Steve Millard

In Memoriam: Bill Jones

Steve Millard |

Dear members of the COSE community,

I am sad to let you know that we learned today that Bill Jones, COSE’s first Chairman and one of its founders, passed away last Friday, January 16th. Bill was an amazing entrepreneur and inventor that led the founding and early growth of the Council of Smaller Enterprises. He was extremely proud of what COSE has been able to accomplish over its 43 years, and continued to be involved with the organization even through the last couple of years. 

Early last year, at the start of Rion Safier’s Chairmanship, Bill was able to join about eight of COSE’s past Chairs for dinner. His anecdotes about the early days of COSE and its early accomplishments, as well as his practical advice to Rion was classic Bill Jones – insightful, funny and wise. In every conversation with Bill, he revealed an unbelievable passion and pride for the value and contribution of small business owners to our region and our national economy. That fervent enthusiasm fueled his efforts back in 1972 to help to establish our organization and continued to inspire the ongoing support he provided to COSE over the last 43 years.

For COSE’s 40th anniversary, we were fortunate to be able to have Bill share a narrative about COSE’s founding and its early days. I invite you to visit the link attached and spend about 7 minutes to hear him talk about COSE’s beginnings and his perspective on the work of our organization and experience the passion he had for its work.

We’re going to miss you, Bill. Thanks for all you’ve done through your contributions to COSE, the legacy you’ve left in the small business community, and the impact you’ve had on small business owners— both those that you met and those you never knew.

A Memorial Service and reception will be held at The Country Club, 2825 Lander Rd., Pepper Pike, OH, 44124 on Monday, February 16, 4p.m. For a more complete obituary of this amazing man, and for additional information and to sign the guestbook, please log online to