Rocky Williform
Rocky Williform

Rocky D. Williform has been described in many ways, the Wall Street
Journal describes him as an "activist," the Houston Chronicle says he is a
"leader," Jezebel Magazine calls him is a "major player," Rollingout
Magazine a "visionary," and Black Tie magazine a "heavy hitter."

Despite all these accolades Williform was not raised with a silver spoon in
his mouth. Growing up as the fifth of eight children north of Houston,
Texas, Williform has been a hard worker for most of his life. With a
divorced mother, Rocky and his brother had to learn how to help care for a
large family well before they became men.

Rocky and his brother would find ways to make ends meet as preteens. The
two boys traveled from the projects to affluent neighborhoods, knocking on
doors and offering to do odd jobs. In his teenage years, Williform spent
summers working on construction sites and at one point learned to make
fiberglass speedboats. While Williform understood that consistent and
diligent work brought financial security, he also understood the value of a
good formal education. He eventually attended Texas Southern University
and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science. He later studied engineering
at SMU School of Engineering in Dallas Texas.

As a college student he'd made a name for himself as a politically and
socially conscious leader on and off campus. In addition to working as a
political activist he also became a Texas democratic fundraiser. All of his
hard work in this field led to his building strong relationships with important
contacts in business and politics. He was appointed to a statewide political
board and met his first mentor while in school. His counsel was a Federal
Reserve board member, who suggested he get involved with investment
banking. This board member contacted a New Jersey power couple who had
strong ties to American business: the husband was chairman of a New York
investment bank and his wife was the overseer of Wharton School of
Business.

Upon his college graduation his plans to enter law school would be altered
and he would move to Manhattan, bypass the demanding analyst program,
and become a corporate investment banker participating in takeovers. He'd
gain another mentor just after his stint in New York when he was appointed
head a small merchant banking firm based in Dallas, Texas. Lloyd Ward,
was president of Frito-Lay when he began to show Williform the intricacies
of big business on the fortune level. Ward moved on from Frito-Lay,
becoming chairman and CEO of the $5 billion Maytag Corporation, and then
CEO and Secretary General of the U.S. Olympic Committee while serving
on the board of fortune 100 companies: JP Morgan Chase and General
Motors. And Williform would go on to become a Microsoft Certified
Systems Engineer with stints as an engineer at IBM and NCD. When Ward
left the USOC, he and Williform teamed to found BodyBlocks Nutrition
Systems with an initial $3 million in startup and raised several millions from
New York private equity to further capitalize the company. Williform served
as president, while Ward maintained the position of chairman and CEO.
BodyBlocks specialized in making nutritional beverages; the initial
marketing push was complete when 5-time Olympic Gold Medalist Michael
Johnson signed on as celebrity endorser.

Williform and his partner then bid to acquire the $331 million Sara Lee
Coffee & Tea Division during its divestiture making a $99 million cash
offer. While they survived all the way to the final round of bidding, their
competitor, an Italy based company, out bid them slightly. Having spent
almost $1 million on this endeavor, Rocky describes this attempt as an
expensive but invaluable learning experience. Williform and his partner
would make an additional acquisition attempt, but this time to take control of
China's second largest fruit & vegetable juice company, offering $50 million
(300 million RMB). This bid was unsuccessful, but the company would later
successfully take control of China's largest organic dairy. Williform sold his
interest in the company in June of 2006.

In 2007, Williform decided to try his hand at yet another venture, taking
advantage of a world obsessed with staying connected through online social
networking. He started the social network StreetCred, with Atlanta superstar
rapper Clifford T".I." Harris. With T.I.'s endorsement and launch of the site
on BET's hit 106 & Park television show the website gained instant
popularity worldwide. The website was touted by other Hip-hop notables as
well, including Diddy, Snoop, Nelly, Common and T-Pain. However, by
2009, Williform moved on from StreetCred to build HipHopBlog.com, a
"micro-blogging" media network for Hip-Hop. HipHopBlog.com is
dedicated to the ever-changing state of the Hip-Hop culture. It has quickly
grown to become one of the top urban networks and ranks in the top 10
percent of most visited websites worldwide.

In addition, Williform holds rights to intellectual property. He has patents
pending on MixP3, a new format for music distribution, and YouBlog, a
proprietary Interactive Media Sharing component for media networks. In
2006 he bought the rights to Freaknik, which was acquired two years later,
on behalf of the Cartoon Network, for a television show featuring Grammy
awarding winning artist T-Pain.

From working to help raise the family as a preteen, while growing up in
public housing, becoming a New York investment banker, playing big in the
beverage industry and on to new media, Williform has defied odds and
moved beyond limitations. Rocky Williform has disproven stereotypes since
age ten and he is on his way to making his imprint in business much more
defined.

Williform has written op-eds for national newspapers and received several
honors for his works, including the UNCF meritorious service award for
education fundraising and being named amongst the 100 Most Influential
People in Hip Hop. He is a trained martial artist and resides between Atlanta,
GA and Beverly Hills, CA.

Last Updated: 1/17/13