Maria “Mayte” del Carmen Vinces Peck arrived in New York with little more than a dream and a passport. She had envisioned herself pursuing a career in fashion yet reality hit her in the face when she realized she needed to become economically independent and self-sufficient first.
Mayte did what most of us do, worked hard and excelled at her job. She became the first woman manager and led, with great success, the first ever internet sales department at the car dealership with worked at.
With little cash, great ambition, a go getter attitude and a big idea, Mayte spotted a quaint venue in an upcoming neighborhood in Decatur: Oakhurst and went all in with her big vision, securing funding and support to launch the first Peruvian-inspired tapas place in the city: “Sweet Devil Moon Tapas Bar” which would the later be featured in publications ranging from Southern Living to Zagat and ranked one of Atlanta Magazine’s Top 100 Restaurants.
If you were in Atlanta around 2001, you remember the original restaurant featuring a delicious and innovative menu, generous drinks and traditional pisco sour poured over dry ice (an idea by Paul Vinces, Mayte’s brother that at the time, worked at the restaurant. Paul Vinces would later inherit Sweet Devil Moon and move it to Midtown. Paul is now co-owner of Calle Latina and Truman in Decatur)
After years of successful operations (managing a 1.2 Million-dollar budget over 6 years), Mayte decided to pursue other interests in New York and eventually would return to Georgia.
Married and with a baby, Mayte started a roofing and remodeling company with her husband. She learned the banking and loan business and quickly rose in the ranks of a number of financial organizations. After 15 years of sales and marketing experience, Mayte opened in 2016 (2014) the ACE Women’s Business Center, an initiative dedicated to provide outreach, business education, one-on-one consultations and access to capital to minorities, especially women in Georgia.
Under her leadership, the ACE Women’s Business Center was awarded the coveted Pinnacle Small Business Resource Champion in 2016, hosted by the Gwinnett Chamber. Also the SBA WBC excellence award.
Mayte has also mentored and recommended a number of aspiring community leaders to develop their leadership, training and visibility at a national level, such as Sandra Achury with The Latin American Association and Karen Malaga, current program manager with the Women’s Business Center.
A community leader, Maria was named a NALCAB Colegio Community Economic Development fellow and currently serves on the national board of the National Association of Women’s Business Centers and the Latino Community Fund (LCF) in Georgia. She has recently been appointed as the new Director of Hispanic Strategies and Lending with ACE Loans, a nonprofit dedicated to provide community economic development to underserved people and communities.