|Education||1974, Syracuse University|
Roger S. Berkowitz is the founder and Head Fishmonger/CEO of Roger’s Fish Co., an e-commerce company delivering premium quality seafood and prepared meals nationwide. He was formerly the President and Chief Executive Officer for 30 years of Legal Sea Foods, a Boston-based restaurant group along the northeast of the United States, before selling the family-owned business in 2020. He started working in the Legal Sea Foods fish market in the Inman Square section of Cambridge, Massachusetts at the age of ten and held a variety of roles before becoming President and CEO in 1992. He led the company's growth and diversification, overseeing 35 restaurants, retail and mail order divisions, and 4,000 employees
Early life and education
Berkowitz was raised in a Jewish family in Waltham and Lexington along with two brothers, Marc and Richard, and worked at the family fish market along with his parents, George and Harriet. After graduating from Lexington High School, Berkowitz studied radio and television at Syracuse University. As an undergraduate, Berkowitz hosted his radio news show covering local and national topics.
After completing his undergraduate studies, Berkowitz returned to Cambridge to work for a couple of years in the family business. The family-run business focus had changed from a fish market, with an attached fried fish take-out option, to a full-service restaurant.
Berkowitz later attended Harvard Business School's Owner/President Management (OPM) program, London Business School's Senior Executive Programme, and the Strategic Marketing Management Program at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Berkowitz holds an honorary master's degree from The Culinary Institute of America and honorary doctorates degrees from Johnson & Wales University, Newbury College, Salem State University, Nichols College and New England College of Business.
Leadership and boards
Berkowitz is currently a member of NOAA's Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee and founding President of the Massachusetts Seafood Collaborative, a non-profit advocacy group of fishermen, processors, and wholesalers dedicated to strengthening the Massachusetts seafood industry. He also sits on the Regional Selection Panel for the President's Commission on White House Fellowships and is an honoree of the Valenti Friend of the White House Fellow Award.
Berkowitz was a member of the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Advisory Committee.
In addition, Berkowitz serves on boards for many nonprofits, including Dana–Farber Cancer Institute, UNICEF, and the Environmental League of Massachusetts. He also serves on the leadership council at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is a member and past President of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association.
Honors and awards
In May 2017, Berkowitz was one of the five people inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America.
Berkowitz was named a semifinalist of the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Restaurateur for the years 2009 - 2012, and was an inductee in the Nation's Restaurant News Menu Masters Hall of Fame in 2008.
He was also the recipient of the George Arents Award, which recognizes Syracuse University alumni for their achievements.
Berkowitz was mentioned in the book Dare to Lead! Uncommon Sense and Unconventional Wisdom from 50 Top CEOs by Mike Merrill (Career Press), and Leadership Secrets of the World’s Most Successful CEOs by Eric Yaverbaum (Dearborn Trade Publishing).
Television show and podcast
Between 2016-17, Berkowitz hosted a monthly television show on New England Cable News with his co-host, Larry Gulko, called “Inside the Brand". In January 2018, this show transitioned to a WBZ-TV podcast and is currently called "Name Brands". The focus of the program is on marketing and brand building from interviews with top CEOs, such as Wayfair's CEO Niraj Shah and Dunkin' Brands CEO Nigel Travis.
Since the 1990s, Berkowitz narrated and appeared in many of Legal Sea Foods television commercials and other advertising. In his 2015 ad campaign, he ran as a faux candidate in the 2016 presidential election asking people to #feeltheberk and vote for him on the foundation of legalizing sea weed and other viewpoints.
In 2011, Berkowitz criticized the placement of several species of fish on the "avoid" list of the advocacy group, Seafood Watch, saying that much of the science around sustainable fisheries was "flawed" and "outdated." The Boston, Massachusetts Legal Sea Foods restaurant hosted a dinner where several such species were served. New sonar technology for seafood stock assessments Berkowitz espoused is being tested by the Massachusetts government.
Also relative to the fishing industry, Berkowitz leads the Sonar Project Ltd. and was appointed to the Special Commission Relative to Seafood Marketing by the Governor of Massachusetts. He received the “Chairman’s Award for Distinguished Meritorious Service” from The Atlantic States Marines Fisheries Commission.
- The New Legal Sea Foods Cookbook (Hardcover), with Jane Doerfer. (Broadway, 2003, revision of 1988 cookbook) ISBN 978-0767906913
- ^ a b "Roger's Fish Co. – A Seafood Legacy Continues with Roger Berkowitz". Boston Magazine. 2023-03-27. Retrieved 2023-04-07.
- ^ White, Marian (2013-09-24). "A Day in the Life of Legal Sea Foods CEO Roger Berkowitz". BostInno. Boston: Streetwise Media. Retrieved 2015-03-30.
- ^ Phelps, Jon (2023-04-01). "Legal Sea Foods icon launches e-commerce fish market". New Hampshire Union Leader. Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2023-04-08.
- ^ Roger Berkowitz - President & CEO http://www.legalseafoods.com/index.cfm/page/At-the-Helm/pid/24650
- ^ Nassauer, Sarah (2015-04-15). "Thank-You Note From Julia Child Is Restaurant Executive's Treasure". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2015-04-16.
- ^ Boston Globe: "Legal Seafoods launches 'Pescatarianism' Ad Campaign" by Taryn Luna July 1, 2015
- ^ "Campaign for Syracuse University travels to strategic SU regions". 22 November 2010. Retrieved 2014-08-18.
- ^ Frieswick, Kris (2011-07-01). "The Fisher King". Boston. Metrocorp, Inc. Retrieved 2014-12-07.
- ^ a b c d "Roger Berkowitz '74". Syracuse University Magazine. Retrieved 2015-01-03.
- ^ "CEO of Legal Sea Foods to Speak at Nichols College Commencement". 2015-03-16. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
- ^ "Boston Fed Announces 2016 Board of Directors". Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. 12 January 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-29.
- ^ "Roger Berkowitz, President & CEO". Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- ^ Blumenthal, Rachel Leah (2017-05-01). "James Beard Awards 2017: Boston Goes Home Empty-Handed". Eater Boston. Vox Media. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
- ^ Elan, Elissa (5 May 2008). "HALL OF FAME: Roger Berkowitz". Retrieved 2015-01-03.
- ^ "Arents Award Past Recipients". Syracuse University Alumni Association. Retrieved 2019-08-20.
- ^ Brandeis University, International Business School, "Corporate Responsibility Forum" http://www.brandeis.edu/ibs/news_cal_item2.php?event_id=869
- ^ "Name Brands". WBZ (AM). Retrieved 2019-08-20.
- ^ Globe, Staff (2016-04-12). "Executive keys to TV stardom". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
- ^ Chesto, Jon (2018-03-12). "Oh that not-so-dirty water: It lets a longtime advocate retire". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
- ^ English, Bella (2011-05-14). "For Legal's captain, a long, tumultuous voyage to the sea". Boston.com. The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2015-03-30.
- ^ Chesto, Jon (2016-03-07). "Roger Berkowitz: All politics is Legal Sea Foods". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
- ^ Byrne, Kerry J. (January 24, 2011). "Berkowitz vs. Bloggers in Legal Sea Foods' "blacklisted" dinner flap". Boston Herald. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
- ^ First, Devra (2001-01-22). "Fish and chippiness are on the menu". Boston.com. Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC. Retrieved 2015-01-03.
- American retail chief executives
- Businesspeople from Massachusetts
- American chief executives of food industry companies
- S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications alumni
- Harvard Business School alumni
- Stanford Graduate School of Business alumni
- Alumni of London Business School
- People from Lexington, Massachusetts
- American Jews
- Living people