Nina Vaca: Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Leader and Why We Love Her?

By Freelance Contributor | Strong Female Leaders

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NINA VACA AT A GLANCE: Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Modern Strong Female Leader.

  • She is currently the CEO of Pinnacle Group, one of the fastest-growing women-owned business in the United States in 2015 and 2018.
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  • Vaca serves as a PAGE, the Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, a program hosted by the United States Department of Commerce.
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  • Vaca currently serves as an advisor on the boards of three publicly traded companies.
  • She is also a part of the 2016 Class of Henry Crown Fellows of the Aspen Institute, a new era of leadership development for positive social impact.
  • Her success story is taught at universities through the Entrepreneur chapter of the McGraw-Hill textbook, "Understanding Business".
  • She is also a part of the 100 CEO Leaders in STEM publication by STEMconnector.
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  • In 2017, Vaca was named "a Woman of Distinction" by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council.
  • She was then honored as a Trailblazing Woman in Labor and Business, by the National Women's History Project.
  • She was also recognized as one of the top 100 most influential and notable "Hispanic Professionals in the Information Technology Industry", given by the Hispanic IT Executive Council.

    1. She came from humble beginnings.
    Born in Quito, Ecuador, and the third of five children, Nina Vaca immigrated to the United States with her family when she was young. Her parents, Amanda and Hernan Vaca, raised their children in Los Angeles, California, where the family owned several small businesses. Growing up, Nina witnessed her parents' entrepreneurial spirit and hard work. She and her siblings were encouraged to embark on their own entrepreneurial journeys.

    In 1990, tragedy struck when Hernan Vaca passed away. Instead of feeling defeated, Nina stepped into her Father's shoes and managed their businesses, boosting profits. Because of Nina's hard work, their businesses were successfully sold and gave the Vaca family the opportunity to move to Texas and make a smooth transition.

    Later, Nina enrolled in Texas State University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in speech communications and a minor in business administration.

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    2. She is self made.
    Nina started her company, the Pinnacle Group, in 1996, with only $300 and a few years of experience in the IT industry. With hard work, business savvy and a passion for technology, she grew a one-woman IT staffing firm into the fastest growing women-owned company in the U.S.

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    3. She is philanthropic.
    Nina believes that true success lies in how much a person can give back. She is active in her communities of hispanic business owners and women in business. In 2014, she was appointed by President Obama as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE), a program that focuses on developing the next generation of entrepreneurs all over the world. In this position, Nina traveled with the Secretary of State, Penny Pritzker, to Ghana, to promote entrepreneurship globally.

    Nina also served as the Chairman of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce from 2010 to 2012.

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    4. She is a beauty with brains.
    Nina is undoubtedly beautiful. But she relied on other attributes, like her business savvy, charisma and go-getter style, to achieve success. We love that this billion-dollar woman is the CEO of a thriving business in the male-dominated IT industry -- AND, as a bonus -- she is beautiful.

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    5. She never stops learning.
    After graduating from Texas State University, Nina continued her educational achievements while staying on top of a demanding career. She finished the executive education programs at Harvard Business School, the Corporate Governance Executive Program at the Tuck School of Business, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.

    She understands that you can never be too educated, especially if you are in a leadership position. She is a great example for her employees, as well as young women all over the world. Her effort on continuing education enables her to make smarter decisions, be a better leader, and become more valuable in her industry and as a world ambassador.

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