10 Questions for Daryl Sampson
By Douglas McColloch
With a two-pronged strategy of catering to niche markets and maintaining a full range of partner-manufacturer product lines, Turn 14 Distribution has emerged as a major player in the warehouse distributor space, and few have been as responsible for the company’s success as Daryl Sampson, who joined Turn 14 Distribution in 2009 as the company’s business development manager. As a relatively new player in the WD arena, the company needed to establish a strong national brand identity, and Sampson was tasked with the assignment of building Turn 14 Distribution’s marketing department. Under his guidance over the ensuing decade, the company launched numerous initiatives across print, digital, and social media, combined with event marketing and motorsports sponsorships.
The results have been impressive. In little more than a decade, Turn 14 Distribution has grown to a WD powerhouse, sporting 730,000 sq. ft. of distribution-center space across three facilities in Texas, Pennsylvania and Nevada. The industry has taken notice as well, and Turn 14 Distribution was awarded SEMA’s Warehouse Distributor of the Year award in 2016, in 2018 and again in 2021. For his efforts, Sampson has risen within the company from marketing manager to director of marketing and, in 2021, to his present role as vice president of marketing.
Over the course of a 20-year career, Sampson has worked in a variety of positions across the industry. Prior to joining Turn 14 Distribution, he worked as sales manager of Turbonetics and prior to that as the sales and marketing manager of Advanced Clutch Technology. A native of Trinidad who has spent considerable time living in New York, California and now in Pennsylvania, Sampson relies on his experiences of living in a multitude of environments to inform the brand strategies that are the cornerstone of the company’s marketing.
We spent a few minutes chatting with Sampson at his home in Pennsylvania recently, and what follows is edited for clarity and length.
SEMA News: What’s your latest project? What’s in your garage?
Daryl Sampson: I just picked up a ’13 E92 M3 in January. It’s a car that I’ve always wanted since they were new, so I’m excited to have one. Apart from that, I have a new M5, an E46 3-Series and an ’84 Mazda RX7.
SN: What keeps you passionate about your work?
DS: I love the challenge of developing new and out-of-the-box marketing strategies to accomplish company goals. I’m also passionate about mentorship, helping and developing others to push past their preconceived notions of what they can do to be the best version of themselves.
SN: What achievement in life would you say are you proudest of?
DS: I can’t say that there’s one. As a kid growing up in Trinidad, I always wanted to work in the automotive field, and I’m proudest of the sacrifices and dedication I’ve made to get here.
SN: What’s the car you dreamed of owning as a kid, and did you ever get one?
DS: I’m passionate about cars, and I’ve been fortunate to own several of my dream cars. I was enamored with the E30 M3 when it was released in 1987. I promised myself that I’d own an M3 in my life, and I’ve done so a few times.
SN: How do you unwind at the end of the day/work week?
DS: I work out after work, and on weekends, I enjoy cooking, watching Formula 1 and road racing. During the warmer months, I like to go for a long drive on some of the beautiful back roads of eastern Pennsylvania.
SN: What’s the most significant change(s) you’ve seen in the industry since you started working in it?
DS: The advancements in technology over the past 20-plus years with internal combustion engines. The rise of the electric-vehicle market and how marketing has changed to the current influencer, lifestyle-based content prevalent everywhere.
SN: If you went back to school, what would you study?
DS: Business management.
SN: What’s your daily driver, and why?
DS: A ’22 BMW M5 Competition. It’s the perfect combination of performance and luxury in an understated package.
SN: When you’re not working, where can we find you?
DS: Enjoying the comforts of my home. I travel a fair amount, so time at home is something I look forward to.
SN: To a young person looking to break into the industry, what advice would you give?
DS: Determine what aspect of the automotive industry appeals to you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take chances. Believe in yourself and take advantage of every opportunity presented to you, even if you’re not sure where it will lead.