About Us

Executive Board

Matt-Utecht.jpgMatthew P. Utecht

My grocery career began in 1979 when I started working for Hauser Supervalu in Prior Lake, MN. In 1983 I served on the Minneapolis Retail Meat and Grocery negotiating committee which was an eye-opening experience -- to see the high level of dedication and commitment by Local 653 towards its membership. In June of 1983 I was selected as a delegate to the UFCW International Convention in Montreal.

Throughout my career I have served in many different capacities for Local 653. On September 1, 1983, I became a Business Representative, later 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. I also serve on the UFCW Region 6 Council. In November 2014, I was elected Executive Board Member of the Minnesota State AFL-CIO.

There are two things in my life that I am totally committed to. First is my wife of 22 years—Jill—and our three children. Second is my job as President of Local 653, representing over 10,000 members and their families. At Local 653 we continue on a daily basis to strive toward a better quality of life for our membership and continue the highest level of dedication and commitment to all those we represent.

I’ve seen many changes over my 30+ years working for Local 653, some good and some not so good. My promise to the membership of this union is to continue to give you everything I’ve got, every day, and, with the support of a great staff, Executive Board, and a strong active membership, to leave this union bigger, better, and stronger than I found it!

Paul-Crandall.jpgPaul Crandall
I joined Local 653 as a member in 1977 when working for Byerly’s in Golden Valley and then transferred to St. Louis Park when that store opened in 1980. I started attending union meetings with coworkers who took an active role in union membership, and to them I am thankful. In 1983, I served on the union contract negotiating committee. In June 1983, I was picked as a delegate to the UFCW International Convention in Montreal. In June 1984 I joined the staff of Local 653 as a union representative, and since then, time has flown by with the many changes in the industry and the opportunity to service a diverse section of members covered under union contracts—from the old Red Owl meat center plant, small meat shops, conventional and super size warehouse grocery stores, to Snyder Drug stores. Each unit has one thing in common—rank and file members who I enjoy representing, taking pride in Local 653’s past and having faith in our future.

In March 2007 I was appointed as a trustee to the Health & Welfare and Pension Funds of Local 653, and I have enjoyed working with labor and management trustees who govern the Funds.

I enjoy spending time with my wife and five children and taking an active role in their activities.

David-Maas.jpgDavid Maas
Vice-President 1
I am employed by Roundy’s, Inc. at their Rainbow Foods Bloomington location as the frozen foods department manager.

I’ve been blessed to be a member of Local 653 for more than 27 years. I’ve served on the past four contract negotiating committees and on the UFCW Local 653 Executive Board since 1998.

Doug-Dehmer.jpgDoug Dehmer
Vice-President 4

I have been married to my wife Michelle for 31 years and we have three children: Steven, Kevin and Ellen. I have been a member of Local 653 for 29 years and have served on the Executive Board for almost two years. I’ve also served on three contract negotiating committees. I’ve worked as a meat cutter for 28 years at Byerly’s and am currently Meat and Seafood Manager at Fresh Seasons Markets.

Theresa-Kick.jpgTheresa Kick
Vice-President 5

I began my career as a cashier at the Bloomington Holiday store back in 1970. I have seen many changes. I have worked in many different stores and held numerous positions, such as cashier, customer service manager, assistant general merchandise manager, and receiving clerk. I am currently the pricing coordinator at Cub Foods Burnsville South. Having been through two ownership changes, I know the stress and uncertainty that can bring. I was extremely grateful that UFCW Local 653 was there to guide, protect and see us through those changes. I regularly attend union meetings and have recently served on the negotiating committee. I am proud to serve my fellow members of UFCW Local 653 as a board member. We–the people–make it strong! Join in, attend our monthly meetings, get involved and share your ideas. Together we can make a difference for ourselves, our families, and our community.

Lorrie-Wayman.jpgLorrie Wayman
Vice-President 6

When I got my start in the grocery business, I was 16, just looking for a job. Supervalu in Minneapolis is where I called home until we shut our doors some 12 years later. I took some time off to be a stay-at-home Mom with my three children: Douglas, Theresa, and Marcus.

