Mike Hodge, the late president of the New York SAG-AFTRA local, has been named the inaugural recipient of the union’s President’s Award. Hodge died September 9 at age 70, had been president of the local since 2009 and had served been a long-serving member of the national board.

“I am honored to present this award to Mike Hodge for his extraordinary service, dedication and commitment to the membership of SAG-AFTRA and unionism in America,” SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said on the last day of the union’s biennial convention. “It only feels right that it should go to someone who worked so hard for the union. He will be sorely missed, but we continue to feel his presence in the indelible mark he made on this union and all who came in contact with him. From merger to negotiations to the resources he brought to New York members, we are all better off for having shared this journey with him.”

Rebecca Damon, the union’s Executive VP, accepted the award on Hodge’s behalf. “Mike Hodge would have been thrilled and humbled by this honor,” she said. “He was an inspiration to not only the New York membership but to all of us in this union. I am happy to know that his memory will live on. As Ken Howard liked to say, he was ‘the voice of God.’ The important work he did for this union makes Mike the perfect first recipient of this award.”