W. Rockwell (Rocky) Wirtz was named President of Wirtz Corporation and Chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks in October 2007, following the passing of his late father, William W. Wirtz.
Today, Wirtz Corporation is one of the largest privately-held and family-owned companies in the United States. As President of Wirtz Corporation, Rocky's role extends to a vast array of businesses from sports and beverage distribution to entertainment, real estate, agriculture, insurance and banking.
As Chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks, Rocky is responsible for all aspects of the club's operations. He 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 he oversaw the team's historic Stanley Cup championship victories in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Rocky is also the Co-Chairman of the Executive Committee of the United Center and is a member of the National Hockey League's Executive and Audit Committees.
Rocky has led the family's beverage business since 1980, and his strategic vision, commitment to investment and time-honored focus on running a value-driven business helped the company expand its footprint. In 2016, Rocky drove efforts to form a partnership with The Charmer Sunbelt Group, creating Breakthru Beverage Group (BBG). Today, BBG employs more than 7,000 associates and has operations in 14 states across the U.S. 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.
Wirtz Realty has developed properties in Illinois for decades, and the company owns and manages over 20 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.
Through it all, Rocky continues to lead his family's commitment to numerous civic and charitable organizations. His dedication to the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation is unwavering. Founded by his father and formerly known as Chicago Blackhawks Charities, the foundation has donated millions of dollars to dozens of organizations focused on youth programs, education, housing and health and wellness. When seeking a new practice rink for the Blackhawks, Rocky went beyond creating a single-use home for the team and set out to build a $65-million community ice rink and practice facility. The facility offers numerous benefits to Chicago's youth who may not have the opportunity or resources to learn the sport of hockey. Since its opening at the end of 2017, 6,000 CPS students have participated in programming at MB Ice Arena - Chicago Blackhawks Community Rink.
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 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. In 2017, he endowed the W. Rockwell Wirtz Professorship in the School of Communication to attract top professors.
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 five grandchildren.