The October cover features a male hygienist who is a Michigan resident, as well as the proud owner of a 1958 Corvette. Michael Nowak is a change of pace for RDH.
How red, white, and blue is this quote from Nowak?
"I grew up out in the country and my father was a welder for General Motors," he said. "In our area, it seems most everyone has connections to the automotive industry in one way or another.
"In the 1980s Michigan went through a similar downturn like we're experiencing today. Things were tight, but it was really more about just staying afloat until things turned around. That's the feeling I'm getting from a lot of my patients with this recession. Michigan is a state filled with hard working people, and we're a resilient people too; it's just more about hanging in there until things turn around. General Motors has always been good to me and my family, and it's with great pride that I can say that all three cars in my garage are Chevrolets."
Nowak claims he was inspired to enter the dental profession after writing reports on dentistry as early as middle school. His education led to a weekend position at a community dental clinic, which also introduced him to his current employer, Dr. Donald Sabourin in Saginaw.
"When Don decided to go into private practice, he asked me to join him. It was hard to leave the world of community dentistry, but – knowing the person he is and how he would run a business – it felt like it was the right time. Don didn't even make one job posting. He literally went out and handpicked his staff from his years of working with different dental professionals. The result was creating what I think of as a dental office dream team."
Family: Married for five years to Mandy. "She worked at the college while I was in hygiene school. I asked her to be my patient, and she had perfect teeth. So there was a lot of down time getting to know each other while waiting for clinical checks." The couple also have Elmo, a 17-year-old pug.Dental hygiene education: Delta College
Favorite vacation spot: Mackinac Island in Michigan
Private time: Playing games, donating time as a Web designer, and serving at his church
Photography by Dwight Cendrowski