Donald C. Fry is president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC), the region’s most prominent organization of business and civic leaders. He has been the chief executive of the GBC since Nov. 1, 2002. Since that time, he has crafted a vision for the GBC that is taking shape in the form of bold initiatives designed to strengthen the area’s business climate.
He has made advocacy for viable regional transportation a top GBC priority, launching a three-pronged initiative that includes lobbying at the state level, monitoring and evaluating new developments and proposals, and working on the federal level to ensure regional transportation plans are funded. The GBC has led efforts to gain funding for construction of the Red Line, an east-west light rail system from Woodlawn to Inner Harbor East.
Fry has played a facilitating role in the GBC’s development of the concept for a state-of-the-art combined arena and convention center project. The GBC is also advocating for a revitalized Inner Harbor and the transformation of Rash Field into a multi-use waterfront park to promote the Baltimore tourism industry.
Fry led the 10-month study in 2010 that produced the GBC’s Competitive Edge Report, detailing the eight core pillars for job creation and economic growth in Maryland. He has led GBC efforts to improve the relationship between business and lawmakers in order to create a competitive business environment and economic growth. The GBC also continues to “Bridge the Gap” between large companies and minority-owned companies in a multi-dimensional effort that includes seminars, networking and mentoring efforts. Fry has also reached out to women business owners, encouraging their active participation in the GBC.
Prior to being named GBC president and CEO, Fry served as the GBC’s executive vice president and general counsel. He oversaw the GBC’s economic development and community revitalization efforts on Baltimore’s west and east sides as well as the organization’s public safety initiatives, including strategies to reduce crime and increase drug treatment availability.
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 as a member of the Senate of Maryland from 1997-1998. He served on the Budget and Taxation Committee and its subcommittee on Public Safety, Transportation, Economic Development and Natural Resources. His tenure in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1991-97 included service on the House Ways and Means Committee, Appropriations Committee and Capital Budget Subcommittee. He was chair of the Subcommittee on Transportation and the Environment during that time.
Fry is one of only a handful of legislators, past and present, to have served on each of the major budget committees of the Maryland General Assembly.
From 1988-91, Fry chaired the Transit Advisory Panel, a 28-member group of elected officials, community leaders and transit riders that developed long and short-term recommendations for the future of transit in Maryland for the Maryland Department of Transportation.
In 2002 and 2003, he served as chair of the Vision 2030 Oversight Committee, a body of individuals representing citizens, businesses and special interest groups, creating vision statements and strategies for central Maryland.
In 2006-07, Fry was co-chair of transportation transition teams for both Governor Martin O’Malley and former Baltimore City Mayor Sheila Dixon. He was appointed to co-chair the Mayor’s Transportation Investment Commission, charged with selecting a strategy to secure transportation funds for Baltimore City. He is a member of the state’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Property Tax Reform to study Baltimore City’s tax and fee structure.
In 2007, Fry was appointed by Governor O’Malley as a member of the Maryland Port Commission. In 2008, he was appointed by the Governor as chair of the Video Lottery Facilities Location Commission, charged with determining the locations and operators of “slots” facilities in the State of Maryland. In 2009, he was appointed by Governor O’Malley to the Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Funding.