Outgoing chamber director discusses future plans

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABAR HARBOR — Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chris Fogg will leave his position at the end of January after more than eight years here.

Chamber president Stacey Smith announced last week that Fogg was taking a job as chief executive officer with the Maine Tourism Association. His last day in Bar Harbor will be Jan. 23.

Smith broke the news to chamber members in an email, stating her mix of “sadness, regret and pride.”

“He has worked hard to bring our organization to a new level of professionalism and stature,” Smith wrote.

“In October, you will remember that Chris was named Chamber Executive of the Year by the Maine State Chamber, and now he has been tapped to lead the Maine Tourism Association. We will be assured of being well represented in Augusta.”

Fogg said Tuesday that, while he will miss working on a daily basis with people in Bar Harbor, he is excited about the new opportunity.

“It’s a nice step for me career-wise, expanding my reach,” he said.

The tourism association is non-governmental organization with about 1,600 members, including lodgings, restaurants, retailers and tourist attractions around the state. It works in partnership with the Maine Office of Tourism, a state agency, to annually produce a statewide tourism guide and other marketing materials. The Maine Office of Tourism also contracts with the association to staff and operate the state’s seven official welcome centers.

Fogg said his initial priorities include “looking at the way we use technology to deliver services to people interested in visiting Maine, helping them find the information they need.”

Fogg said he expects to be visiting a lot of places in Maine.

“It’s going to be a great experience for me to learn more about all the great assets the state has.”

Fogg said he is proud of many things the Bar Harbor chamber has accomplished. He cited the organization’s increased visibility downtown, with a visitor center at the corner of Cottage and Main streets, and the administrative office’s move from Trenton back to the Bar Harbor Municipal Building.

“Having that presence here has helped us build better relationships with our membership,” he said.

“I’m also proud that we have an incredibly strong relationship with the town of Bar Harbor. I think we’ve done a nice job of working in partnership with the town to improve the economic climate here.”

Fogg said he also is proud of the chamber’s staff and board and “how they have led it to a whole new level.”

He said he and his family probably would be looking to move to the Augusta area. But even after they leave, his wife, Erin, will keep her job as a development officer at Jackson Laboratory.

“She’s happy there, and we didn’t want to interrupt her career,” Fogg said. “Her ability to remain in her position was a key factor in my decision to accept the Maine Tourism Association job.”

He will succeed Vaughn Stinson, who is leaving the association after many years as chief executive.

Reporter Dick Broom contributed to this report

Robert Levin

Robert Levin

Former reporter Robert Levin covered the people, businesses, governmental and nonprofit agencies of Bar Harbor. [email protected]
Robert Levin

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