It’s not hard to see why Christen Cuevas was chosen as the new face of Coastal Chevrolet in Savannah. Not only is she a knockout, she’s also vivacious, enthusiastic and intelligent. But it’s how she got this gig – and a brand spanking new Chevy Tahoe — that makes her story unusual.
Cuevas, a Hilton Head resident for more than 20 years, started modeling and acting as a child in Washington, D.C. When she turned 16, she decided to give up her career and take up martial arts.
“My mom wanted me to try martial arts for one month to learn self-defense,” she said. “But, I fell in love with the sport!” She still practices martial arts at Sun & Moon Martial Arts Studio in Bluffton.
After graduating from Hilton Head Island High in 2000, Cuevas received a full academic scholarship to attend the University of South Carolina, where she earned her degree in early childhood education. She worked in sales and marketing for Spinnaker Resorts on Hilton Head before she became a teacher at Georgetown Elementary in Savannah.
Cuevas got married and then took up the real love of her life: being a stay-at-home mom to 17-month-old Christopher. She did take the occasional acting and modeling job, shooting commercials for Bluffton Dental and Hilton Head’s BodyMax Gym and modeling at Savannah Fashion Week.
“Then a friend told me about a contest at Coastal Chevrolet,” said Cuevas. “I wasn’t even sure if I should enter, but my husband, Roberto, was really supportive and encouraged me to go for it.”
The contest was on.
Coastal Chevrolet put out a call for folks to enter a contest where the winner would not only get a new Silverado truck, but also do commercials for the dealership, said Neal Wilson, executive manager of the dealership.
Forty-five people entered; they were whittled down to five finalists who shot their own commercial touting the Silverado brand, which they each test drove. The public was invited to cast their ballot for their favorite on Facebook, and the site received more than 12,000 votes. In May, the finalists attended a dinner where the winner was announced.
“When they said my name, I was shocked! I just kept saying, ‘Oh my gosh!’ ” said Cuevas. “I love the fact that it was a local contest and the people here supported the hometown girl.”
A week later, she went to pick up the Silverado, but because she has a toddler, the dealership decided to give her a baby-blue fully-loaded 2011 Tahoe.
Cuevas is now shooting the commercials; the first one aired June 6. Wilson said the dealership couldn’t be more pleased. “She’s beautiful and loves life. We couldn’t ask for a better person to represent Coastal Chevrolet," he said.
Photo / Rob Kaufman