Mister Emerald is a family affair. The founder and proprietor is Leland "Lee" Miles, ably assisted by son-in-law Pedro Rodriguez and Lee's wife Maria de la Paz Roman.
With an MBA from University of California at Berkeley and degrees from San Francisco State University and Thunderbird Graduate School, Lee has been in the emerald and emerald jewelry business in Cartagena since 1978. A native of New Mexico, he was raised in various countries and then returned to the United States for university and first employments. After a start at First National City Bank, now Citibank, he began his entrepreneurial career selling precious metals and jewelry supplies in the San Francisco Bay Area. From there he moved to Colombia to join a family cattle ranch and land development company, and within a year was operating an emerald and fine jewelry company in the Caribbean coastal city of Cartagena.
This activity has continued to the present day, first with an iconic company called Greenfire, and now with the wholly-owned Mister Emerald. Other entrepreneurial activities include publication of tourism information in Cartagena under the name of Destination Cartagena, and tour operations with the tour operations company by the name of Cartagena Excursions - Convi.
A native of Bogota, Pedro was a competitive golfer during his high school and university days. He is a graduate of Los Andes university in civil engineering who first worked with a computer software company. He moved to Cartagena upon marrying the daughter of Maria de la Paz Roman and Lee Miles and has been a key member of Lee's team both at Greenfire and then at Mister Emerald. For 7 years beginning in 2002 he operated the family jewelry company called Panama Gem in Colon, Panama, during years that the cruise ships did not call in Cartagena. He returned full-time to Cartagena and the new company of Mister Emerald in 2009.
Pedro is the chief operating officer, and in charge of purchasing, inventory control, and data management. His critical eye and expertese in negotiation are critical to maintaining the supply of quality emeralds and the best possible prices that are the lifeblood of the company.
Maria de la Paz Roman
Lee's wife of 30 years is a programmer and computer system designer who stepped in when Mister Emerald was established to manage the jewelry design and manufacturing functions. Her taste and sensibility continues to guide the jewelry manufacturing side.