Jay Walker didn't live in Dawson County the last 10 years, but he made Dawsonville his home.
"This community has taken care of my family," Walker said. "I've just always felt that it was important to give back to the community that's taken care of you."
Walker, manager at the local Kroger, announced Monday he would be transferring to a store near Stone Mountain next week.
For Walker, it's a new beginning, an opportunity he's passed up many times before.
"I knew it was coming and I turned down a couple of opportunities, but then a little bird told me I needed to stop turning down opportunities," he said.
Linda Williams, president of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and a friend, called Walker's move a "true loss" for the community.
"We wish him well, of course, but he will be missed. He was such an integral part of our community and he gave so much to so many organizations, not just the chamber," Williams said.
During his time in Dawson County, Walker has been heavily involved with numerous local charities and non-profits, including United Way, NOA and the Dawson County Arts Council, among others.
He also served as chairman for Dawson County Relay for Life the last two years during a time when fundraising could have been an issue due to the economy.
Instead, volunteers raised more than $81,000, "thanks in part to his leadership," said Suzanne Hendricks, community manager for the American Cancer Society.
"We would like to thank Jay for his years of support of the Relay For Life and the Dawson County survivors and wish him all the best at his new location," Hendricks said.
Jay Sessions, former chairman of United Way for Dawson County, echoed her thoughts.
"Jay Walker was a tremendous advocate for the United Way of Dawson County. Under Jay's leadership, his store had the largest campaign each year and he also volunteered his time to serve on the allocations committee each February," Sessions said. "He is a true servant leader and Dawson County was fortunate to have him serve in our community for so many years."
Williams added: "We'll literally and figuratively have some big shoes to fill."
Walker admits the rest of the week will be difficult.
"I'll tell you this, I'll never work with a team of people like I work with now, because if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't get to do the things in the community that I get to do."