W. Rockwell Wirtz
Chairman of the Board
Rocky Wirtz, a third-generation family leader, is the driving visionary behind Wirtz Beverage Group. His strategic vision, commitment to investment and time-honored focus on running a value-driven business has helped the company grow and expand its bevy of partnerships.
Rocky also serves as Chairman of Wirtz Corporation, one of the largest privately-held and family-owned companies in the United States. Wirtz Corporation interests extend to a vast array of businesses including Wirtz Realty, Wirtz Insurance, the Chicago Blackhawks Hockey Team and banking operations in Illinois and Florida.
Rocky is a past Chairman of the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, a member of the Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago, a trustee of Chicago's Field Museum and a trustee of Northwestern University, where he graduated in 1975 with a BS degree in communications. He is also the co-chairman of the Executive Committee of the United Center and co-owner of the facility, for which the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls call home.
President & Chief Executive Officer
As President & CEO of Wirtz Beverage Group, Danny Wirtz oversees day-to-day leadership of all Wirtz Beverage Group’s domestic and international business of $2 billion in sales and 3000 employees. A skilled leader with a proven track record of success, Danny leads with passion and a commitment to the future of the organization.
Previously, Danny served as Executive Vice President, managing the company’s commercial teams, leading corporate strategy and supplier relations as well as overseeing finance and HR functions. In that role he reorganized the company’s overall sales and marketing functions, with an emphasis on performance execution and strategic growth.
Danny is an active leader in the community and in the trade. He sits on the boards of several Chicago-based civic organizations and also serves on the executive committee of the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America.
As a fourth generation leader, Danny holds a vested interest in Wirtz Beverage Group and its parent company, Wirtz Corporation. He led the launch of Banner Collective, a creative content agency in 2013. He also provides strategic counsel to all Wirtz Corporation’s diversified holdings which include the Chicago Blackhawks, Wirtz Realty, Wirtz Insurance, banking interests in Illinois and Florida and a board member of the United Center joint venture.
Danny is a graduate of Boston College and lives with his family in Chicago.
Chief Operating Officer
Leveraging solid leadership skills and tenured industry experience, Art Wirtz oversees all corporate operations throughout the company’s North American footprint as Chief Operating Officer. His responsibilities include overseeing the distribution of millions of cases annually and coordinating thousands of SKUs, ensuring that Wirtz Beverage Group employs the most efficient, cost-effective and seamless operations and systems.
Previously, Art served as Executive Vice President directing supply chain efforts, including national operations and IT initiatives. He also lead the planning, construction and integration of Wirtz Beverage Illinois’ metro headquarters into a 600,000 square foot state-of-the-art warehouse, office and training facility while serving as Vice President of Operations for Wirtz Beverage Illinois.
In his more than 25 years of experience with the company, Art has worked in many roles including numerous sales and category management positions. He has leveraged knowledge from each experience to drive growth and innovation. In 2012, he was recognized among more than 3,000 employees with the Arthur M. Wirtz Leadership Award, named after his grandfather and company founder.
Art received an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management after an undergraduate degree from Drake University.
Executive Vice President
Ed Callison oversees Wirtz Beverage Group's Business Development and Government Affairs activities leading the company's aggressive growth strategy with a focus on strategic partnerships, investments and long-term supplier relations. He is also actively engaged in M&A, government relations, policy and advocacy issues for the company.
Previously, Ed served as Senior Vice President, overseeing the launch of the company’s corporate team and focused on integration, innovation, and best practices across sales, marketing, operations, and logistics to ensure continued growth within Wirtz Beverage Group. He successfully guided efforts to provide uniform route-to-market strategies for Wirtz Beverage affiliates throughout the country.
Ed has a long history in the industry, working with his family’s business, Callison Distributing, from a young age. He has also served as vice president and general manager of Wirtz Beverage Illinois Spectrum Division, where he employed innovative business practices to strengthen the company’s position as Illinois’ premier distributor.
He serves on the Board of Directors and leads the Audit Committee of both Post Foods and First Security Savings and Trust Bank. He is also on the Alumni Committee of Washington University and is a former member of the Board of Directors and head of the Finance Committee of the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America.
