5 March 2014
After 38 years of distinguished service, O’Neal Industries Vice Chairman Bill Jones will retire on June 30th.
A native of Birmingham, Jones earned his B.A. degree from the University of Virginia. Following four years with South Central Bell in commercial management, he entered the metals service center industry by joining O’Neal Steel in 1976. During the course of the next 19 years, he worked in six different areas of the company, beginning with inside sales at O’Neal’s Birmingham District. He then moved on to outside sales in Tupelo, Mississippi, representing the company’s Jackson District. Next he was selected to launch a new operation in Memphis, where he served as District Manager in 1981. He was named O’Neal Steel’s Manager of Marketing and Specialty Products in 1987, and was promoted to Vice President, Birmingham District in 1990. He was named Executive Vice President of the company in 1993, then President and Chief Executive Officer in 2000. It was during his tenure as President of O’Neal Steel, in 2005, that Jones was nationally recognized as Service Center Executive of the Year by Metal Center News, one of the industry’s leading publications.
In 2009, with the formation of O’Neal Industries (ONI) for the purpose of serving as parent company of O’Neal Steel and a growing number of affiliate companies, Jones became Vice Chairman of ONI. There, his responsibilities have included direct oversight of the organization’s Industrial Metals Group, which includes O’Neal Steel, O’Neal Manufacturing Services, O’Neal Flat Rolled Metals, and Leeco Steel.
“Bill’s impact on our company, industry, and community has been immense,” said Craft O’Neal, Chairman and CEO of ONI. “He was a key member of the team that would grow O’Neal Steel into one of the largest and most respected metals service centers in the country. The success of O’Neal Steel led to a diversification strategy beginning in the early ‘90s, which resulted in 20 acquisitions and expansion into more than 20 new facilities,” said O’Neal.
In addition to his leadership and many achievements at O’Neal, Jones has chaired the Metals Service Center Institute, the industry trade association, as well as the United Way of Central Alabama. He has also contributed in countless ways to numerous other charitable and philanthropic causes. “The respect earned by Bill during his career for his leadership, work ethic, and integrity cannot be overstated,” said O’Neal. “For those of us who have had the opportunity to work alongside him, it has been an honor and a privilege. The many friendships he has made with co-workers, customers, suppliers, and members of the community will carry forward.”