BURBANK, Calif. — Industry pioneer and Eldorado founder Larry Garland passed away yesterday.
Garland, who lived in Boulder, Colo., is survived by wife Wanda as well as son Preston and daughter Shauna. An entrepreneur with more than 40 years in the pleasure products business, Garland was a highly respected, endearing figure within the adult retail community.
Dennis Paradise, a friend and colleague of more than 30 years, told XBIZ, “Larry Garland was a man of integrity, of intelligence, of humility, of humor, of love and leadership. He was the guy that if you wanted to make yourself better you’d look to him for the example. He was my best friend and even though he’s gone, he still is.”
Doc Johnson founder Ron Braverman said, “Larry will be sadly missed by all. He was a wonderful friend and always a gentleman in business. Larry was a true visionary in our business. Our hearts go out to his family.”
CalExotics founder and CEO Susan Colvin said, “I've known Larry for 24 years and I'm truly heartbroken that he's left us so suddenly. Larry was an amazing entrepreneur with incredible instincts and vision. He was also a wonderful family man and a great friend. Larry called me Thursday morning and his wonderful words will always stay with me. My heart goes out to his wife, Wanda, his children and everyone at Eldorado.”
Nick Orlandino, chairman and CEO of Diamond Products, said, “My deepest sympathies go out the Garland family and the entire Eldorado team, as well as the industry that Larry impacted so tremendously. Larry was my friend, my mentor, and we spent over 30 years together, with wonderful memories about the times shared that I would rather keep between me and him. Godspeed my old friend.”
Castle Megastore CEO Mark Franks said, “We were all shocked and saddened by the untimely passing of Larry Garland. For decades we have been inspired by Larry's devotion and relentless hard work and passion in building Eldorado into a leading distributor. What we will remember most about Larry was his kind humanity and integrity.”
Larry Garland founded Eldorado in 1974 and led the company to become one of the top international distributors of sexual wellness products and intimate apparel, offering more than 14,000 best-selling SKUs throughout the world.
On Thursday night during the 2017 XBIZ Awards, Garland was among the honorees of the prestigious Pioneer Awards — which is bestowed upon company figures who have had a profound impact on the industry through vision, innovation and courage; and continue to provide a guiding light for those who came after them.
“Larry Garland was a friend and a mentor to so many others in the industry, including myself,” XBIZ Associate Publisher Sara Ramirez said. “He was always willing to offer his guidance and leadership whether it was during industry panels, our publications and one-on-one. He will be sorely missed.”
Garland was an invaluable asset to Eldorado and the industry as a whole. A self-described “people person,” Garland had done it all in his career, exhibiting leadership, business sense and vision — but also picking, packing and shipping orders, cleaning the bathroom and sweeping the warehouse.
As a dynamic player in the industry, Garland was known to stay abreast of the trends and forces that drive the market. In addition to heading up Eldorado since 1974, Garland was a past president and current board member of the Free Speech Coalition, as well as an active and vocal advocate for his local community.
Eric Paul Leue, executive director of the FSC, said, "Larry Garland was a longstanding member of the FSC board of directors, a committed industry leader, and a kind and caring person with a witty sense of humor and a beautifully optimistic take on life. His passing leaves us with great sadness. We offer our condolences to his family, loved ones, and his colleagues at Eldorado Trading. Rest in peace Larry, you will be missed."
Industry attorney Jeffrey Douglas said, “A truly good man. I am shocked and terribly sad.”
"Larry Garland was a class act who was and will always be an integral member of our community,” XBIZ Publisher Alec Helmy said. “A dedicated advocate of free speech, Larry was a true industry leader who exhibited an uncanny ability to stay ahead of the curve and by doing so, he inspired so many. It's been a great privilege to know and work with him. He will forever be in our hearts.”
Good Vibes’ Joel Kaminsky said, “The industry, and more importantly, society, has lost a great guy. I first knew Larry as a competitor and later on as a business colleague and fellow FSC board member, and have never heard a negative word said about him...by anyone! He was respected, honest, and most importantly kind to everyone. My sympathy goes out to Wanda, Preston, Shauna and the entire Eldorado organization. May he rest in peace.”
For the past several years, Eldorado has held fundraisers and food drives for the Community Food Share program, helping put Thanksgiving dinner on the table for thousands of Colorado families in need.