Michelle Rios, President of Blue Tiger Leadership, LLC, Top 10 Admired Leaders of 2023

Daniel Markow
Owner & Vice President
Sterling Corporation

Michelle Rios, President of Blue Tiger Leadership, LLC

Thinking outside of the box and believing in your team are the keys to success

Sterling Corporation owner and vice president Daniel Markow, explains the company's diverse elements. Jointly, “Sterling” is made up of four companies: Sterling Corporation, a sales agency and distribution center for the carrier, CRST; Sterling Moving & Storage, a household moving company in Rhode Island and a second in Connecticut collectively known as "Sterling South", both agents for North American Van Lines; And lastly, J&M Installations, a commercial moving company in New England; J&M Installations was previously co-owned by Daniel and his father, Jerry Markow.

Daniel began working for Sterling as a mover in the Commercial Moving Division when he was a teenager, learning the division from the ground up while developing his business ability and networking skills at Northeastern University. Along the way, he created a vision for the Sterling companies and has enthusiastically worked towards it ever since. Sharing his experience, he explains that in 2012, as a dispatcher, his role was riddled with manual processes. He had ambitious goals for growing the business and needed to find a way to do so without being tied down to that specific dispatch position. This led him to the creation of a Live Master Scheduling software program. It took several years to design, create & implement the software and connect it with additional modules used by other departments.

Daniel worked with the commercial division, J&M Installations, Inc. from 2005 to 2018. He then founded The Markow Companies in June 2019 as majority owner, adding the three Sterling companies as subsidiaries under the TMC umbrella. In 2022, The Markow Companies purchased J&M Installations, Inc., adding J&M as the fourth subsidiary company within the portfolio. In April 2023, Daniel founded Markow Capital, a real estate portfolio that owns two Sterling-occupied Massachusetts warehouses consisting of just under 200,000 square feet.

Daniel first started gaining leadership experience as a high school football captain, where he faced regular mental and physical challenges. He has run five Boston marathons with a sixth in sight for 2024. As a fraternity President in college, he gained experience in networking, event planning and philanthropy. As a leader in business, he focuses his efforts on strong team building coupled with operating software design intended to benefit the eventual scaling of his businesses.

Daniel's prosperous family credits humility, hard work, and faith in a plan. He aims to continue this legacy by appreciating his opportunity at J&M Installations and building off the platform he started with. He joined the company to establish himself in New England business, not merely because he is the owner's son. He thinks leadership is important for personal growth and that mistakes are lessons; anyone willing to learn and grow may succeed.

Considering the aforesaid, Daniel's maternal grandfather, Raymond M. LaFontaine, had a big impact on his life. Serving his seat in the House of Representatives, Raymond worked tirelessly to bring his town of Gardner, MA economic opportunity as a distinguished Massachusetts legislator. He played a major role in the founding of Mount Wachusett Community College and supplied vital infrastructure to Gardner including the Courthouse, Skating Rink, High School and Correctional Institution. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree in 2011. Daniel endeavors to start a philanthropic foundation, continuing the humanitarian traits of his grandfather.

A second major influence is Daniel's father, Jerry Markow. As a Northeastern graduate, Jerry started off as a sales manager for Turf Doctor, later jumping to the furniture industry and finally into the moving industry, eventually approaching the then owner of the Sterling companies, Brian Fin, with the idea of starting a commercial division under the Sterling name. This conversation soon led to the establishment of J&M Installations. Jerry’s initial goal back in 1994 was to achieve $2 million in revenue. Years later, and with the contribution of Daniel’s efforts to corporate infrastructure, the company far surpassed expectations, topping $20 million in revenues in 2017. As Daniel expands his corporate empire, he hopes to emulate his father's belief of manifesting ideas into reality.

Even though Sterling has existed since 1952, the company values a startup mentality, which they believe leads to growth. Daniel believes this culture gives the company a competitive edge while regarding Sterling’s people as its biggest asset. He advises creating quantifiable goals and building a team that believes in the agenda to achieve great things. The corporation has capital and plans for several future acquisitions. Adding new companies under The Markow Companies umbrella will prove the need for additional synergies as operating systems get merged, teams combine, and the company identifies new best practices.

In addition to their customer base for standard moving, transportation and warehousing services, Sterling has many Life Sciences customers in the Greater Boston area. Daniel is excited to build a 250,000-square-foot warehouse in Lowell, MA, which will provide climate-controlled storage and transport. Additionally, Sterling plans to create a battery fuel cell program at their Billerica, MA location. This program will focus on storing Massachusetts power grid energy that can be drawn from in the event of shortages, beginning in July of 2024. Adding innovative new programs, completing his Software, growing the portfolio of companies via acquisitionsand real estate planning are all included in his goals for Sterling's future. In time, Daniel aims to expand to eight total operating companies under The Markow Companies umbrella. Simultaneously, Markow Capital is seeking six total owner-occupied buildings.

In growing a humanitarian foundation, Daniel hopes to leverage the strong Sterling platform as a network promoting the effort and funding that will benefit the numerous charitable organizations he touches. He aspires to be New England's and the nation's top service provider in the moving and logistics industry and balances this with community involvement.Through hard work and some luck, Daniel and his team remain focused and have strong plans for the future of the company.


Sterling Corporation


Daniel Markow
Owner & Vice President
Sterling Corporation


Sterling recognizes the value of our employees and we continually strive to make Sterling a welcoming place to work. If you are an energetic, motivated team player, a career at Sterling may be right for you. Sterling offers its eligible employees a variety of benefits including; Medical and Dental insurance, 401k match, paid holidays, vacation time and sick time, and a referral bonus program.

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