About ’76 Fireworks
Welcome to Spirit of ’76, the fireworks wholesaler dedicated to the independent dealer. We have been helping customers satisfy their fireworks needs for more than 30 years. Back in 1987, John Bechtold founded Spirit of ’76 in Columbia, Missouri. Since our humble beginnings, John has grown the business from seasonal retail sales to a premiere importer and distributor of consumer fireworks serving over 5,000 customers. Each day John continues to strive to provide the safest and highest quality wholesale fireworks at the most competitive prices in the industry.
30+ Years of Experience
Spirit of ’76 has knowledgeable staff available to answer your fireworks questions and to assist you with placing an order that fits your unique needs. They can also provide information and resources for helping you succeed in your fireworks business.
Meet Our Sales Team
Ben Muzzey | Sales Manager
More about Ben
Ben Muzzey, Sales Manager, began working part-time for Spirit of ‘76 in 2002. After graduating from the University of Missouri in 2005, Ben joined the Spirit full-time as Spirit’s first full-time employee. Ben is proud to say he plays a small role in the huge successes of the firework entrepreneurs he works with daily. He finds joy in seeing the new and inventive ways pyrotechnics use our product lines in their fireworks displays. When not at work, Ben loves spending time with his wife and 3 children. An ideal day for Ben is to spend time with friends and family at a BBQ while watching his favorite baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals.
Phone: (573) 615-1608
Matt Snyder | Account Executive
More about Matt
Matt Snyder, Senior Account Executive began working with Spirit of ‘76 in 2004 part-time at our seasonal retail tent and warehouse. After graduating from the University of Missouri, Matt joined the Spirit team full time as an Account Executive in 2007. Later in 2011, he was promoted to Sales Manager. After moving to Michigan in 2015, Matt changed his role to Senior Account Executive. In 2017, he took an almost 3-year sabbatical into the corporate world before rejoining the Spirit team in August 2019. Matt is a proud member of the National Fireworks Association (NFA) and has been a past member of the Pyrotechnic Guild International (PGI) and American Pyrotechnics Association (APA). In addition to his passion for fireworks, Matt also believes in serving every customer, every time, with no exceptions or excuses. He loves to help his customers navigate the fireworks industry, making it easy for them to follow their passions and run a successful business. In his free time, Matt enjoys hanging out with his wife, Jennie, and their dog, Dulini. He also enjoys boating, golfing, grilling, and watching the St. Louis Cardinals.
Angie Northway | Account Executive
More about Angie
Angie Northway, Account Executive, has been with Spirit since March of 2020. Prior to joining the team, she spent 16 years selling business sound systems, music service, and video content. She then moved into selling high-end countertops while owning two small businesses with her husband. After successfully selling their baseball/softball training center and 4-field complex, Angie joined the Spirit of ‘76 team. Since joining the team, Angie says she enjoys working with her customers and strives to be the expert they come to. Her goal is to make the best customer experience by making purchasing fireworks fun and easy. In her free time, Angie loves spending time with her family, the outdoors, and trips to the mountains. The 4th of July has always been a special time for Angie, as her parents share a birthday of July 4th.
Phone: (573) 615-1610
Tim Thurber | Account Executive
More about Tim
Tim Thurber, Account Executive, has been with Spirit of ‘76 since 2017. Prior to joining the Spirit team, Tim worked in sales for the St. Louis Blues. Tim’s position for fireworks extends far past just assisting customers in finding their ideal fireworks. As a proud holder of a Missouri State Shooters License, Tim is an expert in choosing and shooting fireworks. A lesser-known fact about Tim is he was born in Canada.
Phone: (573) 615-1607
Bill Welch | Account Executive
More about Bill
Bill Welch, Account Executive, has been a part of the Spirit of ‘76 team since May 2017. Before joining the Spirit team, Bill spent almost 27 years as a service technician and service manager for a company in Houston, Texas repairing commercial microwave ovens. Bill has successfully completed Spirit’s Hazardous Materials Training Program. He enjoys getting to know our customers and working with an extraordinary team. Growing up Bill was a diver in high school and was the youngest of 8 children. Now, Bill has been married to his wife since 2003 and they have three beagles.
Phone: (573) 615-1606
’76 Exclusive Brands
For many years now, Spirit of ’76 has offered its own lines of wholesale fireworks: Sky Bacon Fireworks, ’76 Pro Line, Realtree Fireworks, and Tako Pyrotechnics which are some of the most sought-after fireworks in the United States.