Meet UFCW Local 653

UFCW Local 653 elected Executive Officers, Executive Board and Union Representatives' biographies and photos. If you have additional questions please contact the Union Office.

Executive Offices

Matt_Utecht.jpg

Matt Utecht’s grocery career began in 1979 when he started working for Hauser Supervalu in Prior Lake, MN. In 1983, he served on the Minneapolis Retail Meat and Grocery negotiating committee where he…

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Matthew P. Utecht

President
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Paul Crandall has been serving as Secretary-Treasurer for UFCW Local 653 since 2014. His grocery career began in 1975 when he started at Kash n Karry supermarkets in Clearwater, Florida. He then moved…

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Paul Crandall

Secretary-Treasurer
Heidi_Esparaza.jpg

Heidi started as the Executive Assistant to the President with Local 653 in May of 2017. After assisting hundreds of realtors over her 15 year real estate career, Heidi decided she needed something…

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Heidi Esparza

Executive Assistant to President
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Matthew P. Utecht

President

Matt Utecht’s grocery career began in 1979 when he started working for Hauser Supervalu in Prior Lake, MN. In 1983, he served on the Minneapolis Retail Meat and Grocery negotiating committee where he learned first hand the dedication and commitment of workers coming together in union to build better lives for themselves and their families. In June of 1983 he was selected as a delegate to the UFCW International Convention in Montreal. Throughout his career, Matt has served in many different capacities for Local 653. On September 1, 1983, he became a Business Representative, then Director of Organizing, and on March 1, 2013, became President of Local 653 and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Minneapolis Retail Meat Cutters & Food Handlers Health & Welfare and Pension Funds. His other leadership roles include UFCW Region 6 Council member and Executive Board Member of the Minnesota AFL-CIO. He has also joined the International UFCW Advisory Council since becoming president. Matt is committed to two things in life. First is his wife of 25 years—Jill—and his three children. Second is his job as President of Local 653, representing over 10,000 members and their families. Every day, he strives to build a better quality of life for the 653 membership and continues to live out the highest level of dedication and commitment to all those in the 653 union family. Through his 34 years working for Local 653, Matt’s continued promise to Local 653 members is to give everything he’s got on a daily basis. With the support of a great staff, Executive Board, and a strong active membership, Matt's goal is to grow the union and create better lives for all its members and their families.
Paul_Crandall.jpg

Paul Crandall

Secretary-Treasurer

Paul Crandall has been serving as Secretary-Treasurer for UFCW Local 653 since 2014. His grocery career began in 1975 when he started at Kash n Karry supermarkets in Clearwater, Florida. He then moved back to Minnesota where he started working for Byerlys in 1977. While working for Byerlys, Paul met co-workers who invited him to a union meeting and in 1980 he voted on his first union contract. Paul’s involvement with the union grew and he was selected to the Minneapolis Retail Meat and Grocery negotiating committee in 1983. In June 1983, he was selected as a delegate to the UFCW International convention in Montreal. On June 4th, 1984 Paul became a union representative for Local 653 under the leadership of President Eugene Utecht. This began a career of dedication and passion for helping all the hardworking members of Local 653. Throughout his career, this dedication has taken him to many picket lines fighting for workers and their families. Paul also serves as a trustee on the Minneapolis Retail Meat Cutters and Food Handler’s Health & Welfare and Pension Fund. Paul feels privileged to work under the direction of President Matt Utecht with the excellent staff at Local 653. Paul is blessed to be married to his wife Lisa for 38 years who together have raised five children, and they enjoy time spent with their four grandchildren.
Heidi_Esparaza.jpg

Heidi Esparza

Executive Assistant to President

Heidi started as the Executive Assistant to the President with Local 653 in May of 2017. After assisting hundreds of realtors over her 15 year real estate career, Heidi decided she needed something different. Knowing the greater good of mankind has always been important to her, she instantly knew Local 653 was going to be a great fit. Heidi lives in South Minneapolis. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family (7 brothers, 2 sisters, 7 nieces, 2 nephews), going to concerts, and shopping.

