Paul Morrow has been announced as one of President Trump’s guests for his third State of the Union address today. According to the biography provided by the White House, Morrow is a United States Army veteran who started his own contracting company when he left the military. His business is now very successful and currently building a concrete plant in Alabama that will support the new F-35 jets in the area when completed.
The White House has posted a short clip of Morrow before the State of the Union address.
Here’s what you need to know about Paul Morrow:
1. He Was Honorably Discharged From the Army After Getting Seriously Injured
According to Paul Morrow’s LinkedIn, he was a Tactical Wire Operations Specialist (SP4) in the U.S. Army’s 3rd Battalion, 33rd Armor. He listed that he served in Kirchgoens, Germany for three years, from June 1978 to 1981.
He is now a member of the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association and volunteers his time to help young people and returning service members learn the trade of HVAC and becoming small-business owners.
2. He Is the President and Founder of SDAC, A Federal Government Contractor
Morrow’s biography page on his company website says: “Odds are against going from picking beans to running a multi-million-dollar company in a single generation.”
His company’s website explains that when Morrow was discharged from the U.S. Army, he moved to Florida for the next step in his career and learned all about A/C units and repairs. At that time, he opened SDAC — originally called South Dade Air Conditioning and Refrigeration — in the town of Homestead, FL in 1985. In 2014, he expanded the company to Selma, AL, his hometown.
He won an impressive government business award in 2017, the SBA State of Florida Small Business Person of the Year. The SBA award recognizes that in the three years before receiving this honor, the company “doubled its sales, tripled its staff and opened two new corporate locations.”
The company has grown from its roots in HVAC to a number of maintenance, building and improvement projects, completing over 200 federal government contracts and other partnerships, according to its website.
Morrow also received the Smithsonian Institution “Outstanding Contribution” Award in 2017 in recognition of SDAC’s work for the grand opening of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.
3. His Concrete Plant in Alabama Will Support New F-35 Jets
Morrow’s company SDAC is currently working on a project, building a concrete plant in an “Opportunity Zone” in Montgomery, AL. The purpose of the plant is to support the new F-35 jets that will eventually be based out of Maxwell Air Force Base.
Opportunity Zones were areas designated in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to “spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities throughout the country.” Investors in these communities would receive tax benefits on eligible capital gains.
4. He Has Met Trump Before at “Black Voices for Trump” Rally
Paul Morrow won’t be meeting President Trump for the first time at the State of the Union address. The Alabama native participated in the “Black Voices for Trump” rally in Atlanta in November 2019, and his speech is in the video below. President Trump introduced Morrow and welcomed him to the stage, saying he is a “proud Army veteran, great person, and small-business owner.”
In the video, the Army veteran starts by saying that he’s not a politician, just a “regular human being” from Alabama, who is now standing on a stage next to the President of the United States, Donald Trump, in front of the American flag.
In the video, he explains how he became a “fighter” in the war against unemployment. With his company, he was able to create a lot of jobs and opportunities for those in his community.
He also announces that after the creation of the Opportunity Zones, he was able to purchase the first 275 acres of a 400-acre plot in one of those zones. He says that SDAC had a 100% growth pattern over the last 4 years, and they project a 200% growth pattern over the next 18 months thanks to these Opportunity Zones.
5. He Grew Up Near Selma, Alabama in a Family of 19 Kids
Morrow grew up in Plantersville, just outside Selma, Alabama. He is one of 19 kids born to James and Mary Morrow. According to his biography, his family was poor, and the Army veteran spent his childhood helping his family pick beans, okra and corn and then selling it by the road in front of their home.
Today, Morrow spends a lot of his free time with his family and in the outdoors. He hunts and fishes regularly and stays in good shape. He has three kids, and his daughter Nikki traveled to Washington with him when he received his SBA award in 2017.