The board of directors of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) has elected immediate past chairwoman Nina Vaca to the position of chairman emeritus. Known nationwide for her entrepreneurial achievements and coalition-building, she has been on the front lines of the USHCC mission -- to improve economic opportunities for our country's three million Hispanic-owned businesses and by extension, for all Americans. Vaca is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Technical Resources, Inc. which provides vendor management and technology services to some of the world's best known corporations, including Accenture, AT&T, Bank of America, BMW, Capital One, Hewlett Packard, Pepsico, Unisys, and Verizon.
"As USHCC Chairman, Nina Vaca was both a visionary and a hands-on executive, overseeing a broad range of new initiatives," says Javier Palomarez, USHCC President and CEO. "Those accomplishments include historic structural changes such as opening our Board to Directors from the corporate sphere and to non-Hispanics, as well as setting term limits for all Board positions. She also created a scholarship program that allows entrepreneurs to attend Dartmouth University's Executive Education Program. Vaca also oversaw three of the organization's most successful conventions in terms of attendance, high-profile speakers, influential guests, record fundraising and media coverage."
As a child, Ms. Vaca emigrated from Quito, Ecuador to Los Angeles where both her parents established businesses in which she was an active participant. In 1989, she officially became an entrepreneur by taking over the family business, and preparing it for sale. Vaca then received a B.A. from Texas State University where she was later recognized as the youngest Distinguished Alumna. She has also received Honorary Doctorates from both Northwood University and Mary Mount College. Additionally, she graduated from executive education programs at Harvard Business School, Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business and the Kellogg School of Management. "Nina Vaca is a role model for our country's entrepreneurial community, illustrating the power of formal academic training combined with real-world experience" notes Marc Rodriguez, USHCC Chairman. "Whether it is guiding a business through a distressed economy post-9/11 as she did at Pinnacle, or building business plans that resonate with investors, Nina always emphasizes to aspiring entrepreneurs the importance of financial literacy and business knowledge combined with good business instincts."
Ms. Vaca is a member of the board at Kohl's Department Stores and Comerica Bank, as well as the White House initiative Start Up America Her story opens the "Entrepreneur" chapter of "Understanding Business," a McGraw-Hill textbook and has been featured in FAST COMPANY, FORBES, KIPLINGER and ENTREPRENEUR. Ernst & Young selected her as Entrepreneur of the Year for Technology & Communications for the Southwest Region and the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) named her the Supplier of the Year.
Internationally, Ms. Vaca has represented the U.S. in forums such as the German Marshall Memorial Fellow program, the British-American Project and the Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. "A Renaissance professional, Nina Vaca brings authenticity and a unique social intelligence to her relationships around the world," observes Palomarez. "We are delighted that she will continue to provide our organization with valuable guidance, insights and counsel in the years ahead as Chairman Emeritus."
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