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Changes at Brandon-based design-builder

BRANDON-Jack McKernon, founder and president of the McKernon Group has recently retired from the day-to-day operations of the company and will remain as chairman of the board of directors.

McKernon has made a significant presence in Vermont and New York, building quality homes and small businesses since 1987. He was involved in the complete restoration of the Howe Block in downtown Brandon which houses several commercial spaces including the well- known Caf Provence. He has had a longstanding commitment to environmentally safe systems and products and has been promoting and building "green" for many years.

As president, McKernon has established other businesses and subsidiaries of the McKernon Group: Huntington House Inn, Cotswold Furniture, Green Mountain Windows, Urethane Foam Operations, Vermont Woodland Cabinets and most recently, Green Earth Energy. He is currently involved in the renovation of three buildings at Park Village (former Brandon Training School) which were recently purchased from the State of Vermont.

Kevin Birchmore, McKernon's partner since the company's inception 25 years ago, has been elected to serve as incoming President. Kevin has overseen the operational aspects of building, and has gained the respect of clients and employees because of his knowledge of project management, fast build, and his conscientious approach toward the environment. Birchmore grew up in Vermont, and received his education locally. He is married to Lynda Birchmore and they have a son, Hunter. He is an avid golfer, has coached Little League, and enjoys boating and snowmobiling.

The McKernon Group is making some important changes. Recognizing the effect the economy has had on the building profession, Kevin is aware that new approaches are needed. He plans to make good use of the company's strengths in order to "build better for less".

Birchmore said that McKernon plans to be involved in small jobs as well as building the client's "home of choice". His plan is to make renovations and new build more affordable to the average homeowner by design, efficient construction and streamlining overhead costs. He will keep the current, well established high standards that he and McKernon have set up, and will continue to expand the energy efficient building systems that are currently in place.

Another area of expansion includes the potential training of personnel for historic preservation work. As a specialized division of the building industry, it requires skilled craftsmen and a commitment to renovating the landscape in a deliberate and responsible way.

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