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Celebrating Women: Joyce Glazer

The San Diego Magazine columnist and publication director of the Charitable Giving Guide leaves a sterling legacy


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Photo by Lauren Radack

She’s a businesswoman, blogger, and board member extraordinaire. She’s chaired countless galas and events, launched two successful startup banks, raised two children, and mentored so many women and first-in-their-family college students, receiving a wall’s worth of awards along the way.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, 10th of 13 children, Glazer learned at an early age that the harder she worked, the better her opportunities. “I basically started from scratch and worked my way up,” she says. After achieving success in marketing and public relations in her hometown, she and her husband decided to relocate to temperate San Diego. She didn’t know a single person here, so she started volunteering, pouring her energy into organizations such as the Salvation Army, San Diego Opera, American Cancer Society, San Diego Symphony, Barrio Logan College Institute, and Downtown San Diego Partnership, to name just a few. True to her tireless character, she has even served on eight boards at once and chaired five events in a single year.

So what’s been her favorite project? “My answer is always the same—the one I am working on at the time.” Though she doesn’t hesitate to reveal her favorite organization: The Salvation Army. “It does more good with its funds than any other organization. I’ve been involved for 25 years,” she says.

According to The Salvation Army’s donor relations director, Camille McKinnie, “Joyce Glazer has been a champion in her support locally and nationally. She takes every opportunity to support The Salvation Army with her time, talent, and treasures, never missing a chance to share our good work with others. She is a blessing to The Salvation Army and to our community.”

I basically started from scratch... I worked myself into a full-time job through volunteering.

Glazer has also been involved with San Diego Magazine for over 20 years. She was first selected for one of our “People to Watch” issues, which described her as moving “with style and grace.”

“I worked myself into a full-time job through volunteering,” she admits, referring to her role as director of the magazine’s Charitable Giving Guide for 18 years, taking it to new heights. She also conducted interviews for this column every month, playing a key role in advancing local women in business, and kept her finger on the pulse of philanthropy through her Monday Morning Good News blog.

Though Glazer has decided to retire in 2018 to enjoy deadline-free days, travel, and her grandchildren, her time will be anything but idle thanks to her dedication to physical fitness, plans to visit China in the spring, and the San Diego Center for Children gala, which she will cochair.

But leaving her role at the magazine is bittersweet. “I love the staff at San Diego Magazine,” she chimes. The feeling is definitely mutual; the staff affectionately call Glazer their “secret weapon” because of her vast connections and well-earned respect all over town.

Perhaps no one could put it better than publisher and CEO Jim Fitzpatrick: “Joyce has been a great friend and an integral part of San Diego Magazine for many years. Her contributions to our growth and success are unique, as she has represented us well in the philanthropic and business communities. Joyce has been a community leader among many nonprofit organizations and has been very generous with her time and talents, supporting many worthy arts and community services organizations. Although she is now retiring, her legacy of great work and community relationships will live long at San Diego Magazine. She will be missed.”

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