Virginia Bauer knows the price of terrorism: Her husband died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center.
After the attacks, Bauer became a well-known advocate for victims' families, and was later named New Jersey Lottery director and then state Commerce secretary, a post where she forged relationships in the corporate world.
Bauer is using that mix of experience in her latest venture as chief executive of Rutherford-based GTBM. "My background has given me good government relations and corporation relations (skills), and I can be pretty pushy — when I need to, I can get on the phone and just make sure people see this," Bauer said.
Bauer is working to grow sales of GTBM's patented Info-Corp technology, which allows security guards to do online background checks on those seeking to enter secure places such as corporations, chemical plants, hospitals and schools.
The company employs 35 and has revenue of about $10 million a year, and GTBM President Richard Picolli believes GTBM could be a $100 million company in eight years, if Info-Corp gains wide acceptance, as he expects it will.
Info-Corp is a new version of an existing, and similar sounding, GTBM technology called Info-Cop, which the company developed for police departments more than a decade ago. Most of the company's revenue today comes from Info-Cop, and about 85 percent of New Jersey police departments use the technology, which — among other capabilities — allows police to run license plates before pulling vehicles over, alerting them to potential encounters with stolen cars and dangerous drivers.
In 2007, GTBM began piloting Info-Corp at about a dozen New Jersey businesses; Bauer came on board three years ago. The idea behind Info-Corp is to give private security guards access to the same criminal databases used by law enforcement.
"After 9/11, we talked about how to make the world safer. I want to use whatever resources I have to help make things a little more secure," Bauer said.
She said GTBM is selling its technology through partnerships with vendors that provide building security on an outsourcing basis, and GTBM has agreed to keep the names of those vendor
partners confidential. By tapping into the markets served by these nationwide security companies, Bauer expects Info-Corp to begin generating significant revenue this year.
Picolli, an inventor who directs new product research and development, said the driver's license is the most common form of identification, but guards need to be sure the license is not fake. Picolli said Info-Corp matches the license against the original document stored in state motor vehicle databases, and is able to detect a phony.
The aim is to extend to the private sector the same credential verification technology that police use. "This is an open society, and we don't know where the criminals are; they just blend in," Picolli said. But when a worker goes into a school to fix the heating system, "I would like to know if that person is wanted for a crime."
South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond J. Hayducka said Info-Cop gives his officers "instant access, while they're on the road," to information for background checks. Hayducka, who is president of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, said before Info-Cop, officers would call dispatch from the road and ask them to run a license plate or driver's license through the computer. Now the officer can punch in the plate number while following the vehicle, "and you know if you're dealing with a bad guy instantly."
He said with Info-Cop, "we've arrested wanted felons, we've locked people up on fugitive warrants and we've recovered stolen cars. When you can get instant information, obviously you can operate more efficiently and effectively."
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