Charlotte Stowe and Christy Stern were raised on recruiting. The two sisters grew up with Houston human resources pioneer, Ken Kern, for a father. After witnessing the successful executive search company Kenneth C. Kern and Associates throughout their childhood, they were both drawn to the business. Now, decades later, they have transformed the company into a boutique firm with a focus on personalized service and prompt results.


Our independent structure allows us to customize each search according to our client’s needs. We have worked with businesses of all sizes, across many industries and titles and have the ability to create a wide array of packages. We work with other specialized consultants, if needed, to provide the best service in the industry. 


We love local! Charlotte and Christy both have a strong community ties and Houston pride – both are UH graduates and volunteers with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. However, they have developed a vast network through many years of recruiting and are able to successfully source regional and national talent, as well. 


The company still values our heritage of quality, integrity and confidentiality while utilizing advanced recruiting practices. By blending tradition with a modern approach, Charlotte and Christy have brought Kern Search to a new level of sourcing, connecting and recruiting. 

Charlotte Stowe
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Charlotte is the Managing Director and Recruitment Leader at Kern Search. She is active with all accounts, lending her expertise, energy and enthusiasm to each and every project. She is known for her effective communication and has many long-term relationships with clients that extend well beyond a decade. Charlotte has been recruiting since 1990 and took over the day-to-day operations of the company in 2007. She guides the business with a thorough understanding of the complex market and various disciplines with quality as her foundation. Charlotte received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business from the University of Houston in 1986 and became a Certified Personnel Consultant in 1993. 

Christy Stern
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Christy is an executive recruiter and a career strategist. Her background in the energy industry and 15 years in the search business enable her to easily connect with both candidates and hiring managers. She enjoys both writing and speaking about current hiring trends, career strategies, resume formatting, LinkedIn profiles, personal branding and interview preparation. Christy has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Loyola University in New Orleans and an MBA from the University of Houston. She is also a certified professional coach.

Our Founder ~ Ken Kern

Ken Kern founded Kenneth C. Kern & Associates in 1968 and went on to become a pioneer in Houston’s human resources industry. The firm began as a sole proprietorship and steadily grew into a staff of highly trained and experienced recruiting professionals.


Ken, made a lifetime commitment to the executive search industry. He is highly respected for not only his success but his philosophy of creating long-term relationships. His genuine interest in his clients and their resulting success is evidenced by his enduring client relationships, many of which span more than 40 years.


A graduate of Milby High School in Houston’s East End, Ken received BBA and MBA degrees from the University of Houston and served as a Captain in the US Army. Ken is a devoted “Coogs,” football fan, having followed the team since 1956.


Ken has held numerous leadership positions at his church, including Elder, Deacon, youth volunteer and has participated in local outreaches and mission trips. He has also served on the boards of several professional and charitable organizations.


Ken is now retired and spends his days enjoying his family time including hunting, fishing and spending time at the 2K Ranch in East Texas.