DALLAS — Mayor Eric Johnson on Monday named Nina Vaca, CEO of Dallas-based Pinnacle Group, as the city’s inaugural Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
In this role, Vaca will provide advice and counsel to the mayor and promote Dallas as an international magnet for innovation and entrepreneurship. Mayor Johnson’s appointment of Vaca fulfills a recommendation presented earlier this year by the Mayor’s Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which he formed to improve the startup environment in Dallas.
“As a Dallas-based leader for 25 years, Nina Vaca has demonstrated the business prowess and the commitment to entrepreneurship that make her the ideal choice to represent our city’s entrepreneurial community,” said Mayor Johnson. “I have no doubt that as our first-ever Entrepreneur-in-Residence, she will offer incredible insight to our city government and to our aspiring and diverse community of startup leaders. Together, with Nina’s help, we can ensure Dallas takes its rightful place as an internationally recognized and inclusive hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.”
As the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence in Dallas, Vaca will leverage her entrepreneurial skillset to bring a fresh perspective to showcasing the city’s unique business ecosystem and the opportunities it offers. She will represent Mayor Johnson’s and the city’s commitment to attracting and supporting entrepreneurs and startups. She will also advise the mayor and the city on new and creative ways to better serve the entrepreneurial community.
“Pinnacle Group is living proof that Dallas is a great place to start and run a scalable, sustainable, high-growth business,” said Vaca. “There has never been a greater need nor a better opportunity for innovative, agile entrepreneurs to make Dallas their home. As Dallas’s first Entrepreneur-in-Residence, I am committed to advancing Dallas as a leader in this area to attract, retain and support more startup companies.”
Vaca founded Pinnacle Group from her Dallas apartment in 1996. Twenty-five years later, Pinnacle has become an award-winning global workforce solutions provider and a pillar of the Dallas business community. Pinnacle Group recently doubled down on its commitment to the city with a new global headquarters on North Central Expressway.
“One of our city’s strengths is our many talented entrepreneurs, which is why the Entrepreneur-in-Residence is a critical component of the roadmap we laid out for the Mayor’s Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” said Mandy Price, co-founder and CEO of Kanarys and co-chair of the Task Force. “It’s an incredible honor to have Nina Vaca join our efforts, and as a female entrepreneur and a woman of color, she knows firsthand the challenges we need to address in order to ensure Dallas is one of the top cities for underrepresented entrepreneurs, especially women and people of color. Nina is a true pioneer that has blazed a trail for women in Dallas and around the country. I am confident that Nina and her entrepreneurial mindset, along with her vast expertise, will help us achieve our goals and make Dallas the strongest hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.”
“The announcement today of a newly appointed Entrepreneurship-in-Residence is an important move in beginning to implement the Entrepreneurial Liaison recommendation of the Mayor’s Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship Report,” said Trey Bowles, Chairman Emeritus of The DEC Network and co-chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “With the announcement of Nina Vaca in this role, we are able to leverage the experience, expertise and reputation of one of the number one entrepreneurs in the world. Nina has been a part of the PAGE program (Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship) created by President Obama, and she is a perfect example of a leading lady in entrepreneurship. She is an example of why Mayor Johnson has committed that Dallas will become the number one city in the world for women entrepreneurs. The Mayor’s Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship recommendations are in good hands under the guidance, counsel and leadership of Nina Vaca.”