A Brief Biography for Niles Mackrell
I was born in the plush farm lands just north of Pittsburgh, PA. The vast forested area of rolling hills gave me ample opportunities for camping, fishing, skiing and most importantly, biking.
At an early age, I developed a strong interest in the local history. Colonial armies, including one lead by George Washington, waged several battles throughout the area during the French and Indian Wars (1754–1763). In fact a young Mr. Washington was nearly shot by a Native American in an area near my home. Tromping through the forest on a survey mission, George had stopped to rest and carelessly left his long gun leaning against a tree. The native crept up, seized the gun and took aim at George. Fortunately, the native was not skilled with "modern" firearms. Or perhaps the gun was not accurate. Whatever the case, the native missed and George lived to tell about it.
When I was five, I discovered an aptitude for music. All my family is musical and it is only natural that I would have an ability as well. I studied piano, pop and classic pipe organ and sang in various choirs. At fifteen, I enrolled in an acting workshop and discovered another passion - acting! Although my career has been limited to local and regional stage acting, I am energetically involved to this day. Blending my aptitude for acting with my interest in all things historical, I recreate historical characters for Viking Festivals and Renaissance Fairs.
Following high school, I enrolled at Thiel College in Greenville, PA where I studied sociology and received only mediocre grades. Seeking a greater challenge, I changed my major to Philosophy and received straight A's. The faculty said that my graduating thesis was the best they had ever received.
To be honest, my real interest in college was a rock band that we formed my freshman year. "Air Canada" became a popular band for fraternity parties, high school functions, clubs and regional concerts. We played throughout the tri-state area with excursions into West Virginia, Ohio and as far south as North Carolina.
However, reality eventually caught up with me and I decided to strike out for a real job. After a few years in the restaurant industry and a year in insurance, I moved to Tucson, Arizona to engage in corporate sales. Eventually, I wandered over to California where my sales career flourished.
But I discovered that my real passion was not in sales; it was in product development and marketing. One of my clients hired me as their Marketing Director in 1992. I have been creating marketing programs and products since that day.