Michael D. Solomon Entrepreneurship Speaker Series
The Michael D. Solomon Entrepreneurship Speaker Series brings experienced entrepreneurs and educators to campus each semester to share professional insights and wisdom with students and community members. This endowed program is supported by Kent State College of Business Administration alumnus Michael D. Solomon. The series held its first lecture in May 2008.
The Michael D. Solomon Speaker Series is presented by the College of Business Administration's Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (CEBI).
ROBERT M. ARCHER
CEO and Owner,
The History and Evolution of Kent Watersports
Robert M. Archer is the CEO and owner of Kent Watersports and its branded companies O'Brien International, Connelly Skis, HO Sports Company, Liquid Force, Absolute Outdoor, Barefoot International, Nash/Hydroslide, Arbor Snowboards and Aqua Sports (Houjie, China).
Kent was purchased from Brown Group of St. Louis in 1981 as a highly leveraged buyout by a group of six entrepreneurs led by Archer. Since 1981, Kent has acquired thirty-five companies and divested only three. The Kent companies make and sell more life jackets than anyone else in the world. The companies also sell water skis, wakeboards, wake surfers, recreational water inflated water tubes, ropes, stand up paddle boards, kneeboards, snowboards, ballast bags and branded apparel. Archer enjoys watersports, golf, gardening and daily walks.
Robert serves on the Ashland YMCA Board of Trustees, the Huntington Bank Regional Advisory Board and the Ashland University Board of Trustees. He is involved in scholar-athlete and scholar musician scholarships in New London and Ashland, Ohio.
Archer and his wife Janet, of sixty years, have three children: Pamela, David and John, and seven grandchildren.
Tim Clegg, Founder and CEO, created Clegg Industries Inc, in 1987 and Americhip, Inc. in 2001. Tim developed his love for entrepreneurship while serving as the VP of Franchise Development for Smith & Associates, the largest independent U.S. distributor of integrated circuits.
After developing and marketing various LED and Sound Chip products, Tim realized that integrating microelectronics into print advertising offered enormous marketing possibilities. With a few thousand dollars in the bank, he started Clegg Industries in 1987. After producing various orders for Hollywood Studios, Tim moved to Los Angeles in 1989 and continued to build the business from a one person shop to over 150 employees throughout North Americhip, Europe, and Asia. In 2001, with the goal of integrating the best in paper and packaging engineering with microelectronics, Tim and his brothers started Americhip, Inc. With a strong business model, and talented designers and engineers, Americhip has grown into one of the nation’s leading developers and producers of multisensory, digital, and mobile marketing, advertising and in-store display products and technologies.
Tim spends most of his time sharing the Americhip vision with leading Fortune 500 brands across key vertical industries: automotive; pharmaceutical; retail; entertainment; tech; packaged goods; and with leading advertising agencies. Today, the four Clegg brothers, Tim, Kevin, John, and Jim, along with their niece Cait Clegg run Clegg Promo, Clegg POP Retail Display Technologies, and Americhip. After 25 years living and working in Los Angeles, Tim and his wife Sharise and their two children currently reside in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Tim holds a B.A. in Economics & Management from Albion College, Albion, Michigan.
As a renowned software business expert, Rangaswami participated in the rapid expansion of Silicon Valley tech-industry during his tenure as an executive at both large and small software companies. in 1977, he co-founded Sand Hill Group, one of the earliest "angel" investment firms. He has been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal as well as listed on the Forbes "Midas" list of investors and named as one of the 100 Influential Leaders by AACSB.
Watch M.R. Rangaswami, as he presents "The Nexus of Entrepreneurship, Mentorship and Philanthropy."
Since Solomon graduated in 1974 with a business administration degree, he has been involearly-stagey stage technology companies and emerging growth companies as an entrepreneur, investor, senior manager and board member. Early in his career, he was the youngest of Apple Computer's independent representative firms when Apple grew from $100 million to $1.4 billion in annual sales. In 1985, he became the vice president of sales and marketing with Aldus Corporation in Seattle, launching the desktop publishing industry through its PageMaker software. Solomon moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 1990, providing leadership to numerous ventures including Telocity, Flycast and eShop. In 2005, he served as CEO of Audyssey Laboratories of Los Angeles, a spin-off company of the University of South California, taking the business from inception to a successful audio licensing company whose customers include some of the worlds largest consumer electronics companies and automotive manufacturers. Solomon also conceived the company's first consumer audio product, The Audyssey Dock. In 2010, Solomon started his latest company, XYZ Color Science, Inc., which seeks to revolutionize the way color is displayed on all types of display devices. Solomon was named Kent State University’s first National Trustee in December 2011.
Through his involvement with the university, Solomon hopes to help students learn the best ways to approach business opportunities and the best ways to make a difference in the business world.