Executive Board

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Matt_Utecht.jpg

Matt Utecht’s grocery career began in 1979 when he started working for Hauser Supervalu in Prior Lake, MN. In 1983, he served on the Minneapolis Retail Meat and Grocery negotiating committee where he…

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Matthew P. Utecht

President
Paul_Crandall.jpg

Paul Crandall has been serving as Secretary-Treasurer for UFCW Local 653 since 2014. His grocery career began in 1975 when he started at Kash n Karry supermarkets in Clearwater, Florida. He then moved…

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Paul Crandall

Secretary-Treasurer
Judi_Johnson.jpg

Judi has been a member of UFCW Local 653 since 1990 when she was hired by Cub Foods as a floral clerk. She is currently the floral manager at the Coon Rapids South…

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Judi Johnson

Recording Secretary
Matt_Utecht.jpg

Matthew P. Utecht

President

Matt Utecht’s grocery career began in 1979 when he started working for Hauser Supervalu in Prior Lake, MN. In 1983, he served on the Minneapolis Retail Meat and Grocery negotiating committee where he learned first hand the dedication and commitment of workers coming together in union to build better lives for themselves and their families. In June of 1983 he was selected as a delegate to the UFCW International Convention in Montreal. Throughout his career, Matt has served in many different capacities for Local 653. On September 1, 1983, he became a Business Representative, then Director of Organizing, and on March 1, 2013, became President of Local 653 and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Minneapolis Retail Meat Cutters & Food Handlers Health & Welfare and Pension Funds. His other leadership roles include UFCW Region 6 Council member and Executive Board Member of the Minnesota AFL-CIO. He has also joined the International UFCW Advisory Council since becoming president. Matt is committed to two things in life. First is his wife of 25 years—Jill—and his three children. Second is his job as President of Local 653, representing over 10,000 members and their families. Every day, he strives to build a better quality of life for the 653 membership and continues to live out the highest level of dedication and commitment to all those in the 653 union family. Through his 34 years working for Local 653, Matt’s continued promise to Local 653 members is to give everything he’s got on a daily basis. With the support of a great staff, Executive Board, and a strong active membership, Matt's goal is to grow the union and create better lives for all its members and their families.
Paul_Crandall.jpg

Paul Crandall

Secretary-Treasurer

Paul Crandall has been serving as Secretary-Treasurer for UFCW Local 653 since 2014. His grocery career began in 1975 when he started at Kash n Karry supermarkets in Clearwater, Florida. He then moved back to Minnesota where he started working for Byerlys in 1977. While working for Byerlys, Paul met co-workers who invited him to a union meeting and in 1980 he voted on his first union contract. Paul’s involvement with the union grew and he was selected to the Minneapolis Retail Meat and Grocery negotiating committee in 1983. In June 1983, he was selected as a delegate to the UFCW International convention in Montreal. On June 4th, 1984 Paul became a union representative for Local 653 under the leadership of President Eugene Utecht. This began a career of dedication and passion for helping all the hardworking members of Local 653. Throughout his career, this dedication has taken him to many picket lines fighting for workers and their families. Paul also serves as a trustee on the Minneapolis Retail Meat Cutters and Food Handler’s Health & Welfare and Pension Fund. Paul feels privileged to work under the direction of President Matt Utecht with the excellent staff at Local 653. Paul is blessed to be married to his wife Lisa for 38 years who together have raised five children, and they enjoy time spent with their four grandchildren.
Judi_Johnson.jpg

Judi Johnson

Recording Secretary

Judi has been a member of UFCW Local 653 since 1990 when she was hired by Cub Foods as a floral clerk. She is currently the floral manager at the Coon Rapids South location. Judi started getting involved with Local 653 by attending meetings and serving on negotiations committees. She began serving on the executive board in April of 2010. She is also a member of the Women’s Network and has learned that our union staff and executive board are committed to our members She is excited to be involved in the future of Local 653, grateful for the benefits that are provided to members by her union contract and looks forward to encouraging members to get involved and to participate in union events. Judi has been married to her husband, Glen, for over twenty years and they have three daughters, Andria, Rachael, and Brigette.
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Dave is employed at Jerry’s Cub Foods at the Chaska location as the Frozen Foods Department Manager. He’s very thankful for Local 653 and all that is has done for families and all that it continues to…

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David Maas

Vice President 1
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Doug has been married to his wife Michelle since 1977 and have three children: Steven, Kevin and Ellen. Doug has been a member of Local 653 since 1979 as a meat cutter at Byerly’s and is currently…

