Taking A “Break” From Houston, Texas

By Cheval John

It was truly exciting to have the new 2017 Toyota Avalon for an entire week because it gave me the opportunity to visit Huntsville, Texas and also The Woodlands, (a Master-Planned Community in the Houston area).

I used to live in Huntsville for 15 years due to starting college late (graduate from Lone
Star College in 2007 and from Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in 2009) before moving to the Houston area in 2014.

It was in that small city of over 40,000 that I became an accidental entrepreneur, a podcaster and an author.

What made the trip to Huntsville and The Woodlands more fun was the fact that the avalon had a Sirius XM stations that allowed me to discover awesome stations that was dedicated to jazz music and of course, ESPN Radio.

The trip to Huntsville from Houston is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The fact that the gas was still close to full was really impressive to me.

As I arrived on the SHSU campus in Huntsville, I saw that they were constructing new buildings.

And ate at the old Humphrey’s Bar and Restaurant and saw that the company had repainted the outside of the store.

A few days later, I decided to drive the avalon to the LSC-Montgomery campus to see what has changed and also see one of my former career counselors on the SHSU satellite campus adjecent to the community college.

SHSU opened the satellite campus in 2012 and it was truly awesome to let the career counselor know what has been happening in my business career since moving to the Houston area.

And of course, I had the opportunity to interact with the public relations representative, Carolina Guana, Vice President (Multicultural/Hispanic practice) at Allison+Partners, Greg Thome, Regional Communications Manager for Toyota and other influencers who were part of the Toyota Press Tour during the Houston Rockets matchup against the Sacramento Kings at the Toyota Center in downtown houston.

What I learned during the week with the avalon is the importance of business colloboration between the Toyota Corporate Office and the Gulf Coast Toyota Distributors (GSTD), which has been in business since 1969.

The representative from the dealership explained that the Gulf Coast Toyota is it’s own business and they have build a strong presence in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.

Gulf Coast Toyota also have done great work in the communities in the states where they serve.

What I also learned is that Gulf Coast Toyota was responsible for getting the naming rights of the Toyota Center, where the Rockets play their home matchups during the National Basketball Association (NBA) season and the naming rights for Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, the home of the FC Dallas soccer team and the site of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivison (FCS) National Championship matchup.

What I can tell you is that Toyota has stepped outside the box to contact bloggers and social media influencers in addition to the tradional media because they understand the changes that are happening in the media world.

They also understand the importance of customer service and they strive to provide solutions that will ease the concerns of their customers.

I have a strong intuition that more and more businesses will be turning to bloggers, podcasters and social media influencers in the near future when they are launching their new products and services.

And thanks to the week long loan of the Toyota Avalon Car, I had the opportunity to take a “break” from Houston, Texas.

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About Cheval John

Cheval John is the Founder and CEO of Vallano Media, LLC, a marketing agency that helps businesses to use social media correctly to build a loyal following. Cheval is also the host of an online radio show/podcast called, "What's The Word?" He is the author of two books including the Amazon Best-Seller, "8 Lessons Every Podcaster Needs To Learn." He has spoken at Social Media Week Lima in Ohio and at Social Media Day Houston 2017 about topics around live streaming and podcasting. Cheval has been featured in media outlets like Ebony Magazine and was named a Houston Top 25 Social Media Power Influencer in 2016 and 2017.

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