About Us

Heartland Heating & Air Conditioning History

Heartland Heating & Air Conditioning - Our old signThe company was founded by Norman A. Williams in 1946 after he returned from serving in the U.S Navy during WWII. Originally known as Norman Williams Refrigeration, the company was operated as a small family-owned sales and service company for 25 years in downtown Murphysboro, Illinois. Eventually, the business changed its name to Williams Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. (WAC).

After attending Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Norman’s son, Ted Williams, joined the company in 1972. As the market for residential and commercial air-conditioning grew, so did the company. In 1985, the offices and sheet metal shop were relocated from downtown Murphysboro to their current locations. That same year Norman Williams retired and Ted Williams assumed the role of President and CEO.

Heartland Heating & Air Conditioning - Our buildingThe company experienced significant growth during the mid-1980’s and early 1990’s and, as operational space became a limiting factor to future growth, it was decided to move the residential division to a separate building. For several years, WAC operated with the separate divisions working out of different locations. In 1999, it was decided to incorporate the commercial division as a separate company, thus Heartland Mechanical Contractors, Inc. (HMC) was born.

As HMC continued to grow, Ted realized the need to narrow his focus in order to continue providing the quality of service HMC and WAC were known for. In 2005, Ted sold the residential arm of the company, WAC, so that each division could have its own team, each able to focus more directly on their customers. After a number of years of operating as completely independent companies, Williams Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. was brought back under the wing of Heartland Mechanical Contractors and re-branded as Heartland Heating & Air Conditioning in 2013.

Heartland Heating & Air Conditioning - Our building today!The Illinois Capital Development Board has awarded Heartland Mechanical Contractors, Inc. several achievement awards for their excellence on State of Illinois construction projects.  Heartland Mechanical Contractors, Inc. has completed projects for Southern Illinois Health Care, Southern Illinois University, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, V.A. Medical Center, Illinois Department of Corrections, Murphysboro High School, Bechtel Power, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State of Illinois Capital Development Board, and several other local general contractors and private businesses.

A Solid Staff, A Solid Reputation

Ted Williams

Owner / President
A Southern Illinois University graduate, Ted has more than 40 years of experience in the HVAC business and is a native of Southern Illinois. He says, “When you live and work in the same community all your life, your personal reputation and integrity, and that of your business, become one in the same. Both are of utmost importance.” Ted Williams has been the President and CEO of Heartland Mechanical Contractors, Inc. since its incorporation and owns 100% of the company stock.

Angela Barke

VP of Operations
Angela is a Southern Illinois native and the daughter of President, Ted Williams. Angela worked in Commercial Banking for 12 years but recently decided to join the HMC team to become a third-generation owner. She brings a great deal of management, strategic planning and customer service skills to the company. Angela resides in Carbondale with her husband Rhett and daughter Courtlyn.

Marc Cohen

Residential Manager
Marc was born and raised in Illinois. Originally a native of the Chicagoland area. After migrating to Southern Illinois in 1986 to attend Southern Illinois University, he now calls southern Illinois home. Marc, his wife, and 2 sons are all huge Saluki fans! He joined the Heartland team in 2016 to help ensure our clients receive the personal attention each project deserves.

Lupé Lopez

Lupé has spent 25 years as a Service Technician. Ten of those years spent as an Instructor in the evenings teaching Basic Electricity to Advanced Refrigeration & AC Principles. He is a published author, and enjoys writing fiction in his spare time. Lupé manages the Service Department. He keeps the office running smoothly by coordinating with our Service Technicians as well as scheduling and super-fun paperwork.

Carrie Dierks

Office Manager
Carrie is the Office Manager and Accounting Supervisor for Heartland Mechanical Contractors. She has been in the accounting field for 30 years and has been part of the Heartland team for the last 12. She is a Southern Illinois native; currently lives in Steeleville with her husband Alan and dog Molly. Although she does have an appreciation for quilting and spending time at their family cabin, what she enjoys most is spending time with her 5 grandkids.


Dale Rudloff

Project Manager

Craig Hostetler

Commercial Estimator

Karl Hartung

Shop Foreman

Jim Holan



Jake Flare

Installation Technician

Bob Ellet

Installation Technician

Dave Slack

Installation Technician

Harley Hand

Service Technician

Ryan Rudloff

Service Technician

Rowdy Zesati

Service Technician

In the Community

Heartland Heating & Air Conditioning and Heartland Mechanical Contractors have always been, and will always be local and community-focused companies. We pride ourselves on giving back. Click the individual logos below to learn more about the organizations we support.