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: For Baltimore a Silver Lining May be Found in the Middle of STEM Jobs

Anyone with a high school or college-age child knows there is a big push to provide courses and hands-on classroom exposure in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known collectively as STEM. The reason is simple: High-paying jobs tied to those fields, such as engineers, software developers, and healthcare practitioners are booming and are expected to grow even more as technology impacts a host of industries from medicine to cybersecurity. Many of these good jobs require a bachelor’s or even post-graduate degree. But what some might not recognize is that many industry sectors also have STEM-related jobs that don’t necessarily require a college degree. A report issued this week by the Associated Black Charities and Greater Baltimore Committee found that these so-called “middle-skill” STEM jobs, such as lab technicians and information technology support technicians are becoming increasingly plentiful in the Baltimore region and workers needed to fill them are in... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: In 2016 Public Safety in Baltimore Must Be Priority No. 1

As we close out 2015, it’s hard not to look at the challenging issue of the high homicide rate in Baltimore City and think about what additional or perhaps innovative steps elected officials, the business sector, nonprofits and neighborhood community groups individually or collectively can take in 2016 to really make a difference on this vexing issue. Earlier this week the Greater Baltimore Committee hosted an event in which four public officials – two city council members and two state legislators - were invited to discuss their priorities for the year ahead and answer questions from the audience. The legislators provided a spirited discussion on many important issues facing the city and state, Baltimore’s homicide rate being one of the issues raised. While most areas of the city are safe, a high homicide rate creates the perception in the region and the nation that Baltimore is not a safe city. It’s... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: A Chance to Showcase the Unity and Healing Taking Hold in Baltimore

It seems almost certain that the trial of William Porter, the first Baltimore City police officer charged in the tragic death of Freddie Gray, will wrap up soon and we could see a jury verdict well before Christmas. When that happens, the lights and cameras of CNN and the rest of the national news that have set up camp in the city will once again train their focus on Baltimore. They’ll want to report the verdict, of course. But with harsh memories and images of the civil unrest that broke out in some parts of the city after Gray’s death still fresh, they will be primed to report on any reaction to the verdict too. This brings us to a press conference that was held earlier this week in which Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Kevin Davis called on city residents and visitors to show “respect” in their reactions... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Baltimore Businesses: Building Bridges to the City’s Neighborhoods

It is not unusual to hear negative commentary in news publications about Baltimore business interests and the suggestion that those located in the downtown business districts are focused on only their locale and don’t care about the rest of the city. If by chance you’ve heard this critique, you know that “downtown” is an oblique way of saying businesses in Baltimore’s downtown, Inner Harbor and other nearby areas where many companies and corporations operate. For decades this complaint surfaces, from time to time, and it did once again this week. While it’s understandable why those who may not work or have daily interactions with the downtown or core business community might form this perception, there’s an abundance of evidence that the opposite is true – and has been so for many years. This fact was underscored yet again this week when the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Baltimore Development Corporation announced... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: The ABCs of Test Scores, Our Children and the Economy

Often when I meet with high-level corporate executives, small business owners or entrepreneurs the talk turns to hiring needs and workforce capabilities. Interestingly, the refrain I hear time and again in these discussions often goes the same. Highly desired job applicants need to possess the important “soft” career skills or habits - show up on time, dress appropriately, put in a full day’s fruitful work, treat co-workers with respect, and listen to and follow instructions. But these business executives also want -- indeed require -- job applicants that have sound, fundamental skills in reading and writing as well as some analytical abilities, which a grasp of math skills can help provide. With these basic skills in hand, many employers are confident that they can train an employee to learn job specific skills to be productive and experience career growth at their company. This brings us to the Partnership for Assessment of... Continue reading
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