Q&A: New PSA CEO Matt Barnette

Feb. 9, 2021
Industry veteran talks recovery, the future of the organization, plans for the annual PSA-TEC and more
This article originally appeared in the February 2021 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, don’t forget to mention @SecBusinessMag on Twitter and Security Business magazine on LinkedIn.

On December 21, security industry veteran Matt Barnette was named the next CEO of PSA Security Network, as current CEO Bill Bozeman plans to retire from the organization in 2021. Barnette, whose security career dates back to 1991 and has a long history in executive roles with access control vendor firms such as Mercury Security, HID and AMAG, officially began with PSA on Jan. 1.

Last week, PSA introduced Barnette to its membership via a virtual townhall event. I caught up with Mr. Barnette in this exclusive Q&A:

Security Business: How will the working relationship with Bill function during this transitional period?

Barnette: Bill will work alongside me to offer support through the transition for the first half of 2021. Bill has been leading PSA for the past 20 years and has done a tremendous job. I value the input and guidance he is providing during this period. We’ve been working side-by-side as I get up to speed on various parts of the organization and its place in the industry. I’m listening carefully and asking as many questions as I can during this phase. He is also a great support as I build relationships with our integrators and vendor partners.

How will your wealth of experience on the manufacturer side of this industry bring something new to the table for PSA integrators?

I actually started my career in security over 30 years ago at a systems integrator that was headquartered in Northern California. While I’ve spent the majority of my career on the manufacturer side, I still held close relationships with integrators as I built a channel. I think my experience working with integrators this way will help PSA ensuring its product offering matches the needs of the network.

What is your vision (or goals) for PSA in both the near-term and long-term future?

I hope to continue to build on the success and growth that PSA has had under Bill’s leadership. In the short term, PSA and its integrators need to weather the remainder of the pandemic. While our industry has done better than most, we have faced challenges and there are still some uncertainties.  With that said, we are optimistic about the future and believe the security sector in general, and the PSA members specifically, will come out of this in better shape. Bill has been a huge proponent of managed services and helping our integrators adapt to this model. PSA will continue to support our integrators in making this shift as we believe it is paramount to their long-term success.

What are the plans for PSA-TEC in 2021…Virtual, in-person or maybe a hybrid?

We have been planning for multiple scenarios: in-person, all virtual, or some sort of hybrid approach. As more time passes, we are beginning to believe the hybrid approach is our best option with an in-person component that is smaller than our usual event and virtual courses and certifications for those who are unable to travel. All events will look different in 2021 and our focus is to bring back a live security event, but in a manner that is safe for all attendees and our staff.

What effects has/will continuing integrator consolidation have on PSA?

We continue to see acquisitions increase every year in our space, which shows the market is vibrant. PSA’s goal is to maintain the acquiring party in our network so we can continue the relationship and, in many cases, grow it further. PSA has had success with this so far and as I build relationships within the network, I will do all I can to support this long-term relationship as well.

What do you anticipate for integrators in 2021 as it relates to business recovery?

I’m optimistic about 2021 for our industry. As we emerge from the pandemic and offices and buildings focus on reopening safely, security integrators will play a large role. Many of our integrators, both security and AV, may be shifting their offerings to adapt to the demand, but are well poised to do so. I believe we will continue to see a shift to managed services models as well. Those who have embraced managed services in some capacity have certainly had an easier time navigating the challenging market than those who have not.

Paul Rothman is Editor in Chief of Security Business magazine. Access the issue archives and subscribe at www.securitybusinessmag.com  and follow us on linkedin (www.linkedin.com/company/security-business-magazine) and Twitter, @SecBusinessMag.