2024 Morgan County Leadership Hall of Fame Inductees

The 2024 Morgan County Leadership Hall of Fame, which also serves to raise funds for Morgan County Schools, took place on Thursday, March 21st at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Decatur, Alabama.


Mr. A.Q. Oldacre began his career in 1963 in the air and missile defense systems in a short-range air defense project office, followed by an assignment to the Systems Integration Division of the SAM-D/PATRIOT Project Office in 1965. In 1975 he became the Systems and Operations Analysis Branch Chief and was assigned as the Assistant Project Manager for International Programs in 1980. In 1983 he became a division chief of MICOM’s Security Assistance Management Directorate, supporting PATRIOT and other international programs.

In 1986, Mr. Oldacre was named Deputy Project Manager for the PATRIOT Project Office, responsible for assisting the PATRIOT Project Manager to orchestrate the US Army’s largest missile program. He was responsible for the largest international program ever undertaken by the U.S. Army and assisted in the successful negotiation and management of the largest multi-year contract ever awarded by the Army. He helped guide the PATRIOT program through Desert Storm, having been with it since inception. While acting as Deputy Program Executive Officer he was the chief U.S. negotiator for the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) which successfully concluded an agreement with Germany and Italy for a joint program.

Mr. Oldacre received the Secretary of Defense’s David S. Packard for Acquisition Excellence in May 1996 and has received numerous foreign awards for outstanding service from Germany, The Netherlands, Japan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. He is also a registered professional engineer.


Ms. Trudy Grisham relocated to Decatur in the early 1980’s and cofounded the Decatur Morgan Hospital Foundation, the 501c3 non-profit organization that benefits Decatur Morgan Hospital. During her 33 years serving as the Foundation’s President, Grisham also served as the Vice President of Marketing and Development to the hospital’s Board of Directors. Her first campaign in the community raised approximately $1 million dollars in 1985 to build Morgan County’s first cancer center. Under Grisham’s leadership, the Foundation raised millions of charitable dollars, impacting the community with the creation of annual events such as the annual Dragon Boat Race and Festival and the Power of Pink Walk and Fashion Show.

Ms. Grisham was the first female to serve as Chairperson to the Decatur Morgan County Chamber of Commerce from 1994 to 1995. She was also the first female to join the Decatur Kiwanis Club, receiving their prestigious Lynn Fowler Award in 2021. She has served on multiple boards within the community including the Morgan County Economic Development Association, ACA Foundation, River Clay Foundation, and United Way, among other civic groups.

Ms. Grisham has been presented with many recognitions and awards for service. Most recently, she received the Humanitarian of the Year in 2023 from the Decatur-Morgan County Minority Development Association. She has also been awarded Citizen of the Year in 2005 and the Athena Award in 1997 from the Decatur Morgan County Chamber of Commerce and the John A. Caddell Award from the Decatur Morgan Hospital Foundation in 2004. She continues to serve the community as a volunteer following her retirement in 2016.


Michael “Soy” Taylor felt the call from God to reach the nations with the Gospel of Jesus early on in life. Mr. Taylor spent the first 10 years of his career in the ministry in Grand Bay, Alabama, working, praying, and visiting foreign countries with mission outreach. In 2017, he and his wife founded the Shining Light Abroad Ministries (SLAM) and moved with their three daughters to El Tejar, Guatemala to serve in international missions.

Mr. Taylor’s work in Guatemala included working in a feeding/tutoring ministry that served impoverished children. In 2020, a new school, Colegio J.E.T. (Jesus and Education Transform), was opened to help educate those children. He was the technology director for the school, setting up and overseeing the computer lab, teaching the 204 students about technology, and serving as a father figure to many of the children. He also served as a director of Guatemala Relief and Compassion Effort (GRACE Ministries), overseeing their technology needs as well. He was most passionate about locating families in the remote areas of Guatemala who needed housing. His connections to churches and communities in Morgan County, Alabama, led to many mission teams traveling to Guatemala to build those needed houses. Youth, students, and adults from across Morgan County made the trip to serve at GRACE.

Mr. Taylor, his wife, and their three children were at their home in Guatemala when three armed men approached and demanded money. His wife went inside with the children, while Mr. Taylor confronted the would-be thieves. The men fled the scene, but not before shooting Mr. Taylor once in the stomach. He would later succumb to his injuries and passed away on Oct. 2, 2023.



If you would like to nominate someone for the Morgan County Leadership Hall of Fame, you may do so by completing the nomination form and submitting it to a member of the Hall of Fame Committee listed on the form.

The Morgan County Schools Foundations is a 501c3 non-profit organization that operates solely from the generous donations from individuals and businesses who share our desire to make our schools and students the best that they can be.

P. O. Box 5344, Decatur, AL 35601

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