Xenia Kourtoglou


Alumna Profiled: Xenia Kourtoglou
Graduated: PIERCE ‘72
Lives in: Athens, Greece
Current Position: President & CEO, Focus Bari

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

XENIA KOURTOGLOU, alumna of both PIERCE and DEREE – The American College of Greece, proud mother of the internationally successful Soprano Katia Paschou, is the founder of Focus Bari, a leading Market Research Agency in Greece, with local and international activity and recognition. For 25 years Focus Bari provides the market with the Industry Currency Surveys for Radio and Press, and leading surveys on Technology, Telecommunications, E-commerce and a vast variety of consumer/FMCG product lines.

Xenia Kourtoglou is particularly active in the business community through her participation and contribution at local and European organizations on Media & Market Research, on Digital Advertising and Technology (ESOMAR, EMRO, SEDEA, EEDE, IAB, TOGME), is a founding member of I for U Mentoring Network, has been a regular lecturer at Panteion University, is a regular speaker at local and international conferences, and a constant supporter and mentor of career women and entrepreneurs.


Q.: What are three enduring lessons you learned during your studies at PIERCE?

  • Always aim at being a paragon at what you choose to do!
  • Our school = our pride!
  • We work, learn, and progress together!

Q.: Describe PIERCE in three words.

Outstanding, progressive, unique!

Q.: One of your favorite PIERCE memories?

A volleyball match against the boys of the Athens College (only boys at the time, and we were only girls), at our super volleyball premises, where our team was really E X C E L L E N T. It was a great experience for all of us.

Q.: What do you miss most from your days at PIERCE?

The feeling of belonging to a distinguished youth community, where we had the chance to learn, become multi-cultured, and obtain valuable principles, the basis for our development and growth in society.

Q.: Where was your favorite spot on campus?

The gardens outside our classrooms.

Q.: Who was your favorite teacher and why?

They were many: Mrs. Styliara, Mrs. Michalea, Mr. Thanos, Mr. Kemos, Mr. Papagiannakopoulos… They were all fantastic!

Q.: Have you kept in touch with any of your classmates?

I’m still in touch with a few, and come across many more, many of them among the business and arts community, and I am always happy for their progress and achievements.

Q.: Did having studied at PIERCE help you during your university studies and beyond?

Immensely! My excellent use of English, my overall culture, valuable habits and approach to learning, respect and acknowledgement of teamwork, and many, many more!

Q.: What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Whatever knowledge you acquire is useful, even if it does not seem relevant at the time: it is so true, as has proven during life!

Q.: Who inspires you most?

Progress and change, the challenge of the new.

Q.: Your motto in life?

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

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