John Paul Strong Named BBJ’s Top CEO for 2018

Ad Agency Owner Bests Five Finalists

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., December 13, 2018 – John Paul Strong, owner of Strong Automotive Merchandising, was named Top CEO for 2018 by the Birmingham Business Journal.

Strong was among five finalists nominated for the award in the 51–100 local employees category.

This marks the second consecutive year that Strong has been a nominee. Strong was selected as this year’s winner based on the quantifiable successes he has brought to his company.

Over the past decade, Strong Automotive Merchandising (SAM) has seen a 260 percent increase in workforce coupled with a 230 percent increase in client accounts. Strong has grown SAM from Birmingham’s fourth-largest advertising agency to the second-largest in 2018, as well as founded the agency’s first digital marketing department, growing from 1 employee to over 30 today.

In addition to implementing a massive recycling initiative in 2018, Strong boosted the company to a national stage by hosting the first digital marketing summits at Google’s New York and Austin headquarters.

Strong’s employees submitted him for the award based on his efforts to seed growth and foster a positive environment at work and in the community.

“An award like this wouldn’t be possible without the outstanding work of everyone in our organization,” Strong said. “It is a reflection of the dedication we have to our dealers and to the relentless pursuit of excellence.”

The BBJ’s CEO Award ceremony took place at Haven in Birmingham on the evening of Dec. 6. The event honored 35 CEOs across seven categories. In total, seven nominees were named Top CEO for their bracket.