Castillo stepping down from WCEDC position

Nathan Baker • Dec 22, 2013 at 3:13 PM

The Washington County Economic Development Council has lost its fourth higher-level employee this year now that Shannon Castillo, the organization’s Director of Redevelopment, left her position with the council Thursday.

“It’s been an honor and pleasure to serve the downtown Johnson City businesses and residents,” she said Saturday in an emailed statement. “I am more excited than ever about downtown revitalization. We’ve accomplished a lot together and still have more to do. As I pursue new opportunities in 2014, I will still be passionate about the success of Downtown Johnson City.”

Castillo took the job with the county’s development organization In August 2012, and during her tenure, focused much of her work in downtown Johnson City, spearheading fundraising efforts to overhaul Fountain Square and helping to establish and promote a facade grant program to help building owners make exterior improvements.

Development Council CEO Mitch Miller said her resignation was unfortunately “just one of those things.”

“She’s done a great job for us,” he said. “I have to give her credit, she has brought a lot of attention downtown and has made a lot of progress. I’m appreciative of everything she’s done for us.”

Castillo is the latest in a series of lost personnel for the council this year, starting with its original CEO Robert Reynolds, who resigned in February, citing family considerations as a key factor in his decision.

In March, Project Manager Dan Reese was let go by Miller, who said then that the council needed someone with a different skill set than Reese’s.

Five months later, in October, WCEDC Director of Marketing and Community Relations Jeff Keeling stepped down from his position to resume a career in journalism at the Johnson City News & Neighbor.

Other than Miller, the council’s remaining staff includes Operations Manager Rebecca Davis and research associate Tania Zeisler.

Miller said the WCEDC will immediately begin the search to fill Castillo’s key position, and he looks to hire someone new as quickly as possible after evaluating the redevelopment director’s job description.

Castillo, who with her husband owns Spark Plaza, a business that rents office space above Freiberg’s German restaurant, said she intends to remain in Johnson City.

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