Danny Wirtz Introduces “Next Generation” at Annual Breakthru Beverage Leadership Conference

Feb. 21, 2017

At this week’s 2nd Annual Breakthru Beverage Leadership Conference, Vice-Chairman Danny Wirtz launched a new initiative to company leaders and associates called “Next Generation.” Comprised of the young stewards of the two founding families of Breakthru, the “Next Gen” team will be profiled in an ongoing series that will tell the story of how the company standouts of tomorrow are helping push the business forward today.


“Each generation puts its stamp on a family company, and we are the first generation of Breakthru,” said Wirtz.


Breakthru was formed in January 2016 after two longtime leading beverage companies–Wirtz Beverage and Charmer Sunbelt–joined forces to become one of the premiere wholesalers of wine, spirits and beer. Under the guidance of the Co-Chairman Rocky Wirtz and Charlie Merinoff, the younger Wirtz, along with other legacy family members, have worked in concert to help grow the business into 14 states, as well as Canada.


“In addition to the incredible support, mentorship and business lessons that will come from Charlie and Rocky, the opportunity to learn from others in the same situation and develop new skills will enable this generation to be better prepared for leadership success,” said Chad Stone, Vice President, Insights & Innovation.


Being an integral member of the family business is an earned privilege “Next Gen” members takes very seriously. 


“I’m proud to be a part of the strong history of our family business,” said Hillary Wirtz, On-Premise Business Manager. “It’s a big responsibility that I don’t take for granted. ‘Next Gen’ is a commitment to the future of our family business.”


The “Next Gen” profile series will deliver an in-depth look into the backgrounds of each member, covering their entry into the business up to the roles and responsibilities that they are executing today. The profiles series will spotlight the following:


  • Danny Wirtz, Vice-Chairman
  • Arthur Wirtz, Executive Vice President of Operations
  • Chad Stone, Vice President of Insights & Innovations
  • Brian Onufrychuk, Director of Supplier Capabilities
  • Jacob Onufrychuk, Manager of Strategy & Planning
  • Hillary Wirtz, On-Premise Business Manager
  • James Wirtz, Commodities Specialist
  • William Fix, Sales Associate


Danny Wirtz, recently named to Crain Chicago’s 40 Under 40 list, is positive that this young group will continue to lead Breakthru to its goal of becoming the leading beverage company in North America.


“Historically, our families have loved this industry and want to succeed in this business,” said Danny Wirtz. “I believe this ‘Next Gen’ group will continue to foster that passion for our industry and position Breakthru for generations of success to come.”
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