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: Matching Communities in Need with Baltimore’s Big Employment Hubs

Since Governor Larry Hogan killed  the Red Line, the 14.1 mile east-west light rail line that was to run from Social Security to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, community groups, elected officials, local transit experts and others continue to ask the question, “What should we do next?" For the past 13 years I’ve said the Red Line held the potential to reinvigorate the Baltimore economy, provided east-west connectivity and access to jobs for thousands who are transit dependent, and deservedly was viewed as a “jobs line.” Now that other transit options are being debated to replace the Red Line plan, it’s important to stay focused in this discussion on the fact that mass transit is a vital link to jobs. Jobs aren’t just a way to link people to a paycheck. They are also a way to tie them closer to families, neighborhoods and even an entire city. None need jobs... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Maryland Business Taxes and a Tale of Two States

The discussion over whether Maryland should trim corporate and personal income taxes as a step toward improving the business climate and spurring economic growth and job creation is back on the table these days. Not everyone’s in favor of trimming such taxes. Some argue that it’s just another way to reward big corporations and won’t help Maryland residents. Others argue it would spur economic growth around the state and thus lift all boats. There’s no question that it’s a balancing act when it comes to trimming personal and corporate income taxes. First, any such legislation would affect state revenues. The Maryland Economic Development and Business Climate Commission, a 25-member panel created to explore ways to improve the state’s business climate, is wrestling with these same questions as it takes a hard look at how Maryland tax rates and policies might be adjusted as one way to improve the state’s business climate.... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: The Port of Baltimore: Riding High and Ready for “Post Panamax”

Earlier this week the state announced that the Port of Baltimore had a record-breaking fiscal year for moving general cargo from its public marine terminals – 9.7 million tons. That’s more than at any other time in its history. The record-setting number underscores yet again what a gem of an economic engine we are lucky to have in the Baltimore region. The port generates about 14,630 direct jobs, not to mention about $300 million in state and local taxes. Without a robust high-performing port, it is doubtful that Baltimore would be the dynamic city it is for business or have the diverse jobs base that it enjoys today. It may not be a stretch to say the port touches every Marylander’s life in some way or other. It’s not by happenstance that the port is riding high these days. Nor that it’s ready for the new shipping business that will open... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Time to Shake off April and Reconnect Baltimore

In the wake of the civil unrest in late April many in the Baltimore community heard plenty of talk from naysayers in the region and among national press pundits that the basic social contract in Baltimore had been weak and frayed for a long time and now is broken altogether. Those who know the city and many of the committed hard-working leaders in the business, government and other communities all too well didn’t buy this point of view. Not at all. But it was clear that some new approaches and initiatives were needed to be put in place, sooner rather than later, to help address some of the economic disadvantages that have dogged many in our city for decades. Some of these played a role, to an extent, in the frustrations which surfaced in the form of unrest in April. It is important that we put the civil unrest in the... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Despite Reports of a Slide, Baltimore Convention Business Alive -- and Really Kicking

Cvent, an online event booking company, recently issued a report that seemed, on first glance, to suggest that Baltimore’s post-civil unrest image may be having quite a toll on the city’s convention business. The report stated that Baltimore had slid to No. 28, from 26, on its list of the top 50 convention destinations. As such reports go they can be easy pickings for reporters who must continuously feed the online news beast each day. And so, as one might expect, a story appeared in the local press with an unfortunate headline:  “Baltimore slides again on list of top convention destinations.” Now, Baltimore may have slid in the number of conventions booked via Cvent’s registration portal. But there are many portals in which convention bookings are handled and so the Cvent report doesn’t paint a complete or accurate picture of the state of the convention business in Baltimore.  Truth be told,... Continue reading
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