Operations

Millennial Operator Believes In Being Involved

Lexi Tucker
Posted on November 15, 2017

Nikko Ouzounis, vice president of operations for White Dove Limousine
Nikko Ouzounis, vice president of operations for White Dove Limousine
DENVER, Colo. — People often assume Millennials would rather tweet about their problems than actually do something about them. While “hashtag activism” may bring awareness about certain issues to people who might never otherwise hear about them, Nikko Ouzounis, vice president of operations for White Dove Limousine, knows the importance of being a part of and actively participating in industry associations.

Good Influences

White Dove was started by Ouzounis’ parents, Teris and Franci, almost 30 years ago. “The longevity of the company is due to my mom and dad. If I were to continue and take over, I wouldn’t want to let them down. I want to repay them for all of their hard work,” he says.

Teris and Franci Ouzounis, owners of White Dove Limousine
Teris and Franci Ouzounis, owners of White Dove Limousine
Part of this is ensuring the future of the business is bright, and that means being active in groups that work together for the benefit of the industry as a whole. Ouzounis has been a part of the Colorado Limousine Association for three years as secretary, as well as treasurer for the past two years. In addition to this, he was elected in 2017 to represent the limousine industry as a board member for the Ground Transportation Advisory Board at Denver International Airport. “It’s been interesting to learn and work with other sectors of the ground transportation industry such as taxis and shuttles,” he says.

As a younger operator, he’s been able to witness the many changes happening and disrupting the industry with a more level head. He believes Millennials bring a new perspective on tech and how it can be used to improve many aspects of running a business. “This is still a traditional industry, but there could be a number of new regulations coming with the dawn of autonomous vehicles,” he says.

A fan of sci-fi, he’s more excited than scared. “People will still continue social traditions like proms and weddings, so I think our service will always be needed.”

Super Soccer Star

His parents’ company was a constant part of his life—he helped with vehicle maintenance, washed cars, helped decorate the vehicles, and did data entry in the office since he was young —so he’s always had an underlying interest in it. He wasn’t sure at what capacity he would go into the family business, because his first passion was soccer. Ouzounis always wanted to be a professional soccer player, and his mother and father supported this dream and never pressured him into the industry.

He’s been playing since he was four years old, and continued into college. In 2010, Nikko obtained dual citizenship for Greece and played semi-pro there, which he enjoyed since he had family nearby. Nikko came back to Colorado in 2011 and started helping with the business more.

The Empress
The Empress
Continuing The Legacy

Teris and Franci started White Dove in 1989; Franci chose the name because they did a lot of wedding transportation. She thought the name evoked an image of beauty and grace, much like a bride. They started with one six-passenger limousine, and eventually grew to buy out other companies. In the late 90s, they purchased Mile High Limousine, Capital City Limousine, and Boulder Limousine.

They had quite a few specialty vehicles when they first started. One named “The Empress” was an older style Excalibur stretch limousine that was a big hit at weddings. “The dual axel” stretch limousine could hold up to 14 passengers, had a water bed in the back, and the trunk was converted into a four person hot tub you could fill with water.

Through the years as White Dove updated their fleet, they moved more toward traditional vehicles and away from the exotic cars, but never lost their commitment to personalized service. “We’re not too big, so we can maintain great personal relationships with clients. Some have been with us so long that we've driven parents for weddings and anniversaries and are now taking their children to proms and birthdays."

For those looking to start their own company, Ouzounis says the industry might seem easy to break into, but success is another thing entirely. “It’s always changing, and it can be a 24/7 job.” You have to be willing to make sacrifices, get involved with local and national associations, and meet as many people as you can and learn about their business experiences. “You’ll notice people are always willing to help.”

Related Topics: CLA, Colorado Limousine Association, Colorado operators, customer service, family businesses, LCTFast40, limo associations, Millennials, retail markets, weddings

Lexi Tucker Associate Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • Nikko Ouzounis

     | about 2 years ago

    Thank you for the nice article Lexi, we appreciate it.

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