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: To Address Violence City Leaders Must Be on Same Page

On Monday, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake confronted the public relations battle for the city’s image in the wake of an historic wave of homicides and shootings in May, following the civil unrest that erupted in late April. The mayor said that despite the violence that followed the death in April of Freddie Gray while in police custody, she is optimistic about the city’s efforts to fight crime. There are success stories, the mayor noted, and they underscore her belief that Baltimore can curtail a recent spike in shootings and homicides and get back on track for a long-term reduction in overall violent crime. Among the success stories she noted was the Safe Streets program, which enlists ex-felons as outreach workers in neighborhoods plagued by crime to mediate conflicts that may lead to gunfire and other violence. While the mayor points to such programs that have successful records in an effort to... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Disruption for disruption’s sake?

Protesters who stopped traffic last Tuesday on major Baltimore City commuter arteries no doubt get creativity points for organizing attention-getting, non-violent dissent. But they merit less than a passing grade for thinking through the purpose of the protest and the unintended consequences of civil disobedience that appears only aimed at getting attention for attention’s sake. For about an hour and a half between 8 and 9:30 a.m. on the morning of May 26, about 40 protesters triggered the blocking of I-95 and I-395 exits entering Baltimore City, bringing commuter traffic entering downtown from the south to a dead stop. What was the issue that was being protested?  State funding of a $30 million, 60-bed jail to house Baltimore teens charged as adults. The youth jail is needed because the state-run detention center in the city is illegally housing such youths in the adult jail, where teens do not receive school education... Continue reading
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Don Fry: Providing Baltimore’s youth employment opportunities now

By Donald C. Fry Among the long-simmering issues most often mentioned as contributing to neighborhood frustration, unrest and even violence in Baltimore City is employment opportunity. The most recent census and employment data reinforce Baltimore’s need for long-term strategies and tactics to strengthen job growth and improve the workforce development framework in the city – particularly for young people. While the overall unemployment rate in the state is 5.4 percent, it’s 8.1 percent in Baltimore City.  Even more alarming is data that show unemployment in the city to be disproportionately high among the city’s youth – the workforce of tomorrow. A quick look at a few disturbing numbers underscores the urgency of the youth employment need in the city. The overall unemployment rate for the city’s young people aged 20-24 is 22 percent, according to the most recent estimate from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The estimated unemployment rate for... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: New report measures economic benefits of Red and Purple lines

By Donald C. Fry If the Red Line becomes a reality, it would generate more than 15,000 jobs and increase household earnings in the Baltimore region by $539.7 million, according to a report released on May 5 by Transportation for America. Simply put, the Red Line is a jobs line. It is a critical catalyst for our region’s economic growth. The Greater Baltimore Committee has championed the 14.1-mile east-west light rail project for 14 years. The report by Transportation for America, a Washington, D.C.-based alliance of elected, business and civic leaders, assesses the economic benefits of both the Red Line and Purple Line. The 14.1-mile Red Line would connect from Woodlawn through downtown Baltimore to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical System. It is the first east west line that would create a connection between the existing light rail and Metro lines.   The more than 15,000 jobs generated by the Red... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Businesses show strong, continuing commitment to Baltimore

By Donald C. Fry It has been a sobering week in Baltimore City. The violence that occurred in the wake of public reaction to the death of Freddie Gray shocked and disturbed virtually everyone who lives and works in the city as well as a nation watching coverage of it. Where do we go from here as a community? First, it must be understood that there are two separate agendas at work in Baltimore. The protesters have a legitimate agenda to voice dissatisfaction and to seek change. The rioters and looters have an entirely self-serving agenda. And they must be held accountable. Aside from the talk-show argument over whether the violence was caused by a handful or more than a handful of city residents and “outsiders,” the simple fact is that the rioters and looters do not represent the overwhelming law-abiding, hard-working and productive majority in Baltimore City. Nevertheless, as the... Continue reading
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