Meet UFCW Local 653

UFCW Local 653 Director and Office Staff biographies and photos. If you have additional questions please contact the Union Office.

Director Staff

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Jessica Hayssen joined the UFCW Local 653 family in 2017 and is proud to amplify the stories of the hard work that Local 653 members do and how they give back to the community. She believes that the…

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Jessica Hayssen

Director of Communications
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Rena is originally from California and is Chinese American by way of Mexico. Her father was a restaurant worker and mother a domestic worker. They performed hard, low waged work and their jobs had no…

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Rena Wong

Director of Organizing
Jessica_Hayssen.jpg

Jessica Hayssen

Director of Communications

Jessica Hayssen joined the UFCW Local 653 family in 2017 and is proud to amplify the stories of the hard work that Local 653 members do and how they give back to the community. She believes that the power of our stories can be used to create better workplaces and communities. Jessica has held previous positions at the Minnesota AFL-CIO and AFSCME Council 5 standing up for hard working union families. She’s stood shoulder to shoulder with locked out sugar beet workers in western MN and went to jail for justice in solidarity with those who fight for $15 an hour at the MSP airport. She was a founding member of the national AFL-CIO Young Workers’ Advisory Council and founded Minnesota Young Workers as well as Minnesota Union Women’s’ groups. She is a long serving board member on the Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship Committee. Jessica finds inspiration in people’s lives, because our lives and our families are what drives us to build better lives. Our story is about coming together through collective bargaining to live our values. Jessica lives in south Minneapolis with a brilliant daughter and loyal Boston Terrier named Oliver.
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Rena Wong

Director of Organizing

Rena is originally from California and is Chinese American by way of Mexico. Her father was a restaurant worker and mother a domestic worker. They performed hard, low waged work and their jobs had no union representation. Rena's family had no health insurance, retirement savings, or anything else. She attended UCLA on scholarship when the Justice for Janitors strike took place in Los Angeles in 2000. That fight by low wage workers (so much like her parents) to be visible and for a dignified living wage inspired Rena to join the labor movement. Against all odds, those workers dared to fight and hope—and they WON. It was Rena’s first glimpse of what is possible when workers organize to build power. After graduating in 2001, Rena became an organizer and have worked in Labor ever since. She started with AFSCME in San Francisco, and helped to rebuild a Local over two years and prepared members for a contract fight. Rena joined SEIU in 2004 after moving to Minnesota and was part of the Property Services Division, organizing thousands of subcontracted food, laundry, and janitorial workers like those that first inspired her. Now with UFCW Local 653, Rena’s goal is to build power for workers to set standards in our union’s core industries. By activating our members, organizing non-union workers and partnering with: other unions, faith groups and community organizations we can improve the lives of all workers across our society.

Office Staff

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Julie has worked in the union office since August 2003, first as the receptionist, then in membership accounting, and is now the bookkeeper. She enjoys interacting with Local 653 staff and members.…

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Julie Hilden

Bookkeeper
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Suzi started March 2010 in Membership Accounting. She is glad to have the opportunity to be working with a great team and is looking forward to helping you with any membership needs or concerns.…

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Suzi Knoblauch

Membership Accounting
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Gladys Gutierrez joined UFCW local 653 in July 2018. She is a Mexican American daughter of two hardworking immigrant parents. Gladys is the oldest sister of three siblings. She got involved with…

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Gladys Gutierrez

Office Staff
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Julie Hilden

Bookkeeper

Julie has worked in the union office since August 2003, first as the receptionist, then in membership accounting, and is now the bookkeeper. She enjoys interacting with Local 653 staff and members. Julie and her husband have three grown sons. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, quilting, and knitting.
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Suzi Knoblauch

Membership Accounting

Suzi started March 2010 in Membership Accounting. She is glad to have the opportunity to be working with a great team and is looking forward to helping you with any membership needs or concerns. She is married to her husband Brad and has three wonderful sons: Eric, Logan, and Kaeden. She enjoys outdoor activities such as boating and skiing, but also enjoys the quiet family nights when her boys’ activities don't overwhelm her.
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Gladys Gutierrez

Office Staff

Gladys Gutierrez joined UFCW local 653 in July 2018. She is a Mexican American daughter of two hardworking immigrant parents. Gladys is the oldest sister of three siblings. She got involved with social justice work through her mother who is a fearless organizer fighting for immigrant rights and citizenship. At a very young age Gladys became a strong advocate for immigrant rights and has since then organized with Greater Minnesota Worker Center around issues poultry workers faced in central Minnesota. She has most recently organized and stayed involved with Asamblea De Derechos Civiles where she is passionate about building power in undocumented immigrant communities in the state. Gladys graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the College of Saint Benedict this past May as a first generation student. Her hope is that her siblings and cousins will also go on to receive a high education. Gladys believes that all working families deserve dignity and respect. She believes it is essential that working families have adequate wages and benefits to succeed outside of the workplace. In her free time Gladys enjoys spending her time with family and watching a good movie paired with some delicious snacks. Now that she is graduated and has more free time she would like to find some good books and go on a lot of nature walks.

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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