Empire Comfort Systems Wins BBB TORCH Award

St. Louis, Mo., August 27, 2014 –Empire Comfort Systems Inc. of Belleville, Ill., is among 10 businesses and two charities who will receive TORCH Awards from Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois at noon Tuesday, Oct. 14, at the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis.

Empire Comfort Systems traces its origins to a small sheet metal shop in Belleville opened in 1911 by Henry Bauer, a German immigrant who sold gas, coal and wood-fired furnaces before developing a furnace of his own design in 1919.

Today’s president, Nick Bauer, is Henry’s great grandson. The company makes a wide variety of gas heaters, gas logs, fireplace inserts, and, most recently, Broilmaster gas grills. The company has two factories in Belleville and employs approximately 300 people.

Although Empire doesn’t sell its products directly to consumers, it does field calls from consumers and installers and sells parts for products going back as far as 1966.

“If we get a phone call, we’re going to take care of it,” Bauer said.

Businesses and charities who apply for the TORCH Awards are evaluated for their commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices. A committee of previous winners chooses the award winners.

This year’s TORCH Awards features Mark Whitacre, once a rising star at Archer Daniels Midland who became an internationally known whistleblower on the company’s price-fixing practices. Whitacre, whose story was the basis for the movie, The Informant, has found his way back into business and is in high demand as a motivational speaker.

KMOV News Anchor Steve Savard will emcee the event.

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