W. ROCKWELL "ROCKY" WIRTZ
Rocky was just 2 years old when his grandfather, Arthur Wirtz, purchased the Chicago Blackhawks in 1954. Rocky grew up within the walls of the storied Chicago Stadium, and in 2010 and 2013 he oversaw the team’s historic Stanley Cup championship victories.
As President of Wirtz Corporation, Rocky’s role extends to a vast array of businesses, from beverage distribution to financial services, insurance and real estate.
Wirtz Beverage Group is a leading international distributor of the world’s top luxury and premium wine, spirits and beer brands. The company, headquartered in Chicago, has operations in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Wisconsin and Canada. Recognizing his many contributions to the beverage industry, the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America honored Rocky with a Lifetime Leadership Award in 2014.
Rocky has found business synergies among Wirtz Corporation’s many holdings. In 2011, Wirtz Beverage Illinois opened a 605,000 square-foot, multi-use training and distribution center just outside of Chicago, which includes corporate offices and the largest temperature-controlled wine storage facility in the country. In April 2014, the company opened a complementary facility in Lexington, Ill. The developer behind both projects: Wirtz Realty. In addition to development, Wirtz Realty owns and manages several commercial and residential properties along Chicago’s lakefront and throughout the suburbs.
Rocky also oversees Wirtz Insurance as well as banking interests at First Security Trust and Savings, based in Elmwood Park, Ill., and First National Bank of South Miami in Florida. Those companies have long been recognized for their custom financial solutions and the strong roles they play in supporting local communities and charities.
Additionally, Rocky serves as Co-Chairman of the Executive Committee of Chicago’s United Center and is a member of the National Hockey League’s Executive Committee. In the seven years since Rocky has taken on these leadership roles, he has earned national recognition for the many successes each company has achieved.
Through it all, Rocky continues to lead his family’s commitment to numerous civic and charitable organizations. His dedication to Chicago Blackhawks Charities is unwavering. Founded by his father, Chicago Blackhawks Charities has donated millions of dollars to dozens of organizations focusing on youth programs, health and wellness, education and housing.
Rocky is a member of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and serves as a Trustee at The Field Museum of Natural History and Northwestern University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communications in 1975.
At Northwestern, he established the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Endowment for Visiting Artists. That program, named in honor of his grandmother, allows Northwestern’s School of Communication to invite nationally acclaimed performers to work directly with students and staff at the Theatre and Interpretation Center. In April 2014, the center was renamed the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts in recognition of the family’s financial gifts.
Rocky and his wife, Marilyn, reside in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Rocky has three children, Daniel, Hillary and Kendall; Marilyn has one daughter, Elizabeth. Rocky is also the proud grandfather of two granddaughters.