Vogler Named Northwest Commission Chair

The Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission elected Dan Vogler as the chairman of its board of directors.

Vogler of Neshannock Township, a Lawrence County commissioner, will assume the leadership position July 1. He succeeds Albert “Chip” Abramovic, a Venango County commissioner, who has served in the role for the past two years.

“Commissioner Vogler is a champion for Lawrence County and the Northwest Region,” said Jill Foys, executive director of the Northwest Commission. “His leadership, insights and energy will be great assets.”

Vogler noted Lawrence County is in a unique position in that it belongs to both the Northwest Commission and the Southwest Pennsylvania Commission, only one of a few counties in the state with dual designation.

And while the Northwest commission serves Lawrence County for environmental and economic development programs, the Southwest commission addresses the county’s transportation matters because it is in a district with Allegheny and Beaver counties, he explained.

Vogler noted former commissioner Steve Craig took the lead in both agencies, but with the current board of commissioners, Vogler has focused on the Northwest Commission. All three are involved in the Southwest, along with county planning director Amy McKinney and Brad Berlin of Wilmington Township, who represents the private sector.

“I’ve gravitated toward the Northwest, because only two people from Lawrence County sit on that board,” Vogler said — private sector member Tom McKinley of Wilmington Township also serves with him.

“I’m very honored,” he said of the appointment. “I was a little surprised that it happened this quickly. (Steve) Craig retired at the beginning of 2020 and I took his place then, and six months later they elected me to serve as vice chairman.”

Established in 1967, the commission, headquartered in Oil City, is a regional resource for business and economic development as well as community development and planning.

The nonprofit agency is composed of a team of skilled professionals dedicated to sustaining economic vitality and growth in the northwest Pennsylvania region by fostering local, state, and federal partnerships across public and private sector lines.

The commission provides programs such as business financing, government contracting, international marketing, community and economic development grants and rural transportation planning to eight counties in northwest Pennsylvania including Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and Warren.

Vogler will serve a two-year term as board chairman.

“I look forward to serving and representing Lawrence County,” he said.