Queens Gazette

David Archer, Marketing Guru, Dies

David L. Archer

David L. Archer

David L. Archer, a public relations and mar­keting expert who helped organize and promote the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Races for many years, died from cancer while surrounded by fam­ily members in his upstate New York home on November 20, 2023.

A lover of Jazz, art, cooking, gardening, and radio, Archer was a true visionary who produced countless live events and worked with countless arts venues and groups throughout his lifetime.

The Dragon Boat Festival, which takes places over an entire weekend in Flushing Meadows Co­rona Park every summer, and the Queens World Film Festival were among his local causes. He also worked with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Ornette Coleman, The Hudson House & Distillery, Paramount Center for the Arts, Historic Hudson Valley, Ban­nerman Castle Trust, Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Peking Opera, and the Robbie Burns Supper.

Archer was born to Leonard and Thelma Bishop Archer in Presque Isle, Maine, on Dec. 11, 1948. He was still a teenager when he launched his DJ career with a radio show on WEGP. He left Maine to attend Emerson College in Boston, where he majored in mass communications and met Randy Harrison. In the 1970s and 1980s, the partners produced stage events and concerts at the Modern Theatre, an old cinema-vaudeville space in Boston that they also renovated.

In 1989, Archer moved to Woodstock, Vermont, where he met Vermont Law School student Diane Magnusson. They got married in 1990. While in the Green Mountain State, Archer was the managing director of Burlington’s Memorial Auditorium, turning the run-down, 2,600-seat venue into a dynamic hub that hosted performances by such legends as George Carlin, Joan Baez, Jethro Tull, and Tito Puente, as well as professional wrestling, Golden Gloves boxing, circuses, Sesame Street Live, and Nickelodeon.

Twenty-eight years ago, Archer and his family moved to Hopewell Junction in New York’s Hudson Valley, where he continued to work in brand management, public relations, marketing, and event or­ganization via his company DA Associates PR.

He is survived by his wife, son Matthew Behr, daughter-in-law Sami Behr, granddaughter Zinnia Behr, brother-in-law Steven Rosario, sister-in-law Linda Magnusson-Rosario, and siblings Nick Archer, Bruce Archer, Carla Masters, Lisa Archer, and their children and grandchildren.

A memorial service is planned for the first weekend in December.

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