Cossler Announces His Retirement from YBI

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Jim Cossler, the Huntington National Bank Entrepreneur in Residence and former CEO at the Youngstown Business Incubator, today announced his retirement effective Jan. 1.

Cossler’s history with the incubator covers more than two decades. He joined the incubator in 1998 in the role of CEO after leaving the Youngstown/ Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Then, the incubator was positioned as a traditional mixed-use incubator. He changed the focus and was the primary architect for transforming YBI into the nationally known software incubator, accelerator, and managed technology cluster that it is today.

In May 2017, Cossler stepped down from his role as CEO to devote himself to his passion, coaching startup companies.

It was this transition that moved Barb Ewing from chief operating officer to CEO, and Cossler to Huntington National Bank Entrepreneur in Residence. In this role, he serves as an in-house mentor and entrepreneurial expert for YBI’s portfolio of companies. He also builds and manages the internal and external relations and networks necessary for their growth and success.

Throughout his tenure, Cossler made outreach to colleges and students a priority. He is passionate, as well, about instilling the entrepreneurial spirit in our next generation of young people. His work has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Technology Evangelists in Northeast Ohio by the Plain Dealer and as one of the 100 most influential business leaders in northeast Ohio by both Inside Business magazine and Crain’s Cleveland Business.

As for future plans, Cossler says he intends to embrace retirement, but not 100%.

“I’m not totally done just yet,” he says.

While he intends to slow down and enjoy more time traveling with his wife, Christine, and spoiling his two rescue dogs, Ani and Mr. Watson, he doesn’t intend to fully retire.

“I want to stay active and I want to do something new,” he says.

Cossler doesn’t know exactly what that is just yet, but he does intend to stay involved in the startup community.

“Leaving YBI was a tough decision to make,” he says. “It was the ultimate dream job. And I love all that we have so significantly contributed, in so many important ways, to our community. But, I can walk away knowing that work will go on.  And, I’m confident, with the amazing team in place there, they will be taking it to even higher levels. Just watch.” 

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.