Our Team

John Blackburn


John has been an advisor in the municipal market since 2009 and has been able to serve the financing needs of many public school districts, hospital districts, counties, cities and other issuers throughout that time. His specialization with public schools is based around conducting and successfully passing bond elections and bond sales, in order to help issuers maintain the facilities they need to keep up with today’s ever-changing financial environment. John is a proud supporter, and product, of the Texas public school system. He was raised in Southlake, Texas and is the son of a third-grade teacher at Carroll ISD where as a youth he played football for the Dragons. John holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Texas A&M University with a minor in Business and has followed that education into the Municipal Finance industry. John is qualified as a Municipal Advisor Representative having passed the MSRB Series 50 examination and qualified as a Municipal Advisor Principal having passed the MSRB Series 54 examination.

In his free time John enjoys golfing, hunting, fishing and being everyone’s favorite backyard pitmaster.

Christian Merritt


Mr. Merritt has served as Financial Advisor to Cities, Counties, Water Districts and Hospital Districts across the state since 2011, but his real emphasis is on school districts. Merritt’s emphasis is on transparency and educating issuers, in everything from the bond process intricacies to the sale of the bonds and completion of construction.

In addition to being a Financial Advisor, Mr. Merritt volunteered full-time as a Field Service Agent for the Texas Rural Education Association (TREA). In that position, he traveled the state to help school districts with the unique issues they face and provides advice and resources to help address those needs. This has given Mr. Merritt great insight into the struggles of school districts; this role has also helps him connect with Superintendents, School Boards and voters.

Mr. Merritt earned a Bachelor in Business Administration in Finance from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Christian is qualified as a Municipal Advisor Representative having passed the MSRB Series 50 examination and qualified as a Municipal Advisor Principal having passed the MSRB Series 54 examination.

In his free time Christian enjoys hunting, fishing, playing Australian Rules Football and spending time with his wife, family and friends.

Why LiveOak

LiveOak was created with the firm belief that every financing completed would be for those we serve, and only for those we serve. To act on that mission, we strive to communicate all information that will ensure our clients have a firm grasp of their specific financings, as well as a full understanding of the entire process. We gain great satisfaction in growing the infrastructure of American municipal entities and take great pride in accomplishing each task to the complete satisfaction of those who partner with us.