Past, Present & Future:
3 More Things to Know About Grace Fricks

By Amy Hyatt Fonseca
Susan Fonseca Lanham

In a previous post, we uncovered how Grace Fricks, CEO of ACE, leveraged forward momentum to carry her through two successful careers (first in social work and second in finance!). In the spirit of her focus on the future, we decided to embrace the ‘time’ theme and share with you a little more about this visionary.  So, here are 3 more things to know about the past, present, & future of Grace Fricks:


What are the core values that you come back to often?

“Economic opportunity. I believe everyone who has that drive and desire—that intangible thing—deserves the opportunity, which is not the same thing as giving people things. I’m not against charity or philanthropy at all. It just so happens that my particular interest is that if someone has this passion for doing their own business, they deserve that opportunity. We make it available with capital, coaching, and connection. The board, advisory committee, staff, and clients [of ACE], all try to be connectors and help people move their businesses.”


Who are the women inspiring you?

“I enjoy reading Claire Shipman and Katty Kay, co-authors of The Confidence Code, as well as Susan Coleman and Alicia M. Robb, co-authors of A Rising Tide- Financing Strategies for Women-Owned Firms. But the people I draw the most inspiration from are our own group of borrowers. We went through and highlighted every woman with a successful business over $500K and invited them to get together. It’s called the High Potential Group. They’re a mixture of women from all over Georgia. We ask them, is there a recipe for your success? Now, they meet quarterly to talk about it. I learn something from them every time we meet.”


What’s next for ACE?

“We’re going to continue to grow. We’ve partnered with an organization called Tilt Forward. It’s an online partner, which is new for us. We’re expanding our product line to better meet the needs of our clients in innovative ways.”

Bonus Question: What’ s the best advice you would give a future entrepreneur to gain access to capital?

“If you’re starting, the first thing you should do is be informed about the industry. With the Internet, you can learn so much. Talk to other people and expand your network. There is a variety of resources, whether it’s chamber of commerce or us. Some successful entrepreneurs love to meet with people so reach out to them. Figure out how those people do it. What is their thought process?

Concurrently, look at your credit and begin building it or cleaning it up. Even if you think, I’ve got money saved, or I know how I’ll get this thing started. Even if you think that, what statistically is going to happen is that you’ll get started and six months in you’ll need more money. Go ahead and get started, so you’re prepared. Even today, it’s hard to get a small business loan. Traditional lending is changing, and it started with the recession. That spurred the growth of online lending…

The most important steps to take—while you’re talking to people, expanding your network, and making sure you’re in a good credit position—is acting. Nothing builds more confidence in taking calculated risk than action.”

We hope you’ve learned something new about Grace Fricks. Let us know your thoughts. What else do you want to know about this visionary and Atlanta Role Model?


Amy Fonseca

Prior to catching the Women@TheFrontier bug, Amy was a research and clinical speech-language pathologist interested in the impact of technology on individuals with disabilities. Today, she is a wife, mom, lover of words, Co-Founder and Managing Editor for Women@TheFrontier.