Donald C Fry

Donald C Fry

Donald C. Fry has been the president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC), the central Maryland region's most prominent organization of business and civic leaders, since November 2002.

Under Don’s leadership, the GBC is recognized as a knowledgeable and highly credible business voice in the Baltimore region, Annapolis and Washington, D.C. on policy issues and competitive challenges facing Maryland. Its mission is to apply private-sector leadership to strengthening the business climate and quality of life in the region and state.

Fry served as GBC executive vice president from 1999 to 2002. From 1980 to 1999 Fry was engaged in a private law practice in Harford County. During this time he also served in the Maryland General Assembly. He is one of only a handful of legislators to have served on each of the major budget committees of the General Assembly.

Serving in the Senate of Maryland from 1997 to 1998, Fry was a member of the Budget and Taxation Committee. As a member of the House of Delegates from 1991 to 1997 Fry served on the Ways and Means Committee and on the Appropriations Committee.

Fry is a 1979 graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law. He earned a B.S. in political science from Frostburg State College.

Donald C. Fry: Six Top Reasons to Toast Baltimore This Summer

If you live in the Baltimore region or most likely anywhere in the state, chances are that you are well aware that Baltimore’s image has taken it on the chin. The tragic death of Freddie Gray, the ensuing civil unrest, and the criminal trials in connection with the Gray incident have all been an unfortunate negative drumbeat. For some who don’t know the city, the images of buildings on fire, street marches, and indicted police officers going into court replayed over and over on CNN and other 24/7 news broadcasts confirmed that the Baltimore area was indeed the hard-edged city depicted in the HBO TV crime drama series, The Wire. But for those who live in the city and the region and know its many riches, Baltimore is not The Wire. Sure, like any big metro region it has its share of challenges. But an argument can be made that these... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Timing Not Right for $15-per-hour Minimum Wage in Baltimore

A month ago I wrote in Center Maryland about a proposal before the Baltimore City Council to raise the minimum wage in Baltimore to $15 per hour and concerns that the wage increase wouldn’t address two serious city issues: chronic unemployment and a work skills gap. Since then the Greater Baltimore Committee, business owners and other private sector organizations have studied the potential effect the legislation would have on jobs and the business climate. The overwhelming conclusion: it is not the right time to increase the minimum wage in Baltimore City to $15-per-hour. The state’s minimum wage has been set at $10.10 per hour, an amount higher than the federal requirement. The state’s rate will be achieved incrementally with the next step increase to $8.75 per hour slated to occur on July 1. The state’s minimum wage is scheduled to “top out” at $10.10 per hour on July 1, 2018. As... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Police Are Not Alone in Fight to Stop Gun Violence in Baltimore

On Memorial Day five people were shot in broad daylight during a cookout in front of a home near Greenmount Avenue in North Baltimore. Thankfully, the victims, aged 25-60, survived the attack. When the suspect was arrested he had not one but two guns in his possession, said T.J. Smith, a spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department.  In addition, the suspect was well known to police, having a lengthy criminal record. Prior to the Memorial Day melee, prosecutors and judges had plenty of opportunities to put the suspect behind bars for a long time, which is a source of frustration to law enforcement, Smith noted. The suspect's criminal history, according to a report in The Baltimore Sun, includes: attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery, and illegal possession of a gun. His record now includes five counts of attempted murder for the Memorial Day shootout, according to Smith. Elected officials, business leaders and... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: A Budget Debate: Balancing the Investment in Education versus Public Safety

The school year is beginning to wind down and thoughts of summer vacations are on the minds of many, so talking about education funding and budgets may not be high on anyone’s priority list. But a lively debate in Baltimore's City Hall earlier this week over the amount of money included in the mayor’s proposed 2017 operating budget for public education presents an interesting question. It is important to recognize that a proposed budget is more than just a set of numbers reflecting revenues and expenditures. A budget represents a statement of a government’s priorities and how that governmental body is positioning itself to achieve long-term social and economic benefits for its constituents. This brings me to the debate that emerged at a Baltimore City Council hearing on Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s proposed $2.6 billion operating budget for the fiscal year 2017, which starts July 1 of this year. Three council members... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: A Boost for Baltimore: “Meet Local”

In August the National Urban League will hold its annual conference in Baltimore, an event that will provide a huge economic boost to the city. An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people will attend the event, August 3 - 6, fueling an estimated $4.2 million into the local economy. The civil rights organization’s executive leadership and Board of Directors ultimately selected Baltimore. But it was the Greater Baltimore Urban League’s president and CEO, J. Howard Henderson, who diligently went to work behind the scenes last summer to convince national leaders to pick Baltimore. “I really felt the convention needed to be held in Baltimore this summer so we could shine a light on the city and show everyone that Baltimore is far better than what people may have seen on The Wire,” Henderson said, referring to the HBO crime drama series based in the city. The civil unrest of last spring unfortunately... Continue reading
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