” has made a considerable mark on the people of Prattville.
“Delicious food, Outstanding customer service, Spotless clean dining room,” read one reviewer. “They let you choose your FRIES SEASONING!! Also, LOVED the PERFECTLY seasoned, perfectly cooked meaty wings. And bonus points for fresh crisp veggies and homemade ranch. I haven’t been this impressed with a restaurant in a very long time. Thank you, WIO!”
The prosperity of “Wing It On!” influenced Minor’s newest project, a food truck named “Wings On The Run.” Though it has only been in a service a few months, it has allowed Minor to serve a larger clientele and maximize profits.
“I launched the food truck not only to expand my food offering services but also provide a service to my alma mater,” he said. “It is very rewarding because it is something that I own, something that my name is behind. I am very proud to be able to say that I own something.”
Minor is thankful for those who supported him during his career journey, as he found motivation from their encouragement. Knowing that it takes more than just one individual to build an empire, he appreciates all who assisted along the way.
“I have always been surrounded by a great team,” he said. “The teams that I have worked with have helped me succeed, and I would not have been able to do it without them. I appreciate the opportunity given to be in management, to run a company, to be a leader.”
He especially appreciates the support given by Hornet Nation. He values the extracurricular lessons of professionalism that the faculty of ASU instilled in him as a student. It was those extra skills that allowed him to stand out in the masses of his counterparts.
“When I was in school, they always harped on professionalism, public speaking, and presenting,” he said. “A lot of times, you see people in high positions who do not know-how to talk to people or in a public area, but ASU prepared me for that. They helped me get comfortable with being uncomfortable, so when I stepped in the real world, I was never truly uncomfortable.”
In his personal life, Minor is a loving husband and father. With his wife of 21 years, Waskesia Minor, he shares a 13-year-old daughter, Kenadie Minor. Though he searches for new hobbies to adopt, he finds himself preoccupied with work even in his free time. He previously served on the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Member Board of Directors of Central Alabama Community Foundation, and a current Board Member of the Autaugaville Education Foundation. He is also an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Minor encourages all students hoping to join the world of business, especially his field of technology. With technology advancing every day, the market for young innovative minds never weakens. He assures that with hard work and resilience, anyone can find their fit.
“There are jobs everywhere,” he said. “We just cannot find anyone to fill them. The technology field is growing every day, so as long as you have the desire to work and the desire to learn, you can make a good living.”
To all of Hornet Nation, he urges the community to always honor the university that molded them.
“Do not forget where you started, and give back to your alma mater,” he said.
Knowing that his time at Alabama State watered his seed for success, he is eager to give back, whether by hiring other alumni or serving the campus through Wings On The Run. ASU marked his start to becoming the business owner he is today. For that, he is eternally grateful.