Nina Vaca

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Nina Vaca
Alma materTexas State University
OccupationChairman & CEO Pinnacle Group
Years active1996 - Present
Board member ofComerica Inc Kohl's Corporation Cinemark Holdings
Spouse(s)Jim Humrichouse

Nina Vaca is an Ecuadorian-born American entrepreneur. She is the chairperson and CEO of Pinnacle Group, which was named the Fastest-Growing Women-Owned Business in the United States by the Women Presidents' Organisation in 2015 and 2018.[1] She served as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) through the United States Department of Commerce.[2] Vaca is part of the 2016 Class of Henry Crown Fellows.[3] The story of Nina Vaca and Pinnacle Group opens the Entrepreneur chapter of the McGraw-Hill textbook, "Understanding Business".[4] Vaca was named one of the top 100 CEO’s in STEM publication by STEMconnector.[5]

In 2017, Vaca was named a Woman of Distinction by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council[6] and honored as a "Trailblazing Woman in Labor and Business" by the National Women's History Project.[7]

Early life and education[edit]

Vaca was born in Quito, Ecuador and is the third child of parents Amanda and Hernan Vaca's five children. The family spent the majority of Vaca's childhood living in Los Angeles, California where her parents owned several small businesses.[8] The family moved to Texas in 1994 following Hernan Vaca's death. Vaca credits her mother's example as being a major influence on herself.[9]

Vaca began college at Texas State University shortly after relocating to Texas and graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts in speech communications and a minor in business administration. She later completed executive education programs at Harvard Business School – Corporate Governance Executive Program, Tuck School of Business, and Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. Vaca was named a Distinguished Alumna of Texas State University in 2012, and was the youngest alumna in university history to be honored with this award. Vaca also holds honorary doctorates from Northwood University, Mount Mary University,[10] and Berkeley College.[9]


Early work[edit]

Vaca began working at a young age in her family's businesses. Following her father's death, she and her sister, Jessica, ran his travel agency. After college graduation, Vaca moved to New York City to begin work in the IT industry and then relocated to Dallas, Texas to work at Computer Development Services, Inc.[citation needed]

Pinnacle Group[edit]

In 1996, Vaca founded Pinnacle Group.[11] The staffing business became one of the fastest growing businesses owned by a woman with a gross revenue of around $1 billion in the 2010s.[1]

Corporate boards[edit]

Vaca is a director of Comerica Inc. (2008–present), Kohl's Corporation (2010–present),[12] and Cinemark Holdings (2014–present).[13]

Civic leadership and philanthropy[edit]

Barack Obama appointed Vaca as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) in 2014.,[2] an advisory group tasked with growing American entrepreneurship. In this capacity, Vaca traveled with Secretary of State Penny Pritzker to Ghana in May 2014 to promote entrepreneurship globally.[14] Vaca served as chairman of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce from 2010 to 2012.[15]

Personal life[edit]

In July 2018, Vaca was sued in a lawsuit filed by Javier Palomarez, former president of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Palomarez claims Vaca orchestrated a campaign to destroy his reputation because he ended an alleged affair between the two. Vaca has denied the charges and filed a motion to have the case dismissed.[16]


As a PAGE Ambassador, Vaca spoke at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit.[17][18] She also participated as a panelist at the Women's Business Enterprise National Council's Conference and Business Fair, which Pinnacle co-chaired.[19] Vaca was invited to speak at the Milken Institute's 2016 Global Conference, and at the Inc. Magazine 5000 Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Women Presidents' Organization Unveils the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies Worldwide". Women Presidents' Organization. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b "PAGE Ambassador – Nina Vaca of Pinnacle Technical Resources". Department of Commerce.
  3. ^ "Aspen Institute Mobilizes New Generation of Leaders". Aspen Institute. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  4. ^ Markelz, Michelle. "Nina Vaca: Reaching for a Pinnacle". Hispanic Executive. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  5. ^ "100 CEO Leaders in STEM" (PDF). STEM connector.
  6. ^ "WBENC's 20th Anniversary Celebration Honors Women of Distinction". WBENC. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  7. ^ "Nina Vaca Makes Her Mark on History as a National Women's History Project Trailblazing Woman in Labor and Business". Benzinga. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  8. ^ Inc. "'I Grew Up Watching My Parents Fail Over & Over Again'". Inc. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  9. ^ a b Blanco, Octavio. "Nina Vaca: Daughter of immigrants now runs a $650 million firm". CNN Money. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  10. ^ Pabst, Georgia. "New U.S. Hispanic Chamber chair to give commencement". Latino Connection. Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  11. ^ Abril, Danielle. "Cover Story: The DBJ Interview with Pinnacle Group's Nina Vaca". Dallas Business Journal. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  12. ^ Kohl's. "Nina G. Vaca Elected to Kohl's Corporation Board of Directors". BusinessWire. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
  13. ^ Cinemark. "Cinemark Holdings, Inc. Announces New Board Members". Cinemark. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  14. ^ Castellanos, Melissa. "Nina Vaca, CEO of Pinnacle Technical Resources, Champions Entrepreneurship Worldwide". Latin Post. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  15. ^ Jean, Sheryl. "Dallas' Nina Vaca named chairwoman for U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  16. ^ "Scandal surrounding alleged extramarital affair of former U.S. Hispanic Chamber leaders from Dallas moves into court". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  17. ^ "Vaca, Nina". ges2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  18. ^ "PAGE Video Series: Pinnacle Technical Resources' Nina Vaca". GES2016.
  19. ^ "Nina Vaca Co-Chair". wbenc. Retrieved 25 July 2016.