by James Parks, May 22, 2010

Three union members—two police officers and a veteran voice actor—received prestigious national awards for outstanding service in recent days.

Tonight, veteran voice actor Sheldon Smith will receive the Howard Keel award, presented by the Screen Actors (SAG). A long-time member of SAG and the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (AFTRA), Smith is an award-winning actor/narrator and perhaps the best-known voice of Republican media campaigns in America.

Senior Sgt. Mark Todd and Sgt. Kimberly Munley, members of AFGE Local 1920, received the Top Cop Award from the National Association of Police Organizations. They heroically shot the gunman and protected the public during a bloody rampage at Fort Hood Army base in Texas last November.

Munley and Todd were among the 26 winners of the award who attended a White House ceremony with President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder last week. The Top Cops Award program honors America’s outstanding law enforcement officers, highlighting those who have made a significant contribution to our country above and beyond the call of duty.

AFGE President John Gage said:

We hope this recognition educates the public on the ways they are served by their government. Kim and Mark are shining examples of the millions of public sector workers who have dedicated their careers to making America work.

SAG President Ken Howard will present tonight’s award to Smith as part of the union’s annual regional branch division board meeting. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will address the board meeting this morning. Smith serves as a member of SAG’s National Financial Core Task Force, and has a passion for organizing. For the past several years, he has presented a popular workshop nationwide which teaches members how to convert non-union work into union jobs.

Smith says:

I am honored and humbled by this recognition. To me, it reflects the gratitude I have for my membership in the Guild and in AFTRA. Being a union member has afforded me professional opportunities I would not otherwise have enjoyed and my earned union benefits have allowed me to be a full-time working actor with a long and rewarding career.

SAG Vice President David Hartley-Margolin adds:

Sheldon has lent his time, energy, intellect and considerable talent to an extraordinary number of efforts that have benefited not only Washington-Baltimore members, but members across the country. Sheldon’s service has been tireless, staggering, and offered for years without regard for recognition, making him more than deserving of this distinguished award.

Named for legendary actor-singer and former SAG President Howard Keel, the award is annually presented to persons who make a significant contribution to the promotion of SAG and the welfare and benefit of members in their local branch, or nationally.