Sam Ely is a decorated U.S. Air Force (USAF) Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom turned engineer and entrepreneur of Percival Inc. – a successful small business located in Columbia, MD. Sam started the company in 2016 leveraging his real-world experience and applying best practices learned from elite U.S. Government Cyber Corps. His endeavors in technology began 25+ years ago teaching young students IT, he then further pursued this passion by obtaining a BS (VA Tech) and MS (JMU) in Computer Science. Above and beyond these accomplishments, he also stepped up to serve his country and join the USAF in 2001.
While in the USAF, as Crew Command for Air Combat Command’s Network Operations and Security Center, Sam was responsible to protect and secure networks across 18 CONUS/OCONUS locations from Cyber Attacks. Always an advocate for integrating Cyber, he was selected as the Computer Network Defense Chief for the Air Operations Center (2004) during Blue Flag. Sam represented the USAF in a joint military and NSA CNO development program, followed by a deployment to Iraq providing close support to the Warfighter. Shortly after returning, he decided to apply his technical skills and military experience in the growing industry of cybersecurity. For the next nine years he was an Engineering Division Director and directly supported the growth of a local small business in this industry. Sam then realized it was time to begin his own entrepreneurship journey in the evolving landscape of cyber.
With humble beginnings in his Ellicott City home office, Sam officially founded Percival in 2016. The company has since grown to a 17,000+ sq ft office in Columbia, MD where 35+ talented team members support numerous prime contracts and efforts. Percival is at the forefront of innovation in vulnerability research, creating novel ways to automate vulnerability analysis with a focus on IoT and complex systems that support critical infrastructure (ICS/SCADA) worldwide.