Executive Vice President
As a veteran of the beverage alcohol industry for nearly 30 years, Julian oversees National Sales & Marketing as well as the company’s state business units in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada and Wisconsin as Executive Vice President. In that role, he is charged with overseeing all Marketing & Trade efforts, National Accounts, Sales Training and Strategic Initiatives in addition to ensuring an aligned route-to-market approach for the company's nationwide affiliates.
During his tenure with the company, he has been integral in the company’s growth through the development of new facilities, integration of new technologies, acquisitions and the development of new supplier partnerships. Under Julian’s leadership, Wirtz Beverage Illinois has achieved stellar growth and industry recognition as the state’s leading distributor.
Most recently, Julian held the role of Senior Vice President for the company's Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota affiliates. In his previous position as Vice President of the Regal Division for Wirtz Beverage Illinois, he achieved consecutive years of growth and oversaw the launch of one of the industry’s first dedicated selling divisions. Prior to that role, he worked in senior management at Diageo and the J. Lewis Cooper Company.
Executive Vice President, National Sales
Wirtz Beverage Group Executive Vice President, Kevin Roberts, oversees National Sales & Marketing efforts for all of the company’s US affiliates, including Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada and Wisconsin. His leadership and vision continues to differentiate Wirtz Beverage in each of these markets.
A well-developed leader, Kevin has experience in the beverage alcohol business on both the supplier and distributor sides. Trade development, national account management and sales and marketing are among his many areas of expertise.
After graduating from Western Michigan University with degrees in marketing and accounting, Kevin began his career in the beverage industry. He worked most recently as Senior Vice President of the company’s Nevada operation.
Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer
In his role as CIO, Mike Kennedy spearheads the company’s technology platforms most notably through the oversight and implementation work related to Wirtz Beverage’s advanced ERP software. He also is responsible for strategy and implementation of the evolving online platforms that support the company’s continued progression.
Technology and information systems are critical to every component of Wirtz Beverage’s sales and operations, whether in sales, trade development or finance. Mike’s leadership is essential to the company’s further innovation and marketplace differentiation.
Mike previously worked as Global IT Director and Chief Technology Officer at Sunny Delight Beverages.
Senior Vice President, Commercial Strategy & Business Development
Maggie Lapcewich leads Commercial Strategy and Business Development for Wirtz Beverage Group, focusing on commercial effectiveness across the sales and trade development teams, and leveraging best practices to enhance market execution.
Lapcewich joined Wirtz Beverage Group on July 1, 2014, after more than 24 years in the beverage industry. Most recently, she was President of Diageo Canada and before that, President of Global Tequila and President of U.S. National Accounts for Diageo North America. Prior to that, she served as General Manager of the Illinois and Indiana region for Diageo, as well as the Central Control States of Michigan, Ohio, Iowa and West Virginia. Her career began with E&J Gallo Winery.
She graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, and also attended The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Drawing on her expertise and experience in human resources, Andrea Barry oversees and leads all talent initiatives for Wirtz Beverage and its state affiliates. Andrea works closely with senior management and focuses on talent development programs, performance management and succession planning, among other HR functions and employee-facing initiatives.
Andrea’s career prior to joining the Wirtz Beverage team includes a strong track record of establishing employee advancement programs that contributed significantly to corporate performance and growth. Her tenure also includes time with Borg-Warner, Kellogg Company and Culligan International, where she served as the SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer guiding the company and its employees through extensive structural changes and business transitions.
Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
With more than 20 years of financial and management experience, Jim English oversees the day-to-day functions of Wirtz Beverage Group’s finance department, and works to help the company meet its aggressive goals for growth and success through process improvements, strong internal controls, and prudent fiscal management. Jim’s previous experience includes diverse roles across finance, accounting, and audit, most recently as Vice President of Finance at RR Donnelley. Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Marquette University, as well as a MBA degree from the University of Chicago.
Vice President, Commercial Strategy
With more than 25 years of industry experience, Dave Walsh is a key member of the Wirtz Beverage executive team. His focus helps ensure communication and information-sharing for Wirtz Beverage Group, both internally and externally.
