FREDERICK, Md. – Frederick County Executive Jessica Fitzwater announces the appointment of Mrs. Lara Fritts as Director of Economic Development. Mrs. Fritts is a certified economic developer with over 25 years of experience in economic development, management, and technology at both the local and regional levels. As Director of Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development, she helped to bring more than 30 new companies to the city in three years. She has held positions in Wisconsin, Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia and Utah. Known as a community and economic development expert, Mrs. Fritts has experience in economic recovery, affordable housing, strategic planning, tax credits and incentives, and organizational development. She is a sought-after speaker and consultant on real estate, community revitalization, and economic development finance.
“I am excited Lara will be leading our economic development team,” County Executive Fitzwater said. “She brings a wealth of experience, having worked with small and large jurisdictions, public/private partnerships, arts councils, and so much more. I am confident with Lara in this role, Frederick County’s diverse and growing economy will continue to flourish and thrive.”
Mrs. Fritts has resigned from Annapolis-based Community Redevelopment Inc., where she served as CEO, to take on her new role. Beginning April 3, she will oversee the Frederick County Office of Economic Development, which includes Workforce Services. FCOED serves as the primary contact for businesses to start, locate and expand. The office’s primary goal is to sustain, diversify and grow Frederick County’s economy by providing leadership and resources for businesses in site selection, workforce recruitment and training, incentives, marketing, and more.
A recipient of Consultant Connect’s Top 50 Economic Developers, Mrs. Fritts was named a Fellow Member of the International Economic Development Council in 2020, which honors economic development professionals for attaining unusual stature in their field and closely-related disciplines. She earned a master’s degree in Urban Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and her bachelor’s degree in Regional Analysis from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay.
Mrs. Fritts will take the reins from Jodie Bollinger, who has served as Acting Director of Economic Development following Helen Propheter’s retirement in 2022. “I want to thank Jodie for the tremendous job she has done overseeing Frederick County’s economic development staff. I am truly grateful we will continue to benefit from her knowledge and experience,” Executive Fitzwater said.