Vincent R. Clephas of Rhinebeck, NY, a former communications professional and business executive, died on January 26, 2018, at the age of 82.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Vince graduated from the University of Louisville with a degree in political science. He went on to work as a reporter, anchorman, news director and national correspondent for television news organizations in Louisville, KY, Roanoke, VA, and Washington, DC.
From 1971-1973, Vince worked for two Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1973, he was named the Director of Communications for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) through the 1976 presidential election. While at the DNC, he was a key advisor and confidante of Chairman Robert S. Strauss. In addition, Vince oversaw news media arrangements and communications for the 1976 Democratic National Convention in New York City.
In 1977 he joined the Carter administration as Executive Assistant to Robert S. Strauss, the U.S. Special Trade Representative, with a range of key responsibilities.
Subsequently, Vince served as Director of Communications and Director of Public Affairs for Philip Morris.
Vince’s achievements and activities, both professionally and as a volunteer, are beyond impressive. He served on numerous Democratic party committees since 1971, and had a role in senior management and as an advisor from 1972 through 2000. He made five lecture tours of the then-Soviet Union on American politics, and has lectured extensively in the U.S. on a range of topics.
From 1983 to1989, he served as the Assistant to the Chairman of the Trade Committee of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France. He served on the Public Affairs Council, the American Association of Political Consultants, and numerous other organizations. Vince had been president of the Metropolitan Center for Educational Research at New York University. He had also served as treasurer of the Women’s Equity Action League.
Multi-talented, Vince was also an artist and active environmentalist. He was a board member for many years at both the Mohonk Preserve in New Paltz, NY and the Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, NY. As a volunteer hiking guide at the Mohonk Preserve, Vince offered not only a wealth of information on the environs, but enriched the hikes with references to literature connected to the trail taken.
Vince will be best remembered for his intelligence, curiosity, gravitas, wit, compassion, wisdom, and gentle demeanor.
He is survived by his wife Mary G. Burns, daughter JoAnn Lavender of Annapolis, MD, and daughter Dawna Clephas (McDowell) of New Castle, VA, as well as grandson Alexander McDowell.
Contributions in his memory can be made to Mohonk Preserve, New Paltz, NY or Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, Tivoli, NY.
A memorial service will be planned for the Spring. Updates will be posted on the Dapson - Chestney Funeral Home website: www.dapsonchestney.com