W. ROCKWELL "ROCKY" WIRTZ
W. Rockwell (Rocky) Wirtz was named President of Wirtz Corporation and Chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks in October 2007, following his late father, William W. Wirtz. In his role as Chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks, he oversees all aspects of the club’s operations.
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, he oversaw the team’s rise and success, culminating in a Stanley Cup victory. As President of Wirtz Corporation, Rocky’s role extends to a vast array of businesses, from beverages to banking, insurance to real estate.
Wirtz Beverage Group is a leading national 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, Nevada and Wisconsin. With nearly $2 billion in annual revenues, the company employs more than 3,000 professionals nationally. In 2011, Wirtz Beverage Group earned its latest national recognition when Beverage Industry Magazine named the company its “Wholesaler of the Year.”
Rocky has created business synergy among Wirtz Corporation’s many holdings. In 2011, Wirtz Beverage Illinois opened a 605,000 square foot, multi-use training and distribution center, which includes corporate offices and the largest temperature-controlled wine storage facility in the country. That project was developed by Wirtz Realty Corporation as part of a broader strategy to improve a 66-acre industrial complex. Wirtz Realty also 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 solid financial footing and the strong roles they play in supporting local communities and charities, as well as the individual awards earned by their senior leadership teams.
Rocky also 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 five years since Rocky has taken on these leadership roles, he has earned national recognition for the many successes each company has achieved. His strategies to restructure operations have earned him honors such as the Chicago Innovation Award, and he was the keynote speaker at the Chicago Tribune’s Top 100 Workplaces awards ceremony.
Through it all, Rocky also continues to honor his family’s commitment to numerous civic and charitable organizations. His dedication and commitment 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. These philanthropic efforts have earned the group numerous civic awards, with Chicago Blackhawks Charities having been named a “Superstar of Service” by the Jefferson Awards for Public Service and a “Champion for Children’s” by Children’s Memorial Hospital.
Rocky is a member of the elite Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and serves as a Trustee at The Field Museum and at 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 endowment 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.
Rocky and his wife, Marilyn, reside in the northern suburbs of Chicago with their two beagles, Bernie and Queenie. Rocky has three children, Daniel, Hillary and Kendall, while Marilyn has one daughter, Elizabeth. Rocky is also the proud grandfather of Rosemary and Juniper.