About Us


Tropacaval Media is a full service marketing and advertising firm primarily focused on automobile dealers in Texas. Direct mail, broadcast television, cable, radio, outdoor, internet, and digital solutions tailored to any size budget. We focus on bringing traffic to your place of business, your website, and your phone. We can help you eliminate waste and create campaigns that produce results.

 

BEN KEATING

President/Owner

I grew up in the car business. However, my understanding of the business was washing cars and picking up trash. I wanted nothing to do with it. Therefore, I went to Texas A&M to get an Engineering degree.

In the summer after my Junior year, I worked as an intern for a car dealer consulting company. What I saw during that summer was an industry filled with people who were making really good money despite the fact that they were horrible business people. It was then I decided that if these people were my competition, then THIS was the business for me.

I did very well in school. I graduated from the College of Engineering with Honors. I had a great GPA. I could have gotten one of the more coveted jobs. However, I had already made the decision that I was going to go sell cars to learn the business. The year I graduated, the top job offer I ever heard of was $40,000 per year. This was a TON of money at the time. And in my first MONTH as a car salesman, I made $11,400. I was rich! It was at this moment that I decided I would come back to hire TAMU grads just like myself to give them the same opportunity.

I sold cars. I eventually became a Used Car Sales Manager. Then, I went on to buy into my father’s dealership and become the General Sales Manager. In March of 2002, I purchased my own dealership. Since then, I have purchased a total of 8 dealerships around the State of Texas. We have grown very quickly. This is not because of me, but because of the incredible people who I have surrounded myself with. They too have grown quickly.

I hired Aggies in 1995, one of whom worked his way up through the organization to be a partner in a dealership, and run a store by himself. I hired Aggies in 1996, one of whom worked his way up through the organization to be the leader and director of our Advertising Agency. I hired Aggies in 1998, one of whom is the most respected sales people in the business. And it goes on and on.

I have been very successful hiring Aggie grads. I fully realize no one goes to college with aspirations of getting into the car business. However, I believe that is because most people do not realize the opportunity available to them in the car business.

It is very safe to say that most Aggies made $50,000+ in their first year. In fact, many have made $80,000+. I can also say that several were making $180,000+ within their first 5 years. This is not something you will find in big corporate America. Yes the hours are long, but they are way less than the tremendous hours my friends put in at the accounting firms or consulting companies, and they were all on salary.

I believe this opportunity is the best available. This business is competitive, but that is what I love about it. This business is fun. We are a young and vibrant organization full of young and vibrant people. If you think it is a fit for you, I hope that you will give us the opportunity to get to know you better and that you will get to know us better.


 

SCOTT WIDEMAN

Marketing Director

Honestly, Tomball Ford was supposed to be a practice interview. I had started looking late because I wasn’t sure I would graduate and I had not been on any interviews except Luby’s and they didn’t like my GPA. Apparently, it takes a 3.5 or better to make their delicious macaroni and cheese. So I showed up in my new suit and shined shoes and sat down with Ben. We interviewed in the press box at Kyle Field. I had 15 minutes with him and then 15 minutes with the general sales manager and another Aggie recruit from 2 years earlier. Ben asked me about going for the win on 4th and goal from the 1 with no time left or kicking the tying field goal and going for overtime. Mind you overtime had just come into existence in college football so it was a fresh question. Anyway, I hit it off with Ben, the other 2 guys though I was average, but we all went to dinner that night. After dinner I went home, wrote my thank you letter for the interview (yes, they do get opened and read). Then I drove to the Bryan post office that night and mailed it. Ben got it the next day and knew it wasn’t planned because I mentioned stuff we had talked about in the interview and dinner. They made me an offer within a week and then came the hard part, telling my parents I was considering going into the car business after they just paid for my 4 1/2 years at college to get my bachelor’s degree.

It was a tough sell. My dad seemed disappointed from the start. My mom thought it was going to be too much time and there would be no future in it. 13 years later, they are proud. I am the marketing director for all 7 of our stores and one of only 4-5 people that influence decisions at every store, in just about every department. I have a staff, a great family, and I’ve made great business relationships with people within our organization, people that have worked with us and moved on, and people in the industry of automotive, marketing, and Internet. I consider myself a “car guy” first and fore most, but I’ve learned how to take those skills to help our organization from a marketing and advertising standpoint.

I was given the opportunity to grow quickly. I was trained, I was given the tools to succeed, and I was rewarded for my achievements accordingly. Is it a traditional career you go to college for? No. Can you make more money than your friends that are still borrowing money to finish a degree that will take them 10 years to repay the loan? Yes. Being an Aggie was a foot in the door, I still had to take advantage of the opportunity. Let’s put it this way, my dad is proud of me now and if I had it to do over again, I’d make the same decision. That’s why we keep coming back to A&M, to give more opportunities for Aggies to succeed. If you have questions about anything, call me at 361-574-8568 or email me at scott@ptlavaca.com. Look forward to meeting you to see if we can be a good fit.