No, it’s not the BDC or the BCF or the EAB. It’s the GBC, a consortium of civic leaders dedicated to “strengthening Greater Baltimore’s business climate.” President and CEO Don Fry sets the record straight—and finally explains who reads all those annual reports they put out.
Where did you go to school?
Bel Air High School, Frostburg State University, and University of Baltimore School of Law.
What book or film most changed your life?
Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy, a book about political leaders choosing principle over political expediency and popularity. It should be must reading for any elected official.
What is the best advice you ever got?
No matter how thin you slice something, there are always two sides to it.
What is the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?
Doing the Baltimore Grill interview.
When were you most tempted to leave Baltimore?
When the Ravens let Trent Dilfer leave after bringing a world championship to Baltimore . . . and replaced him with Elvis Grbac as quarterback.
What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Running for public office.
What is your guilty pleasure?
A tall gin and tonic and a good cigar after a long day.
Is it hard to convince the average Baltimorean of the relevance, or even the role, of the GBC?
Not at all. All you have to do is point out that not a single significant change has occurred in Baltimore that the GBC wasn’t a part of—check the skyline—the Inner Harbor, the Convention Center, Camden Yards, M&T Bank Stadium, the Hippodrome.
In public appearances you’ve been known to come across as a little . . . dry. Is that the real you?
I think a little dry is better than coming across “all wet.” This job requires you to be substantive. In my job, that’s what people expect of me.
Be honest: Does anyone actually read those reports you guys put out?
I’m sure more people read these reports than this interview! Apparently governors, mayors, legislative leaders, and news reporters read the GBC reports. Trust me, I get the calls.
If you weren’t the president/CEO of the GBC, you’d be. . .
Caddying for Tiger Woods.