Longtime Empire Comfort Systems sales representative Al Bradtke passed away on April 25, 2012, at the age of 98. Bradtke served as a Navy Seabee during World War II. He worked for Whirlpool for more than 18 years before striking out on his own, as an independent sales representative, in 1983.
The Bradtke Sales Agency represented Empire for more than 15 years and was instrumental in carving out a market for Empire’s vent-free heaters in the Southeast. Empire initially imported ventfree heaters from Spain, under the brand name Corcho. Bradtke’s strong advocacy of the then-new technology earned him the nickname Mr. Corcho, which stuck with him long after Empire began making vent-free products domestically under its own Empire Heating Systems brand. Bradtke was truly a selling legend in the heater industry.