ACE Staff

Grace Fricks
President and CEO

Bonnie Bowling
Chief Operations Officer
Joshua Brackett
Chief Financial Officer
Sandy Headley
Vice President


Maria Peck
Metro Atlanta Loan Officer
Courtney Lynn
North Georgia Loan Officer
Kevin McGee
Director of Business Advisory Services
Karen Davis

Healthy Food Initiative, Project Director

Guy Ramos
Client Counselor
Toni Wiley
Loan Operations Assistant

Candace Thomas
Executive Assistant to the President
Candace McClure
Administrative Assistant
Jared Arrant
Loan Staff
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter




Grace Fricks Shares Stories of 
Successful ACE Entrepreneurs at 
Professional Women's Networking Event
ACE founder and CEO Grace Fricks is pictured with three ACE clients, from left: Nicole Wimpy of Jolie Day Spa, Aysha Cooper of SarahCare of Snellville and Ardina Pierre of Nature's Own Herb Shop.
ACE's clients set examples that demonstrate just how much success in business depends on building relationships and social networks for mutual support. ACE founder and CEO Grace Fricks spoke at a luncheon of the Professional Women's Information Network (ProWIN), where she shared inspiring success stories about women who have persevered through challenges and adversity to establish and grow their businesses.

The following women are a few of the ACE clients who are
making a difference with their businesses:

-- After experiencing her own family's painful struggle with her grandfather's Alzheimer's Disease, Aysha Cooper used assistance from ACE to become a franchisee of SarahCare, a growing chain of vibrant day-care centers for seniors with dementia. Her center in Snellville offers family caregivers greater peace of mind with the knowledge that their loved ones are spending the day in a safe, fun, and socially engaging environment with an expert staff.

-- Ardina Pierre is growing and expanding her Hapeville business,
Nature's Own Herb Shop, in various ways that feed and nourish her diverse and underserved community. A registered nurse and licensed nutritionist, Pierre used an energy efficiency audit and Green Loan from ACE to upgrade her insulated windows and freezers for sustainability, and she is expanding her inventory of supplements and health foods with assistance from ACE's Healthy Food Financing Initiative. Her products and nutritional counseling are improving the health of a growing base of customers.

-- Nicole Wimpy of Jolie Day Spa in Dahlonega recently won ACE's Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She started her business with a $50,000 loan from ACE, which she since has paid back, and she is using a Small Business Assistance (SBA) loan to expand her spa's health, wellness, and beauty services and to purchase the Dahlonega Market Place Event Center, which will function as a venue for weddings, receptions, concerts, and other community events.

These clients serve as role models of entrepreneurship, and their stories offer examples of what initiative, hard work, and community engagement can achieve.





Do you need help with your business?

ACE's Business Advisory Services are designed to help our clients thrive as well as survive. We've added even more products and services to help your business. As a valued ACE client, these services are free to you. We can help you create a new website, set up Quick Books accounting software, create logos or marketing materials, and provide general business coaching.   Please contact Kevin McGee, ACE's Director of Business Advisory Services, at  to find out more information about how ACE can help you grow your business.



Cutting-edge Technology Helps Elberton Entrepreneur Carve Success in Stone
For 25 years, Samuel Prince of Zion Consulting has built a rock-solid reputation in the stone business. A geologist by education as well as a certified stone and marble inspector, Prince has imported granite blocks for resale for more than eight years and brokers blocks to many granite businesses in Elberton, a small town in rural north Georgia that is known as the "Granite Capital of the World." His established roster of customers includes Everlasting Granite and Star Granite, two of the largest such companies in the industry. Prince realized, though, that to stay competitive, it is never too late to innovate. 

Last year, he used an ACE loan to expand his business to include a fully automated CNC granite and marble sculpting operation. This state-of-the-art, computerized equipment uses robotic technology to carve and reproduce any objects, images, or script that clients desire on their monuments. Until recently, this level of craftsmanship could only be done by hand, which proved time-consuming, labor-intensive, and costly. Without this addition, Prince would have been forced to consider commissioning the work overseas, in China, India, or Italy, which also would add to costs while limiting the colors of the stone to the site of their manufacture. Granite retailers have expressed widespread enthusiasm about adding these services to their sales catalogs, and Zion Consulting anticipates a dramatic surge in sales and customer satisfaction. 

 Getting Schooled in the Savings of Sustainability

Academic Solutions, a tutoring and learning center in Marietta, occupies a residential house that has been converted into office and classroom space - a pleasant environment that does not feel "institutional" -- where students of all ages can learn study strategies and boost their SAT and ACT scores. "We don't have any trees around us for shade, though, and our utility bills were averaging around $550 a month," says owner and director Bob Hoyer.  


A Georgia Green Loan of $35,000 enabled Academic Solutions to install eight solar panels, and the tutor learned a valuable lesson of his own: going green cuts costs. The panels have slashed his utility bills in half, for a savings of an estimated $3,600 per year.   "It feels good to do something that saves my business money while making it more sustainable and helping the environment at the same time," Hoyer says.  "Any small-business owner will tell you that's a significant savings, which leaves more money for us to spend on other resources, and ACE made it easy by cutting through all the red tape for us," Hoyer says.  


Academic Solutions typically serves 150 students at any given time, and Hoyer estimates that, since its inception 13 years ago, more than 5,000 have benefited from the individualized attention they receive. "We not only help them boost their grades and scores," he says, "but we also give them skills they can apply the rest of their lives, which gives them more overall self-confidence."  


In Memoriam: Anton Johnson
Anton Johnson at Celebrity Status Tattoo. He brought vision, integrity, helpfulness, and a friendly smile to his work.


ACE celebrates the life and work of our client Anton Johnson, who died January 16. 


Johnson, 39, operated Celebrity Status Tattoo, in the West End corridor of Atlanta. He used assistance from ACE to purchase specialized equipment for tattoo removal, which he often utilized at his salon and on-site at correctional facilities for former gang members and others who were seeking to change their lives.       

Johnson, a father of two and veteran of the armed services, was a savvy and disciplined businessman with a vision for helping others, and he served as a respected role model and mentor to many in his community. Johnson exemplified the entrepreneurial spirit and civic-mindedness that ACE strives to support, and we were honored to work with him in his business.

ACE welcomes Dorothy Yates Kirkley
as New Board Chair


ACE welcomes Dorothy Yates Kirkley as our new Chair of the Board of Directors. Kirkley, a founding partner in the law firm Kirkley & Hawker in Atlanta, brings an accomplished and dynamic record of philanthropic and community leadership to ACE, where she plans to enhance our fund-raising, networking, and outreach efforts, particularly in her areas of expertise in women's empowerment and environmental advocacy. She has more than 30 years of experience in commercial and criminal litigation in both federal and state courts. Kirkley served on the board for the Atlanta Women's Foundation, and she was Chair of Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin's Ethics Task Force. She was also an award recipient of the YWCA of Greater Atlanta's 2002 Salute Academy of Women Achievers. Ms. Kirkley also served as Chair of the Board for the Piedmont Park Conservancy. At ACE, we look forward to working with Kirkley to strengthen small businesses, achieve greater sustainability, and boost Georgia's economic recovery. 

ACE Loans is an equal opportunity lender, provider and employer.