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Doug Dehmer

Vice President 2
Terri_Kick.jpg

Terri began her career as a cashier at the Bloomington Holiday store back in 1970. She has seen many changes. Terri has worked in many stores and has held many positions: cashier, customer service…

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Theresa Kick

Vice President 3
Dave_Maas.jpg

David Maas

Vice President 1

Dave is employed at Jerry’s Cub Foods at the Chaska location as the Frozen Foods Department Manager. He’s very thankful for Local 653 and all that is has done for families and all that it continues to achieve. Dave has served on several contract negotiations committees and on the UFCW Local 653 Executive Boards since 1998. He believes that Local 653 membership truly builds better lives for workers and their families.
Doug_Dehmer_UFCW.jpg

Doug Dehmer

Vice President 2

Doug has been married to his wife Michelle since 1977 and have three children: Steven, Kevin and Ellen. Doug has been a member of Local 653 since 1979 as a meat cutter at Byerly’s and is currently Meat and Seafood Manager at Festival. He has served on the Executive Board for over two years. He’s also served on three contract negotiating committees.
Terri_Kick.jpg

Theresa Kick

Vice President 3

Terri began her career as a cashier at the Bloomington Holiday store back in 1970. She has seen many changes. Terri has worked in many stores and has held many positions: cashier, customer service manager, assistant general merchandise manager, receiving clerk, pricing coordinator, and currently is in produce cutting fruit and vegetables at Cub Lakeville West. Having been through three ownership changes, she recognizes the stress and uncertainty that can bring. She regularly attends union meetings, has served on the Executive Board for over 10 years, has served on negotiating committee, and is a union steward. Terri is proud to serve her fellow union members of UFCW Local 653 as a board member. She knows that members make the union strong! Together, Terri knows that our union can build better lives for ourselves, our families, and our community.
Lorrie_Wayman.jpg

When she got her start in the grocery business, Lorrie was 16, just looking for a job. Lorrie called Supervalu in Minneapolis home until they shut their doors some 12 years later. She took some time…

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Lorrie Wayman

Vice President 4
Melissa_Charles.jpg

Melissa works for Kowalski’s Markets and has been a part of UFCW Local 653 for over 20 years. Being a mother of two wonderful children, she relies on her union to help look out for herself and her…

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Melissa Charles

Vice President 6
Nick_Stute.jpg

Nick’s grocery career began in 1990 when he graduated from meat cutting school and worked at a variety of family-owned retail shops. In 1994, he began working for Byerlys in Golden Valley as a service…

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Nick Stute

Vice President 5
Dave_Maas.jpg

David Maas

Vice President 1

Dave is employed at Jerry’s Cub Foods at the Chaska location as the Frozen Foods Department Manager. He’s very thankful for Local 653 and all that is has done for families and all that it continues to achieve. Dave has served on several contract negotiations committees and on the UFCW Local 653 Executive Boards since 1998. He believes that Local 653 membership truly builds better lives for workers and their families.
Doug_Dehmer_UFCW.jpg

Doug Dehmer

Vice President 2

Doug has been married to his wife Michelle since 1977 and have three children: Steven, Kevin and Ellen. Doug has been a member of Local 653 since 1979 as a meat cutter at Byerly’s and is currently Meat and Seafood Manager at Festival. He has served on the Executive Board for over two years. He’s also served on three contract negotiating committees.
Terri_Kick.jpg

Theresa Kick

Vice President 3

Terri began her career as a cashier at the Bloomington Holiday store back in 1970. She has seen many changes. Terri has worked in many stores and has held many positions: cashier, customer service manager, assistant general merchandise manager, receiving clerk, pricing coordinator, and currently is in produce cutting fruit and vegetables at Cub Lakeville West. Having been through three ownership changes, she recognizes the stress and uncertainty that can bring. She regularly attends union meetings, has served on the Executive Board for over 10 years, has served on negotiating committee, and is a union steward. Terri is proud to serve her fellow union members of UFCW Local 653 as a board member. She knows that members make the union strong! Together, Terri knows that our union can build better lives for ourselves, our families, and our community.
Lorrie_Wayman.jpg

