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: Emerging Global Markets Are Calling. Baltimore Is Listening.

Back in 2006, just before the recession, the largest export industry for the Baltimore region was chemical manufacturing. These days the largest export industry is computer and electronics products. That’s just one of the many changing dynamics for exports as the economy in the Baltimore region adjusts to supply and demand. More changes are no doubt in store for exports as business in the region responds to an increasing global marketplace.  In fact, when it comes to exports, the Baltimore region has a lot of assets to market and plenty of room to grow. That’s one of the key findings as the Global Cities Initiative in Baltimore moves forward. Baltimore is one of eight regions in the U.S. that was selected earlier this year by the Brookings Institution to be part of the Global Cities Initiative Exchange’s 2015 group. This project aims to help leaders in select U.S. metropolitan areas reorient... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: One Good Boost Deserves Another

On Wednesday about 180 employees of Brown Advisory, a Baltimore investment firm, fanned out to more than 15 restaurants in the city to eat, enjoy each other’s company and, well, spend money at local establishments. In doing so, Brown and its employees took part in the “Boost for Baltimore Restaurants” campaign that the Greater Baltimore Committee organized among its board and membership.  It was our way of providing the corporate and business community with an easy and fun way to provide a needed financial shot in the arm to the city’s restaurant industry, which has had some tough weeks since the civil unrest in late April and the ensuing curfew.  Restaurant managers and owners throughout the city have been reporting slow business since the events of this past spring.  The industry is a vital segment of the Baltimore area, employing an estimated 20,000, according to the Restaurant Association of Maryland. In... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Will Baltimore Join the “Global City” Elite?

Will Baltimore be the next city to crack the “Global Cities” list that has caught the attention of economists, politicians, and civic leaders? “What’s a global city?” you ask. In short, it’s an urban area considered to be a vital link in the global economic system, as measured by business activity, human capital, cultural amenities, information networks and political influence. In other words it’s an Alpha city. It’s got clout. Think New York, London and Paris. They’re the three top Global Cities, according to the closely watched A.T. Kearney Global Cities Index. But we are nearing a pivot point as globalization accelerates. As a result, Baltimore must be positioned to take advantage of this changing world dynamic so it can emerge as a city with a greater diversity of global business connections and reach. What’s at stake? Plenty. Not just the Baltimore economy, but the entire regional economy and its future job... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Wanted: Summer Jobs

If you are a business owner selling products or service what’s the main thing you want besides great employees? Lots of customers, right? Well, as chairman of the Hire One Youth summer jobs initiative, I’m delighted to say we have plenty of customers this summer.  In fact, it has more applicants than it’s ever had – 8,000. Problem is, we just don’t have enough product – jobs – to go around yet this summer. As of this writing, we need more summer job slots for young workers. That’s why, with city officials, the GBC has come up with a solution that will benefit these eager young workers as well as businesses that have interest in taking on a summer intern, but may not have the budget to afford a summer intern paycheck. Here’s the deal:  To ensure as many of the applicants as possible are placed in work positions this summer,... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Let’s Keep Up Momentum for the Baltimore Business Recovery Fund

In the wake of the civil unrest that rocked Baltimore in late April, many political, business and community leaders in Baltimore called for a collective effort to help the hundreds of small businesses that were trashed, looted or otherwise crippled by the destruction. The city and its non-profit economic development arm- the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) -followed suit by quickly establishing a program – the Baltimore Business Recovery Fund - to aid businesses that had suffered property damage or inventory losses during the unrest. The Greater Baltimore Committee was particularly impressed with and supported the structure of this program because loans, which cap out at $35,000, would carry a zero percent interest rate. Also, applying for the loans wouldn’t require some of the detailed financial background paperwork that Small Business Administration loans demand, and they could be converted to grants if recipients stayed in Baltimore and were operational for at least... Continue reading
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