Don Levin Chairman of the Board/Governor
Donald R. Levin (luh-VIN) founded DRL Enterprises, Inc., in 1969. The Glenview-based company has holdings in many industries including tobacco processing, aircraft and medical equipment leasing, licensed sports product manufacturing and distribution, and motion picture production and distribution.
Levin’s film company has made nearly 20 motion pictures distributed in the U.S. and overseas. His films have featured such stars as Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen, Sharon Stone, Rodney Dangerfield, and Chuck Norris.
Levin founded the Chicago Wolves with Buddy Meyers and Grant Mulvey in January 1994 and has served as the team’s chairman of the board since the franchise’s inception. Levin donates his time and serves on the board of directors for several charitable organizations.
Levin devotes a good portion of his support to the Animal Welfare League that was founded on Chicago’s south side and maintains its primary shelter in south suburban Chicago Ridge. In cooperation with the Animal Welfare League, the Wolves host Adopt-a-Dog Night one Saturday night each month during the season and encourage fans to provide the dogs a forever home. The Adopt-A-Dog program has found homes for 1,358 dogs in its first 17 seasons. In 2003, Levin purchased and donated the Animobile — a mobile adoption unit and a modern clinic staffed by Chicago of Animal Care and Control veterinarians and adoption specialists. In 2014, he pledged a $2 million donation to CACC to spur an $8.2 million renovation.
The Chicago native was recognized at the Boy Scouts of America’s Northwest Suburban Council’s Distinguished Citizens Banquet as its 2005 Honoree. Under Levin’s direction, the Wolves organization has held a scout night for the Northwest Suburban Council at a home game for the last 19 seasons.
Levin was inducted into the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame on Jan. 27, 2013. He was honored as the International Hockey League’s Executive of the Year for the 1999-2000 season, which concluded with the franchise’s second of four championships.
Before beginning his business career, Levin served in the United States Marine Corps, from which he was honorably discharged.
Levin and his wife, Kathleen Ann, have a son, Robert, and live in the northern suburbs.
Buddy Meyers Vice Chairman
Buddy Meyers, a principal owner of the Wolves who founded the franchise with Don Levin and Grant Mulvey in January 1994, has been involved in the world of hockey for more than 45 years. He is a former certified agent of the National Hockey League Players’ Association and is past attorney for the Soviet Red Army Hockey Team (CSKA).
He is a practicing attorney and the principal in the law firm of William Buddy Meyers, Ltd. His concentration is in the areas of worker’s compensation and personal injury litigation. Additionally, he is a member of the Illinois Bar Association, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and Illinois Workers Compensation Lawyers Association; a former director of the Better Boys Foundation and River North Association; and a recipient of the Shomrim Society of Illinois’ Man of the Year Award in 2006. He also supports numerous charitable and environmental organizations.
Meyers, who was inducted into the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame on Jan. 26, 2014, is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and holds a juris doctor degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology/Chicago Kent. He and Jill live in the River North area of Chicago and have five children between them: Justin, Lindsey, Zak, Brad, and Leslie.
Wayne Messmer Senior Executive Vice President
Best known for his stirring rendition of the National Anthem, Wayne Messmer sings the anthem prior to almost every Wolves home game. The Senior Executive Vice President also plays a crucial role in the team’s business operations and promotional work in the community.
Messmer’s association with sports began as the announcer/soloist with the Chicago Sting soccer team. From 1982-85, the Chicago native served as field announcer and soloist for the Chicago White Sox and he has maintained a professional association with the Chicago Cubs since 1985. Messmer also spent 13 seasons as the celebrated soloist for the Chicago Blackhawks. His performance prior to the 1991 NHL All-Star Game at Chicago Stadium continues to be recognized by fans as one of the greatest moments in hockey.
During the Wolves historic home opener on Oct. 14, 1994, Messmer made an emotional return to his craft. Before a sellout crowd at Allstate Arena, he sang the anthem publicly for the first time since he suffered a gunshot wound to the throat six months earlier.
Messmer is the founder of Wayne Messmer & Associates, a nationally recognized financial services firm. He is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, where he received a bachelor’s degree in music education, and Loyola University of Chicago, where he earned a master’s degree in counseling. Messmer also earned his Ph.D. in psychology from La Salle University. He is a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA) and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). In July 2015, he received the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association, which is the NSA’s highest award.
Messmer and his wife, Kathleen, who often accompanies Wayne when singing the anthem, have two daughters — Jennifer and Stephanie –- and live in Glenview.
Seth Gold Director
Seth Gold was named director of the Wolves in 1997 after joining the team’s parent company, DRL Enterprises, Inc., as a vice president.
Gold has more than 30 years of experience in entertainment and sports law. In addition to the Wolves, his clients have included the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago White Sox, Dino De Laurentiis Productions, and Roger Corman.
Gold graduated from the University of Michigan in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and earned his juris doctor degree in 1981 from Harvard University Law School. He is active in many community organizations, including Lawyers for the Creative Arts and the Nature Conservancy.
Gold and his wife, Marcy, have a son, Jacob, and a daughter, Rebecca, and live in the northern suburbs.
Irwin Jann Director
Irwin Jann has been a director of the Chicago Wolves since 2000.
A graduate of DePaul University College of Law (J.D.), Jann has practiced law for more than 40 years. Jann’s interests include food service, long-term care, and motorsports. He has an extensive background in sports, including ownership of J&S Racing Stables; a six-year term as a director of the Illinois Racing Board; 17 years as an active professional and amateur race car driver; and 27 years as a pit board man at the Indianapolis 500. The latter includes being a member of Hemelgarn Racing’s 2000 Indianapolis Racing League Championship Team.
He currently serves as a member of Illinois Motorsports Council. A former member of the executive committee of the Chicago City Ballet, he has served on numerous civic and charity boards including the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission and two Illinois Gubernatorial Transition Teams. Jann, a Chicago resident, is the father of three children, and is married to Norma Finley Jann, a retired justice of the Illinois Court of Claims.