Lorrie Wayman

Vice President 4

When she got her start in the grocery business, Lorrie was 16, just looking for a job. Lorrie called Supervalu in Minneapolis home until they shut their doors some 12 years later. She took some time off to be a stay at home Mom with her three children; Douglas, Theresa, and Marcus. She then joined Rainbow Foods in Robbinsdale in 1988 and worked her way through departments, from part time to full time, and store to store, and is proud of her accomplishments. Lorrie’s greatest accomplishment in her years with Rainbow is being able to raise her three children and build a better life for them while working a union job. She was able to provide them with health care, own a house for them to call home, as a single mother working a union job at Rainbow Foods. Work union, live better.
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Melissa Charles

Vice President 6

Melissa works for Kowalski’s Markets and has been a part of UFCW Local 653 for over 20 years. Being a mother of two wonderful children, she relies on her union to help look out for herself and her children. Melissa considers herself blessed with wages, healthcare, insurance and paid vacations. Being a single mother, Melissa understands the frustration that comes from trying to stretch a paycheck to cover the ever-rising costs of living. She is hoping that her participation on the Executive Board has a positive impact for the local and wants to help to look out for the welfare of her members as they have looked out for her. Right now, she is learning a lot and hopes that will continue as we move forward together. When she is not working, Melissa loves spending time with her children—camping, biking, being outside and running.
Nick_Stute.jpg

Nick Stute

Vice President 5

Nick’s grocery career began in 1990 when he graduated from meat cutting school and worked at a variety of family-owned retail shops. In 1994, he began working for Byerlys in Golden Valley as a service employee and one year later, was appointed as an apprentice meat cutter. He is currently meat and seafood manager at Lunds & Byerlys in Burnsville. Nick’s first experience with Local 653 was as a member of the bargaining committee. He learned very quickly the important role and influence Local 653 has within the workplace and considers himself fortunate to represent the membership on the executive board since 2010. His wife, Vicki, and Nick have two daughters and live in Rosemount. His interests include fishing, hockey, and spending time with his family.
Mike_Gaulrapp.jpg

Mike has been a member of UFCW Local 653 since 1979. He’s very honored and proud to serve our membership on the Executive Board. Mike loves getting involved in the many activities Local 653 provides…

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Mike Gaulrapp

Vice President 7
John_Pignato.jpg

John began his grocery career at Applebaum’s in St. Paul in 1978. He went full-time in Minneapolis in 1986 at Rainbow Foods, then went to Haug Companies in Plymouth. In addition to serving on the…

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John Pignato

Vice President 8
Chris_Erickson.jpg

Chris got his start in the grocery business in 1990 with GJ’s SuperValu and is now at Festival Foods as a meatcutter. He has served on several negotiating committees, and in 2016 learned a great deal…

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Chris Erickson

Vice President 9
Dave_Maas.jpg

David Maas

Vice President 1

Dave is employed at Jerry’s Cub Foods at the Chaska location as the Frozen Foods Department Manager. He’s very thankful for Local 653 and all that is has done for families and all that it continues to achieve. Dave has served on several contract negotiations committees and on the UFCW Local 653 Executive Boards since 1998. He believes that Local 653 membership truly builds better lives for workers and their families.
Doug_Dehmer_UFCW.jpg

Doug Dehmer

Vice President 2

Doug has been married to his wife Michelle since 1977 and have three children: Steven, Kevin and Ellen. Doug has been a member of Local 653 since 1979 as a meat cutter at Byerly’s and is currently Meat and Seafood Manager at Festival. He has served on the Executive Board for over two years. He’s also served on three contract negotiating committees.
Terri_Kick.jpg

Theresa Kick

Vice President 3

Terri began her career as a cashier at the Bloomington Holiday store back in 1970. She has seen many changes. Terri has worked in many stores and has held many positions: cashier, customer service manager, assistant general merchandise manager, receiving clerk, pricing coordinator, and currently is in produce cutting fruit and vegetables at Cub Lakeville West. Having been through three ownership changes, she recognizes the stress and uncertainty that can bring. She regularly attends union meetings, has served on the Executive Board for over 10 years, has served on negotiating committee, and is a union steward. Terri is proud to serve her fellow union members of UFCW Local 653 as a board member. She knows that members make the union strong! Together, Terri knows that our union can build better lives for ourselves, our families, and our community.
Lorrie_Wayman.jpg

