WPO Guest Blog: Nina Vaca – Entrepreneur, Philanthropist Global Leader

Guggenheim Diversity Innovation Summit

 

Nina Vaca is Pinnacle Group’s Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer. Her dynamic leadership over the past 20 years has propelled the company from a niche IT services firm to the workforce solutions powerhouse it is today, with a suite of business lines to address the range of IT human capital challenges companies in the Fortune 500 face. Pinnacle’s evolution and astronomical growth is the result of Vaca’s fearless approach to overcoming challenges and her intense focus on two core values: delivering impeccable service to clients and putting people at the heart of everything Pinnacle does. Pinnacle has been named to the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest growing companies for over a decade and in 2015 was named the Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led Company in the U.S. by the Women Presidents’ Organization.

Vaca is a committed civic leader and philanthropist. She advocates passionately for women and entrepreneurs and works to advance girls and women in STEM fields. In 2014, the White House appointed Vaca as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. She also serves as Chairman Emeritus of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Vaca has been featured in numerous publications and is a sought-after speaker and thought leader. She has appeared on CNBC, Squawk Box, Fox News, and CBS Evening News. CNN Money featured her story, as have numerous publications including Forbes, Kiplinger, and The Wall Street Journal. Vaca’s story opens the Entrepreneurship chapter of Understanding Business, a McGraw-Hill textbook used in university classrooms. She is a frequent speaker throughout the U.S. and abroad, and recently served as a panelist at the world-renowned Milken Institute and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit alongside Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

Vaca is living proof of what is possible in this country. Only two percent of women-owned businesses achieve or exceed $1 million in revenue. Her company, Pinnacle Group, has seen revenue quadruple since 2010 and in 2015 exceeded $1 billion dollars in gross revenue. She is a trailblazer as one of the very few Latinas elected to serve as director of a publicly-traded company. Not only does she serve on one board, she serves on three, and is determined to empower more women to follow in her footsteps through her At the Table initiative. She holds three honorary doctorates from notable universities and is the youngest graduate in her alma mater’s history to be honored as a distinguished alumna. She has been invited to speak at institutions such as the Milken Institute, Harvard University, and Stanford University, where she has also been added to the business curriculum. This year Vaca joined the 2016 Class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute. A global leader, Vaca is a German Marshall Memorial Fellow and part of the British-American Project. As a PAGE ambassador, Vaca has spoken to and inspired entrepreneurs all over the world, traveling to countries on five continents to empower the next generation of business leaders.

An avid and committed athlete, Vaca has participated in iconic races in the last 16 years including the 2.5 mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim in Hawaii, the New York Marathon, and the Longhorne Austin Half Iron man. Most recently, she biked the 120 mile Triple Bypass in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and completed the famous Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco and in the process raised 100K to help entrepreneurs.

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