Women in Business Winners Had a Year to Talk About
Maddie Mckinley
/ Categories: News

Women in Business Winners Had a Year to Talk About

The six winners of last year’s Women in Business awards, held virtually in October 2020, won verdicts, accepted new jobs, retired and even created a minor baseball controversy. This year’s event, which will be keynoted by prior winner Patty Arvielo, co-founder and president of New American Funding, takes place on Oct. 28 at the Marriott Irvine. It’s the Business Journal’s 27th edition of the event. Expect a slate of newsmakers from the next crop of honorees. In the meantime, here’s an update on last year’s winners, many of whom continue to make headlines:

Liz McKinley: ‘Managing Me’

What millennials want at a workplace recently became a focus of Liz McKinley, the founder and CEO of Huntington Beachbased fuel and petroleum products distributor Pinnacle Petroleum Inc. A Forbes article suggested they desire a fantastic workplace that permits dogs and flexible hours, all of which she offered. Above all, they want to feel like they’re making a difference. “We really work on our messaging and how we’re different and where we sit in the market,” she said during a March podcast hosted by Gina Osborn. “I really try to empower everybody.” McKinley empowered herself in an industry not known for women entrepreneurs. After she put herself through college at Oklahoma State University studying finance and marketing, she took on a job as an oil trader at Koch Industries Inc., which is now the nation’s second-largest privately owned company. That decision would send her on a path that played out over the next 30 years as she opened a Birmingham, Ala. office for Koch and then transitioned on to work as a commodities trader at other fuel companies. In 1995, McKinley launched Pinnacle Petroleum in her home with three employees in a single office and a copy machine stationed in the bathtub. It now counts a team around 30 and annual sales around $200 million. Nowadays, she participates in local nonprofits like Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire and Second Harvest Food Bank. She likes women organizations where she can find females “dealing with the same issues I am.” Her most recent change was due to the pandemic, she told the podcaster. “I’m an A-type overachiever. I’m always trying so hard to do the right thing and be the best. “I realized that I could relax a little and that COVID was the big year for honing that skill. There was so much going on that I had zero control over, and I had to let things

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Pinnacle Petroleum, Inc. has delivered petroleum and petroleum related products nationwide as a certified woman-owned business enterprise (WBE) since 1995.

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