News

February 12, 2009

From the Gridiron to the Bank

Former football standout Quincy Miller ’97 oversees over 130 Citizens Bank branches in Massachusetts

By Kevin Gray

Quincy Miller ’97 graduated as one of the most prolific wide receivers in the history of Lafayette’s Division I football program, having caught 98 passes for 1,673 yards and scoring 16 touchdowns. He earned First-Team All-Patriot League honors in his senior year after being chosen for the second team as a junior.

  • The McDonogh Report celebrates the contributions of African Americans to the Lafayette community.

He says the experience was incredibly valuable.

“I remember my recruiting trip like it was yesterday, with coach [Frank] Tavani showing my grandfather and me around campus,” he recalls. “That first day in August when I arrived on campus seemed like the most important day of my life. It was a personal milestone that I had worked so hard for and a milestone for my family being the first person to attend college.

“From the day before my first game freshman year, when I found out I was in the starting rotation at wide receiver, through my senior year being elected co-captain of the team, to my final Lafayette-Lehigh game and every moment in between were among the most memorable times of my life.”

Now that his cleats have been hung up and his name etched in the annals of Lafayette football lore, Miller—who grew up in Harrisburg, Pa.—is achieving on a different playing field. This month (February 2009), he became senior vice president and director of retail branch banking in Massachusetts for Citizens Bank after leading in that role at Charter One in Ohio, a division of Citizens Financial Group.

In his new position, he oversees more than 130 branches and is responsible for the day-to-day management of Citizens’ retail business, deposit generation, local marketing, and consumer and business lending in Massachusetts. As the bank puts it, Miller “serves to reinforce the ideals and vision of Citizens Bank, to be the best place for colleagues to work, to provide ‘legendary service’ to customers and to support local communities.”

“I provide executive leadership to cultivate a high-performing sales culture focused on achieving our customers’ financial goals, providing direction on financial performance, and evaluating industry trends and developing action plans for continuous improvements,” he says. “Most importantly, my role as retail director is to foster [the company’s] commitment to our customers, colleagues, and community.”

Miller has been honored by Crain’s Cleveland Business, Cleveland’s Kaleidoscope Magazine, and Central Pennsylvania Business Journal. He is a graduate of the Consumer Bankers Association’s Graduate School of Retail Bank Management.

He sees striking similarities between winning on the gridiron and in the business world.

“The three things essential to success in both are teamwork, a commitment to excellence, and a strong work ethic,” says the economics and business graduate, who minored in Africana studies. “You need to practice hard at your trade; athletic ability or intelligence will only get you so far. You have to understand that you can’t do it alone. Everyone needs a mentor, a coach, team members who are committed, who have your support and are there to support you. And most of all, you have to be willing to outwork your competition.”

Miller says that Lafayette prepared him for leadership and success in his professional career by providing a diverse experience.

“A liberal arts education forces you to get outside your comfort zone and experience learning outside your major,” he says. “It helps you diversify your talents and become a well-rounded individual. I also believe the small size and intimacy of Lafayette allows you as a student to not only learn from, but build mentor/mentee relationships with your professors.”

Many people had a positive impact on Miller at Lafayette.

“The entire Lafayette experience was one that provided me support not only as a minority student, but as a student athlete. I had wonderful support from professors, friends, coaches, and the deans of the College,” he explains.

Organizations such as the Association of Black Collegians and the Brothers of Lafayette were particularly welcoming to Miller — so much so that as a senior, he became president of the Brothers of Lafayette as a way to give back to the organization and provide support to first-year students.

Another strong presence was Professor Curlee Raven Holton.

“I know it’s surprising to hear an economics major highlight an art professor, but that is what makes Lafayette great,” he says. “I thought taking African American Art I and II would be interesting and informative. What I took away was a true appreciation for art, the importance of preserving it, and how closely economics and art are actually tied.”

Holton advised Miller in an independent study on the impact of economics on African American art.

“It was this one-on-one personal time that helped me realize how important collecting was not only for the buyer who proudly displays the work in his or her home, but for the artist who is encouraged and funded to continue and produce for others to enjoy,” Miller notes. “I am proud to say that my dining room 10 years later is adorned with three works by Curlee and the rest of my home is scattered with art from around the world.”

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