- Role Models
My Name is Traci Adolph, CEO and Founder of Samson Fuel & BeYou Brands. Here is my story, it’s the reason for the start of BeYou and the mission behind it!
In 1980 my mother decided to buy a small kerosene heater for the back room of her home here in upstate NY. After doing so she soon realized that every company in the area required a minimum delivery of 100 gallons for kerosene. That is when the idea struck her that there was an untapped market for people just like herself with kerosene heaters heating their homes. She then decided to place a small ad in the Penny Saver for $7.50.
She went to the car dealership and traded in her brown Ford Cordoba for a used red Ford Flatbed Truck. She then had a 300 gallon skid tank welded onto the back of the Ford Flatbed. In the days following the request for deliveries of 50 gallons and under for kerosene came rolling in. This was the beginning of Samson Fuel! For the next three years my mother, Linda, would work her desk job during the day, come home, switch out of her heels into her work boots and make deliveries. This was not an easy task. Being the first woman in the area to enter the industry she would often get denied at the local terminals forcing her to ask other delivery companies to fuel her truck outside of the terminal gates.
Many people in the industry did not take her seriously and believed that Samson Fuel was destined for failure but a single mom she was a force to be reckoned with. Linda forged ahead and all doubts were removed when she landed the Monroe Country Pure Waters Project. This was the largest contract ever awarded to a female owned business in New York State.
Within the year the business started booming. This allowed Linda to leave her day job and focus solely on Samson. During this time not only was Linda a hard working businesswoman but she was a dedicated mom. At this time I was just finishing up my degree in business management and economics at Fredonia State. While figuring out my path after graduation Linda suggested that I help out at the office. I soon went full time starting out with dispatch, answering phones, and assisting with any administrative needs. Over the years I went from office assistant to sales representative. First it was Linda and I hitting every lead they could find. Eventually, I went out on my own to continue building the customer base while Linda held down the fort at the shop.
In 2009 I had my daughter. Wanting to provide the best for my child I decided to step up as Vice President of Samson Fuel with this focus on growth of the company. In Fall of 2014 Linda was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Her health quickly deteriorated and Linda passed on November 1st, 2014. With the passing of Linda many people wondered as to the future of Samson Fuel. With the legacy of my Mother on the line and the future of Samson Fuel in my hands, I knew what I had to do.
In the days following I immediately took over as President of Samson Fuel. During the first few months I not only embraced her role at President, but was able to thrive. Although I knew I had big shoes to fill I knew I was lucky enough to have had the best teacher. By the spring of 2015 I was a single mother of two, running a well oiled machine. Come summer of 2015 I began negotiations for my first major acquisition. In November of 2015 the merger was finalized. Samson was now in it’s new home and had purchased Bisig Oil to head up their Heating Oil Division. My main focus now is the growth and success of Samson Fuel and Bisig Oil. I am lucky enough to have Ron Bisig working beside me. In my first years as President, I was recognized as a finalist for the 2016, and 2017 Athena Young Professional Award by Rochester’s Women’s Business Council,and a finalist for the 2016 Small Business Person of the Year by Rochester’s Small Business Council. In October 2017 I was proudly named “Business Person Of The Year” by Rochester’s Small Business Council.
While BeYou is much more Glamorous than the fuel industry, the mission and concept of Samson and BeYou Brands is to encourage girls, women and people of all ages to be themselves and to show them that with hard work and dedication you can truly be whatever you choose to be! We also want to recognize that there is so much more behind a beYOUtiful face! At BeYou Brands, we live by this mission everyday and I have encouraged my children from a young age to be the same! I hope you will join us in this mission!
With warm regards,
“There is truth to the statement that when the going gets tough, the tough get going & in the midst of adversity is when you will find your strength.” – Traci Adolph