Women, minorities, and other underrepresented groups have made significant strides toward equality in the professional world, but there is still more to do.
Today, women continue to earn less than their male counterparts for the same work. In entrepreneurship, a lack of minority and female representation places limits on the landscape of possibility. However, innovative female entrepreneurs have led successful ventures and opened the doors for future generations of underrepresented entrepreneurs.
One such entrepreneur is Nina Vaca, CEO and founder of Dallas-based Pinnacle Group. Vaca has leveraged her standing in the business community to create opportunities that increase the likelihood that all aspiring entrepreneurs receive an equal opportunity to excel in business.
As the daughter of Ecuadorian immigrants, Vaca recognized the transformative power of education and self-sufficiency to create her own opportunities for professional growth.
From a young age, Vaca’s parents operated a small business where she worked throughout her youth, allowing her to hone her entrepreneurial spirit. In 1996, at the age of 25, Vaca launched Pinnacle Group, an IT workforce solutions provider, from her Dallas living room.
The company grew steadily upon inception but, like many companies at the time, was greatly impacted by the economic instability that followed the September 11 attacks. However, Vaca decided to bet on herself.
She bought out her partner’s shares in the company and convinced her four remaining associates to join her on the journey to establish what would become a globally recognized leader in the IT workforce solutions industry.
Pinnacle began to win client contracts and simultaneously built the needed infrastructure to support sustainable growth. Vaca focused on building long-term client relationships and a reputation for providing unparalleled customer service.
As a result, Vaca’s company expanded rapidly. Before long, Dallas-based Pinnacle Group was providing workforce solutions on a national scale and was expanding into the international market.
The recipient of many accolades, Pinnacle Group has joined the ranks as one of Inc. magazine’s revered “5,000 Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies” for over a decade, further solidifying the company’s expansive reach.
Throughout her impressive career, Vaca has served as an inspiration for female, minority, and underrepresented entrepreneurs by showcasing the transformative power of being purposeful and diligent. As a business leader, Vaca has leveraged her successes for the betterment of future generations of entrepreneurs.
For example, as an inaugural member of the Presidential Ambassadors for Entrepreneurship program, appointed by former President Barack Obama, Vaca has traveled globally to speak with fledgling entrepreneurs about their unique experiences.
“The universal language of entrepreneurship connects us,” said Vaca about her experience. “We all shared a common goal and a common mindset. We’ve all experienced the highs and lows of starting and running our own businesses. These experiences reach across cultural divides.”
Through global connectivity, Vaca has not only bridged the cultural gap of entrepreneurship but also positively impacted global support for budding entrepreneurs. By gaining backing and understanding from peers, entrepreneurs can rely on the insight of the community to progress, be less isolated, and feel more empowered.
Integral to long-term success and well-being, a strong support network can create a positive narrative for entrepreneurs who have limited support, resources, or infrastructure to lean on throughout the development of their endeavors.
Through technological advancements, Vaca believes we can create a much-needed global entrepreneurial support network.
Vaca also serves on the board of the Dallas-Fort Worth Steering Committee of the national “2020 Women on Boards” initiative. This initiative aims to increase the number of women on U.S. public company boards. Leading by example, Vaca continues to work toward creating equality within publicly traded companies, serving on the boards of several organizations.
With the goal of providing inspirational content for Latina entrepreneurs, Vaca founded At the Table: Women in Business and Leadership, a resource dedicated to providing real-life support to propel the careers of women on a global scale.
Through her commitment to expanding leadership opportunities for women, Vaca has earned numerous accolades. In 2016, Vaca received Enterprising Women’s “Woman of the Year” award, followed by the Girl Scouts of America’s “Woman of Distinction” award the same year. In 2019, Vaca received the “Trailblazer of the Year” award from the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas and has been named as one of the “50 Most Powerful Latinas” by ALPFA for three consecutive years.
Vaca’s commitment to betterment has become a benchmark of Pinnacle Group’s continued philanthropic endeavors. The Dallas-based company provides career training support for local entrepreneurs and continues to provide extensive internship opportunities to students.
An avid athlete, Vaca has merged her passion for triathlons with her unyielding desire to spearhead transformative change in the world. Following the devastating earthquake in Ecuador in 2016, Vaca raised over $100,000 to directly aid small business owners affected by the tragedy through her participation in San Francisco’s famous Escape from Alcatraz triathlon. Furthering her philanthropic engagement, Vaca later raised another $100,000 to build housing for displaced residents affected by the earthquake through her participation in the Ironman 70.3 Ecuador in Manta.
Through leadership and influence, Vaca steps up to act as an example for future generations of entrepreneurs and business leaders.
“A powerful message I like to share is that business is for everyone,”” said Vaca. “Empowering people to create small businesses can be a powerful engine to improve the lives of individuals, families, communities, and the world.”
About Nina Vaca
Successful within the realm of business ownership, entrepreneurship, and business development, Dallas’ Nina Vaca is the CEO and founder of world-renowned workforce solutions provider Pinnacle Group.
In addition, Vaca remains avidly involved on the boards of several publicly traded companies and lends her expertise to the betterment of others through her extensive philanthropic endeavors. Focused on civic commitment, Vaca leverages her experience to spearhead ventures aimed at providing entrepreneurship opportunities to underrepresented individuals and advancing equal opportunities within the corporate world.
By focusing on providing exceptional customer service and building fruitful long-term customer relationships, Pinnacle Group, founded in 1996, swiftly earned a positive global reputation and began accepting large-scale corporate client contracts. By 2007, Pinnacle Group had expanded to include nationwide workplace solutions.
Within the next two years, Pinnacle entered the Canadian marketplace and rapidly expanded on a worldwide basis. Recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies for over a decade, Vaca is committed to creating infrastructure and maintaining a corporate culture conducive to success.
As Vaca’s business has continued to flourish, she has remained committed to successfully scaling Pinnacle Group through a corporate culture focused on valuing people. In addition to her successful business ventures, she continues to champion systemic change for various communities through ongoing philanthropic, leadership, and empowerment efforts.