Two UHV graduates to receive alumni awards at homecoming banquet
Before launching a 37-year career selling homes, John Quitta learned several life lessons on his way to earning an accounting degree from the University of Houston-Victoria.
Although the 1970s version of UHV looks quite a bit different than today, Quitta said one thing hasn’t changed.
“It’s great to have a local university that prepares students for work after college,” Quitta said. “With my UHV degree in accounting, I was ready to go into just about any field.”
Quitta, a sales agent with Re/Max Land & Home in Victoria, is one of two UHV graduates that will be honored at the 2016 UHV Alumni Banquet taking place during the university’s homecoming week. Quitta has been chosen as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. Shilo Monney, also of Victoria, was selected as the Young Alumnus of the Year.
The banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m. April 1 in the UHV University North Multi-Purpose Room, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. Alumni are encouraged to invite family and friends to attend.
The event includes dinner, wine and beer, door prizes and a university update from UHV President Vic Morgan. Tickets are $10 a person. To sign up to attend, visit www.uhvconnect.org/event/alumnibanquet. All alumni banquet attendees will receive free tickets to a comedy show later that evening. Texas comedians Chase DuRousseau and Aaron Aryanpur will perform at 8:30 p.m. in the University North Kay and Ron Walker Auditorium.
“One of the best aspects of homecoming is opening the doors to all alumni, whether they graduated last year or 40 years ago,” Morgan said. “The alumni banquet will be a fun, relaxing evening to meet fellow graduates, re-connect with the university and celebrate the success of our alumni.”
Monney graduated from UHV in 2003 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He took over the family business and built it up during the next 10 years. He sold Southern Field Maintenance in 2013 and started a rental real estate firm, Homco Properties in Victoria.
In 2015, Monney created a consulting business, SEM Consulting of Victoria, to help small business owners achieve their potential. His most recent endeavor is a merchant service and card processing company, Ecco Payment Solutions. The company is two weeks old, and Monney is the chief financial officer.
Monney also is chairman of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, which he has served on since 2011.
Monney said he thinks UHV does a great job of tailoring classes to fit the needs of companies in Victoria and the surrounding regions. Some of his friends attended business schools at larger universities. When comparing notes, Monney learned his friends were being groomed for Fortune 500-type companies, while UHV was concentrating on lessons about small businesses.
“The reality is most people, even those from larger schools, will not work at a Fortune 500 company,” Monney said. “The majority of the industry in the U.S. is start-ups and businesses that employ less than 100 people. UHV is keyed into that.”
He also applauds UHV for its efforts to connect with more alumni and hold additional alumni events.
“I think it’s important for alumni to be engaged with the university because we can have an impact on sharing what the education needs are of the community,” Monney said. “I know Dr. Morgan wants to make programs available that will help the community, so hearing from alumni about community needs is significant.”
Quitta also knows the importance of alumni engagement. A native of Hallettsville, he moved to Victoria at age 10. He left briefly in the 1970s to enroll at Texas Tech to study landscape design. Once he realized that wasn’t the career for him, Quitta came back to Victoria and obtained his degree from UHV.
After graduating in 1978, Quitta had job interviews for accounting positions in Houston. The salaries at that time made it difficult to make a living. His parents supported him trying real estate, and Quitta quickly discovered he was good at it. During his first three months on the job, he sold a house every week.
Today, Quitta serves on numerous community organizations. He is on the boards of the Victoria Symphony, Theater Victoria, Victoria Bach Festival, Victoria Fine Arts Association, Victoria Independent School District Education Foundation and Children’s Discovery Museum. He also is on the Golden Crescent Court Appointed Special Advocate advisory board.
He said it’s wonderful how UHV has prospered through the years.
“It’s fantastic seeing new buildings being constructed and the plans for more in the future,” he said. “It’s such a benefit for area residents to get an education at a reasonable price.”
UHV’s homecoming week will be March 28 to April 2. A full list of events can be found at www.uhv.edu/homecoming.
For more information about the alumni banquet, contact Kira Mudd, director of alumni relations and annual giving, at 361-570-4869 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.