As VP of Commercial Strategy, Dave helps drive innovation and work flow efficiencies that further enhance supplier and customer revenues nationwide. His proven leadership ability is valuable in the development and implementation of strategies to capitalize on this potential.
Prior to his current role, Walsh served as Director of Sales for Wirtz Beverage Illinois’ Spectrum Division, in addition to numerous other roles with the company.
Senior Vice President, Business Development
As part of the Wirtz Beverage Group corporate team, Glen Hoch is focused on strategic growth and investments for the company’s operations nationwide in order to create long-term growth and increased market share. In this role, Glen also facilitates as a critical liaison for the company and its suppliers.
His long tenure with the company in strategic development, finance and as a project lead for a number of high-profile business ventures establishes Glen as an expert in identifying new opportunities and maximizing its advantages for the company and its partners.
Previously, Glen held a number of leadership roles at Wirtz Beverage and various entities the company acquired over the years. Glen received his Master of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Illinois in Champaign.
Vice President, Governmental Affairs & Public Policy
As Vice President of Governmental Affairs & Public Policy for Wirtz Beverage Group, Don Pydo manages and navigates the regulatory environment in which the company operates. Additionally, Don works hand-in-hand with his Vice President counterparts to help capture and maximize strategic growth opportunities including business development and market expansion.
An experienced professional and recognized thought leader, Don has served as Wirtz Beverage Group’s Executive Vice President of Shared Services, Vice President of Business Operations, Vice President of Human Resources and Executive Vice President of Operations for Wirtz Beverage Illinois. His long tenure with Wirtz Beverage began in the sales and marketing departments.
Don holds an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg Business School and is a graduate of DePaul University’s College of Commerce with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Vice President, Training
Mark Switaj oversees both the strategy and implementation of a unified corporate training and leadership development initiative throughout Wirtz Beverage. Mark has been instrumental in developing the best and brightest throughout the Wirtz Beverage Group affiliates nationwide helping to integrate his colleagues’ talents across the company’s many platforms. In addition to training programs for each of the company’s state distributorships, Mark also works to implement best-practice techniques and leadership development initiatives.
Previously, Mark was Director of Training and Development for Wirtz Beverage Illinois. His extensive knowledge comes from more than 25 years of corporate training experience through positions at Guinness USA/Diageo, Gallo Wine Merchants and Procter & Gamble.
Vice President, Planning & Communications
Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing
David Lockie serves as a Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Wirtz Beverage Illinois and Minnesota. He also jointly oversees the company’s interests within JBW Group of Iowa. David is a seasoned leader with nearly 30 years of industry experience.
In his current role, he drives the Wirtz Beverage culture of execution across states through all aspects of sales including planning, implementation, measurement, integration and innovation strategies. His commitment to leadership and vision has successfully contributed to overall company objectives by continually surpassing key revenue and account goals. David also plays a leadership and mentorship role for the company’s sales consultants.
Prior to joining Wirtz Beverage, David served as President of Union Beverage of Illinois where he oversaw the sales of the company’s leading wine divisions. His experience also includes tenures as Vice President of Wine, Sales and Marketing with Glazer’s of Illinois, managing the company’s wine portfolio on a statewide basis as well as Midwest and Mid-Central Division manager of E&J Gallo Winery where he oversaw execution of Gallo’s retail programming and brand standards in each of the respective regions.
Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing Regal Diageo Division
Matt Wind serves as Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing for Wirtz Beverage Illinois. In total, the long-time industry veteran has more than 20 years of experience.
Matt has been a part of the Wirtz Beverage team for more than ten years. His long history with the company includes experience in various roles including VP Sales & Marketing, Director of Corporate Accounts, Director of On-Premise and Director of Off-Premise General Market supporting Wirtz Beverage Illinois’ Regal Division. Matt excelled in each of these roles providing growth opportunities, achievement and success for the company.
Matt is a seasoned leader. His varied channel capability, together with extremely strong relationships in the marketplace, makes Matt well-suited to help lead Wirtz Beverage Illinois through its next generation of growth.