1199SEIU Appoints Todd Hobler as Executive Vice-President for Upstate/Western New York Area

April 12, 2021


Contact: April Ezzell, 1199SEIU Communications (716)449-1620

VP Grace Bogdanove takes over his former position to lead WNY Nursing Homes

Buffalo, NY - Following the retirement of 1199SEIU Executive Vice-President Ruth Heller, on April 1, the area director for Western New York Nursing Homes, Todd Hobler, was appointed by Union President, George Gresham, as Executive Vice-President (EVP) for Upstate/Western New York division. 1199SEIU is the largest healthcare workers union in the country, representing over 350,000 nursing home, homecare, and hospital workers. The Upstate/Western New York Division has nearly 23,000 members with offices in Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester and Governor.

Hobler has worked for 1199SEIU for over 25 years, first as an Administrative Organizer and more recently as the Vice-President for the Western New York Nursing Homes. He and his wife live in Buffalo and have two grown daughters.

“Todd is a strong and dedicated leader who has been with our union for a long time. He has worked really hard for hospital and nursing home workers like me,” says Darlene Gates, a Home Health Aide. “From how to form a union to negotiating our contracts, being on a picket line and helping us with marches on the boss - he is always there to give us clear input about how union workers can stand up for themselves in a healthcare setting, especially during COVID. Todd is realistic and always has a vision for workers. He will be a good fit to lead this division of our union,” says Gates.

“Our union has always been a leader in the fight for social, racial, and economic justice. I am very proud to have had the opportunity, for all these years, to stand with and work for the hard working and dedicated caregivers of 1199 in this struggle,” says Hobler. “I believe, our union has made a difference in our workplaces and our communities. But there is clearly more work to do,” said Hobler.

As Hobler begins his position as EVP this month, local native Grace Bogdanove steps in to take over his former position as Vice-President of WNY Nursing Homes. Bogdanove was recently listed among the top 40 young labor leaders in City & State’s Labor 40 Under 40[1] list which highlights rising stars in labor. She recently moved back to Buffalo from North Country where she was 1199SEIU Vice-President representing both hospital and nursing home workers. “I am honored to be in this position as Vice President of 1199SEIU’s WNY Nursing Home Division,” says Bogdanove. “It’s a dream to be back where my passion for this work began, right here in Buffalo.”


1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. We represent over 400,000 nurses and caregivers throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.

[1] The 2021 Labor 40 Under 40 | City & State NY (cityandstateny.com)