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: Unlocking Export Potential in Baltimore Area a Key to Economy of the Future

If you follow business sectors and the economy in Maryland, you likely know that Maryland lagged the nation when it came to economic growth in 2014. In fact, the growth in the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 grew by just 0.8 percent, to $321.3 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.  That was well below the national average of 2.2 percent. All this raised questions about the state’s lackluster emergence from the recession and caused economists and business experts to wonder if the flat growth was a signal that Maryland’s economy needs retooling. One of the key reasons for the flat growth is the state’s reliance on federal government employment and spending.  About 5 percent of the jobs in Maryland are federal government positions, while another 10 percent are tied indirectly to federal spending in the state. Maryland’s economy does well when the federal government and defense spending... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Med-Tech: Baltimore’s Next Big Win?

When people think of Baltimore and medicine, marquee institutions such as Johns Hopkins Hospital, the University of Maryland Medical Center and other leading medical facilities easily come to mind. However they probably don’t think of Baltimore as a hub for innovative medical technology companies. But if the business community, elected officials and government agencies were to focus and work together to put the right pieces of the puzzle into place, that could change. The city already has assets in place to build on so it could become an emerging hotbed for the medical technology industry, spurring economic growth and high-paying jobs. It is critical that we leverage the city’s many existing assets while identifying and filling in the gaps that may be holding the area back from making medical technology the next big win for Baltimore.  The Greater Baltimore Committee sponsored a meeting earlier this month to discuss a new report... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Hot Commercial Real Estate Market: Reason to Believe in Baltimore

There’s no question Baltimore has taken it on the chin of late. The civil unrest this past spring to the rejection of the Red Line and then the spike in homicides led many to question if Baltimore is a city worth betting on. Well, amidst all this unfortunate front page drama, something else has been happening. Something that tells a different story, a brighter tale. You need to look no further than the new shining glass tower that will serve as the Exelon Energy headquarters fast rising on the waterfront in the Harbor Point development near Fells Point to begin to see this other story emerge. The new Exelon headquarters, indeed the entire 27-acre Harbor Point development, are part of a much broader investment wave betting that Baltimore is indeed a city with bright prospects as a cool and vibrant business and economic hub on the East Coast. Investment dollars flowing... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: The Bottom Line: Exporting Is Critical to Future Growth of Baltimore Region’s Economy

Did you know that the lion’s share of the world’s purchasing power lies outside the United States? It’s actually a statistic worth thinking about: 70 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. And that is only expected to grow in the coming years as emerging economies in South America, Asia and the Far East expand and increasingly need goods and services produced by more advanced countries like the U.S. and Europe. Now, let me pose another question: Do you know where the Baltimore metro area ranks when it comes to the percentage of the goods and services produced that are exported? The region is near the bottom, unfortunately. The ranking is No. 90 on the list of the 100 largest metro areas in the United States when it comes to  the value of exports as a share of the region’s gross domestic product (GDP). Exports represented only... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Crumbling Highways and Bridges Won’t Lead Us to the Economy of the Future

If you drive any distance around Interstate-695, chances are you’ll cross a highway overpass bridge that is not only outdated but what engineers refer to as “nearing the end of its structural life.” There aren’t just a few of these bridges that are badly in need of structural updating on the Baltimore Beltway. There are many. And this crumbling transportation infrastructure isn’t limited to the heavily used beltway either. There are outdated bridges in need of updating throughout the Baltimore region, and indeed statewide. Here are a few examples found in the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Draft FY 2016-2021 Consolidated Transportation Program report:-- A bridge carrying northbound and southbound I-83 over Padonia Road near Timonium was constructed in 1950 and has been identified as “nearing the end of its lifespan.”-- An overpass bridge on U.S. 1 which carries traffic over a CSX rail line near the Patapsco River was built in... Continue reading
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