About Us


Steven M. Powell

President & UFCW International Vice President

Steven M. Powell , President

Steve Powell was elected to serve as the President of Local 881 in 2019. In addition to leading Local 881 as President, he also serves Vice President on the UFCW International Executive Board. Steve began his career in the Labor Movement in 1985 as a Union Representative for Local 881. In 1991, Steve was asked to serve the UFCW International Union in Washington, DC as the Director of Political Affairs. Steve returned to Local 881 in 1995 to serve as the Executive Vice President until he was elected Secretary-Treasurer in 1999. In addition to his duties with the Local and International Union he is also a Vice President on the Executive Board of the Illinois AFL-CIO, a Trustee for the UFCW Midwest Health Benefits Fund, Chairman of the Indiana Calumet Region Health and Welfare Fund, and Trustee for the UFCW Local 655 Health and Welfare Fund.

Paul D. Schaefer


Paul D. Schaefer , Secretary-Treasurer

Paul Schaefer was elected to serve as the Secretary-Treasurer of Local 881 in 2019. Paul joined the staff in 1989 as a Union Representative in the Local 881 Edwardsville office. In 1996, he was asked to step-up and run the office as an Assistant Field Director and later the Field Director. In addition to his duties with Local 881 he serves as an alternate trustee to both the UFCW Local 655 Welfare Fund in St. Louis and the UFCW Unions and Employers Midwest Health and Pension Fund. Paul is also active in the Labor movement in downstate Illinois serving the AFL-CIO as a Vice President on the Executive Board of the Greater Madison County Federation of Labor and as a delegate to the Southwestern Illinois Central Labor Council.

Teresa Ramirez-Gonzalez


Teresa Ramirez-Gonzalez, Recorder

Teresa Ramirez-Gonzalez was appointed to serve as Recorder in 2021. A Local 881 rank-and-file member for many years, Teresa worked at Treasure Island Foods in Chicago. She joined Local 881 staff in 2002, initially working in the Membership Records Department. In 2006, Teresa became a Union Representative and was later promoted to Assistant Field Director. Teresa currently serves as the Director of Organizing for Local 881.

Bill O'Keefe​

Executive Vice-President

Bill O'Keefe​, Executive Vice President

Bill O’Keefe was named Local 881 Executive Vice President in 2021. Bill also oversees the Field Staff and Organizing Departments. Bill joined Local 881 in 1993 as a Union Representative. Over the years, Bill has served the membership of Local 881 as a Field Director and Grievance Coordinator. Bill is active in a variety of organizations, including as Trustee on the UFCW Calumet Region Insurance Fund. Bill also is a Delegate for the Chicago Federation of Labor.

Executive Board Vice Presidents

Garland Blakely
Darius Brown
Casey Collier
Dino Doukas
Kathy Eggert
Chris Femal
Mary Gavrilos
Terry Gratz
Krystina Kleich
Sue Klein

Lisa Leark
Mary Longo
Kent Madison
Anthony Malito
Denise Mele-Gironda
James Mounce
Kathy Resendiz
Mike Roberts
Marcella Robinson
Sue Schaar

Kim Stewart
Ken Swanson
Mary Tapia-Barthel
Andrea Tinsley
Tom Tyska
Patricia Vardalos
Kevin West
Valerie Wicinski
Diane Zabaly-Schreiner
William Zander

Executive Board Structure

The UFCW International Constitution and the Local 881 By-laws govern the duties of the Executive Board. The Officers and Executive Board members are elected by the membership.

The two top Constitutional Officers are the President and Secretary-Treasurer. They are both involved in every aspect of the Local Union’s ongoing work on behalf of the members. Each grievance is personally read and signed by the President and Secretary-Treasurer and no contract is sent to the affected membership for ratification without having been approved by them both.

President presides over the meetings of the Executive Board and quarterly Local Meetings. In addition, all activities of the Local Union are subject to the final approval of the President.

Secretary-Treasurer serves as the Chief Financial Officer of the Union and oversees the day-to-day operations of the various departments of the Union.

Executive Vice President is the third highest position in the Union’s leadership structure and serves the top officers, Executive Board members, and staff of Local 881 in an advisory capacity while also overseeing one or more departments.

Recorder reports and archives the minutes of each Local Union membership and Executive Board meeting.

Executive Board is comprised of rank-and-file Local 881 members as well as Local Union staff who provide oversight for the decisions and activities of the Local Union.