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20 WOMEN TO WATCH
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Lauraine Bifulco

By Tamirra StewartPublished: March 01, 2010

President, Vantaggio HR Ltd.
San Juan Capistrano
vantaggiohr.com

Age: 49
City of residence: San Juan Capistrano
Family: My husband, Rus Miller; two children, Chiara and Brant; and two labradoodles
First job: Babysitting and working in a friend’s father’s grocery store as a cashier
Who or what inspires you: Self-made people
Advice to other women in business: It is possible to be a successful businesswoman and a mom and a wife, but it requires compromise.
Best vacation ever: A trip to Italy and France with my husband about five years ago



« “Vantaggio” – That’s Italian for “advantage,” “benefit,” “profit” and “gain.”  It also is the mission of Lauraine Bifulco’s company, Vantaggio HR, Ltd.
    
“We provide a wide range of services, such as training benefits and payment policies, in a wide range of industries of various sizes and kinds – anything normally done by a human resources department,” Bifulco says.
    
It all started with six employees at a company that Bifulco worked for straight out of college. The company was purchased by a larger company that had no human resources department.
    
“I kind of became HR by accident,” she says.
    
But there’s no accident to being named one of the top 25 woman-owned businesses by Working Mother magazine and a nominee for Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award.
    
Vantaggio HR has offices in Southern California, Hawaii and Florida, but France is never far from Bifulco’s mind. She lived there for six years and did graduate work at the Sorbonne in linguistics. She even translated instruction manuals for electronics and semiconductor companies.
    
“I’m so thankful I studied math and chemistry in high school,” she says.
    
So where is Vantaggio heading?
    
“I want to grow three times the size we are now,” she says. “We’re opening a branch in Honolulu later this year and soon, I hope, Northern California.”



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