Our Team


Ernie Cooper

Ernie Cooper was born in Vermont. He grew up on a dairy farm and became his grandfather’s shadow. It was from his grandfather’s influence that his interest in mechanics developed. As he grew up Ernie found life leading him into college where he did well but he couldn’t handle sitting in classes all day. In 1973 he married his high school sweetheart, left college, and started working for a landscape company. Ernie’s father-in-law owned a Heating and Cooling company and in the spring of 1974 he offered Ernie to join his company as an installer helper. Ernie has never looked back.

  • Fall of 1974 to spring of 1976 - vocational training-night school
  • Fall of 1982 - joined CMIS Inc. as lead mechanic
  • December 1990-passed Master Mechanical exam
  • July 1995 - founded Heart of America Service Company LLC with brother-in-law Eugene Rathjen
  • 2002 to present - has 136 hours of continuing education through Johnson County; it is required for a person to do continuing education in order to keep their Master rating current in their field.
    • Certified Diakin mini-split and VRF installer/service
    • Certified York heating and air conditioning installer/service
    • Licensed in 4 states and 50+ municipalities as Master Mechanic and/or Master Pipefitter

Gene Rathjen

Eugene Rathjen was born in rural Iowa. He attended college for two years at Muscatine Community College before transferring to Central Missouri State University. In college I pursued degrees in Math and Education with a minor in Geology and Psychology. He met and married my wife here in Kansas City in 1984. As college did little to prepare me for working in the heating and cooling industry, I have participated in continuing education both in the field and industry specific training.

  • July 1995 - founded Heart of America Service Company LLC with brother-in-law Ernie Cooper
  • August 2009 - completed Nordyne training in commercial refrigeration
  • November 2012 - passed Master Mechanical Exam
  • April 2018 - completed training in Variable Capacity Heat Pump Systems

Nathan Rathjen

Has been with Heart of America since July 2011. A lifelong Kansan and dedicated husband and father of 7. Nathan has specialized his heating and cooling knowledge in our residential branch. He holds a Master Mechanical since 2016 and is current on commercial and residential codes. This knowledge not only gives him that superior edge but it ultimately benefits our customers with peace of mind that when Nathan is on the job it is going to be done right.

Ivan Arroyo

Ivan has been with Heart of America since January 2014. A loving family man his work ethic is impeccable. Ivan has specialized in commercial remodels, residential and commercial duct work, and installations. He doesn’t leave a job until the work is done and done right.


John Wayman

John has been with Heart of America since April 2017. Family is top priority to John and he extends that to all our customers. His priority is to make sure that our customers are comfortable no matter if it is their home or their place of business. John is currently developing his skills in both residential and commercial service work.

Chi Dorsey

Chi has just begun his story with Heart of America. A loving husband and father of 3. He comes to us from the HVAC program at Johnson County Community College. He is currently in training with Nathan in the residential branch.