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Newschool Builders - Waitsfield, Vermont - The Team

Mission Statement

Newschool Builders is a custom residential building company dedicated to providing sustainable, high quality construction services. Innovative design, local and regional knowledge, active project management, and time-honored building practices gives us a reputation that upholds our name. The blend of old school fundamentals and newschool vision is alive in all of our work.

Blake Hackerson

Principal

Blake started swinging a hammer at the age of 16 for a friend’s father while in high school. Mastering this trade has been his singleness of purpose ever since. Blake graduated high school early and immersed himself fully in Vermont’s residential construction industry. In the early 2000’s, Blake capitalized on professional opportunities in Western Massachusetts. In addition to refining his craft, while in Massachusetts he also passed the challenging Construction Supervisor’s Exam and secured his unrestricted building license at the age of 22. He remains one of the youngest builders to achieve this certification in Massachusetts.

In keeping with the theme of continued development, Blake returned to Vermont for a project management opportunity with a large spec home contracting company. The experience gained in those years, and the mounting passion for quality workmanship, motivated Blake to return to his roots in the highly demanding and rewarding field of custom home building and remodeling. Newschool Builders was born. Blake has played an active roll from the beginning of Newschool Builders. It’s not uncommon to see him on site working through an issue with an architect or subcontractor, or mentoring a member of his highly skilled team. Blake is deeply engaged in each project, from beginning to completion, which insures the client’s experience and his team’s workmanship holds true to his rigorous standards.

Blake spends most of his free time outdoors. He has chased fish with a fly rod extensively in the US as well as internationally. In the fall you can usually find him in a tree stand, tucked away in a remote part of the New England whitetail woods, or chasing elk across Montana’s vast wilderness. In the snowy winter months, Blake has been known to declare the occasional company powder day.

Blake Hackerson

Nate Thomas

Operations

Nate’s background is in engineering with a concentration on process development and data driven decision making. Before work with Newschool Builders, he managed large manufacturing facility build outs and new commercial construction projects. Blake and Nate have worked closely together for years in the active development of the Newschool Builders organization. Many of the processes and systems we employ today are a result of Blake and Nate’s work together. This dedication to process improvement has resulted in our organization’s industry leading client experience and tightly managed project execution. When not working with our organization, Nate is either training with his military unit or riding his horse.

Nate Thomas

Pat McHugh

Site Manager and Lead Carpenter

Pat Has been in the building trades since 2003 and had the privilege of working with some of the best craftsmen in the Mad River Valley. His experience in all aspects of fine homebuilding allows for a comprehensive understanding of a wide variety of projects. You’ll see this in his framing as much as his trim work. Pat has become a great leader for our team.

Pat was born and raised in the Mad River Valley. After attending Endicott College in Beverly, MA, he moved back to Vermont to start his family. Pat has a more broad base of experience than most carpenters, and brings a well rounded knowledge base to our team. Pat is our go to team member when it comes to complex framing challenges. He is also uniquely capable of handling fringe discipline work such as audio, video, and low voltage lighting systems.

In 2001, Pat was ordained as a minister. He has a passion for serving his community and has traveled extensively using his talents to benefit others both domestically and abroad. In his free time Pat can be found playing/writing music with his wife Alison or coaching his children’s sports teams.

Pat McHugh

Andrew Nelson

Site Manager and Lead Carpenter

Andrew was born and raised in Chittenden County where he has been immersed in high-end residential remodeling since he was 15, learning the trade from his father during summers and school breaks. After an education in the Humanities at the University of Vermont, Andrew devoted himself to the trades full-time, including spending a number of years in San Francisco doing construction management and historical preservation work before settling back down in Vermont.

While a remodelers skill set must be wide-ranging Andrew excels as a finish carpenter, where equal demands of quality, efficiency, and professionalism bring out his best work. He thrives working in an atmosphere where more is expected of the building trades and 'high-performance' applies not just to a building's envelope but also to the labor of building it. Newschool Builders was a natural fit.

When not at work Andrew can reliably be found mountain biking, snowboarding, or reading literature in translation.

Andrew Nelson

Tanner Revoir

Site Manager and Lead Carpenter

From an early age, Tanner began appreciating the fruits of hard work. He was raised in a home built by his father and remembers watching the process unfold around him. This experience had a lasting impression on him; a theme that would return in 2012 in the form of a carpentry career with Newschool Builders.

