2023 First Citizen of Cherokee County

FIRST CITIZEN OF CHEROKEE COUNTY

Reyes Morales

The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Reyes Morales has been named the 49th recipient of the First Citizen of Cherokee County Award. He was honored during the Chamber’s 53rd Annual Meeting held Friday, January 19, 2024.

Reyes Morales moved to Cherokee County 23 years ago, yet he was born and raised in Mexico and migrated to the United States in 1996. Reyes holds an accounting degree and worked as an accountant in Mexico before moving to Georgia.

Having moved to the United States out of necessity to provide for his family, Reyes began his career journey as a dishwasher at the original Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q location in Marietta, Georgia. In his spare time, he worked hard to learn English so he could better communicate.

Mr. Morales excelled in his role due to his exceptional work ethic, kindness, and business acumen. He was promoted internally over the course of several years. Reyes worked his way up through the ranks, providing valuable on-site perspective and business advice to the owners. In 2001, Mr. Morales was invited to become a co-owner of the Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q location that would be opening in Canton.

Over the course of the last 23 years, Reyes has donated much of his time, his business, and his resources to individuals, families, local non-profit organizations, and public safety officials out of the goodness of his heart. He has been recognized as an Honorary Deputy with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, as well as recently being named Partner of the Year with Indian Knoll Elementary School, and many other accolades from partnerships with local schools and sports teams.

Mr. Morales enjoys cheering on his favorite soccer teams and the Atlanta Falcons when he is not walking his Australian Shepherd, Henry, around his neighborhood. Reyes and his wife, Sharon, have been married for 10 years and are the proud parents of four children.

Mr. Morales has served many people over the years, helping both friends and strangers in need and is always willing to lend a hand without recognition and is an outstanding husband, father, and friend, always putting the needs of others before himself.

“The Cherokee County Chamber was honored to name Reyes Morales as the 49th recipient of the prestigious First Citizen of Cherokee County Award.  It is obvious, based upon his accomplishments, why he was selected,” remarked Eric Rein, Senior VP & Commercial Relationship Officer, Renasant Bank, and 2024 Chamber Board Chair.

The title of First Citizen of Cherokee County is bestowed upon a resident of Cherokee County who has resided in the county for a minimum of five years and has shown significant meritorious service to his/her community through family, civic and/or religious involvement.  A panel of out-of-town judges reviews the accomplishments of each applicant then the winner is chosen based upon merit. The 2024 recipient joins a prestigious list of honorees including former Canton physician Dr. Grady Coker, who was the initial recipient in 1971, along with Kendall Jones, Cherokee Community Liaison with MUST Ministries, who was selected in 2023.

 View past recipients