When he was a student at Pennsylvania State University earning a degree in labor studies, Mark Federici joined the UFCW in 1984 as a produce clerk and night time stocker at Riverside Markets. His experience in the stores gave him a firsthand experience of how unions empower their membership to stand up for their rights and to demand respect. After graduating, Federici committed his life to the labor movement and building power for working people. He began his career as an intern with the National Hospital Workers District 1199P and the International Association of Machinists. In 1987, he was hired as a field representative for the Seafarers International Union of North America. Four years later, he joined Local 400, where he served as an organizer, representative, director of governmental affairs, director of strategic programs, executive assistant to the president, and most recently secretary-treasurer. Federici built Local 400’s political power in all parts of the union’s jurisdiction by championing legislation that took on corporations and their anti-worker policies. He also led the Local’s successful efforts to take on Smithfield, the largest pork processor in the world. For the past three years, Federici has helped lead all of Local 400’s major bargaining efforts. Federici is a member of the PG County NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Council of Richmond. And has held many leadership positions in his tenure with Local 400.
Chris Hoffmann has been a member of Local 400 since 1988 when he started working for Giant Food. Prior to joining Local 400 as a Giant Food member he worked for another union grocer based in Glenmont, Md. While working in grocery retail, he utilized his degree in advertising art and brought his talents to the advertising department for Sears as well as a small independent advertising firm. Hoffmann’s union roots run deep, growing up in a union household, his father worked for Giant Food from 1956-1979 before spending 18 years working for Local 400, where he retired in 1997. In 1999, Hoffmann became more active in his union and joined the Local 400 staff as an organizer and just a few years later he joined the service department as a representative before transitioning to negotiating contracts in 2013. In 2018, he was elected Secretary-Treasurer. “Growing up in a Local 400 household and seeing first hand the benefits unions have on workers and now having the opportunity to continue to serve the membership in this capacity — I’m humbled.”
Vivian Sigouin has been working at Safeway #1431 in Fairfax, VA for more than 30 years. She has been a checker, grocery manager and is now a food clerk. As a steward, Sigouin helps co-workers with on-the-job issues, and has served on the bargaining committee four times. During the last round of bargaining, Sigouin played an instrumental role in mobilizing the membership to take action and ownership of the contract. Sigouin is also a member of the UFCW Women’s Network and the UFCW Minority Coalition, and has played an active role in fundraising efforts for both groups. She says, “Being on the executive board is important to me because I get the opportunity to help our membership move forward and progress to a stronger and unified union.”
Vice President, Maryland & DC Regional Director
Yolanda Anwar has been with Local 400 since she started working as a floral department manager at Giant in 1985. She became a shop steward in 2004, and two years later she joined the Local 400 staff as a union representative. Anwar has been active in the labor movement through political campaigns both on the national and local levels, as well as through volunteering her time to schools and churches in the area. In January 2013, Anwar became the Regional Director of Maryland and D.C at Local 400. In this role she is responsible for leading and managing union representatives for these areas, and makes a great effort to understand the needs and concerns of members and communicate these back to the officers of the union. She also helps prepare for and participates in contract negotiations and membership meetings, and attempts to ensure the highest standards in contract enforcement and member representation. “My goal has always been to help the members and the labor movement move forward,” she says. “I grew up in Local 400; this is and will always be my union.”
Vice President (Boar’s Head Provisions, Virginia)
Kevin Belle has been working for Boar’s Head for more than ten years, and has served as a chief steward for most of that time. Recently, as a member of the bargaining committee, he worked tirelessly to mobilize his co-workers to negotiate the best contract the plant has seen in its history. Outside of his work with Local 400, he is a member of the Richmond branch of the SCLC, and serves as a minister to his congregation at Carrying the Cross Ministry. “Being on this board means a lot to me because it gives me the opportunity to learn and bring information back to my coworkers not only from Local leadership but also my union brothers and sisters that serve in different industries,” he says.