After spending several years in Alaska and earning his college degree, Tanner and his fiancé headed back home to the east coast to start their family together. After returning from Alaska, Tanner joined the Newschool Builders team as a carpenter. Growing in knowledge and experience, he decided to GC his own personal timber frame home construction in Moretown, VT. This experience opened a door for Tanner with our company, and since, he has proven himself to be one of our most productive site managers. In his free time, Tanner enjoys the pursuit of fine woodworking in his personal shop.

Tanner Revoir

Mark Austin

Lead Carpenter

Mark is a seventh generation Vermonter who has worn many hats over the years. After stints as a record store manager, professional fly tier and bicycle mechanic/repair shop owner, Mark decided to give carpentry a try.

 

Twenty-seven years later he still enjoys the challenges that building custom homes presents. "From small renovations to grand new homes, each project has its own intricacies. That’s the most interesting part for me." Says Mark. We are extremely grateful to have such a master craftsman amongst our ranks.

When not swinging a hammer, Mark enjoys attending concerts with his wife Jackie. He also collects and listens to vinyl LPs and has recently started building guitars.

Mark Austin

Steve Bell

Lead Carpenter

Steve started off in the building industry at the age of 17. His first day on the job was 02/09/1978. He had the privilege of working for a custom builder that had been in business for 50 years. They worked for a host of high end clients in Howard County, MD.

In 1980-81 Steve moved to Vermont to ski. He was thankful to discover a thriving local building scene. Not long after he met his lovely wife and started a family.

Most of his time in the business has been spent in the Mad River Valley. Steve is well versed and comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience gained from working for many of the local builders and architects in various capacities over the years.

Steve spends his free time playing guitar, hunting whitetail, fishing, and working on his home brew setup. If he could choose anything to do, it would be framing houses in the summertime in VT. "Hard to beat!" says Steve.

Clinton Harrison

Justin Hart

Lead Carpenter

Justin brings a diverse background to our team. Originally from Moretown, Vermont - Justin attended the prestigious Green Mountain Valley School and raced competitively for many years. He went on to become an All American ski racer at the University of Vermont.

Justin has been in the custom residential building business for the past 20 years. Taking breaks intermittently to travel West, Justin instructed ski racing and worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska, before moving to Jackson Hole to work on large residential build outs.

He has returned home with a renewed interest in building and creating. We are very pleased to have him on our team.

 

In his free time Justin is a woodturner, bluegrass banjo player and general creative. Being a natural athlete, he is also an avid skier, mountain biker, and explorer.

Justin Hart

Kurt Reinecke

Lead Carpenter

Kurt is a one in a million find. A career carpenter with a wealth of knowledge and an understanding gleaned through years of experience, as well as just being a fantastic all around great person. He grew up in Montpelier, always pulling things apart to see what makes them tick. Most of the time they got put back together.

Kurt got his first taste of carpentry in high school, helping to build a post and beam barn. After attending UVM, he decided to take some time for skiing and construction was a natural fit the rest of the year. Years went by instructing, and patrolling and working with various construction outfits.

Thirty some-odd years later (“already?!” says Kurt) Kurt bumped into Blake, and was immediately intrigued by Newschool Builder’s approach and Philosophy. We are lucky and excited to have Kurt as a part of our team.

Kurt Reinecke

Geoff Wade

Lead Carpenter

Geoff was first introduced to woodworking while in high school. Since that time he has either held a position as a carpenter, or worked in a wood shop. Geoff worked for a prominent custom home builder in the Mad River Valley for well over a decade both working in the field and running a custom millwork shop. Geoff brings an unparalleled skillset forged through years of experience working on highly detailed projects as a career carpenter and master craftsman. We are very excited to have Geoff working with NSB. Geoff spends most of his time when not working either coaching nordic skiing, mountain biking or ripping turns up at one of our awesome mountains.

Geoff Wade

Robert Flemings

Project Manager

Robert is a native Vermonter. Having grown up in the Champlain Valley, Robert has a deep appreciation and love for this beautiful state. Robert has spent most of his career in the building trades. He ran his own construction company for several years before the recession hit. During that tumultuous time in the industry, Robert switched paths and moved into the corporate world, working in management for a large Home Improvement Center. During that time he was trained to be a leader and to multi task with a high degree of efficiency. After gaining invaluable experience working in that environment he longed to get back in to the building trades, and moved to North Carolina to accept a position as a Project Manager for a large Custom Homebuilding Contractor.

