Roger Berkowitz

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Roger Berkowitz
Roger Berkowitz.jpg
Born Roger Berkowitz
Waltham, Massachusetts
Residence Boston, Massachusetts
Education 1974, Syracuse University
Spouse(s) Lynne Berkowitz

Roger S. Berkowitz is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Legal Sea Foods, a Boston-based restaurant group that has 33 restaurants along the East Coast of the United States. He started working in his family's fish market in the Inman Square section of Cambridge, Massachusetts at the age of ten and learned every aspect of the business until becoming President and CEO in 1992. He now oversees restaurant, mail order and retail operations.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Berkowitz was raised 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 high school, Berkowitz studied radio and television at Syracuse University and graduated from the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. During his time at Syracuse, Berkowitz hosted his own radio news show that covered local and national topics.[4]

After completing his undergraduate studies, Berkowitz returned to Cambridge with the intention of working for a couple of years in the family’s business. The family's focus had changed from a fish market with an attached fried fish take-out to a full service restaurant.[5]

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.[6]

Berkowitz holds honorary degrees from Salem State University, The Culinary Institute of America, Newbury College, and Johnson & Wales University.[6]

Leadership and boards[edit]

Berkowitz serves on the leadership council at the Harvard School of Public Health and its Nutrition Roundtable and is currently a member and past president of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. In 2004, he was appointed to the New England Community Development Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston[7] and served on the Regional Selection Panel for the President’s Commission of White House Fellowships.

Berkowitz also serves on boards for many non-profits, including Boston Children's Hospital, UNICEF, Boston Children's Museum, Environmental League of Massachusetts, Blue Frontier Campaign, Northeast Seafood Coalition, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.[6]

He is a Trustee of Suffolk University and Salem State University and is a member of the Board of Overseers at Brandeis International Business School.

Appointed by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Berkowitz sits on the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Panel.[8]

Honors and awards[edit]

Berkowitz was named a semifinalist of the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Restaurateur for the years 2009 - 2012,[6] and was an inductee in the Nation's Restaurant News Menu Masters Hall of Fame in 2008.[9]

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).[10] Berkowitz co-wrote The New Legal Sea Foods Cookbook, published in 2002 by Broadway Books.

Sustainable fishing[edit]

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."[11] The Boston, Massachusetts Legal Sea Foods restaurant hosted a dinner where several such species were served.[12] 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” by The Atlantic States Marines Fisheries Commission.

Personal life[edit]

Berkowitz met his wife Lynne in 1974, while he was working as a fry cook and she was a waitress at the first Legal Sea Foods restaurant in Inman Square.[13]


  • The New Legal Sea Foods Cookbook (Hardcover), with Jane Doerfer. (Broadway, 2003, revision of 1988 cookbook) ISBN 978-0767906913

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ Roger Berkowitz - President & CEO
  3. ^ Nassauer, Sarah (2015-04-15). "Thank-You Note From Julia Child Is Restaurant Executive’s Treasure". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2015-04-16. 
  4. ^ "Campaign for Syracuse University travels to strategic SU regions". Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  5. ^ Frieswick, Kris (2011-07-01). "The Fisher King". Boston (magazine) (Metrocorp, Inc.). Retrieved 2014-12-07. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Roger Berkowitz ’74". Syracuse University Magazine. Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  7. ^ "2012 Board of Directors". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  8. ^ Roger Berkowitz: ZoomInfo Business People Information
  9. ^ Elan, Elissa. "HALL OF FAME: Roger Berkowitz". Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  10. ^ Brandeis University, International Business School, "Corporate Responsibility Forum"
  11. ^ Byrne, Kerry J. (January 24, 2011). "Berkowitz vs. Bloggers in Legal Sea Foods' "blacklisted" dinner flap". Boston Herald. Retrieved January 27, 2011. 
  12. ^ First, Devra (2001-01-22). "Fish and chippiness are on the menu". (Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC). Retrieved 2015-01-03. 
  13. ^ English, Bella (2011-05-14). "For Legal’s captain, a long, tumultuous voyage to the sea". (The Boston Globe). Retrieved 2015-03-30. 

External links[edit]