December 9, 2019

Senate County Executives Series Senator Don Hutchinson

A Senator, a Delegate and Baltimore County’s Executive from 1978-1986, Donald Hutchinson’s career in public service would be both varied and interesting. Born in Baltimore on New Year’s Eve in 1945, Hutchinson would graduate from Frostburg State College before making his way to a successful career in both business and public service.

Hutchinson would choose to enter the political realm beginning with his service as a Delegate to the Maryland Constitutional Convention in 1967 and 1968. His career would then take him to the Maryland House of Delegates where he’d serve as a member of the Constitutional and Administrative Law Committee. In 1975, Hutchinson would ascend to the Maryland Senate and serve there as a member of the Constitutional and Public Law Committee (1975-1978) as well as the Commission on Intergovernmental Operation (1977-1978).

Service as Baltimore County Executive would be the next step in the political career of Hutchinson. He would be elected as the 7th Executive in the history of Baltimore County in 1978. Hutchinson would preside of the growing and prospering county from 1978-1986 before leaving elected service.

Uniquely, Hutchinson’s career would take him to three separate and interesting stops prior to his anticipated retirement in 2020. He would serve as President of the Greater Baltimore Committee from 1993-2002. His time there would see him advocate for responsible business and job growth for the entire Baltimore region including his native Baltimore County. He’d then move on to serve as the President and Chief Executive Officer for SunTrust Bank from 2002-2007 and finally as President and Chief Executive Officer from 2007 until his retirement.

Hutchinson’s tenure at the Maryland Zoo would see the operation grow and thrive. Upon taking the helm at the organization, Hutchinson righted the ship and took it from near closure to a position of growth and improvement. For his efforts, he would receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Baltimore Business Journal in 2018.

A leader by all accounts, Hutchinson clearly proved his capability and dedication to those he served in both public and private office in Baltimore County and beyond.