December 27, 2002
Michael Roman Dies at 84
Michael D. Roman, chairman of the board and executive director of Jewelers of America from 1976-95, died Sunday, Dec. 22, 2002, at the age of 84.
Under Roman's leadership, JA significantly shifted its emphasis toward professional education. JA sold its International Jewelry Show to Blenheim in 1991, securing JA's long-term financial stability. Roman was deeply involved in legislative activities on behalf of JA and the jewelry industry. Under his stewardship, JA organized a lobbying campaign that in 1993 was successful in eliminating the federal luxury tax on jewelry.
At the time of his departure, Lee Michael Berg, then president of JA, said, "Words cannot adequately express the impact Michael Roman's professional contributions have had on JA. He has exemplified every quality an organization could seek in a leader."
Roman served on the executive committee and was president of the U.S. delegation to CIBJO, the international jewelry confederation. He was a member of the executive committee and board of directors of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee. He also served as interim executive director of JVC. He served on the board of trustees of the Joseph Bulova School, specializing in watch and jewelry training of students with disabilities. He was chairman of the industry's Jewelry Coordinating Committee and the Jewelers Certification Council. He was also president of the New York Sales Executive Club. Prior to his tenure at JA, Roman worked for the Bulova Watch Co. for 18 years.
In the summer of 2002, Roman was honored by the America Gem Society with a Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the industry's highest honors, at its Circle of Distinction dinner in New York City.
"Mike Roman was truly a giant in the jewelry industry," said JA President/CEO Matthew A. Runci. "His accomplishments have set the standard against which all others in our industry will be measured."