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: Regional cooperation is key to levering biotech strength

By Donald C. Fry We live and work in one of the top regions in the U.S. for biotech development. But even with all of its biotech assets, achieving its full potential as a driver of economic growth will depend largely on regional cooperation between Maryland, the District of Columbia and northern Virginia. That reality was evident at the recent Maryland Regional Biotech Forum, a two-day event held in Gaithersburg to highlight the economic importance of the biotech industry in the region.  The goal of the forum was to chart a path toward branding the region as one of the top three biotech hubs in the country.  The region, defined as Maryland, northern Virginia and D. C. has the assets to have captured a top three designation by now.  There are 800 life sciences companies and 70 federal labs located within the region.  Our world class academic institutions capture the lion’s... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Meet Maryland’s new business ombudsman

By Donald C. Fry Business people have long joked that, if you want to scare them, simply utter the following: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.” Meet Roger Campos, Maryland’s newly-appointed business ombudsman. He’s from the government – he reports directly to Governor Larry Hogan – but he really is here to help, he told business owners and managers at the Greater Baltimore Committee earlier this week. “There’s a fear factor among business owners in dealing with state and federal government agencies,” Campos said. For example, surveys show that in Maryland there is a high level of frustration among small business owners, particularly about rules, regulations and “misinterpretations” of rules and regulations, he added. Campos, who has been on the job for only two months, is here to take that fear out of business relationships with government. “Part of my role is to find bottlenecks, issues and... Continue reading
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Donald Fry: Status report: business-related funding in state budget

By Donald C. Fry  State funding for most key business-related development and financing assistance programs will be level funded or slightly reduced in FY 2016, according a quick review of available information as state lawmakers look to agree on a final budget over the last weekend of the 2015 General Assembly session. State funding for research and development and biotech investment tax credits and technology transfer programs will remain the same as this year, while funding for assistance to small and minority businesses, stem cell research and rehabilitation of historic commercial properties will be slightly reduced. Meanwhile, the newly-created Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative will receive $8 million to offer matching funding for private-sector contributions to create science and technology research endowments at higher education institutions. However, funding available for a state program for early-stage, high tech companies will be reduced to $15 million from $29.9 million budgeted in the current fiscal year.... Continue reading
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Donald Fry: Miller Gets It Right on ‘Rain Tax’ Repeal

By Donald C. Fry This week, the Maryland House of Delegates heard proposed legislation by Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller to repeal the state’s controversial “rain tax” and replace it with an optional fee that counties can impose at their discretion. The bill passed the Senate last week with a vote of 46-0. This comes after the House Environment and Transportation Committee voted earlier this month to defeat a similar proposal by Governor Larry Hogan. On April 1, that same House committee heard Senate Bill 863, which would repeal the requirement that the state’s 10 largest jurisdictions charge a fee to help pay for federally-mandated stormwater management processes that are meant to curb pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. However, counties would be required to submit plans for how they will meet the federal requirements, identify sources of funding to implement them and to regularly report the status of its compliance... Continue reading
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Donald Fry: Budget consensus surfaces in Annapolis

By Donald C. Fry What a difference seven weeks have made to the legislative atmosphere in Annapolis. The less-than-positive reactions by Democrats who control the General Assembly to Governor Larry Hogan’s Feb. 4 State of the State speech prompted many to conclude that the post-inauguration honeymoon – punctuated by mutual pledges of bipartisanship and collaboration – was quickly evaporating. Nevertheless, it appears to have been somewhat revived. A good deal of compromise and consensus has been reached between lawmakers and the governor on a $40.4 billion state operating budget, which passed the House of Delegates last week and passed the Senate of Maryland with amendments this week.  Though lawmakers made significant revisions to Hogan’s proposed budget, the end result is a state spending plan for FY 2016 that is apparently palatable to both the executive and legislative branches. “The governor has worked with us remarkably well,” said Senate President Mike Miller,... Continue reading
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