Nina Vaca is founder and CEO of Pinnacle Technical Resources, a Dallas-based IT staffing and technology services firm that has operations in all U.S. states, plus Canada.
You launched your own company at a young age. Where did you get the guts?
I’m the daughter of entrepreneurs and, growing up, I saw how computers transformed my father’s travel business. When I launched my company in 1996, it was the right time in the economy and the right time in the industry to focus a company around technology. It was also a good time for me, because I was young and confident and could dedicate the time. Because Pinnacle began as a professional services play, there was not a lot of inventory. At the end of the day, it really came down to right place, right time.
You cater to Fortune 500 companies. How have their needs evolved over the years?
We started right when very large companies were beginning to move from mainframes to a client-server evironment, so initially there was a lot of need for consulting around that. And then came Y2K. Corporations thought it was the end of times, that something was going to explode. COBALT programmers were going for beaucoup dollars per hour—crazy money. Today, because of the economy, companies are not hiring full-time employees, so we’re seeing a lot of contract labor demand in myriad disciplines.
What did you and Pinnacle do when the tech market fell apart in 2001?
Entrepreneurs can’t let a good recession go to waste. The city of Dallas was flush with talent, so it was an opportunity for us to galvanize some technology talent out there in the industry. Bringing on the talent that year and diversifying our portfolio made all the difference in the world. It was also back then that we began developing our proprietary software tool.
Your company seems to be going through an extended growth spurt.
When we hit $2 million [in annual revenue], I wanted to hit $10 million. When we hit that, I wanted to hit $50 million. After that it was $200 million then $500 million. Now the goal is $1 billion, and we should reach it within the next 10 years, probably sooner. We’re very pleased with how we’re positioned in the marketplace. We’re located in such a rich business city and our company has proven to be uniquely scalable. It’s really just a matter of time.
So you’re a fan of North Texas.
Absolutely. I am still overwhelmingly ecstatic about selecting Dallas for our corporate headquarters. It’s a thriving market for technology and really any industry. Dallas is a city that has given me personally and my company so much. It has afforded us so much opportunity for growth and prosperity, and it’s why we are so involved in the community.