Lorrie Wayman

Vice President 4

When she got her start in the grocery business, Lorrie was 16, just looking for a job. Lorrie called Supervalu in Minneapolis home until they shut their doors some 12 years later. She took some time off to be a stay at home Mom with her three children; Douglas, Theresa, and Marcus. She then joined Rainbow Foods in Robbinsdale in 1988 and worked her way through departments, from part time to full time, and store to store, and is proud of her accomplishments. Lorrie’s greatest accomplishment in her years with Rainbow is being able to raise her three children and build a better life for them while working a union job. She was able to provide them with health care, own a house for them to call home, as a single mother working a union job at Rainbow Foods. Work union, live better.
Melissa_Charles.jpg

Melissa Charles

Vice President 6

Melissa works for Kowalski’s Markets and has been a part of UFCW Local 653 for over 20 years. Being a mother of two wonderful children, she relies on her union to help look out for herself and her children. Melissa considers herself blessed with wages, healthcare, insurance and paid vacations. Being a single mother, Melissa understands the frustration that comes from trying to stretch a paycheck to cover the ever-rising costs of living. She is hoping that her participation on the Executive Board has a positive impact for the local and wants to help to look out for the welfare of her members as they have looked out for her. Right now, she is learning a lot and hopes that will continue as we move forward together. When she is not working, Melissa loves spending time with her children—camping, biking, being outside and running.
Nick_Stute.jpg

Nick Stute

Vice President 5

Nick’s grocery career began in 1990 when he graduated from meat cutting school and worked at a variety of family-owned retail shops. In 1994, he began working for Byerlys in Golden Valley as a service employee and one year later, was appointed as an apprentice meat cutter. He is currently meat and seafood manager at Lunds & Byerlys in Burnsville. Nick’s first experience with Local 653 was as a member of the bargaining committee. He learned very quickly the important role and influence Local 653 has within the workplace and considers himself fortunate to represent the membership on the executive board since 2010. His wife, Vicki, and Nick have two daughters and live in Rosemount. His interests include fishing, hockey, and spending time with his family.
Mike_Gaulrapp.jpg

Mike Gaulrapp

Vice President 7

Mike has been a member of UFCW Local 653 since 1979. He’s very honored and proud to serve our membership on the Executive Board. Mike loves getting involved in the many activities Local 653 provides for members. He especially enjoys the ones where children and grandchildren of our members participate such as; Santa Claus Breakfast and Fall Harvest Festival. The fun times these kids have, and the smiles on their faces are truly precious. He’s very blessed to be able to take part in these awesome activities. Being a cancer survivor, he’s also very active in Local 653’s efforts to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He’s been married to his wife Lisa since 1984 and has two children, Justin and Alyssa. Mike joined the executive board in March 2016. He looks forward to working with the other board members on the future of the grocery industry. Remember, with union there is strength.
John_Pignato.jpg

John Pignato

Vice President 8

John began his grocery career at Applebaum’s in St. Paul in 1978. He went full-time in Minneapolis in 1986 at Rainbow Foods, then went to Haug Companies in Plymouth. In addition to serving on the executive board, he’s also been on several negotiation committees.
Chris_Erickson.jpg

Chris Erickson

Vice President 9

Chris got his start in the grocery business in 1990 with GJ’s SuperValu and is now at Festival Foods as a meatcutter. He has served on several negotiating committees, and in 2016 learned a great deal on how hard Local 653 works to protect the membership of the grocery industry. Chris has two wonderful boys, Jake and Nick, and enjoys fishing and outdoor activities.
Mark_Husbyn.jpg

Mark started working full-time as a meatcutter at Rainbow Foods in 1991 and is currently employed as a meatcutter with Corporate Cub Foods. He served on the negotiation committee in 2014 and 2016.…

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Mark Husbyn

Vice President 10
Dave_Maas.jpg

David Maas

Vice President 1

Dave is employed at Jerry’s Cub Foods at the Chaska location as the Frozen Foods Department Manager. He’s very thankful for Local 653 and all that is has done for families and all that it continues to achieve. Dave has served on several contract negotiations committees and on the UFCW Local 653 Executive Boards since 1998. He believes that Local 653 membership truly builds better lives for workers and their families.
Doug_Dehmer_UFCW.jpg

