Skip to Content

SSN interview with Barrier1 Systems’ Mark Borto and Baxter Matthews

SSN interview with Barrier1 Systems’ Mark Borto and Baxter Matthews

SSN Interview with Barrier 1 Systems’ Mark Borto and Baxter Matthews

DALLAS – If there was one corner of the security industry that stood out at GSX this year it was companies offering physical barrier solutions like gates and bollards.

Security Systems News (SSN) had the privilege of speaking with one such company, Barrier1 Systems, and its CEO Mark Borto along with the VP of Security Projects, Baxter Matthews. The following interview has been edited for length.

SSN: Alright, gentlemen, why don't you tell me about Barrier1 Systems and what you've got here at the show?

BORTO: Barrier1 Systems is a 20-year-old manufacturer of virtually any type of hostile vehicle mitigation, and vehicle barrier. They range from bollards, like these two here (gesturing), that are designed for a 5000 lbs. Vehicle at up to 10, 20, 30 miles per hour, all the way up to arms, nets, wedge barriers, and others that can accommodate and stop up to a 50,000-lb. vehicle at 50 miles an hour or 40 miles an hour, 30 miles an hour, depending on the rating and the level of security designed by the owner themselves.

We have historically sold primarily to the Department of Defense, different types of military facilities, federal government facilities and the market has been migrating more into the corporate commercial industrial sector for protection of high security facilities, assets et cetera. So, we're starting to see a real diversification of our customer base and are starting to pursue those diligently. It's a very small niche industry with only a handful of manufacturers. So, most of the manufacturer brands aren't known to the typical people walking around, the 20,000 people here walking around the floor. So, we're really trying to increase awareness of the products, the risk mitigation that they provide, the terrorism or safety protection that they provide, and then us as a manufacturer as well. We're kind of on a mission to evangelize vehicle barrier protection systems across the industry.

(Matthews goes on to discuss an important partnership that Barrier 1 Systems took on earlier this year with the European based Perimeter Protection Group)

MATTHEWS: We probably have the fullest or one of the fullest, if not the fullest portfolios of vehicle barriers in the world at this point.

BORTO: So Perimeter Protection Group (PPG) that he just mentioned, PPG is the largest vehicle barrier manufacturer in Europe, based in Germany. They have not been in the American market, so we struck a deal with them back in, February?


BORTO: be their exclusive distributor and OEM manufacturer, which we'll start doing. So, that's introduced some other new products like bi-fold gates, and retractable bollards that can handle M30 and M40 and M50, which are the 50,000 lbs. ratings. That is a big deal for us.

MATTHEWS: Yeah, that filled a couple of gaps in what we offered, and it was definitely a shortcut to close those gaps, but they have excellent engineering and design and they’ve been doing it for 40 years I think?

BORTO: The Mercedes of the barrier business.

MATTHEWS: Or the BMW or Audi? (laughs) Insert your preferred German brand there. Yeah, we're excited about it, and as Mark said, they haven't been in the US market in any substantial way. There's been some ones and twos here and there. But again, the exclusive distributorship to start the manufacturing later I guess probably next year is something to get excited about.

SSN: So now that the market's changing a little bit, as far as your customers are you end-user direct? Or are you consultants who are looking to put some projects together?

BORTO: All of it. So, we're actually creating an organization that could employ a push-pull strategy. You know, where we're pushing into the traditional resellers, which include some security integrators. All of the specialty perimeter security companies like Sloan Security, Eccentric Security, and general contractors, and then pull it through at the specific end-user level who you know, those are the people that are looking for these types of solutions, and often they don't know what's available. Their awareness of the type of product solutions that are out there is still fairly minimal, especially as you move into the newer clients, and the commercial, and the industrial side of the business. So, we're trying to educate and create that awareness so that can help them select the right product.

MATTHEWS: There's always been a large piece of our workload that is customer education. Whether it's an architect, engineer or even an end-user they'll call and say, hey, what do I need? So, customer education is a big piece of what we do. A lot of people have been forced into something that maybe wasn't the best solution for them. And I think a lot of that was just kind of the infancy of the industry. We now have this large portfolio where we've got a solution, if it's a vehicle barrier that you need, we've got something that works exactly for your solution now.


You can learn more about Barrier 1 Systems at


To comment on this post, please log in to your account or set up an account now.