Marge joined Gene in the chimney business in 1985. She is a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, NFI Certified Woodburning Specialist and trainer, and is a Missouri State Licensed Private Investigator. She is the president of HearthMasters, Inc. and Padgitt Forensic Investigations. Marge served on the board of directors for the National Chimney Sweep Guild, the Midwest Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association, and the Masonry Heater Association of North America. Padgitt served on the board of directors of the Midwest Chimney Safety Council from 1993 to 2019, and was president, newsletter editor, magazine editor, and served as webmaster for the association. Marge has spoken at over 200 meetings and conferences, and has created many presentations about business building, marketing, contracts, and technical applications. Marge has written over 200 articles for examiner.com, chimneys.com, SNEWS Magazine, SWEEPING, Magazine, Masonry Construction Magazine, the Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild Magazine, and her blog Wood-Fired Heating and Cooking and other publications. She is the author of The Chimney and Hearth Pro's Resource Book, The Lombardo Family History and Cookbook, and 14 books in different genres. Marge operates HearthMasters Publishing Company and publishes books by other authors as well as her own. She is a classical and jazz musician (bass), and studied music, theater, and business at CMSU, UMKC, and UMC. She is also one of the family genealogists. Marge is the owner and CEO of a radio network and podcast. Marge and Gene live in Kansas City Missouri with their cat, Patches.
Gene is a veteran chimney technician, chimney sweep, expert mason, and fire investigator. He is the vice president of HearthMasters, Inc. and Padgitt Forensic Investigations in Kansas City, Missouri. Gene specializes in masonry heater, brick oven, chimney, and fireplace construction with brick or stone, and diagnosing problems with gas and wood-fired appliances. Padgitt is a Missouri State Certified Private Fire Investigator, CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, NFI Certified Gas Technician, Certified Heater Mason, and has a degree in HVACR Technology. He studied photography at the Kansas City Art Institute. Gene investigates structural fires related to chimneys and heating appliances and serves as an expert witness for court cases. To date, he has completed over 300 fire investigations and over 60,000 chimney/fireplace inspections. He has co-authored books and articles, and has taught numerous classes for trade organizations such as the National Chimney Sweep Guild, the Midwest Chimney Safety Council, and for HearthMasters, Inc. Masonry School. Gene served on the board of directors for the MCSC for 20 years. Gene and Marge also own a real estate investment company and enjoy restoring older homes. Gene has been accused of being one of "those guys" who know how to do almost anything, but don't tell anyone.
Audrey Elder is an historic researcher and amateur homesteader. She co-owns Past to Present Research LLC, a small historic research company founded in 2010. Since beginning the company in 2010, Elder has written/co-written nearly fifty house and building histories, presented preservation education for over 19 organizations including the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office, the National Trails Conference and Daughters of the American Revolution.
Elder is author of Guide to Selling Historic Properties, and teaches continued education for Missouri and Kansas real estate agents. She also managed the Lela Owens Museum, birthplace of Ginger Rogers in Independence, Missouri.
Audrey founded Meaningful Living, a local sustainability organization in 2015. She is a passionate advocate for supporting local economies, historic and environmental preservation and conscious living. She publishes the Meaningful Living Newsletter.
Elder began writing as a child and continues to write and provide educational presentations. Her many memberships, committee memberships and board memberships include local historical societies, Missouri Preservation, Missouri Main Street, Oregon-California Trails Association, The Sierra Club and the Independence Missouri Rotary Club.
Elder lives in northwest Missouri with her husband Dan and several million honeybees.