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Callahan resigns from Jonesborough BMA

Staff Writer
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After three and a half years with the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Alderman, Stephen Callahan has resigned to follow his dream of making his local business, Tennessee Hills Distillery, a national brand.

“The step-down will be part of a soon coming announcement around our regional business growth that
has us moving out of Jonesborough to follow our dreams of building a national brand,” Callahan said in a resignation letter to Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest. “We have put our home on the market and accepted an offer which disqualifies me from further serving the citizens of Jonesborough.

“This move is a very painful decision to make, but a necessary one to open the next chapter of our lives and make the most out of our opportunities at hand…for both Tennessee Hills and its great employees.”

Callahan’s resignation happened all in one day, according to Town Administrator Glenn Rosenoff. “He was very swift at taking care of it, I was surprised. He knew he would have to resign if he left or
moved out of Jonesborough,” Rosenoff said. “It literally went in one day.”

The intent of resignation was made clear on Wednesday to all those involved with the board and, according to Vice-Mayor Adam Dickson, it was well received.

“It was brought to our attention that Alderman Callahan did resign, and we wish him and his wife Jessica nothing but the best as they grow in their career and their venture,” he said. “They demonstrate what hard work and focus and energy do and its reaping dividends, literally as well as metaphorically.

“While its known and on the record that Alderman Callahan and I may have had disagreements, I was taught that people can disagree, but they don’t have to be disagreeable. So, I am very proud of Alderman Callahan and his accomplishments as a business owner. I am very proud of his willingness to embrace
his dream, and now his dream is becoming a reality. And that to me is very exciting, and I am very hopeful they continue to thrive.”

Vest said that he understands the circumstances surrounding Callahan’s resignation, and wishes him well in the future.

“During my conversation with Stephen, I thanked him for the kind words in his resignation and that I understood perfectly that the demands on his time growing the Tennessee Hills brand nationally limits his service to our town board,” he said. “Stephen has made positive contributions to our town government since his election three and a half years ago, yet leading his personal business to success has
had an even greater positive impact for our town.”

Callahan adds that he is not leaving the town easily, as it has given him much support throughout his professional and personal journey.

“I am grateful for all the support that has been given to us and I want to thank the Town’s wonderful employees who truly take care of the needs of the taxpayers, and all who come here,” he said. “I want to thank Mayor Vest and the Board for working with me to grow Jonesborough. I want to thank all who
voted for me, and I trust you have been pleased with the work that I have done on your behalf, and for all the citizens of this town.”

Though the board wishes Callahan the best, Vest says that his absence will be felt around the town.

“His business acumen will be missed by our board, but hopefully we can fill his seat with another person that loves Jonesborough and our businesses as much as Stephen Callahan,” he said.

And it is that love for Jonesborough that Callahan says helped him attain his dream.

“Jonesborough will always be home, the place we started our journey, and the place we will return to often. Yes, we will have business here, and that keeps us coming, but we will look fondly on just taking
a walk around town during a festival or event, seeing old friends and making new ones,” he said. “The town will change, but it won’t lose its historic significance, nor its significance to us. Lastly, thank you for loving Jonesborough as much as we do.”

Callahan would have been up for re-election in November.

“Since the length of this appointment will only be six months, our board will work with the town administrator to formulate the best plan,” Vest said. “The appointment will be the choice of the Alderman. It could be on the agenda in May or best-case scenario is April 11.”