Doug Dehmer

Vice President 2

Doug has been married to his wife Michelle since 1977 and have three children: Steven, Kevin and Ellen. Doug has been a member of Local 653 since 1979 as a meat cutter at Byerly’s and is currently Meat and Seafood Manager at Festival. He has served on the Executive Board for over two years. He’s also served on three contract negotiating committees.
Terri_Kick.jpg

Theresa Kick

Vice President 3

Terri began her career as a cashier at the Bloomington Holiday store back in 1970. She has seen many changes. Terri has worked in many stores and has held many positions: cashier, customer service manager, assistant general merchandise manager, receiving clerk, pricing coordinator, and currently is in produce cutting fruit and vegetables at Cub Lakeville West. Having been through three ownership changes, she recognizes the stress and uncertainty that can bring. She regularly attends union meetings, has served on the Executive Board for over 10 years, has served on negotiating committee, and is a union steward. Terri is proud to serve her fellow union members of UFCW Local 653 as a board member. She knows that members make the union strong! Together, Terri knows that our union can build better lives for ourselves, our families, and our community.
Lorrie_Wayman.jpg

Lorrie Wayman

Vice President 4

When she got her start in the grocery business, Lorrie was 16, just looking for a job. Lorrie called Supervalu in Minneapolis home until they shut their doors some 12 years later. She took some time off to be a stay at home Mom with her three children; Douglas, Theresa, and Marcus. She then joined Rainbow Foods in Robbinsdale in 1988 and worked her way through departments, from part time to full time, and store to store, and is proud of her accomplishments. Lorrie’s greatest accomplishment in her years with Rainbow is being able to raise her three children and build a better life for them while working a union job. She was able to provide them with health care, own a house for them to call home, as a single mother working a union job at Rainbow Foods. Work union, live better.
Melissa_Charles.jpg

Melissa Charles

Vice President 6

Melissa works for Kowalski’s Markets and has been a part of UFCW Local 653 for over 20 years. Being a mother of two wonderful children, she relies on her union to help look out for herself and her children. Melissa considers herself blessed with wages, healthcare, insurance and paid vacations. Being a single mother, Melissa understands the frustration that comes from trying to stretch a paycheck to cover the ever-rising costs of living. She is hoping that her participation on the Executive Board has a positive impact for the local and wants to help to look out for the welfare of her members as they have looked out for her. Right now, she is learning a lot and hopes that will continue as we move forward together. When she is not working, Melissa loves spending time with her children—camping, biking, being outside and running.
Nick_Stute.jpg

Nick Stute

Vice President 5

Nick’s grocery career began in 1990 when he graduated from meat cutting school and worked at a variety of family-owned retail shops. In 1994, he began working for Byerlys in Golden Valley as a service employee and one year later, was appointed as an apprentice meat cutter. He is currently meat and seafood manager at Lunds & Byerlys in Burnsville. Nick’s first experience with Local 653 was as a member of the bargaining committee. He learned very quickly the important role and influence Local 653 has within the workplace and considers himself fortunate to represent the membership on the executive board since 2010. His wife, Vicki, and Nick have two daughters and live in Rosemount. His interests include fishing, hockey, and spending time with his family.
Mike_Gaulrapp.jpg

Mike Gaulrapp

Vice President 7

Mike has been a member of UFCW Local 653 since 1979. He’s very honored and proud to serve our membership on the Executive Board. Mike loves getting involved in the many activities Local 653 provides for members. He especially enjoys the ones where children and grandchildren of our members participate such as; Santa Claus Breakfast and Fall Harvest Festival. The fun times these kids have, and the smiles on their faces are truly precious. He’s very blessed to be able to take part in these awesome activities. Being a cancer survivor, he’s also very active in Local 653’s efforts to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He’s been married to his wife Lisa since 1984 and has two children, Justin and Alyssa. Mike joined the executive board in March 2016. He looks forward to working with the other board members on the future of the grocery industry. Remember, with union there is strength.
John_Pignato.jpg

