FIREWORKS for the Fourth of July, sure. But what about a company picnic, employee appreciation banquet or corporate logo reveal? Yes. Yes. And yes, says Randy Beckham, president and founder of Pyrotex.

Pyrotex, based in Leonard, is a firework display company that shoots indoor and outdoor fireworks for special events and corporate meetings. "We tailor the firework displays to the space and venue limitations, and to our client’s expectations," Beckham says.

Beckham founded Pyrotex in 1979 when the multimedia production company he worked for folded. "I was on vacation when it went out of business," he says, adding that he quickly decided to form his own company and take on his former employer’s clients. "I made my company’s first sale from a hotel room," he says. "It was for a Bee Gees tour."

Over the years, Beckham’s fledgling company grew from a party of one to a company employing a fourperson management team and 62 pyrotechnicians.

Although his early years in the pyro business revolved around concerts (including David Bowie, Styx, The Commodores and ZZ Top), Beckham set out to woo the meetings and events market, too.

To do that, he paid attention to meeting planners’ needs with one goal in mind: to make the planner look good. With $5 million in liability insurance per occurrence "and all our fingers," Pyrotex plans fireworks displays down to the tiniest detail.

"We do the planning with everything in the room," Beckham says. "We gauge distance from scenery, props, audience stage, ceiling-all for safety. If it’s not safe, we’re not going to shoot."

Oh, and the next time you’re searching for a classic movie? Check out Leap of Faith, starring Steve Martin. Naturally, there’s a big fireworks scene, and a glimpse of Beckham at Martin’s feet, making the magic happen.

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