Vice President, West Virginia & Southwest Virginia Regional Director
Bryan Bond joined UFCW Local 347 when he started working at Kroger in West Virginia as a teenager. He worked as a cashier and in the Frozen Food, Produce, Grocery and Meat Departments at stores in Elkins, Weston, Bridgeport, Morgantown and Clarksburg through high school, college and beyond. In 1997, Bryan took a leave to work on a Local 347 organizing blitz. After his success in helping to win several elections, UFCW Local 23 in Pittsburgh hired Bryan as an organizer. He organized Dr. Pepper, Aladin Foods, Greenery Rehabilitation Facility, and a hospital north of Pittsburgh, never losing an election. He was later sent by the UFCW International to help organize the Sacred Heart Medical Center Spokane, Washington. In 2002, Bryan became a union representative for Local 23. In 2010, he was promoted to director of Collective Bargaining and four years later, he became director of Representation. Bryan joined Local 400 as West Virginia Regional Director in October 2017. Since then, he has become Southwest Virginia Regional Director as well and was named a Trustee of the UFCW Local 400 Health Fund. A drummer and singer for the band Black Dog Hollow in his spare time, Bryan said, “I like to help others and its very rewarding to know that when you saved someone’s job, you changed their life. Sometimes it’s just information they need or assistance on a problem. Sometimes it has nothing to do with their job at all. That’s what we do as a Union. We’re an Organizer, a Director, a counselor, a consultant and sometimes just a friend. We wear many hats every day.”
Vice President, Central & Southeast Virginia Regional Director
Robert Brown became a member of Local 400 in the 1980s, when he was a shop steward at A & P. He became a union SPUR in 2003, when his rep at the time, Heith Fenner, encouraged Robert to come with him on his day off to visit other stores, and he’s been here ever since. He joined the Local 400 staff permanently as a representative for the Richmond area in 2005. He finds it a welcome challenge to communicate the value of a union contract to workers, especially young people, and he appreciates the opportunity to “make the best judgement[s] for the membership of Local 400” as a member of its board.
Vice President (Kroger, West Virginia)
A Local 400 member for more than 30 years, Tami Faulknier works as Head Deli Clerk at Kroger #768 in Dunbar, W.Va. She has been a shop steward at this store and her previous one (Kroger #763 in Cross Lanes, W.Va.) for three decades. A third-generation union member on both sides of her family, Tami prides herself on her activism and has served on six Kroger Bargaining Committees over the years. She was a leader in the fight to stop “right to work” legislation in West Virginia, is heavily involved in voter registration and other political action efforts, and regularly volunteers to do whatever is needed. “It’s just amazing to be part of something that’s bigger than yourself,” Tami said. “I’ve super enjoyed every bit of union activity I’ve been involved with—it really gets me pumped up. The most important thing we can do is educate future generations about all the sacrifices past generations made that give us the benefits and protections we have today.”
Vice President (Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, Maryland)
A Local 400 member for more than 30 years who works as a meat cutter at Shoppers #2816 in Riverdale, Md., Kevin Freeman has served as a shop steward for the better part of a decade. He is a longtime union activist who serves on bargaining committees, gets involved in pro-worker political campaigns, and works as a special representative for Local 400 pursuing grievances and other matters when needed. “I like talking with members and helping them in any way I can,” he said. “That’s what drives me — I have compassion for people.”
Vice President (Kroger, Virginia)
Lisa Gillespie is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to the grocery business. For more than 20 years, she has worked at Kroger serving customers in the bakery, deli, and produce departments. She currently works at the customer service counter in Kroger #209 in Roanoke, Va. As a shop steward, she loves to educate people on the contract and looks forward to the monthly Executive Board meetings to catch up with members from the different industries and different geographical areas that Local 400 represents, and to work with them to ensure the Local’s growth in its role as a force within the labor movement. In her time with the Local, Gillespie has participated in the Smithfield and Walmart campaigns and has been a member of the Kroger contract bargaining committee. “The Local 400 executive board is so diverse in terms of geographical areas, industries and experiences that every time we have a meeting I am learning so much from the other members in the room, as well as the leadership,” she says. “I am in the environment to share my own experience in order to move our union and membership in the right direction, forward.”
Vice President, Service Director
Alan Hanson joined Local 400 in 2016 after serving for 10 years as assistant to the organizing director at the UFCW International. Before then, he was a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, working for UPS in the warehouse and as a part-time package car driver. Alan participated in the historic 1997 UPS strike. “At a time of unprecedented corporate greed,” he said, “there’s only one thing to do: organize, organize, organize!”
Vice President (Safeway, Washington, D.C.)
Phyllis Jackson has worked at Safeway since 1996 and has served as an office evening teller, floral department manager, and, currently, as a food clerk. She has also served Local 400’s membership as a shop steward since 2000, as well as a member of the Executive Board. Jackson is a big-time community activist; she’s been involved in raising money to assist kids in the neighborhood allowing them to participate a field trip or take a vacation. She also serves her community by helping out at So Others Might Eat (SOME), an interfaith, community-based organization in D.C. that offers a comprehensive, holistic approach to caring for homeless and extremely poor citizens in the city.
