Longtime Champion For Businesses in Westchester
BOCA RATON, FLA—Harold Vogt, the longtime leader of The County Chamber of Commerce (now operating as The Business Council of Westchester), died on Sept. 28 in Boca Raton, FL. He was 88.
The Business Council of Westchester announced Mr. Vogt’s passing in an e-mail message to its membership on Oct. 5. Mr. Vogt served as president and CEO of several chambers of commerce, most notably 30 years at the former The County Chamber of Commerce until his retirement in 2000. Under his leadership, the organization expanded from the White Plains to The County Chamber of Commerce, serving more than 1,000 members. He was succeeded by Marsha Gordon who has served as president and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester since March 2001.
For 10 years, Mr. Vogt hosted the popular WFAS-AM radio talk show “Business Talk” and he also co-published and served as Editor-in-Chief of Westchester Commerce magazine, the official publication of The County Chamber of Commerce.
CONSTRUCTION NEWS Managing Editor John Jordan, who served as Editor of Westchester Commerce magazine for 16 years, said, “For three decades, Harold Vogt was an unapologetic, passionate advocate for the business community of Westchester County. Always a gentleman, he was a leader that many in politics and business relied on. My deepest condolences to his wife Toni and family.”
In his unique style, Mr. Vogt penned an article in the July/August 1998 edition of Westchester Commerce magazine where he explained The County Chamber’s position on the environment and its impact on orderly growth.
“The County Chamber is as concerned as anyone with the preservation of Westchester’s environment,” Mr. Vogt wrote. “What may make the Chamber different, is that it is willing to speak out, brutally, if necessary, to achieve that objective in a rational and productive way that will not arbitrarily or capriciously sacrifice the county’s orderly growth and the economic well-being of its citizens. If that is viewed as insensitive, self-serving, greedy ruthless, tyrannical, dispassionate or worse, we are guilty, but comfortable with our conviction.”
Mr. Vogt was frequently interviewed by and appeared in numerous media outlets throughout his impressive 50-year career. He gave generously of his time and talent and advised many entrepreneurs and small business owners. He also helped pave the way for the expansion of numerous global corporations into Westchester County.
“Harold had a passionate dedication to community and community service,” The Business Council stated. He served on several boards of directors, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New York, Westchester Junior Achievement and Westchester Community College. After his retirement he continued in service positions, including as the president of the boards for St. Tropez at Boca Country Club and Boca Golf & Tennis Country Club.
He was born in Clifton, NJ, the son of Harriet and J. Ernest Vogt. He received his B.S. and Master’s degrees from Montclair State College, and held an organizational business management certification from Notre Dame.
He is survived by his loving wife, Toni, and his three children, Jenifer, Lynn and Glen. His son, Greg, predeceased him.
A private memorial service will be held in Boca Raton, FL. For those who wish to honor Vogt’s memory, donations may be made to the American Red Cross/Ukraine Relief, P.O. Box 37839, Boone, Iowa 50037-0839. Condolences to the family can be sent to: Vogt Family, 21755 Arriba Real, Apt 29C, Boca Raton, FL 33433.