Pinnacle Group CEO Nina Vaca Establishes the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Award Endowment at Texas State University, a first gift towards the university’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Big Idea Initiative

Alumni Impact

Texas State University | April 8, 2020

Texas State Distinguished Alumna Nina Vaca makes a promise to future generations who pursue innovation and entrepreneurship with award recipients chosen by pitch competition. 

group of students and nina vaca
Nina Vaca (pictured: front row, third) with students from a Diversity and Communication class.

Pinnacle Group Chairman and CEO Nina Vaca has made a first gift towards the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Big Idea Initiative at Texas State University with plans for a future Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship to be established. 

“This endowment ensures that Texas State University continues to be at the forefront when it comes to excellence and innovation, said Texas State President Denise Trauth. “To have a partner like Nina, who has distinguished herself as a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, return to invest in a new generation of students shows the strength of our alumni community.”   

The Nina Vaca Innovation & Entrepreneurship Award Endowment supports Texas State and its alumni in making a commitment to future generations with investments that lead to innovative research, emerging technologies, and opportunities for important discoveries in STEM fields.  

“I am passionate about ensuring that the next generation of young leaders can reach even greater heights than I ever dreamed,” Vaca said. “As an entrepreneur, I know it takes perseverance and dedication, but most importantly, it takes a community who supports you and believes in you.”

As a young entrepreneur in 1996, Vaca founded Dallas-based Pinnacle Group, a workforce solutions powerhouse, and under her visionary leadership it has expanded globally to serve some of the world’s most sophisticated companies. In 2014, Vaca was appointed by the White House as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. She is a recipient of the coveted Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and the Goldman Sachs Most Intriguing Entrepreneur award. Vaca was a Henry Crown Fellow at Aspen Institute in 2016 and the Trailblazing Women in Labor in Business by National Women’s History Project in 2017. Most recently ALPFA and Fortune Magazine named Vaca in the Top 5 of the 50 Most Powerful Latinas in America. 

Vaca, who was the youngest Distinguished Alumna in Texas State history, knows the power of education and credits Texas State with pushing her towards opportunities, from the introduction to her first employer to the connections she still maintains today. 

“I am grateful to be able to invest in this university that invested in me so many years ago,” Vaca said. “I am hopeful that this legacy inspires future generations to become entrepreneurs and find innovative ways to impact the world for the better.”

Recipients of the Nina Vaca Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award will be selected through a pitch competition at a later date.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922