College of Business Administration Announces Robert Archer as Michael D. Solomon Entrepreneurship Speaker for Fall Semester

Bob ArcherThe Kent State College of Business Administration announces Robert (Bob) M. Archer MBA ’61 as the guest speaker for the Fall 2017 Michael D. Solomon Entrepreneurship Speaker Series. Archer is a ’61 MBA alumnus of the College of Business Administration.

Presented by the College of Business Administration’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation, the event will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 8 at the Kent State University Hotel & Conference Center.

Archer is 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 Sports/Hydroslide, Arbor Collective and Aqua Sports (Houjie, China). During his talk, Archer will present, “The History and Evolution of Kent Watersports.”

Kent Watersports was purchased from Brown Group International 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 sells 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.

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 University College of Business Administration alumnus Michael D. Solomon.

The event is free and open to the public.

Register for the Michael D. Solomon Speaker Series

About Kent State University’s College of Business Administration Kent State University’s College of Business Administration is among the fewer than 1 percent of business schools worldwide to obtain dual Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation in both business and accounting. The college enrolls more than 4,000 students and boasts 10 undergraduate majors, 13 minors and a Professional Sales Certificate program; master’s degrees in accounting, business administration (Master of Business Administration and Executive Master of Business Administration), business analytics and economics; as well as a Ph.D. program with concentrations in accounting, finance, information systems, management and marketing. 

Kent State’s College of Business Administration ranked among the top 100 public business undergraduate programs in the U.S. in the recent 2018 U.S. News & World Report ranking and 45th among the top undergraduate business schools in the U.S. in 2016 by Bloomberg Businessweek based on an employer survey of how well schools prepared students for jobs. In addition, the college is ranked as one of the nation’s Best Business Schools by Princeton Review and Tier One for both Master of Business Administration and Executive Master of Business Administration programs in North America by CEO Magazine. The college is committed to sustainability as a Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) advanced signatory and is recognized by the Sales Education Foundation as a top university for professional sales education.

For more information about the Kent State College of Business Administration, visit

Media Contacts: Joni Bowen,, 330-672-1279