James W. Cossler
Chief Evangelist and Entrepreneurial Expert
Jim Cossler officially is the Chief Executive Officer of the Youngstown Business Incubator, but is better known throughout the country as the organization's Chief Evangelist.
From his position as Senior Vice President for Corporate Services of the Regional Chamber of Commerce, Jim joined YBI in 1997 as its C.E.O when it was positioned as a traditional, "mixed use" incubator and became the primary architect of its transformation into the nationally known incubator, accelerator and managed technology cluster that YBI is today. His primary role is to serve as a mentor and entrepreneurial expert to YBI's portfolio of companies as well as to build and manage the internal and external relations and networks necessary for their growth and success.
Jim serves on Business and Computer Science Advisory Boards at Kent State University, the University of Akron, Hiram University and Youngstown State University of which he is an alumnus with a major in Philosophic Literature. With a major like that, the whole Chief Evangelist thing starts to make sense.
Chief Operations Officer
Barb is joining YBI after 8 years working in Congressman Tim Ryan’s office in the position of Economic Development Director. Prior to that, she was VP of Public Policy for the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber, where she lobbied to bring state and federal funding back to the Mahoning Valley for community development projects. She is pleased to be teamed up again with Jim Cossler, who was her first boss at the Better Business Bureau (and who was still willing to hire her, in spite of having worked with her previously!).
Barb's position at YBI will build on all of those professional experiences, as she works to secure funding to expand both the physical campus and operations of the organization, oversees daily operations and continues to build on the collaborative relationship YBI currently enjoys.
A Valley native, Barb holds her Bachelor of Arts degree from Kent State University and her Master's Degree from Capella University.
Project Manager of Innovative Research and Communication
Rose began her work with the YBI as an intern with Via680 in 2009 while enrolled in the Entrepreneurial Internship Program at Youngstown State University which pairs Entrepreneurship students from the WCBA with YBI companies. Since joining the YBI full time, Rose's primary responsibility is to manage and conduct research projects for the YBI and for companies that seek in-depth market research assistance. Her roles have expanded into managing YBI inquiry communications, grant writing, Community/University Outreach, Tenant Management, and managing YBI's Salesforce CRM.
Heidi Minor is the Facilities Manager at the Youngstown Business Incubator. In 2008, Heidi moved into the incubator with Visual Impact Imaging, a YBI Portfolio Company as Office Manager. Her position compliments her past experience in management, accounting and customer service.