Richards new president at Underwood Jewelers as Bromberg steps back

Bromberg, with the company since 1988, will continue as chairman.

New Underwood Jewelers President Michael Richards, left, and Clayton Bromberg, the former president who is continuing to be the retailer's chairman.
New Underwood Jewelers President Michael Richards, left, and Clayton Bromberg, the former president who is continuing to be the retailer's chairman.
Underwood Jewelers
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Clayton Bromberg, Underwood Jewelers chairman and president since 1988, is stepping back and Michael Richards is the retailer’s new president.

Underwood’s has three stores in Northeast Florida in San Marco, Ponte Vedra Beach and Avondale. It sells diamonds, jewelry, watches and giftware.

Bromberg will remain Underwood’s chairman and stay active in the business, the company said in a July 8 news release. The transition took effect July 1.

Bromberg will “continue to influence the strategic direction, merchandising, diamond buying, and inventory procurement of the company while entrusting daily operations to Richards,” the company said.

“Michael joined Underwood’s early in his professional career as a store manager over 30 years ago. 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,” Bromberg said in the release. 

“In 2020, he took a more active role in operations and executive leadership, and it has been a natural progression to name him as President officially. I am very proud of the leader he has become and look forward to seeing the company continue to thrive under his direction," Bromberg said.

Richards will lead the company’s overall corporate culture, vision and operational functions.

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

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

Underwood’s and Bromberg

Herbert F. Underwood founded Underwood Jewelers in Palatka as a diamond and watch store in 1928, just before the Great Depression, the release said.

Underwood expanded to Jacksonville in 1940. At the start of World War II, Underwood sold the Palatka store and consolidated in Downtown Jacksonville.

Underwood’s opened its first branch store in San Marco in 1953.

In 1974, Underwood sold his business to national jeweler Bromberg and Co. The Bromberg family founded the business in Alabama in 1836 and it is the oldest business in that state. 

Frank Bromberg, Underwood’s and a leader in his family’s business, urged him to stay active in the day-to-day operations, which he did until 1980. Underwood worked part-time from 1980 until his death in 1999.

Underwood was instrumental in training Frank Bromberg’s son, Clayton, from 1980 until he was named president of Underwood Jewelers in 1988.

Clayton Bromberg has served on many boards such as Jewelers of America, American Gem Society, Jewelers Vigilance Committee, Florida Jewelers Association and the Better Business Bureau.

He was president of the American Gem Society from 1995 until 1997, has served on the American Gem Society Laboratory board since 1996 and as its chairman twice, from 2005-08 and from 2016-20.

 In 2003, Underwood’s and Clayton Bromberg were inducted into the National Jewelers Hall of Fame.

About Richards

Richards began his jewelry career in high school in West Virginia at Harper’s Jewelry while taking gemology classes at the Gemological Institute of America. After high school, he worked at T.K. Dodrill Jewelers and pursued a business management degree at Marshall University.

Richards joined Underwood’s in 1990 as a store manager, where he completed his GIA and AGS coursework, earning the title certified gemologist in 1991. He was promoted to vice president in 2008 and chief operating officer in 2018.

Richards was vice president of the Jeweler Vigilance Committee and president of the American Gem Society board from 2020 to 2022.



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