Janet Maizner (born Janet LaRocco), a beloved mother, wife, grandmother, sister and retired public relations executive, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2010 succumbing to a seven-month battle with pancreatic cancer. She was a resident of Miami, Fla. and Roxbury.
Janet was raised in New York City and graduated from New Dorp High School on Staten Island in 1962. In 1966 she graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor of arts in journalism.
She began her career in public relations soon thereafter, working in-house for the pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, in New York City. She subsequently worked for the public relations powerhouse, Ruder Finn, Inc.
In the 1970s Janet relocated with her husband, Neil (married in 1968), to South Florida and started her own PR firm, Maizner & Franklin, Inc. (“MFI”). Led by Janet’s strong will and determination, MFI went on to become a well-known and well respected South Florida PR firm, representing such clients as Bacardi, the Jamaica Tourist Board, Broward Center of the Performing Arts, Marriott and Doubletree Hotels, South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Department of Transportation, among others.
She was also an avid volunteer in various community organizations, working with the Boy Scouts of America – South Florida Council, Florida’s Singing Sons Boychoir and founded The Florida Envirothon, a field-oriented natural resource education program for high school students.
In the mid-1990s, Janet integrated MFI with Edelman, a worldwide PR firm, and led the opening of Edelman’s South Florida office, serving as its General Manager/Senior Vice President, until her retirement in 2000. Although retired, she remained active in public relations until her illness was discovered this past June, running PR annually for the Bacardi Cup sailing race at the Coral Reef Yacht Club in Coconut Grove, Miami, and as a freelance contractor for the Florida Department of Transportation.
Not content with retirement, Janet worked as a real estate agent for Frank Lumia Plus during her half-year residency in Roxbury.
Janet loved gardening, cooking and the fine arts. She was a very positive and enthusiastic person with an incredible drive to accomplish anything she set out to do and fought against her cancer until the very end. She had much more to contribute before leaving us and her death came much too soon. She will forever be missed.
Janet was preceded in death by her parents, Salvatore and Nancy LaRocco (former owners of Mid-Island Flooring in Staten Island, New York). She is survived by her husband, Neil, her two sons, Franklin (a West Point graduate) and Michael (an entertainment lawyer in New York City), her two granddaughters, Isabel and Ariella, her brother, Richard LaRocco; two sisters, Joann West and Christine LaRocco Corbisiero and a large extended family, including her goddaughter and niece, Jessica West.
At Janet’s request, she will be buried in the Bedell Cemetery in her beloved Catskill Mountains.
A memorial service will be held there during the weekend of June 26, 2010.
The Miller Funeral Home of Roxbury is handling the arrangements.
Donations may be made to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for pancreatic cancer research and to Catholic Hospice, in Miami Lakes, Fla.