Lara Fritts is a certified economic developer with over 20 years of experience in economic development, management, and technology. Her experience spans city, county, and regional levels in both the public and private sectors. Known for her strengths in strategic planning, collaboration, marketing, and leadership, Lara has proven to be an invaluable asset to Salt Lake City and the creation of their newly formed Department of Economic.
Currently, Lara is the Director of Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development (SLC DED). The department was formed in July, 2016. Lara was appointed to her position after a nationwide search, and oversees the three divisions that make up the new department: Business Development, the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City, and the Salt Lake City Arts Council. Under Lara’s leadership, Salt Lake City is now home to more than a two dozen new companies like UPS, Amazon, Stadler Rail, and others totaling over 9,000 jobs (as stated by the companies) and over $750-million in capital investment since the department’s creation.
Prior to coming to Salt Lake City, Lara served as the President and CEO of the Annapolis Economic Development Corporation where she was responsible for the startup of the Maryland Economic Development Association’s award-winning program. Prior to that, Lara was the Executive Director of the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation (SFDC) where she was responsible for the redevelopment of a 7.5-mile commercial corridor – now a thoroughfare from Capital Beltway to Fort Belvoir with six thriving Community Business Centers (CBCs). Lara has also served as the Executive Director of the Greater Rockville Partnership and the President and CEO of the Washington, D.C. Technology Council.
Lara has a Master’s in Urban Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and a Bachelor’s degree in Regional Analysis from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.