Bob Archer Joins College of Business Administration National Advisory Board

KENT, Ohio – The Kent State University College of Business Administration’s National Advisory Board welcomes Bob Archer ’61, Board Chairman of Kent Watersports.

Archer is Board Chairman 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 Watersports 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 Watersports has acquired 35 companies and divested only three. The company makes and sell more life jackets than any other manufacturer in the world. The companies also sell water skis, wake boards, wake surfers, recreational water inflated water tubes, ropes, stand-up paddle boards, knee boards, snow boards, ballast bags and branded apparel.

Archer 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 was the featured Michael D. Solomon Entrepreneurship Speaker in Fall 2017, an endowed speaker series in the Kent State College of Business Administration that features successful entrepreneurs.

The Kent State College of Business Administration’s National Advisory Board is comprised of prominent College of Business Administration alumni and corporate partners throughout the United States. The board provides an external point of view and resources to connect with important constituencies for expertise, financial support and information.

“I am delighted to welcome Bob Archer to the College of Business Administration’s National Advisory Board,” said Deborah F. Spake, Ph.D., dean of the college. “Bob’s experience as a successful entrepreneur provides a valuable perspective that will benefit the college and our entrepreneurship program.”

For more information on the National Advisory Board, visit the College of Business Administration’s National Advisory Board website at


Media Contact:

Joni Bowen, Marketing Communications Manager, (330) 672-1279, cell: (330) 221-0637,


POSTED: Friday, September 25, 2020 - 11:02am
UPDATED: Friday, September 25, 2020 - 12:23pm