- Larry Glazer helped reshape Rochester through his development firm since 1970
- Jane Glazer became an entrepreneur after quitting her teaching job in 1983
- She sold microwave cookware through catalogs and the Internet
- The couple loved adventure and flying planes
Larry and Jane Glazer were alike in so many ways, from their individual successes in business to their shared loved of adventure -- and flying.
The couple helped lead and reshape Rochester, New York, for decades. They were believed to be the only passengers aboard a small plane that flew Friday -- unresponsive and with its windows fogging over -- down the East Coast, over stretches of open ocean and over Cuba before crashing off the coast of Jamaica. The U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday called off its search for the plane's wreckage.
While entrepreneurship was the bedrock of their business success, their impact on the city in upstate New York extended far beyond corporate offices and financial reports.
Larry Glazer transformed swaths of the city beside Lake Ontario through a real estate firm that he led since 1970.
In fact, he was profiled in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle newspaper in 2002 as one of the city's "developers who shape our community." His Buckingham Properties describes itself as "Rochester, New York's largest and most diverse real estate development and property management company."
Jane Glazer made her mark as a business leader on her own, quitting her job as a math teacher in 1983 to start a firm called QCI Direct, selling microwave cookware through catalogs and then through the Internet, according to a Democrat and Chronicle profile of her in 2008.
The online business now also sells home, personal care, cooking and cleaning products. QCI Direct employs 100 people and produces two national retail catalogs mailed to 35 million people annually, the firm's website says.
"Remarkable human beings" with "a very close knit family" is how Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, president of Rochester Downtown Development Corporation describes the Glazers.
"Both of them (were) involved in job creation in this area and in his case rebuilding parts of the city, and it's just he has left an unbelievable legacy. You can see his fingerprints all over this community in a wonderful, very high impact way," Zimmer-Meyer said.
Jane Glazer told Women Entrepreneurs Blog last April that she also found time to participate in a New York City Marathon, whitewater rafting and flying a plane.
"But being an entrepreneur is the one I keep pursuing. It challenges my mind, my level of energy, my ability to deal with people, and my love of adventure. And someday, who knows? Maybe I really will get to the finish line," Jane Glazer told the blog.
Larry Glazer became a developer in a roundabout manner.
Glazer was playing tennis one day after graduating from Columbia University with an MBA at 22 in the late 1960s when a tennis partner suggested they go into the real estate business by buying a two-unit house in Rochester, the newspaper said in another story about him in 2008.
Glazer knew almost nothing about the real estate business.
"It was absolutely a fluke," Glazer, the chief executive of Buckingham Properties LLC, told the newspaper. "He said, 'You want to go into business?' "
Glazer founded Buckingham Properties in 1970 and often worked 80 hours a week. His real estate empire even expanded to central Florida, where his firm has ownership in more than 300 acres of development property, the firm's website says.
And, the website adds, he is an avid pilot.
"Larry spends some of his spare time on the ground -- gardening around his house with his wife, Jane; and some in the sky -- flying his plane," his profile says on the company's website.
Glazer also served as president of the TBM Owners and Pilots Association and was an active board member in several local organizations, including the Jewish Home of Rochester.
The plane carrying the couple and a pilot was nonresponsive as it flew south from Rochester and crashed into the Caribbean on Friday. It was purchased for $3.7 million by Larry Glazer's Buckingham Properties, according to aviation industry media reports.
Said Zimmer-Meyer about Larry Glazer: "He has been flying for a long time. And he loved to fly. Even one time I remember him telling me that he was flying to France to pick up a brand new plane and he was flying it back over the Atlantic Ocean all by himself. Brand new right off the line. I don't know how many planes he owned, but I do know that he loved flying and he flew often."
The company's website says the firm owns and manages "more than 60 properties" and is headed by co-founder, CEO and managing partner, Larry Glazer.
Even before any official announcement on the fate of those aboard the small plane, the children of Larry and Jane Glazer said in a statement they were "devastated by the tragic and sudden loss of our parents."
"They loved and appreciated the opportunity to help build the community of Rochester, and we thank everyone in the community for their expressions of support," the children said.