Chris Fogg, the former head of both the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce and the Maine Tourism Association, died of a heart attack on Saturday at age 54.
A Farmingdale resident, Fogg took command of the Maine Tourism Association as its CEO in 2015, after eight years as executive director of the Bar Harbor chamber. He was an active leader of the organization, acting as a spokesperson and frequently penning opinion columns on behalf of his industry for the Bangor Daily News.
Condolences to the Fogg family and other testimonials started to flood social media on Tuesday as word of Fogg’s untimely passing began to spread. Alf Anderson, the Bar Harbor chamber’s executive director, described Fogg as “a hardworking, passionate leader in our community” on the chamber’s Facebook page for its members.
“His expertise in the tourism industry and professional leadership helped shape our Chamber into the organization it is today and for that, we are all extremely grateful,” Anderson wrote.
Chamber member Earl Brechlin described Fogg’s death as “a giant loss for his family and all of Maine.”
“Even when we disagreed on issues the discussion remained cordial and factual. He was a tireless worker for this town, this island and this state,” Brechlin wrote on the Facebook page.
As the tourism association’s CEO, Fogg oversaw the 1,500 member state-wide association, including seven state visitor information centers and 90 employees. The organization produced the official state-wide visitors guide, Maine Invites You, and the official state highway map, with Fogg representing the tourism industry with the State Legislature, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Last year, Fogg was elected to the U.S. Travel Association’s board of directors as an at-large director for 2019-21, with the goal of advocating for the importance of the Maine tourism industry and to continue to build awareness of the economic benefits and workforce opportunities that travel and tourism create. Fogg resigned from the association last December, Mainebiz reported.
In May, Fogg launched Fogg Association Management Consulting, which helped associations, chambers of commerce and nonprofit organizations with financial reporting, operations management, job searches and strategic planning, according to LinkedIn.
Fogg leaves a wife and two young sons. Public visiting hours are scheduled for Fogg on Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Plummer Funeral Home of Augusta. Face masks should be worn and social distancing observed, with indoor visitors limited to 50 people at a time. Due to COVID-19, a private invitation-only celebration of Fogg’s life will be held at a later date, according to the obituary.
An account has been created to support Fogg’s’ sons. Contributions can be made payable to the Fogg Family Memorial Fund and be mailed c/o Kennebec Savings Bank, 1 Northern Avenue, Farmingdale, ME, 04344.