John McNeely has over 25 years of experience in the technology industry and holds the CISSP industry certification. He co-founded Sword & Shield Enterprise Security, Inc., a national provider of managed security services and information security solutions in 1997 and is responsible for the vision, strategic direction, culture, and overall business growth of the company.
Under John’s leadership, Sword & Shield was named to the Inc. 500/5000 list of fast growth companies eight years in a row from 2006-2013, as well as ranking on the CRN Solution Provider 500 list every year since 2007 for being one of the largest solution providers by revenue in North America. As an industry leader, Sword & Shield has received numerous business and industry awards, including the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award for Small Business Excellence in 2011, as well as recognized in the Cybersecurity 500 list each quarter by Cybersecurity Ventures as a global leading cybersecurity solutions services company. Sword & Shield is the only Tennessee-based company recognized in the Managed Security 100 category of the 2017 Managed Service Provider 500. Sword & Shield was also named by MSSP Alert, the global voice for managed security service providers, to its 2017 & 2018 Top 100 MSSP’s list.
John is a native of East Tennessee and places a high priority on giving back to his state and community. He is a passionate supporter of mentoring and advising the next generation of cyber security professionals through involvement with organizations such as the Career Magnet Academy, Pellissippi State Community College, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. He is also heavily involved in the entrepreneurial community both locally and nationally. As a member of the global Entrepreneurs’ Organization, John has served on the local EO board for 6 years in multiple roles including president of the chapter. John was the first recipient of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization Knoxville chapter’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. He serves as an advisor and mentor to young startup companies through the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC) and CodeWorks Accelerator program.
With his vast industry experience, John saw a growing need to develop, promote and advocate for the technology industry in the Knoxville region. To support the sustainability of a vibrant technical community, John became a founding member of the Knoxville Tech Council (KTech) in 2019.