Nina Vaca personifies the American Dream as a trailblazing Latina entrepreneur, a world-changing philanthropist, and a dynamic global leader.
Nina founded Pinnacle Group in 1996 and has served as its Chairman and CEO for over two decades. During those two decades Pinnacle has grown rapidly. What started as a one-woman IT staffing firm has grown into a workforce solutions powerhouse providing multiple service lines to industry leaders in the telecommunications, financial services, transportation, and technology industries. In 2007, Pinnacle began providing services nationwide and in 2009 entered the Canada market. Today Pinnacle is expanding internationally to serve clients in Europe, Latin America, the Asia Pacific region and beyond. Pinnacle has been included in the Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest-growing companies 13 times and in 2015 and 2018 it was named the fastest-growing women-owned/led company by the Women Presidents’ Organization.
Since working in her family’s travel agency at 15 years old, Nina has embraced technology’s ability to transform businesses and lives. At each step of Pinnacle’s evolution, she has been an early adopter of the latest innovations to help propel the company forward. Pinnacle is a leader in IT talent acquisition and consulting, managed services, and payrolling and IC compliance. Pinnacle also developed the Progata Talent Platform, which utilizes machine learning (ML) and proprietary algorithms to match talent with opportunity. In 2019 she joined the Forbes Technology Council to provide insight into the technology industry along with other world-class technology executives.
Over the years, Nina has received numerous awards and recognition for her business success, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and the Goldman Sachs Most Intriguing Entrepreneur award, and she has been named in the Top 5 of ALPFA/Fortune Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Latinas, one of the 101 Most Influential Latinos in America, 100 Most Influential People in Staffing, and Global Power 100 – Women in Staffing. In 2016 she was inducted into the Minority Business Hall of Fame and in 2017 she was named a Trailblazing Woman in Labor and Business by the Women’s History Project.
In addition to her work with Pinnacle, Nina is a committed civic leader and philanthropist. Her work in international relations began in 2004 when she was selected as a Fellow of the German Marshall Fund. She’s added to her international experience with programs such as the British-American Project, Peace Through Business, and more. In 2014, Nina was appointed by the White House as an inaugural member of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) program. In this capacity she has traveled to five continents over the last several years, sharing her message of prosperity through entrepreneurship with local entrepreneurs, business leaders, and government agencies. She recently became a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Her philanthropic work is expansive. Over the years she has supported organizations that improve the lives of disabled veterans, people experiencing homelessness, families of children battling cancer, women and children in domestic violence shelters, as well as students, parents, and teachers in Title I schools. Along with financial support, Pinnacle Group also provides extensive career preparation training and internship opportunities to high school and college students. Nina is particularly focused on expanding opportunities for women and girls in STEM fields and well as for women and Hispanics in business.
For her work in the community and business success she’s received honorary doctorates from Northwood University, Mount Mary University, and Berkeley College. A graduate of Texas State University, she was the youngest Distinguished Alumna in school history. A lifelong learner, she completed the Corporate Governance Executive Program at Harvard University to prepare for service on the board of directors of publicly traded companies and in 2016 she became a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.
Only two percent of directors serving on publicly traded company boards are Latinas, something Nina is dedicated to changing. As one of the few (and youngest) Latinas serving in this capacity, Nina is working to bring more women into the C-Suite and onto boards with organizations like 2020 Women on Boards.
An avid triathlete, Nina has participated in numerous iconic races in the last two decades, including the Waikiki Roughwater Swim in Hawaii, the 120-mile Rocky Mountain Triple Bypass, the New York Marathon, and the Longhorn Austin Half Ironman. By combining her love of triathlon with her commitment to helping others, Nina used the famous Escape from Alcatraz triathlon in San Francisco to raise over $100,000 to help small business owners following the devastating Ecuador earthquake in 2016. She then completed the Ironman 70.3 Ecuador in Manta in 2017 to again raise over $100,000 to build the Villa de la Alegria in Muisne, Ecuador to house hundreds of earthquake survivors. Nina lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and their four children.
ALPFA, 50 Most Powerful Latinas (2017)
Minority Business Hall of Fame and Museum Inductee (2016)
Enterprising Women, Woman of the Year Award (2016)
Women President’s Organization, Fastest Growing Women-Owned Business Award (2015)
Goldman Sachs, Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs (2013)
NBCLatino Innovator (2013)
Ernst & Young, Entrepreneur of the Year/Hall of Fame Inductee (2005)
Latino Leaders, 101 Most Influential Latinos (named each year 2008-present)
Staffing Industry Analysts, The Staffing 100 – The 100 Most Influential People in Staffing (2013, 2014)
Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship
Henry Crown Fellow, Aspen Institute
Chairman Emeritus, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Chairman, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Chair of the Entrepreneurship Council, Million Women Mentors
Founder, At the Table – Women in Business and Leadership
Co-Founder, Startup America Partnership
Mentor, Peace Through Business
Cinemark Holdings, Inc.
Harvard University, Corporate Governance Executive Program
Texas State University, Distinguished Alumna
Texas State University, Bachelor of Arts in Speech & Communication, Minor in Business Administration
Northwood University, Honorary Doctorate
Mount Mary University, Honorary Doctor of Laws
Berkeley College, Honorary Doctor of Commercial Science