John Pignato

Vice President 8

John began his grocery career at Applebaum’s in St. Paul in 1978. He went full-time in Minneapolis in 1986 at Rainbow Foods, then went to Haug Companies in Plymouth. In addition to serving on the executive board, he’s also been on several negotiation committees.
Chris_Erickson.jpg

Chris Erickson

Vice President 9

Chris got his start in the grocery business in 1990 with GJ’s SuperValu and is now at Festival Foods as a meatcutter. He has served on several negotiating committees, and in 2016 learned a great deal on how hard Local 653 works to protect the membership of the grocery industry. Chris has two wonderful boys, Jake and Nick, and enjoys fishing and outdoor activities.
Mark_Husbyn.jpg

Mark Husbyn

Vice President 10

Mark started working full-time as a meatcutter at Rainbow Foods in 1991 and is currently employed as a meatcutter with Corporate Cub Foods. He served on the negotiation committee in 2014 and 2016. Mark was elected to be an Executive Board member on July 11, 2016. His family participated in the Victoria/Glen Lake picket lines and the 2016 Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. He ’s been attending all the union membership meetings for the last few years. Mark is married to his wonderful wife, Mildred. They have three beautiful kids, April, Hunter, and Ashley.

Union Representatives

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Amber Allen started in the industry in September 1996 as a bakery clerk for McGlynn's Bakery. In 1998 she joined Local 653 and was promoted to bakery manager; Amber has worked for several different…

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Amber Allen

Union Representative
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Scott has been a member of Local 653 and worked for Cub Foods for 14 years. Scott has enjoyed serving on numerous contract negotiations and was an Executive Board member since 2010. Effective March of…

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Scott Larson

Union Representative
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Rick started his first Union job as a meat cutter at Byerlys in Golden Valley back in 1977. Rick's first involvement with the union was attending the regular monthly membership meetings on a regular…

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Rick Milbrath

Union Representative
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Amber Allen

Union Representative

Amber Allen started in the industry in September 1996 as a bakery clerk for McGlynn's Bakery. In 1998 she joined Local 653 and was promoted to bakery manager; Amber has worked for several different companies since then, all under the Rainbow banner. Amber became involved with the union by attending regular membership meetings and union activities. Amber has served on the past 4 negotiating committees and looks forward to many more. Amber lives in Minneapolis with her husband and 2 children; Amber enjoys spending time with them and being involved in all of their activities.
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Scott Larson

Union Representative

Scott has been a member of Local 653 and worked for Cub Foods for 14 years. Scott has enjoyed serving on numerous contract negotiations and was an Executive Board member since 2010. Effective March of 2015, Scott was asked to join the staff as a Business Representative. Scott encourages all members to become more involved and have a voice in their future. Scott has been married to his wife Patty for 26 years and has been blessed with two children. Scott enjoys traveling, golf, and spending time with his family.
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Rick Milbrath

Union Representative

Rick started his first Union job as a meat cutter at Byerlys in Golden Valley back in 1977. Rick's first involvement with the union was attending the regular monthly membership meetings on a regular basis. From there he put in a letter to be on the upcoming negotiations and was selected to participate on the 1989 committee. After that experience, Rick was totally sold on the union movement and when a position on the Executive Board opened up, he put another letter in and was selected. Rick also serves as a trustee on both UFCW Health and Welfare and Pension funds. With these jobs, Rick has found that if we put our heads together and work hard on the solutions we can overcome almost any problems that we encounter. With that being said, it’s truly been Rick's honor to serve this membership as a Business Representative and he is looking forward to working with you in the future.
Doug_Rigert.jpg

In July 2011, Doug accepted the opportunity to join the staff of Local 653 as a business agent. Prior to this Doug worked hard in the grocery industry for the past 34 years – the last 21 years as a…

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Doug Rigert

Union Representative
Jim_Schommer.jpg

Jim started in the industry as a carryout for Thriftway in Crystal. He was hired by Rainbow Foods in 1984 as a meat cutter and started going to union meetings to learn more of what they were all…

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Jim Schommer

Union Representative
Onerea_Shallbetter.jpg

Ondrea Shallbetter began her union career at Cub Foods in Crystal, MN in 2007. Her part time union job offered benefits, paid vacation and sick days, which is something she never experienced in her…

