Hit Pause and Look Around

November 25, 2015 / Featured, Media / 0 Comments /

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, the results far exceed the effort. The biggest challenges range from deciding which football game to watch to the choice between turkey and ham.

But as time goes by, I am gaining a new sense of appreciation for Thanksgiving. Again this year, we are adding another chair to the table, albeit a high chair, and everyone will be present and accounted for. I would hope everyone experiences this priceless environment, but that is why I say hit pause and look around.

Be thankful for the freedom to gather. It comes with an ongoing price paid by service people past and present. Be thankful for your family and friends with you at the table. For many there is an empty chair of one stationed elsewhere in this country or overseas.

I have grown to associate Thanksgiving with God bless America. This Thursday, there is no place I would rather be and there is no question who makes it possible. For my family, and hopefully for yours, pause and devote a meaningful moment this Thanksgiving to all who stand guard to protect and preserve the blessings we hold dear.


About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as a fresh-faced account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” feature and the 2017 CEO Awards. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.


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