From Super Bowl to Beyonce tour, Pyrotecnico marks busy ’23

Some New Year resolutions are straightforward. Read more books, drink more water, take more walks.

Some are more complicated — lose weight, quit smoking, mend a broken relationship.

Others, though, seem downright impossible

Coordinate pyrotechnics for the Super Bowl halftime show. Travel around the world with Beyonce’s Renaissance World Tour. Create a fireworks display for the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix race.

Impossible, unless of course you’re Stephen Vitale, president and CEO of Union Township’s Pyrotecnico.

“Sometimes you have to pinch yourself,” said Vitale, who joined the events company full-time in 1988, after getting his start at Pyrotecnico loading and unloading trucks, cutting grass and painting buildings as a teenager.

Since taking the helm, Vitale transformed the family business into a full-service production company with three groups — Pyrotecnico, which focuses on traditional fireworks displays for regional events; PyrotecnicoFX, which specializes primarily in sporting events and live music; and Live Events, which deals in sound and video production.

This year, all three branches kept busy just three years after the world’s entertainment industry came to an abrupt pandemic-fueled halt.

In 2023, Pyrotecnico worked the Super Bowl halftime show, the Vegas Formula 1 race — the company’s largest fireworks display to date — and music tours by Beyonce, The Weeknd, Post Malone, Morgan Wallen, The Killers and Carrie Underwood.

“When I talk to my brother (Rocco) or anyone in our leadership, these are artists and clients that we’ve dreamt about for a long time,” Vitale said. “We all have a hunger to be the best, to constantly improve our craft, and I have to give a big hats-off to the 300 plus people who go out and execute at a high level for the audiences we serve.”

And while it may seem hard to imagine Vitale and Pyrotecnico, founded in 1922, could accomplish anything bigger or better than what 2023 brought, the CEO said, for him, there’s always space to grow.

“It’s incredibly important to continue to innovate, drive a great customer experience and continue to improve on what we do, and really work hard each and every day to be a better organization internally, so we can always try to grow the business and grow the clientele,” he said. “We just focus on continuing to grow and innovate and do epic work for our clients, and the rest takes care of itself.”

Looking ahead into 2024, Vitale said it’s not “tier-one” clients like Beyonce or the NFL that have him most inspired — it’s young people at home in Lawrence County.

“I think what I’m most excited about is the amount of young, talented people that want to join the industry. It’s an industry where if you’re patient and you work hard, and are willing to be part of a high-performing team, the sky is the limit,” he said. “We want to be a possibility for young people in our community, and we want to be a sense of pride for our community.

“Good things come out of Lawrence County, and people should know that,” Vitale added. “There are a lot of great businesses here, and we need to do a better job of making sure young people know they have a place here in New Castle — it’s critical.”