Vice President, Northern Virginia Regional Director
As the Northern Virginia Regional Director, Neil Jacobs is responsible for building the power of Local 400 in Northern Virginia by leading and managing union staff representatives, in order to better understand the needs and concerns of members and communicate those back to the officers of the union. Jacobs also spends time preparing for and participating in contract negotiations and membership meetings. Before working at Local 400, Jacobs was a produce clerk and then a meat cutter at Safeway. In 1973, he went to work at Grand Union, and then Basics as a meat manager. In 1991 he began working for Shoppers Food Warehouse in the same position, before coming on staff at the Local as a union representative in 2001.
Vice President, Collective Bargaining Representative
John Lee’s first union job was at age 16 as a member of the Nursing Home and Hospital Employees Union in New Jersey. Working as an orderly in a nursing home he learned the value of hard work and the benefits of union membership. Working his way through school, John received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Mount St Mary’s University in Political Science. After a stint working in corporate America, John became a member of Local 400 when he joined the Annapolis Police Department in 1993. He became a Shop Steward and eventually the Chief Steward. John retired from law enforcement after 20 years of service, and in 2013 joined the staff of Local 400 as a Service Representative. In 2015 he began his transition into bargaining contracts and is currently a Collective Bargaining Representative. “I am honored to help better the lives of the fine members of Local 400 through collectively bargaining better wages, benefits and working conditions.”
Vice President (Giant Food, Maryland)
Beverly McFarland is floral manager at Giant #135 in Silver Spring, Maryland. Over the course of the nearly 40 years she has worked at Giant and her 12 years as shop steward, she has been an activist and leader with Local 400 and in the wider community. Beverly has served on the last two bargaining committees with Giant and Safeway, and has lent her hand and voice to her sisters and brothers working at Kroger in Virginia. A certified nutritionist, she volunteers in her free time to promote a plant-based diet and healthier eating in lower-income communities throughout the Washington, D.C./Maryland/Virginia metropolitan area. “What motivates me is continuing to fight for fair wages and health and retirement security,” she said. “I’ve been around a long time and what the company offers us seems to be diminished in every contract. I want to make sure everyone gets a decent wage, a secure pension for retirement, and good health care.
Vice President (Macy's, Washington, D.C.)
Kimberly has been a UFCW Local 400 member since 2006 and serves as shop steward at the downtown D.C. Macy’s location. When Kimberly isn’t working the Bobbi Brown make-up counter, she is standing with her community against corporate greed. Kimberly Mitchell has spoken out with Respect D.C. coalition in their fight against Walmart coming to D.C. neighborhoods. She also has taken part organizing efforts and member servicing in the retail clothing locations represented by Local 400. “I would have never thought at the beginning of this journey that I would have been asked to represent my fellow members on the executive board so I could be their voice and have a say in a vote for their concerns that God knew,” said Mitchell. “It’s a pleasure and honor to serve the great members of this local union.”
Vice President (Giant Food, Virginia)
Vice President (Omega Protein, Virginia)
A third generation fisherman, Ken Pinkard started working at Omega Protein in Reedville, Va., in 1984. Four years later, he and his colleague, Emerson “Jackie” Norris, Jr., organized an independent union at Omega, the Reedville Fishermen’s Association, and Ken served as its first president. In 1991, Ken spearheaded his union’s merger with UFCW Local 400 and joined its Executive Board. In 1993 and 1994, he led a heroic 14-month strike that ended in victory when Local 400 secured retiree health benefits. Ken continues to work for Omega during the May-December fishing season and the rest of the year, he works in organizing and servicing with Local 400. Ken is a community pillar, serving on the Executive Board of the Virginia NAACP (including 10 years as Labor Chair), and in leadership positions with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Faces of Our Children, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northumberland County. He is also a Deacon of Shiloh Baptist Church in Burgess, Va. “I believe passionately in workers’ rights and people’s rights,” he said. “I’ve still got the bruises from our strike, but we’ve got good health care now and it was more than worth it.”
Vice President (Kroger, West Virginia)
Jerry Rexroad has worked at the Clarksburg, WV Kroger #688 store for more than 40 years. Since #688 is small store, as a shop steward for more than three decades, Rexroad has had the opportunity to form great friendships with all 62 of his fellow members. Over the years, he has been involved in national and local political elections. As a part of the Executive Board, Rexroad has contributed to the success of Local 400 and he believes the strength of the board lies in the variety of experiences and knowledge of its members. “It has been an honor to represent my people,” Rexroad says. “They are my family and I cannot think of anywhere else I would rather have spent my life.”
