A native of the capital district, Ben grew up in Schenectady and attended SUNY Albany, studying Music History, During and after his studies, he worked for Leonard Carlson learning all aspects of organbuilding, and with Walter Burr learning all aspects of harpsichord building. Shortly after moving to Syracuse in 1976 to continue his studies in Music History at Syracuse University, he met Robert Kerner, a fellow SU student.
Ben Merchant formed Kerner & Merchant Pipe Organ Builders with Robert Kerner in 1977. Ben has been a member of the American Institute of Organbuilders since 1991.
Ryan J Boyle
Ryan joined Kerner & Merchant in February of 2006 as a Tuner/Technician with the intent of learning all he could about organ building. Later he was promoted to project manager, and finally in 2012 to Vice President. Ryan worked for Lakeshore Organworks in Buffalo, New York before joining K&M. Prior to this, he studied Information Technology at RIT, Rochester, New York.
A. Hawley Arnold
Hawley joined the company in it‘s early years and never looked back. Hawley has been an integral part of the company, working diligently behind the scenes to ensure the company runs smoothly. A graduate of Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music, Hawley brings to the company a wealth of musical knowledge combined with management skills accumulated through many years with the company. Hawley is also the Organist & Choir Director at the United Methodist Church, Jordan, NY.
A native of Jordan, New York, Christopher has been working for us during breaks from school for many years. After studying Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, he decided to come work for Kerner & Merchant full time. Chris has in-depth knowledge and a wealth of experience with AutoCAD, SketchUp Pro, and other software packages which he applies to many of our organ projects large and small. Since beginning with us full time, he has also demonstrated a strong affinity to woodworking. Chris lives in bustling downtown Syracuse with his girlfriend Michelle.