As part of her work for a lab during her student days, Debbie Adams had to dance in front of emus to analyze their responses.

“Gotta make a living,” she said with a laugh. Since then, her career has entailed more serious responsibilities. Calling herself a “results-oriented skeptic in business matters,” she handles the administrative work of the company she co-owns, Creekside Animal Hospital in Cumming, where her husband, Sam Adams, is chief veterinarian.

“We had a loan with variable rates, which stayed low for us, but I was terrified they would go up from month to month, so I didn’t want to take many risks,” she said. “ACE was the missing link that helped us refinance, and that stability gave me the confidence level to make some improvements.”

So she grew the family business in a way that benefited pets and their caretakers, too.

“Because of help from ACE, we were able to buy $50,000 worth of equipment, including ultrasound, X-Rays, dental equipment, and monitoring systems for patients under anesthesia,” she said. “That has made a big difference to our clientele because we were able to expand our services.”

Research shows that women entrepreneurs are more likely to reinvest funds into their businesses – often in the form of technological innovations — and in their communities. Adams, a Tennessee native, holds a degree in Medical Technology and a MBA from Mississippi State University.

“I was responsible for most of the background work to bring Creekside Animal Hospital into existence,” Adams said, “from finding the land, securing financing, to overseeing the building — the end result is what you see today.”

Since they opened Creekside in 2006, the Adamses have hired another veterinarian, three staffers, and three vet techs. “I really enjoy the people I work with,” she said. “They make Creekside a fun atmosphere for everyone.”