Roger Berkowitz, the President and CEO of Legal Sea Foods, an iconic Massachusetts brand, will give the address at the 2015 Commencement of Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts on Saturday, May 9th.
He will also receive an honorary degree from the college, which is celebrating its bicentennial this year.
Berkowitz, who started working in the family fish market in Inman Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts at the age of 10, became President and CEO of the restaurant company in 1992.
Since taking the helm, Berkowitz has led Legal Sea Foods’ growth to 33 restaurants along the east coast, with 23 locations in Massachusetts and the remainder in Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Virginia, and Georgia.
Berkowitz oversees the company’s restaurant, retail, and mail order divisions and steers the course for 4,000 employees.
Legal Sea Foods, renowned for its industry-leading quality standards, continues to win national acclaim. One testament to the brand’s enduring legacy, its signature New England Clam Chowder has been a staple of presidential inaugurals since Ronald Reagan took office in 1980.
Besides heading Legal Sea Foods, Berkowitz serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Regional Selection Panel for the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. He also leads the Sonar Project Ltd., and was appointed to the Special Commission Relative to Seafood Marketing by Governor Patrick. He is a member of the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Advisory Committee and a member and past President of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association.
In addition, Berkowitz serves on many non-profit Boards including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital (Advisory Board), UNICEF, the Boston Children’s Museum, the Environmental League of Massachusetts and the Blue Frontier Campaign.
Berkowitz is a member of the Board of Overseers, Brandeis International Business School, is a Trustee of Suffolk University and serves on the leadership council at the Harvard School of Public Health.
He holds an honorary master’s degree from the Culinary Institute of America and honorary doctorates from Johnson & Wales University, Newbury College and Salem State University.
Among numerous awards and recognitions, Berkowitz was named a James Beard “Outstanding Restaurateur” semi-finalist, was inducted into the “Menu Masters Hall of Fame” by Nation’s Restaurant News and received the “Chairman’s Award for Distinguished Meritorious Service” from The Atlantic States Marines Fisheries Commission.
Berkowitz graduated from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and attended executive education programs at Harvard Business School, the University of London School of Business, and Stanford Graduate School of Business.