Kristina Bouweiri loves technology, and she’s not afraid to use it. Since joining Reston Limousine more than 27 years ago, she now has the 10th largest transportation service in the nation. With a growing fleet of over two hundred and fifty transportation vehicles, Reston Limousine is at the top of its field in the Washington, DC region. Kristina is also a visionary, one of the first in her industry to use the Internet to her advantage. She started her website www.restonlimo.com in 1995, then jumped onto Facebook and LinkedIn before everyone else saw the value of using social media to build a global business. But it’s who Kristina is (an entrepreneur and a mother), what she’s passionate about (women in business and government), and where she’s come from that’s even more captivating than her impressive business acumen.
Kristina is a child of the world, literally. Her parents were in the Foreign Service, so she was born in Japan and spent most of her childhood abroad, living in Brazil, Portugal and Africa (where they lived for 10 years). The influences of her upbringing are why she chose to study International Affairs at George Washington University. Upon graduating from GW, Kristina accepted a job with the Overseas Education Fund in order to uplift the status of women in third world countries. Her first overseas assignment was to Somalia where she got involved in helping nomadic Somalis plant trees in order to improve their land and living conditions. She discovered a knack for building and maintaining friendships even after she’d move away, a skill that would contribute greatly to building and maintaining her company, and eventually elevate her to the upper echelons of the DC business world. And as her company flourished, she was also grabbing people’s attention and winning awards for both her professional achievements and her community engagement. She has won over 50 awards, including the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs Public Service Recognition Award in 1999; she was named Woman of the Year in 2007 by Enterprising Women magazine; in 2008 was named #1 Top Executive Transportation Provider for the DC region by Washington Business Journal; she was also a finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year in 2010; and was a Power 100 and Most Admired CEO by the Washington Business Journal. Kristina has also won numerous awards for her philanthropic work.
It’s also important to say here that while she was changing the transportation services game, Kristina was also raising a family of 5 (yes, you read that correctly, 5). It was never easy, even though she made it look that way, especially being a woman in what’s often considered a man’s arena. Defying norms is her jam, and over the years Kristina became a rising star in the DC business community, thanks in large part to the fact that she always moves forward, always looks to make things work better, and never gets daunted by innovation. Her network grew exponentially with the advent of Facebook and she became a prolific marketer and communicator via social media. Kristina was so good at making technology work for her that Irene Natividad, President of the GlobeSummit of Women, recruited her to teach female executives around the world about how to leverage technology in order to grow their businesses. That partnership sparked Kristina’s desire to assist women locally, and in 2008 she started Sterling Women to create a regular networking consortium dedicated to supporting women in business and government.
Kristina also advocates fiercely for women to become leaders in government. Ever one to break barriers, she knows better than most that when one group is the main player in the game, then a lot of others don’t get a chance to even sit down at the table. Her networking events encourage women to tap into their sense of civic duty and empower them to take the big, but important, plunge to make their communities better. The driving force in her philanthropic endeavors is the idea that women promoting and being of service to other women is how we continue to effect positive change at home and in the world.
Is there any more she can possibly do? You bet there is. Kristina is on the boards of various influential civic organizations and business publications, such as the DC Chamber of Commerce, Loudoun CEO Cabinet, Loudoun Education Foundation, 100 Women Strong, Inova Loudoun Hospital Foundation, and Enterprising Women magazine, among others. She also is a member of the Dean’s Council of the George Mason School of Business, where she helped launch the “Women in Business Initiative”, a program for students, alumnae and other businesswomen striving to excel in their professions. Washington Business Journal named Kristina one of the 50 most powerful and influential women in Washington. She has been featured in national media outlets, such as The Washington Post and Washingtonian, and over the years the accolades have continued to roll in: Business Leader of the Year, 2012, by DC Chamber of Commerce; a Virginia Top Wedding Vendor, 2013- 2017, by Virginia Living; Top Women-Owned Businesses in DC, 2015 and 2016, by Washington Business Journal; Outstanding Leadership Award, 2015, by George Mason University School of Business; and one of the Heroines of Washington (Professional Services), 2015, by the March of Dimes.
You can learn more about Kristina’s wonderful organization at www.sterlingwomen.org, and should you have a desire to grab your own bull by the horns and dive into entrepreneurship or government, be sure to register for a networking event. You will certainly learn a lot from this extraordinary woman.