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.

Nickole Kerner Bobley describes her childhood in The Woodlands as charmed. Summer days were spent exploring the community just north of Houston. One of her favorite activities was watching the installation of The Woodlands’ iconic public art. She and her friends would sit in awe, perched on their bikes, as the giant cranes carefully positioned the sculptures in place. It had a lasting impact on her. “I attribute my adult love of art to where I lived,” she notes.

 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better champion of Amarillo than Hope Stokes, director of brand management for the Amarillo Convention & Visitor Council. Born and raised in the Texas Panhandle city, she graduated from nearby West Texas A&M University and her first job in the tourism industry was as an intern at the council. Stokes shared with us her love of her hometown.

What is your favorite thing about marketing Amarillo?

 

Texas is bursting with history.  Ever  wonder how the authenticity and legacy of those landmarks are maintained and upheld for everyone to enjoy? It’s thanks to individuals like Pamela Jary Rosser, Alamo conservator. A ninth generation Texan, Rosser was born in San Antonio and has a degree in fine arts and art history. She studied conservation in Italy with a team that worked on the Sistine Chapel, as well as Mission Concepcion and Mission San Jose. Rosser was kind enough to share her passion for history with us.