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Fry Tapped to Lead State Economic Development Agency

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FRY TAPPED TO LEAD STATE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

Appointment follows positive job growth in February

Governor Mitt Romney today named Renee M. Fry as Director of the Department of Business and Technology, the state agency tasked with retaining and attracting jobs and steering economic policy throughout the Commonwealth.

The appointment coincides with positive job creation in Massachusetts. It was announced last week that 1,300 new jobs were created in the month of February. For 11 of the last 13 months, and for the four most recent quarterly periods, there has been employment growth in Massachusetts, resulting in more than 26,000 new jobs over the past year.

Fry holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. Prior to joining Romney's economic development team in January 2003, she was Director of Business Development for Cambridge-based Celarix, where she developed and managed relationships with all of the major systems integrators.

"Renee's insight on the economic climate in Massachusetts has been instrumental in developing initiatives that address priorities in the business community," said Romney. "As our economy moves forward, I will look to Renee to help meet the needs of employers and coordinate policies that stimulate economic growth and create a more competitive landscape."

Since joining the Romney administration, Fry has played an integral role in a variety of economic development endeavors, including auto insurance reform, workforce training programs, expedited permitting, regional competitive councils and establishing the Business Resource Team, the state's one-stop center to help companies identify and access programs and resources.

After serving as Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Economic Development, Fry was promoted to Undersecretary in October 2004. In her new role as Director of Business and Technology, she will retain her current responsibilities in addition to leading the state's efforts to assist the needs of small business, attract new jobs, increase exports and direct foreign investment in the Commonwealth, promote travel and tourism and support minority and women owned businesses.

"The Massachusetts economy has several competitive advantages, including its technological leadership around the country and the world," said Fry. "I am committed to working closely with Massachusetts business community to take advantage of our strengths and outpace our competition."

Joyce Plotkin, President of the Massachusetts Software Council, praised Romney's elevation of Fry, saying, "I have been working with the state's economic development offices for 19 years, and Renee has been a tremendous asset. I look forward to working with her on even more issues that are important to my members."

Susan Houston, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development, echoed Plotkin's sentiments, adding, "Our experience with Renee Fry over the past few years has been tremendous. She's built a reputation for getting things done. She's smart, results-oriented, and, most important, has the complete confidence of the Governor."

A resident of Dorchester, Fry graduated with honors from Pennsylvania State University. Since 2001, she has also served as a volunteer with the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.

http://www.mass.gov/portal/govPR.jsp?gov_pr=gov_pr_050321_fry_appointment.xml

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