When it was time for me to get back in the workforce, I joined the Rainbow Foods team in Robbinsdale in 1989. Working my way through the departments, from part-time to full-time, and store to store, I am proud of my accomplishments with Rainbow Foods.

I would have to say my greatest accomplishment in my 19 years with Rainbow is being able to raise my three children without denying them anything – providing them health care and owning my own home, all as a single mother just working a union job at Rainbow Foods. Thank you!

Nick-Stute.jpgNick Stute
Vice-President 7

My grocery career began in 1990 when I graduated from meat cutting school and worked at a variety of family-owned retail shops. In 1994, I began working for Byerly's in Golden Valley as a service employee and, one year later, was appointed as an apprentice meat cutter. I am currently the meat and seafood manager in Byerly's in Burnsville.

My initial experience with UFCW Local 653 was as a member of the negotiation's committee. I learned very quickly the important role and influence our union has within the workplace and am fortunate to represent our membership on the executive board since 2010.

My wife, Vicki, and I have two daughters and live in Rosemount. My interests include fishing, hockey and spending time with my family.

Melissa-Charles.jpgMelissa Charles
Vice-President 9

I work for Knowlan's Festival Foods, and have been a part of UFCW Local 653 for over twenty years. Being a mother of two wonderful children, I rely on our union to help look out for myself and my children. We have been so blessed with wages, healthcare, insurance and paid vacations.

Being a single mother, I understand the frustrations that come from trying to stretch a paycheck to cover the ever-rising costs of living. I am hoping that my participation on the board will be a positive impact and I want to help to look out for the welfare of our members as they have looked out for me. As of present, I am learning much and will continue to do so as we progress toward the future.

When I am not working, I love spending time with my children – camping, biking, spending time outside and running.

Judi-Johnson.jpgJudi Johnson
Recording Secretary

I have been a member of UFCW Local 653 since 1990 when I was hired by Cub Foods as a floral clerk. I am currently the floral manager at the Coon Rapids South location.

I started getting involved with Local 653 by attending meetings and serving on the last negotiation committee. I began serving on the executive board in April 2010. I have also become a member of the Women's Network. I have learned that our union staff and executive board are committed to our members.

I am excited to be involved in the future of our union, grateful for the benefits we have that are provided to us by our union contract, and look forward to encouraging our members to get involved and to participate in our union events.

I have been married to my husband, Glen, for over twenty years and we have three daughters--Andria, Rachael and Brigette.

Mike_Gaulrapp.JPGMike Gaulrapp

Vice-President 12

John_Pignato.JPG John Pignato                                                                             Vice-President 14

Mark.Husbyn.E.Board.Website.JPGMark Husbyn

I started working full-time as a meat cutter at Rainbow Foods in 1991 and am currently employed as a meat cutter with Corporate Cub Foods. I was on the Negotiating Committee in 2014 and 2016. I was elected to be an Executive Board member on July 11, 2016. My family and I were involved in the Victoria/Glen Lake picket lines and the 2016 Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. I have been attending all of the union membership meetings for the last three years.

I am married to my wonderful wife, Mildred, for 15 years. We have three beautiful kids, April, Hunter, and Ashley. 

Chris EricksonChris.Erickson.E.Board.Website.JPG

My start in the grocery business was in 1990 with GJ's SuperValu and now with Festival Foods as a meat cutter. I have served on four negotiating committees, in which this last time I have learned a great deal on how hard our union works to protect the membership of our industry.

I have two wonderful boys, Jake and Nick. I enjoy fishing and outdoor activities.

I was asked to join the Executive Board in March of 2016. I look forward to working with the other board members to work for the future of our industry. Remember, with union there is strength.

UFCW Local 653-I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the circus tickets. It was a generous gift and much appreciated. It was a great time, and fun to be with my grandchildren. They enjoyed being greeted by Wally the Clown, the coloring bo… - Mary