John McKown

Owner, Mentor

Greetings! My life over the past 20 some years has definitely been interesting. I was blessed to have two jobs that I loved with Live! Technologies and the Columbus Crew Stadium. Live! took me places and into churches and venues all over the central & eastern half of the United States. From large to small I treated them all the same, with the respect that they deserve. I also worked at New Era Technologies until the pandemic occurred as a Systems Integration Design Engineer. Serving on a church tech team is an honor and privilege. My wish is to mentor, teach and help propel audio technicians and other worship techs into success. I have engineered audio in several churches and have worked with bands such as Reliant K, Delirious, Disciple, 21 Pilots, Charlie Daniels and many more.

I am married with two children and two grandchildren. I moved to central Ohio from Southern Illinois in the 80s and have enjoyed living here all this time. I attended Southern Illinois University and studied Civil Engineering. I have worked on construction, maintained a National drugstore chain and then moving into the audio, video and stage lighting industry for over 24 years. In the 20 years I’ve worked with Mark Merchant whom I have learned a vast amount of knowledge. Mark taught me the approach of “do the right thing, be absolutely sure, test everything and know that you made a difference today” I ask, “what else is there?”

Mark Merchant

Mentor

Hi. My name is Mark Merchant. I am currently employed as Senior Audio Engineer for New Era Technologies in Columbus, Ohio. I live in Dublin, Ohio with my wife and have a grown son that lives close by. I was always interested in electronics, sound, and music; however, I learned early on that I could not master a musical instrument. So, the best way I could apply my interest was in the area of sound reinforcement.

In high school I rented sound equipment for a band (that I often returned broken). Dave Mead, owner of Sound Advocate hired me after graduation because he needed “someone to fix the stuff that you broke”. Simultaneously I went to OSU and studied electrical engineering. During my time in college, I got more involved in doing live shows. I have been fortunate to mix many groups through the years. I was blessed to have the opportunity to work with the Christian rock band White Heart. I first started out as their monitor engineer and remained house engineer for many years.

While working with Live Technologies in Columbus. I have designed sound systems for events in the Super Dome, Georgia Dome, Reliant Stadium, Alamo Dome, Ford Field, Lucas Oil Stadium, OSU Stadium, Yale Stadium, and countless arenas. I continue to design and installed sound systems for permanent installations. John McKown and I have worked on several of these installations together including work for TD Jakes in Dallas, Bishop Loves church in New Orleans. In Columbus, we were both involved in repair and maintenance at The OSU Stadium Crew Stadium, Schottenstein Arena and also enjoyed putting our talents to work in many local churches and theaters around Columbus.