Zambelli Fireworks says CEO leaves, family to manage company
The outgoing CEO at nationally known Zambelli Internationale Fireworks prepared it for growth, and now the grandson of the founder and other board members will run the company they acquired six years ago.
Chairman George R. Zambelli Jr. said on Thursday that “it's business as usual” at the company, which presented 800 fireworks displays in 40 states during the week of July Fourth.
The New Castle-based company said Doug Taylor, president and CEO since 2007, chose to leave “due to other commitments.” Taylor could not be reached for comment.
“We thank him for his efforts and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” Zambelli said. “He achieved what we needed. Now he decided to do the things he enjoys.”
Zambelli said Taylor was hired “to help build Zambelli's infrastructure so that we could manage the growth of the company” and faced challenges during a “tumultuous time” for an industry threatened in recent years by soaring prices and problems with shipments from China.
Taylor oversaw the addition of customer management and accounting software, an inventory control system, and expanded the company's operations in New Castle and the United States, Zambelli said.
“It is certain that the ‘Pyrotechnic Magic' that my father, George Zambelli Sr., along with his brothers Joe, Carmen and Lou created, will continue for many years,” Zambelli said. His grandfather, fireworks maker Antonio Zambelli, founded the company after emigrating from Italy in 1893.
Zambelli employs 40 people full time, a number that swells to 2,000 during the Fourth of July week. The company buys most of its fireworks from suppliers in China, and from Japan and Europe, but manufactures some specialty fireworks at its plant.
“My Uncle Lou, who's 87, still works for us on specialty materials,” Zambelli said. The company tries to keep around two years' worth of inventory on hand to prevent shortages. A hot summer in China this year, for example, hindered manufacturing, “so it's important to have ample inventory.”
During the recent recession, municipalities and some corporate sponsors cut back fireworks purchases. Yet Taylor worked to expand Zambelli's business and improve its operation. “Now we have the ability to grow at a much faster rate,” Zambelli said.
In 2007, Zambelli and three friends bought the company from other members of his family. He holds the largest ownership share; Ed Meyer, Gary McKnight and Dick McDonald, who have financial backgrounds, split the rest. Some staff members have been with the company more than 40 years, Zambelli said.
Among the family's fourth-generation employees is Zambelli's son Jared, who coordinated this year's displays in Pittsburgh at the Three Rivers Regatta and on July 4.
“Fireworks are a passion, a labor of love,” George Zambelli said. “When you have that passion, you want to be involved.”
John D. Oravecz is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7882 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- U.S. Steel posts quarterly loss, declares dividend
- PPG puts brand 1st in strategy to reach commercial paint market
- EPA ordered to ease limits on cross-border air pollution that involves Pennsylvania
- Pa. improves performance among competitive electric markets
- Travelers find Internet direct route to Priory’s spirited past in Pittsburgh’s North Side
- Muni bond funds stressed
- Leisure, hospitality lead Pittsburgh area job gains
- Stocks end 5-day slide on strong Ford, UPS earnings
- Consol Energy, Range Resources report 2Q losses, plan deeper cuts
- Plummeting natural gas prices slash revenue of Marcellus shale producers
- Ambridge’s PittMoss takes off with help from TV show, Mt. Lebanon native Cuban