Sam Anderson, STS Vice President of Operations, April 2019 "theclubhouse.se" interview on entrepreneurship:
Sam Anderson retired from the military in November 2018 after 28 years mainly working in support of special operations. His last position was as the Chief of Staff of the Cyber Center for Excellence at Fort Gordon. His final assignments in the Army, both at Fort Gordon, allowed Sam to interact with the community outside of Fort Gordon, preparing him for his next career.
Sam is now the Vice President of Operations for SOFTACT Solutions, a woman-owned, small business which focuses on the Department of Defense sector. They are a small company working with larger firms, enabling a boutique experience for the client. Sam explained, “We believe our niche is in hands-on problem solving. We provide a variety of services including Engineering (mainly in the communications and telecommunications disciplines), Strategic Advisory and Consulting, and Program Management/Oversight of hardware/software implementation and services based contracting.” Some of their recent work has involved kit-building for the communications arena, creating radio packages for use in the field, and integrating software solutions to DOD customers. Speaking to next steps, “In the near term we will expand our portfolio to encompass Cyberspace Operations and Electronic Warfare disciplines as well as expand beyond the DOD sector to work closely with local and state officials to help drive businesses in our market space to the Greater Augusta region.”
In discussing “cyber”, Sam elaborated on his experience from a military perspective of cyberspace electromagnetic activity, which encompasses protecting the greater network that is our society. To him, cyber truly entails nearly every aspect of the infrastructure of our society, from energy grids to information systems to finance. Sam is passionate about Cyber Operations and Cyber Security and recognizes the need to produce talent. He sees that a workforce is needed to design, produce, and defend information systems. Sam says, “Who you hire will be the most important decision you make. Hire based on talent and fit, not based on need. Personnel must be well respected in our customer base and possess not only the technical acumen but also the work ethic and interpersonal skills necessary to be the right fit on our team. In our case, hiring goes beyond individual hiring decisions; it also requires vetting companies we choose to partner with to deliver capabilities to the customer.”
Sam shared, “My experience in the Army allowed me to have a pretty good understanding of how a company such as SOFTACT Solutions could achieve success.” With SOFTACT’s previous military experience, they are able to act as a bridge to the private sector, “interpreting communications applications to how DOD does business,” Sam says.
“Our CEO and I started as business associates and over time became close friends. At that intersection of business and friendship, we had several conversations about how we thought we could simply be better, be more responsive to the needs of the community we served, and simultaneously establish a culture that attracted the type of people we want in our business and in our lives. Timing is everything, and the CEO decided to commence this venture at the same time I was transitioning from the Army, so it seemed like a perfect fit.”
Sam had this to say specifically about Augusta. “While much of our work is in North Carolina, I am also attempting to maintain relationships in the Greater Augusta area with future growth in mind. In addition to providing low cost office space, being associated with theClubhou.se has allowed me to remain connected with the expansion of Cybersecurity initiatives in the region, maintain my relationships I fostered while in the Army, and it has also exposed me to a whole segment of entrepreneurial spirit that I otherwise would have been oblivious to. It is motivating to see a whole generation of local talent getting after tough problems that are of national significance. I also want to give back to this community and be part of the transformation of this area towards a mecca of Cybersecurity talent and expertise.”