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Dennis Miele

Dennis Miele got his start in fireworks in 2001 helping a study group friend with a hand-fired 4th of July show in Mission Viejo, CA. Two more hand-fired shows that season and Dennis was hooked, becoming a licensed pyrotechnician for Pyro Spectaculars in 2002, shooting many large and small shows ever since. He started attending WWB (unofficially) in 2001, becoming a member of WPA in 2002. Dennis is a prolific volunteer often seen on the B line doing volunteer safety. He is currently Secretary of WPA and loves (almost) every minute of it!

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Levi Morin

Levi Morin is a California native with a passion for flow & fire arts. He has been practicing fire arts for over a decade. Levi has studied alongside some of the best in the business and is well regarded as an expert in his field. 5 years ago, he was brought on as a performer and the head of marketing for Ignite Firedance and later started the specialty performers effects company FlameFX.

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Scott Morton

Scott Morton a relative newcomer to the organized pyro community, has enjoyed fireworks for as long as he can remember. His interest in making fireworks eventually led to his finding Ned Gorski and, and then into the pyro community with membership in WPA and PGI. Scott has become an accomplished builder of ground and aerial fireworks. His current areas of special interest include Italian Cylinder shells, the glitter effect, and all ground fireworks, specifically items that spin! When not studying or making fireworks, Scott is a fireman and paramedic who enjoys spending time with his wife Amy.

Amanda Nixon | Seminar Presenter

Amanda Nixon

Amanda has been working with proximate pyrotechnics for 50 years, yet she’s still only 39 years old – go figure. Formerly the Vice President and later CEO of Luna Tech, Inc., manufacturers of Pyropak proximate pyrotechnics, Amanda was also the CEO of Luna Tech Pyrotechnik GmbH in Germany for two decades. Licensed in several countries, she taught theatrical pyrotechnic classes and worked as a proximate pyrotechnician throughout Europe. Currently, she is the CEO of Pyroam, Inc., which distributes a variety of proximate pyro effects and equipment as well as provides pyrotechnic services.

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Gina Papini

Victor and Gina Papini work on several pyro crews at night and by day are both retired and run a non-profit daycare (babysitting the grandkids). Victor has loved fireworks his entire life and has some stories to tell about his younger days (can’t print because not sure about the statute of limitations). When Victor joined a pyro crew, Gina also joined so she wouldn’t have to sit at home alone while Victor had all the fun. Victor learned about
manufacturing when he first attended Do-It. He started taping shells on rockets and now puts gasoline in a bottle on rockets. Gina, looking for something to do, started with bucket mines, bag mines, and then progressed to shells. She asked for and got a WASP machine for an anniversary present. Victor also builds shells when he runs out of rockets. Never lighting her own products, Gina lets Victor do the honor while she pretends to take pictures. He thinks she has tried to kill him on several occasions and has since let his life insurance lapse hoping to avoid future “accidents.” Friends Theresa and Jon will be helping out in the seminar to make sure there are no more “accidents.”

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Cliff Pearson

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Peggy Purner

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Crash Course Pyro

Antonio Restivo | Seminar Presenter

Antonio Restivo

Antonio Restivo’s career with fire started at the late age of 8 when he set his best friends backyard on fire and burned down 6 acres of property. Realizing then, it had to become a career or he would just end up in jail. With his Italian/Sicilian background, it could have gone either way! In the late 90’s he learned to spin Poi and traveled around the world spinning and teaching classes.

His safety classes developed from using Duvatyne or a wet towel, to the different types of fire extinguishers. After being in Las Vegas and working on some of the biggest pyro shows in the world, Antonio started to put a lot more focus into safety and what that means everyday. He has been a senior fire safety instructor for companies like Cirque du Soleil, Celestia, MGM and even teaching classes for Clark County Fire (mainly teaching inspectors what to look for with fire performances).

Peter Rogoz | Seminar Presenter

Peter Rogoz

Vice President and product manager for ’76 Pro-Line. I work remotely from Chicago on continuing the success of ’76 Pro Line and I’m absolutely thrilled to have recently joined the Spirit of ’76 team! I’ve been in the fireworks industry since the summer of 2007 in various roles including designing and producing fireworks displays, importing and wholesaling 1.4G and 1.3G fireworks, representing Vulcan/Shogun in the USA, promoting Galaxis G-Flames and firing systems, and most recently consulting with Spirit of ’76. In my free time, I enjoy fishing, cooking, and comedy. I’m looking forward to chatting with everyone Winter Blast!