Vice President (Safeway, Virginia)
Vice President, Northern Virginia Representative
Tom Rogers started his career at Giant in 1978 as a utility clerk and within a few weeks he was promoted to produce clerk. Not long after, Rogers was appointed shop steward at his store. As an active Local 400 member, Roger’s has had a hand in strengthening our union in several different capacities–from attending rallies and informational picket lines, to campaign organizing, to helping out his union brothers and sisters on strike or raising money for Leukemia Lymphoma Cancer Society Research. In 2005, Rogers joined the Local 400 staff as a Northern Virginia representative. Rogers’ role as a representative involves servicing Safeway, Giant, Shoppers Food and BestWay by signing up new members, and making sure that their contract is properly enforced by investigating grievances and seeing them through the review process. “Throughout my journey I have seen what positive change can be made when you have Local 400 on your side and solidarity supporting you, and it’s my honor to continue to serve the membership as I have for the past 15 or so years on the executive board,” he says.
Jane St. Louis
Vice President (Safeway, Maryland)
Jane St. Louis has worked at Safeway # in Damascus, Maryland for 26 years, serving currently as File Maintenance Clerk and shop steward. She was a member of the FELRA Bargaining Advisory Committees in 2013 and 2016. In addition to her leadership in her union, Jane is an active member of the community as a 21-year member of the Damascus American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Post 171 — in fact, she was named 2019 Auxiliary Member of the Year. “I serve because I am committed to our members and community,” she said. “This opportunity allows me to expand on my passion for public service.”
Vice President (Boar's Head Provisions, Virginia)
Linda Sykes has been a Local 400 member since 1991 and has served as the chief shop steward for Boar’s Head for more than 20 years. As the chief shop steward, Sykes works in the office at the Boar’s Head plant and is responsible for running orientation for new hires, managing benefit and insurance inquiries, and addressing other issues that arise. She has been on every bargaining committee for the Jarratt location since joining Local 400 in the early ‘90s. She also participated in the Smithfield campaign and has assisted with Kroger steward seminars. For Sykes, being on the Local 400 Executive Board is important because she can serve as the eyes and ears of her fellow Boar’s Head members and is able to take back all that she learned to them. “I know that being on the board I am helping by taking part in important decisions that aim to better serve our membership as a whole,” she says.
Vice President (Tyson Foods, Virginia)
Mary Vines-Smith has been working at Tyson Foods in southern Virginia for more than 30 years and has served as shop steward for most of that time. She has held various roles at Tyson Foods, including Day Shift Manifester, lead person on the night shift and now Parts Room Attendant. Vines-Smith is a member of both the NAACP and SCLC Richmond chapters and she participated in March on Washington commemorating the 30th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s protest by the same name. As a member of the Executive Board, Vines-Smith is grateful to learn from other members from different industries and understand their struggles so she can take them back to her coworkers and push the message that “we are not alone.” “I have seen how important it is to have a union in the workplace,” she says, “to always have someone who’s got your back, and with a board like this–that puts the membership first–we can’t go wrong.”
Vice President, Southern Virginia Regional Director
Before coming on staff at Local 400 Donna Waddell worked as the Quality Auditor, Temporary Supervisor and Shop Steward in the sewing room at Dan River Mills Inc in Danville, Va for 18 years. In 1995, after her first 11 years of service, United Textile Workers Local 248 merged with UFCW and Waddell became a member of Local 400. When Waddell joined Local 400’s staff as Community Affairs Coordinator for Virginia, she became heavily involved in organizing efforts surrounding the Wal-Mart and Smithfield campaigns, and in the planning of the annual Gospel Fest Extravaganza. She has also taken on a leadership role in several community organizations, including the Virginia State NAACP and SCLC, the Danville Voters League, and Faces of Our Children. Waddell was also certified in firearms training by The Department of Corrections and became a corrections officer in 2007. Soon after, she worked with Communications Workers of America Local 2201 to help organize a Corrections Officer Union before returning to Local 400 as a union representative. She is now the regional director for southern Virginia. “Being a part of Local 400’s Executive Board is important to me because I am able to be a voice for workers that I represent in my area, and a voice for the community,” she says.
Vice President, Executive Assistant to the President
Since coming to Local 400 Mike has helped lead several campaigns, including the successful push to stop Giant Food from selling several stores in 2016, several bargaining campaigns with Kroger, Giant, Safeway, and Shoppers, and helping secure the first presidential campaign union contract with Bernie 2020.
As Executive Assistant to the President, Mike helps direct the work of all departments at the Local with the goals of empowering members, growing the Local and the labor movement, and keeping Local 400 positioned as a national leader among progressive, organizing focused trade unions.