OUR TEAM


John Blackburn

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John has been an advisor in the municipal market for 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 a licensed Municipal Advisor maintaining a Series 50 license.

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


Lucas Janda

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Lucas Janda joined Live Oak Public Finance, LLC after serving as Chief Financial Officer for Leander ISD, where he lead an organization of more than 5,000 employees and managed a budget of more than $500 million.

Janda’s work in restructuring the LISD debt portfolio resulted in his earning recognition in 2018 as an Austin 40 under 40 finalist in Education. 

Live Oak hired Janda to bolster their relationships with schools, cities and counties and provide a deeper understanding of an issuer’s prospective of the debt issuance process.

Prior to his work at Leander ISD, Janda worked at Forney ISD where he helped the district avoid consolidation and restructure their debt portfolio.

Janda began his career as a school auditor in 1997 to help put himself through college. The Texas A&M graduate’s (2001) first bond deal as an issuer came in 2007 after he became the CFO for Stafford MSD. Over his career as a CFO Janda issued nearly $800,000,000 in bonds through new money, refundings and restructuring structures.

Janda is licensed through the MSRB as a Series 50 Municipal Advisor Representative.

In his free time Lucas enjoys hunting, bowling and spending time with his wife and three children.


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. 

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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 small and rural 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.  He is licensed through the Securities and Exchange Commission as a Series 50 Municipal Advisor Representative.  

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