ACE Staff

Grace Fricks
President and CEO
Bonnie Bowling
Chief Operations Officer
Joshua Brackett
Chief Financial Officer
Sandy Headley
Vice President

Kevin McGee
Vice President, Business Development
Atlanta Metro Region

Maria Peck
Metro Atlanta Loan Officer
Courtney Lynn
North Georgia Loan Officer
Karen Davis

Healthy Food Initiative, Project Director

Karen McLain
Guy Ramos
Client Counselor
Toni Wiley
Loan Operations Assistant

Candace Thomas
Executive Assistant to the President
Candace McClure
Administrative Assistant
Candice Dyer
Newsletter Editor  


Dieu Linh Nguyen

Atlanta Intern

Agnes Scott College


Isaiah Brown

Atlanta Intern

Morehouse College


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ACE clients hailed as role models, offer advice
at conference on business financing 


ACE clients, Gavron Campbell and Shannon Smith, along with ACE founder and CEO Grace Fricks, were invited by the Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp to present on a panel "Off the Beaten Track: Is Alternative funding the Route for You?" Gavron and Shannon spoke about their businesses and financial relationship with ACE. Before the workshop Shannon and Gavron were filmed and the videos were showcased on the panel. To hear more about their success, watch the one-minute videos here: Bigwood Boards and Sha'Mari Salons.

 The cream always rises to the top- get the scoop
on Honeysuckle Gelato's 'farm-to-bowl' approach


Jackson Smith, Wes Jones, and Khatera Ballard have created a successful business specializing in "la dolce vita," Southern style.


In 2009, Jackson Smith began apprenticing at the prestigious Il Laboratorio del Gelato, which supplies high-end restaurants in New York. He thoughtfully brought back samples for his friends in Atlanta. After dabbling with some down-home ingredients in his family's kitchen, he recognized a demand in a Georgia market with an already rich tradition of desserts and a booming industry of food trucks.  


So he teamed up with Wes Jones and Khatera Ballard to launch Honeysuckle Gelato, an Italian dessert (it uses less cream and fewer, if no, eggs than ice cream) with some distinctly Southern twists -- flavors include honey lavender, bourbon pecan, and honey fig. "In 2011, I made what many considered a very risky decision: I quit a good job in a down economy to start my own business," writes Jones in an essay for Huffington Post.  


The licensing and permitting process for food trucks proved complicated and daunting at times, but with advice, support, and funding from ACE, which has worked with other vendors in this culinary trend, the trio of young entrepreneurs launched Honeysuckle Gelato. Now their artisanal, "farm-to-bowl" dessert, whipped up from locally sourced dairy products, has become an award-winning mainstay of the locavore, slow-food movement. HG has been honored by Atlanta Magazine and by DailyCandy's "Start Small, Go Big" program, and the growing company is a major player in the annual Atlanta Street Food Festival.  


Served in gourmet specialty stores and restaurants, including Sawicki in Decatur and Buckhead's Cacao and Buttermilk Kitchen (mixed with housemade root beer for an old-timey float), it also can be purchased by the pint at Whole Foods on Ponce de Leon. This specialty gelato is expected to gain an even higher profile by delighting international travelers - no doubt some Italians pleasantly puzzled by the "Kang," a banana and peanut butter ode to Elvis -- at the Food Network Kitchen slated to open this year in Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.  


"This would not have happened without all of the support we've received," Smith says.   

ACE Loan Officer graduates
from Commercial Lending School
ACE's Courtney Lynn is standing to the far right. 
ACE congratulates Courtney Lynn, who graduated August 15 from the Community Bankers Association of Georgia (CBA) Commercial Lending School, which is part of the Community Bankers University.  
"Courtney has always distinguished herself at ACE with her energy,  professionalism, and lightning-quick grasp of equations and ability to size up a business's potential," said Grace Fricks, founder and CEO of ACE. "This training will enhance her skills  to serve our clients even better." 

Give yourself some credit -- avoid these pitfalls to enjoy a better rating and lending terms


Not only do credit scores determine whether someone can open a credit card, land a mortgage, rent an apartment, or get an auto loan, but the scores are a crucial factor in interest rates offered.   

A new report by CNN Money offers up seven credit-killing mistakes to avoid.

  1. Carrying big balances. Keeping a big balance on a credit card can increase your credit utilization ratio, which is the percentage of your credit limit that you use, the report says. CNN/Money warns that because the ratio is calculated using the end-of-month balance that appears on your bill, your score can suffer even if you pay off your balance every month.
  2. Closing credit cards. Closing a card lowers the amount of credit available, which can hurt the debt utilization ratio.
  3. Paying late. Payment history is one of the biggest factors lenders consider, and makes up approximately 35 percent of your FICO score. Paying late on credit cards, student loans, mortgages, and even doctor's bills can bring down your score if the company reports it to credit bureaus, CNN/Money reports.
  4. Defaulting. Declaring bankruptcy or foreclosing on a home can easily slice 100 points or more from a credit score.
  5. Opening too many credit lines."If you're continually adding to your potential credit, credit companies are going to look at that as a risk that you could become overextended at some point," Richard Barrington, senior financial analyst at MoneyRates told CNN/Money.
  6. Not having a credit card. "Without any credit history, you're typically considered unscoreable, meaning there isn't enough activity on your credit file to calculate a score. This leads many lenders to deem you too risky to take a chance on," according to John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at
  7. Co-signing.A co-signer assumes equal responsibility for the amount owed, meaning any late payments or defaults will show up on your credit report, CNN/Money adds.

For more advice from CNN Money, visit their Small Business site at 

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