In 2018 Robert moved back to Vermont with his wife to be closer to their children. We were fortunate enough to hire Robert on, and he has proved to be a valuable resource and is mostly used a a designated project manager helping to close out projects, manage trailing work and help facilitate mobilizing new projects Robert is an avid outdoorsmen and spends a lot of time in the woods of Vermont and Maine. He is also an experienced cedar strip canoe builder and loves to work on various woodworking projects in his free time.

Robert Flemings

Ian Bowmer

Carpenter

As a kid born and raised in rural Vermont you have to be creative when it comes to entertainment. From an early age building seemed to be a part of Ian’s life, whether it was building bike jumps, tree forts or helping his father build several boats and a small cabin, working with his hands has been a constant. Throughout the years carpentry has been a way for Ian to support himself both financially and creatively. After graduating from Montana State college and traveling throughout much of the states, Ian returned to live in Vermont and take up a full time career in the trades. Apart from work, Ian spends most of his free time in the mountains and waters of Vermont.

Ian Bowmer

Tom Grady

Carpenter

Tom grew up in the central Vermont, where working hard was a way of life. From an early age he would work with his father during summer vacations, who at the time was a Foreman for a high end residential construction company out of Woodstock Vermont. Tom started off pushing a broom and cleaning at age 10. He observed carpenters and got a feel of how a jobsite operated. Tom progressively starting doing more the longer he stuck around. After finishing high school, Tom went to work for a commercial construction company where he gained a lot of valuable skills and was exposed to varying construction methods.

   

Aside from work, Tom loves to be outdoors, fishing, hiking, rocking climbing and of course, riding his dirtbike.

Tom Grady

Clinton Harrison

Carpenter

A Mad River Valley native, Clinton has spent many years honing his passion for craftsmanship and fine art. Before attending the University of Arizona to study Geography and Regional Development minoring in Fine Art, Clinton dedicated himself to the trades. After High school he dreamed of the west and decided to move to Montana. There he was exposed to high levels of skilled carpenters, timber framers, and masons working on estates in the Yellowstone Club and Spanish Peaks of Big Sky country.

After several years Clinton decided he wanted to further his education and broaden his skillset to further develop his career and passion for the trades. At Arizona, Clinton had the opportunity to build his skills in various disciplines and media, including metal casting, welding, fabrication, cartography and design.

Since moving back to Vermont in 2013, Clinton has pursued a career in carpentry working in custom cabinetry shops and remodeling fine homes in Stowe and the Mad River Valley. Clinton is proud to be a member of the Newschool Builders team where he can continue to grow his skillset and work with other highly skilled, motivated craftsmen. He prides himself on his creativity, attention to detail and problem-solving skills. He loves the collaborative process of home building and puts his heart behind his work.

When not on the clock Clinton loves exploring the mountains and rivers Vermont has to offer. He also enjoys photography, snowboarding, playing music and cooking with his family and friends.

Clinton Harrison

Chris Nowinski

Carpenter

Chris grew up in NW Connecticut and started working with his father who taught him the fundamentals of building. From age 13, Chris worked with him on and off in Greenwich CT and all around Litchfield county working on high end renovations and carpentry projects.

In addition to honing in his carpentry skills, over the years Chris has worked in various fields such as skate/snowboard/bike tech and instructor, furniture building, and at a local newspaper.

Chris moved back to Vermont in 2012 because he knew it was where he wanted to establish a permanent life/career. We are fortunate enough to have him on our crew and you will be hard pressed to find anyone with a better attitude and a constant smile.

When Chris isn’t working he actively participates in ; Snowboarding, Mountain Biking, Hiking , Playing music, Woodworking and Photography.

Chris Nowinski

Travis Valway

Carpenter

Growing up with his father as a builder, the trades were impressed on Travis from a young age. He has worked with a variety of high end builders over the years, including his father, and has been a sponge for knowledge along the way. Travis loves working with his team here at NSB and is always looking for opportunities to grow and develop both personally as well as professionally. Outside of work, Travis enjoys everything Vermont has to offer including water sports on the lake in the summer time and going for hikes or sledding with his daughter in the winter months.

Travis Valway