Independents

Underwood’s Appoints Michael Richards as President

IndependentsJul 08, 2024

Underwood’s Appoints Michael Richards as President

Clayton Bromberg will remain as chairman of the Florida jeweler.

Michael Richards and Clayton Bromberg of Underwood’s
Michael Richards (left) has taken on the role of president at Underwood’s, succeeding Clayton Bromberg, who will serve as chairman.
Jacksonville, Fla.—Florida jeweler Underwood’s has named a new chairman. 

Clayton Bromberg, a sixth-generation jeweler who has served as chairman and president since 1988, has transitioned to chairman, passing the president title to Michael Richards.

Bromberg’s time at Underwood’s “has been marked by exceptional growth and a steadfast commitment to quality and customer service,” said the company. 

As chairman, Bromberg will remain active in the business, including in the areas of strategic direction, merchandising, diamond buying, and inventory procurement.

In Richards’ new role as president, he will be tasked with managing the daily operations as well as the overall corporate culture, vision, and operational functions.

Richards joined Underwood’s as a store manager more than 30 years ago.

His jewelry career began in high school, working at Harper’s Jewelry while taking classes at the Gemological Institute of America.

After high school, he worked at T. K. Dodrill Jewelers and earned a business management degree at Marshall University.

He joined Underwood’s in 1990 as a store manager, earning the title of Certified Gemologist in 1991.

In 2008, Richards was promoted to vice president, and then in 2018, to chief operating officer.

He has held notable roles in the jewelry industry, including vice president of the Jeweler Vigilance Committee and president of the American Gem Society Board from 2020 to 2022.

“In the past three decades, Michael’s expertise and passion for the jewelry industry, along with his achievements in leadership outside of the business, make him the ideal leader for Underwood’s,” said Bromberg.

Richards took a more active role in the business in 2020, said Bromberg, adding it was a natural progression to name him president.

“I am very proud of the leader he has become and look forward to seeing the company continue to thrive under his direction,” said Bromberg.


Related stories will be right here … 


Richards shared his excitement to take on the new role. 

“I am honored to step into the role of president and continue the legacy of excellence that Underwood’s is known for,” he said.

“Our commitment to quality in materials, craftsmanship, design, presentation, education, and service will remain our guiding principles as we move forward.”

Richards lauded Bromberg’s dedication to the business and their customers, as well as his role as a mentor to Richards and other staff members, describing him as “a respected figure in the industry and a pillar in our community.”

Underwood Jewelers was founded in 1928 in Palatka, Florida by Herbert F. Underwood.

He would later sell the business to family jeweler Bromberg and Company in 1974, who founded its own store in Alabama in 1836. It now operates three stores in Florida.

Underwood worked alongside Frank Bromberg on the day-to-day operations, transitioning to a part time basis in 1980 until his death in 1999, helping to train Clayton Bromberg.

Bromberg has played an active role in the jewelry industry throughout his career, serving as the president of the American Gem Society from 1995 to 1997 and on various boards, including Jewelers of America, AGS, Jewelers Vigilance Committee, and the Florida Jewelers Association.

He has been honored with the American Gem Society Robert M. Shipley Award in 2004, the American Gem Society Triple Zero Award in 2013, and the Women’s Jewelry Association Ben Kaiser Award in 2015.

Bromberg was also inducted into the National Jeweler Retailer Hall of Fame in 2003.

"As we look ahead to the next 10 years and embark on this new chapter, I am excited about the opportunities ahead for Underwood’s," said Bromberg.

"We will continue to innovate while staying true to the principles that have made us a trusted name in jewelry for nearly a century.


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