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, a Pierce & Deree alumna, Xenia launched Focus Bari, a leading market research company, in 1988. It was chosen as the Affiliate Partner of YouGov in Greece in July 2020. In 2014, Xenia launched the multi-award-winning e-satisfaction, the first humanized platform in omnichannel retail, and in 2021, launched MEX, a holistic self-care center in Corinth.

Xenia holds a BA in Business Administration, an MSc in Person-Centered Psychotherapy & Counseling from the University of Strathclyde, and is accredited with triple certification in Business & Executive Coaching by ICPS. In 2018, her first best-selling book was published by Dioptra Publications titled “The Best Opportunity is NOW!” Apart from her professional career, Xenia has been a regular lecturer at Panteion University for 14 years, is a volunteer startup Mentor at Eurobank’s EGG (Enter-Grow-Go), and is a frequent guest inspirational speaker at conferences and universities on subjects such as technology, female leadership, entrepreneurship and personal development.

Xenia’s mission is to contribute to the healthy growth of communities and businesses through people’s personal empowerment and progress.


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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