Meet the Team

John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong, Owner

  • Studied at Harvard Business School for Executive Management and Leadership.
  • Carries 3 cell phones and reads more than 400 emails a day.
  • Sports enthusiast who spends his leisure time wakesurfing, hunting and fishing.
  • Spends 130 days a year in client dealerships constantly seeking new methods to generate traffic.
  • Passionate writer who has authored 2 books, more than 120 newsletters and over 1,000 blogs – all on the automotive industry.
  • Recipient of the 2018 CEO Award and named to 2013's Top 40 Under 40.
  • Believes in continuous improvement and that nothing is possible without great people in an organization.
  • Loves spending time with his wife and 4 kids


Mike Strong, Partner

  • Has more than 40 years of experience in the advertising business.
  • Opened his first advertising agency – one of the country’s first exclusively automotive agencies – in 1977 with a desk, a phone and phone book.
  • As a partner with GM in the early 1980s, he was instrumental in developing the company’s dealer association program for Tier 2 advertising.
  • Built an automotive marketing empire that has placed more than $2 billion in media and worked for thousands of dealers.
  • Is a serious outdoorsman and has bird hunted all over the world; also enjoys saltwater fishing.
  • Has less serious hobbies including race car driving and big game fishing.
  • Enjoys spending time with his 2 granddaughters and 2 grandsons when he’s not traveling.


Josh Bradish, Vice President

  • Has 20 years of retail experience – from lot porter to founding member and partner of XtreamService – in the Hendrick Automotive Group.
  • Considered an industry expert by numerous dealer organizations, distributors and Honda/Acura.
  • Responsible for leading and growing XtreamService to more than 650 dealerships and $12 million in billing.
  • Road Warrior who travels from the east coast to the west coast (and all the areas in between) on a weekly basis.
  • Family man to wife Holly, and two boys Avery and Jackson.
  • Off-hours can be found at little league games or riding the trails of North Carolina on his mountain bike.


Bill Marefka, Vice President of Strategy

  • Has 33 years of experience working with automobile dealers.
  • Has seen everything from oil embargos to tsunamis.
  • Worked with every franchise from a single-point Chrysler dealer in Chicago to 400 Chevy dealers from Maine to Mississippi.
  • Has seen the Strong business move from newspaper to fiber optics.
  • Formally learned about marketing from the University of Akron, Claritas, The Wharton School and a SOHIO gas station in Stow, Ohio.
  • Informally, it's his keen people watching skills at little league games, high school football, choir concerts and ladies shoe sales at the mall.
  • Knows that selling cars is a noble profession -- nothing happens until somebody sells something.
  • “The only source of knowledge is experience.” ~ Albert Einstein


Sheila Grandy, Vice President of Advertising Services

  • Over 17 years of advertising industry experience.
  • Negotiated over 185,000 bonus spots for Strong clients last year.
  • Spent her junior year in college as an exchange student in Fukuoka, Japan.
  • Received the 2012 AAF Birmingham Ten Award for Mixed Media.
  • Traveled on 7 cruise trips since 2006 (42 cruise days) and is currently searching for the 8th destination.
  • She can be found on the treadmill at 4:45 AM every morning walking an average of 4 miles.
  • After baking almost 500 over the last 20 years, she has perfected the best pound cake, hands down.

Gayle Rogers, Director of Digital Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer

  • 15 years of experience in automotive advertising, from Tier 1 to Tier 3 in Detroit, Atlanta, Raleigh and Birmingham.
  • After creating millions of visits for dealers, still loves the challenge that digital marketing presents every day.
  • Avid watcher of the beautiful game (soccer), much to the dismay of his family.
  • Enjoys running, mountain biking and listening to podcasts. It’s the efficiency of getting exercise and learning something new at the same time.
  • Likes to create new things for the sake of being better than he was yesterday. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ~Peter Drucker
  • Building furniture helps to calm his mind, if he's got the extra time.
  •  Loves being a father and a husband more than anything. Their favorite thing to do is travel to new places or the beach.

Robin Smith, Chief Operating Officer

  • Has 20 years of experience working in advertising; 11 years in marketing with the largest publishing company in the U.S.
  • Chief cook and bottle washer to more than 80 employees and 8 departments within 17,000 square feet.
  • Has hired an average of 1 person per month at Strong in the last 36 months.
  • Once performed the Heimlich Maneuver on a co-worker at a company dinner.
  • Can often be found at sons’ youth baseball, basketball or football games.
  • First car was a 1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with white vinyl bench seating and ejector seat switch.
  • Mother of 2 teenage boys and as a result, frequent purchaser of air freshener.