After 30 years, Dr. Michelle Morrow is finally passing on her role as primary dentist at Dawsonville Distinctive Dentistry.
The search for a replacement was not an easy task.
"I spent over a year interviewing various dentists before I knew I had found the person that I was truly satisfied with, who could be here full time and continue our manner of caring for our patients," she said.
The patients have always come first for Morrow and her staff. She gives a lot of kudos to her staff for the type of people they are and how they truly care about their patients.
"Our newest member, Dr. Bilal Manzur is an excellent member of the same philosophy and after working with him for eight months, there's not a doubt in my mind that I chose the right person," she said.
An Ohio native, Morrow moved to Georgia with her family when she was a sophomore in high school.
Both family and faith have always been important to her.
Morrow said growing up in a Christian home that was very strict taught her principles that have remained very valuable and made her life easier in the long run.
She credits her parents as having the greatest influence on her life.
"My mother and father lived through the Great Depression and World War II," she said. "Though they were both very successful, they still applied the philosophies they learned to raise me and my siblings."
Her father was a dentist and started a new practice in Tucker before coming to Dawsonville on a limited part time basis to do dentistry while keeping his main practice in Tucker.
"Dr. Michelle," as her patients have always called her, purchased her father's dental practice in 1985 after struggling to borrow money, as many financial institutions did not consider a female dentist in rural South Georgia.
Until Don Gordon, president of Dawson County Bank at the time, loaned her one half of the purchase price as long as her father personally financed the rest.
"I paid off my father first, and then the bank all before the loan returned," she said. "Dawson County residents were hesitant at first, but over time they saw I was here to take care of them."
After retirement Morrow plans on spending time with her friends and family and travelling across the country.