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Ondrea Shallbetter

Union Representative and Organizer
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Doug Rigert

Union Representative

In July 2011, Doug accepted the opportunity to join the staff of Local 653 as a business agent. Prior to this Doug worked hard in the grocery industry for the past 34 years – the last 21 years as a Dairy-Frozen Foods Manager for Rainbow Foods. Doug has also been fortunate to participate with others in the union on numerous contract negotiation committees as well as serving as a member of the Executive Board for 4 ½ years. Doug considers it an honor to work on behalf of all the members of Local 653. He looks forward to meeting all of you in the future.
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Jim Schommer

Union Representative

Jim started in the industry as a carryout for Thriftway in Crystal. He was hired by Rainbow Foods in 1984 as a meat cutter and started going to union meetings to learn more of what they were all about. Over the years he participated as he could—helping on the Country Club strike, informational picket lines, bowling tournaments, and other union activities. As part of that, Jim served on his first negotiating committee. Seeing the union from that perspective only made him more interested in being involved. He wanted to take the next step and was appointed to the Executive Board. As a board member, he got a behind-the-scenes view of how the union runs and how we can shape our future. It’s exciting and something he wanted to be part of. In July 2007 he was asked to join the staff as a Union Representative. Jim lives in Andover with his wife, Theresa, and four sons: Ryan, Kyle, Matthew, and Brady. In his free time, he enjoys fishing, boating, camping, and sons’ soccer and hockey games.
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Ondrea Shallbetter

Union Representative and Organizer

Ondrea Shallbetter began her union career at Cub Foods in Crystal, MN in 2007. Her part time union job offered benefits, paid vacation and sick days, which is something she never experienced in her non-union jobs. One of Ondrea’s co-workers invited her to attend the monthly union membership meetings and she agreed. The first meeting opened her eyes to all of the facts about our union that she didn’t know beforehand. Ondrea became more confident at work knowing that she had guaranteed rights and benefits that she earned. President Matt Utecht took notice of Ondrea’s interest in the union, and offered her a position at UFCW Local 653 as a Special Project Union Representative/Organizer in August 2015. Ondrea was hired on to staff the following year as an organizer and union representative. Over the past two years she has helped with and lead co-op organizing campaigns as well. Ondrea knows that the only way to a brighter future for the middle class is to organize. She looks forward to educating current and future members about what it means to be an active member of our union and all of its benefits.
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Jess Alexander began at UFCW Local 653 in 2017. His goals include making life better for the people in our union’s industries because that working families work hard, do a good job and should earn a…

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Jess Alexander

Organizer
Jess_Alexander.jpg

Jess Alexander

Organizer

Jess Alexander began at UFCW Local 653 in 2017. His goals include making life better for the people in our union’s industries because that working families work hard, do a good job and should earn a fair slice of the pie. Jess has always been driven to join with the people around him to make things better. As a teenager in high school, Jess was active in different community projects and campaigns. His first job was at a co-operative grocery store in his hometown of Corvallis, Oregon. In 1991, Jess graduated high school and moved to California to attend college. He quit school after a year for financial reasons, and was happy to be living in a bigger city and be involved in new community organizing opportunities. After a few jobs in the food industry (bakery delivery and refrigerated foods distribution), Jess started working in construction as an electrician. He experienced the stark difference between doing the same job with a union and without a union, and soon joined the Electricians union. He was an active member of his local for ten years, using his experience and skills as an organizer to make his union stronger. Jess moved to Minnesota in 2011 and made the transition from full-time electrician to Organizer. He has worked for community/labor coalitions and other unions as well. Jess is excited to serve the members and the leadership of Local 653 to grow our membership strength by organizing new members and therefore improving the lives of all Minnesotans.

UFCW Local 653 News

UFCW Local 653, Supervalu, & Jerry’s Enterprises deliver truckload of food and supplies to tornado stricken JBS Swift plant workers in Marshalltown, Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, August 2, 2018 Contact: Jessica Hayssen 651-261-8559 … [+]

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UFCW Local 653 Statement on Supervalu sale

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, July 26, 2018 Contact: Jessica Hayssen 651-261-8559 j… [+]

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Local 653 & Local 1161 are Stronger Together

Below you will find the introductory merger letter that was sent to all UFCW Local 65… [+]

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