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News: Amex and the WPO Recognize Trailblazing Women -

The list of the top 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies by American Express and the Women Presidents' Organization is out, giving women trailblazers props for generating a total of  $4.4 billion in combined revenues and employing  31,121 people in 2014. All the winners received a gift from American Express.

In order to qualify for the list the businesses had to be led or owned by women and privately held, as well as have generated at least $500,000 by 2010 and $2 million by 2014. They were graded based on a sales growth formula, using a combination of percentage and absolute growth

“We at American Express are honored to support this elite group of women, who represent a wide spectrum of industries and have become leaders within the business community,” said Susan Sobbott, president, Global Corporate Payments, American Express. “The 50 Fastest companies are full-scale, successful and growing.”

The top three

The winners cut across all industries, and are located throughout the U.S. The companies at the top of the list all have one thing in common: super-sized growth. The top three winners are:

  • Nina Vaca, president and chief executive officer of the Pinnacle Group. She took the top spot by quadrupling irevenues in four years, going from $164,567,336 in 2010 to $665,577,015 in 2014. Vaca owns 100% of her IT workforce solutions firm headquartered in Dallas. She founded it 19 years ago when she was 24 years old with just $300 and a dream. Her key to successes was being agile and adapting to her clients needs, she said.

  • Rebecca Thomley, president and chief of Morning Star Financial Services, based in Minnesota, moved in to the second slot, after coming in 8th last year. The shift in rankings was due to  a revenue bump, going from $4,732,590 in 2012 to $44,199,555 in 2014, and a jump in employment going from nine people in 2012 to 121 in 2014. She says her success was due to being creative and willing to take risks, as well as hiring talented people.

  • Rounding out the top three is Lacy Starling, the owner of Legion Logistics, LLC, a Florence, Kentucky based company and a newcomer to the 50 Fastest list. She doubled revenue in just two years going from $11,477,196 in 2012 to $25,485,107 in 2014, while also bringing 19 employees on board in that timeframe.

“The 50 Fastest list exemplifies the vital role women-owned/led companies have in boosting the economy and enhancing overall job growth,” said Marsha Firestone, Ph. D., president and founder of the WPO. “We are pleased to partner with American Express Global Corporate Payments to honor these powerful women and recognize their triumphs.”