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Lessons Learned

October 3, 2018
Mountainlair Ballrooms
7:30 p.m.

What is the most important life lesson that you will take from your time here at WVU? For Rodney Williams, he “learned how to learn,” a lesson that continues to follow him through what can only described as an “amazing career that is just beginning.”

Williams, born partially deaf, was raised by two Jamaican immigrants in Baltimore, MD, as the youngest of six siblings. A lover of learning, Williams holds a B.A. in Economics, a B.B.A in Finance, and an M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications all from West Virginia University, as well as an MBA in Finance & Supply Chain Management from Howard University. Williams is CEO and co-founder of LISNR, a revolutionary company known for the creation of an advanced, near-ultrasonic, ultra-low power data transmission technology. AS the CEO of LISNR, Williams has been recognized as the Entrepreneur of the Year in Connected World Communications by EY and has received the 2017 NAACP Inspiring Innovator Award, the 2016 Black Enterprise Tech Entrepreneur of the Year Award, as well as, Ad Age's Top 40 under 40.

Williams speaks on the importance of embracing personal growth through innovation and the drive for learning even through obstacles that life brings. Enjoy an empowering conversation on the persistence to succeed and how to forge ahead on your own path of strength, despite the obstacles that life may bring. Williams has a powerful testimony of successes, entrepreneurship, and advice for life.

Co-sponsored by the WVU Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and College of Business and Economics

Rodney Williams is the CEO and Co-Founder of LISNR, the global data-over-sound leader. LISNR is a secure local proxy for data transmission using sound with more than 40 industry awards and powering almost 30 million devices across numerous industries.  As the CEO of LISNR, Williams has been recognized as the Entrepreneur of the Year in Connected World Communications by EY, the NAACP Inspiring Innovation 2017, the 2016 Black Enterprise Tech Entrepreneur of the Year and Breakout Star of the Year and named to Ad Age's Top 40 under 40. Williams has grown LISNR from a single idea to a promising global standard, with more than 40 industry awards. Most notably LISNR was named to the 2015, 2016 and 2018 CNBC Disruptor 50 Lists, Cannes Gold Lion in Mobile Software Innovation and a 2017 CES Honoree in Mobile Software. An alum of the R/GA Accelerator powered by Techstars, Williams is an innovative and out-of-the-box strategic thinker, always looking for new ways to connect consumers more effectively with technology. His newest venture has been as a co-founder of SoLo funds, a peer-to-peer lending exchange for the underbanked population that provides affordable access to low-value funds.

Prior to LISNR, Williams spent over four years at Procter & Gamble as a brand manager and is most noted as the first marketer there to co-write digital patents. Prior to P&G, Williams spent two years in New Business Development for Lockheed Martin and over four years leading a collegiate digital agency focusing on consumer acquisitions and CRM management. Williams achieved these honors after earning four degrees in finance and economics, including an MBA from Howard University, by the age of 24.

Outside of Williams' professional pursuits, he’s a celebrated speaker, mentor, and advisor to many. He currently sits on the board of VC funded startups Wyzerr and SoLo Funds and remains the youngest member of the Howard University School of Business Board of Advisors. Williams also currently serves on the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees and has been inducted into West Virginia University’s B&E Roll of Distinguished Alumni and Procter & Gamble’s Roll of Distinguished Alumni. When Williams is not leading or assisting, he’s teaching and was most recently chosen to be a Forbes contributing author — covering innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and disruptive technologies.

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