I made a new connection for a potential job offer, and let's say is name is Dr. John Smith (he has a PhD). He refers to himself, and others refer to him, as "Dr. John Smith" on his website, blog, and LinkedIn. I made the connection through his son, who is my recent roommate, thus I contacted him to inquire about his job opportunities. We've emailed back and forth 1-2 times, and I always address him as "Hi Dr. Smith, ...etc...", but he does not sign his emails with any name. Thus, out of respect, I've continued to address him as "Dr. Smith".
Those who know him refer to him as "John", and in this case, my roommate, obviously calls him "Dad". However, we are planning to meet in person, and I am still referring to him as "Dr. Smith" through email. Will this be awkward, especially if I am with my roommate and "Dr. John Smith" at the same time? I think it would be more comfortable to call him "John", but he has not given me permission nor signed his emails with any name whatsoever*.
In my experience with meeting PhD holders, I've respectfully addressed them with the "Dr." title, and they usually tell me to address them by their first name, or they sign their emails with their first name. In this case, I have not received either, but can I refer to him as "John" instead of "Dr. Smith"?
*NOTE: Once, he ended his email with a "j" (most likely it was a "j" for "John", but it was subtle and there was no closing salutation).