Strategic Planning

One of the Most TRUSTED Names in Fencing

Thornton Fence Consulting Group was established in 2022 by founder and visionary, Tony Thornton, a 47+ year veteran of the fencing industry with a vast level of experience as a contractor, supplier/distributor and manufacturing. While working with others and owning his own companies, he gained experience in sales, operations, installation, and project management and began developing efficiency methods that streamlined the processes that highlighted the importance of profitability.

Family & Owner Managed Planning
At a Glance

Tony Thornton

Tony's humble beginning into the fence industry happened at age 15 when a neighbor and family friend, stopped by while he was cutting his lawn and was told to "get in the truck, done talked to your dad, we going to build a fence" - and that day started his career. That family friend and neighbor was Mr. Jere Jefcoat and every summer between junior high, high school and even college, Tony worked for Jefcoat Fence Company in Pearl, Mississippi.

The college life wasn't Tony's focus so after a year and half of a local Junior College, he decided to go to work full time at Jefcoat Fence Company. He quickly learned all aspects of the fence industry both residential and commercial that includes chain link, wood, ornamental, vinyl and agricultural fence. From a residential job to high-security type fence work, including gate automation and access control, Tony's knowledge in these areas, are all well documented and spoken of in the fence industry. Tony was the operations manager for Jefcoat Fence Company for 9 years before branching out on his own. He has worked and managed companies ranging from 1- 100+ employees and his strengths are evident in the development of efficiency procedures for all size companies.

Executive Search & Evaluation
Marketing Planning

At age 29, Tony started his own business in the gate automation installation area of our industry. This company grew exponentially, and Tony expanded into one of the largest gate operator and access control distributors in the country. Through this experience, is where his passion for training and education began as the invent of UL and ASTM was introduced into the industry. His knowledge of these standards and unique method of delivery through education has always been one of the many strengths he brings to this next chapter for consulting.

Selling the distribution company in the early 2000's, Tony worked for DKS (Doorking) as a regional sales manager for nine plus years and was responsible for multiple states. He was also heavily involved with the in-house and regional training events throughout the country. His passion for education and supporting the fence and gate industry continued to grow and his background as a contractor and distributor, provided a wealth of knowledge to the gate automation industry.

More Recently

For the past eight years, (2014-2022) serving as the Executive Director for the American Fence Association, his knowledge of the fence industry and of the association needs served him well as the organization grew membership, developed education and training and most rewarding was the development of (ACI) Accreditation and Certification Institute that leads the fence and gate automation industry with several levels of certifications and accreditations as a third-party entity. Bringing a new level of professionalism and relevance to the fence industry, Tony has always strived to highlight that the fence industry professionals should be looked upon as true industry tradesman, just like the electrical and plumbing industries. No reason why as tradesman, we have to be looked upon as the "last contractor on the job".

Serving as Executive Director for these eight years, offered Tony an opportunity to speak, mentor, support and coach many companies that needed help to take the next step towards being efficient and profitable. Speaking with hundreds of fence companies annually, a common theme developed through this interaction- everyone had the same problems and no special antidote to fix it. Those companies that allowed his mentorship will provide positive feedback in all areas of sales, operations, installation and project management about his knowledge and expertise in the fence industry.

His passion as always been to teach, educate and provide training to industry professionals to enhance their opportunities for training, retaining, and growing their company and Thornton Fence Consulting Group focuses on organizational structure and building a company culture that will drive a stable and proven track record of success.

Tony and his wife, Tammy have been married for 39 years and they have two children and six grandkids that keep them busy. His motto is "Life is Good" and promotes this everyday through living his passion.

A favorite book called the Inner Voice- Unlock your Purpose and Passion by bestselling author Russ Whitney is what motivated Tony to start Thornton Fence Consulting Group and from this reading, the focus of "Master my own change- Pursue my Passion" was born!

Our Associates

Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA

Born and raised in a family fence business - Hurricane Fence of Baton Rouge

I am a family man. My wife, Peggy, and I have been happily married for 47 years. We have four grandkids that all live within three miles of us, and we spend as much time with them that we can. We have a motorhome, and we love camping, traveling, and going wherever one of the grandkids is playing whatever sport they are playing. I play golf, not well, but I enjoy the heck out of it and I try to play as much as I can.

I started building fence with my dad at a very early age, seven. Yep, Seven. I hated when school let out. That meant it was time to get the hog ring pliers and get with it. We always strived to make our fences better than anyone else and we believed we did. We did it the right way. Every time. Our customers were always very important to us and had many of them return to us over the years.

In 1999, at age 45, Peggy, and I left our fence company to start our own gate operator wholesale distribution company, Southeast Gate Operators (SEGO). We successfully grew SEGO every year until we were purchased by a larger wholesale distributor in 2014. I continued to work for that company until 2021 when I "retired".

During my time with SEGO, I became involved with the AFA and began to work diligently toward getting gate operator installers certified and educated through the AFA University where I became an instructor, helping to teach the curriculum, while also editing the study guide used for instruction. I am actively involved with the Louisiana Fire Marshal's office, who oversees licensing gate operator installers. I have hosted and proctored many testing events for Louisiana certification and at several AFA chapter events, as well.

I currently serve on the board of the AFA Gulf South Chapter, as the past president, after serving many years on the board as a director. I was presented the Outstanding Service award for the year 2020 by the AFA. An Award I take great pride in.

It has been my passion for years to help the people in the fencing industry to better themselves and to make sure that all installations are done safely and follow the current ASTM standards and the local industry "best practices".

I have been a friend of Tony Thornton's for close to twenty years and have decided to become involved with him with Thornton Fence Consulting Group because I believe what he is doing is going to help many businesses out there to become more profitable, more efficient and better stewards and examples for the fencing industry.

Check Out Our Upcoming Events!

2023 Super Summit Tour – Six Major U.S. Cities!
The Ultimate Summit held at the Shangri-La Resort!