President and CEO, Cornerstone Hospitality LLC, Williamsburg
During her 35-year career in hospitality, Kimberly Christner has seen major changes in female representation in her industry.
“For many of those years, I might be the only female at the table in a leadership position,” she says, “but that has changed, thankfully.”
As president and CEO of Cornerstone Hospitality LLC, Christner has found a passion for renovating historic properties and converting them into boutique hotels, each of which is pet-friendly — an amenity that’s important to Christner, who travels “everywhere” with her golden retriever, Adeline. In Virginia, these projects include the Craddock Terry Hotel and The Virginian in Lynchburg, the Western Front Hotel in St. Paul, the Sessions Hotel in Bristol, Hotel Weyanoke in Farmville, and Wytheville’s Bolling Wilson Hotel. Christner takes pride in the fact that each has served as an economic engine to encourage more growth in their respective communities. In 2018, the state Department of Housing and Community Development awarded the Western Front Hotel its award for best adaptive reuse. Christner also is on the Marriott Tribute Portfolio board.
Mentorship is also a top priority for Christner, who conducts one-on-one coaching with her hotel management teams. “I’m a promoter of women in business,” she says. “I like to see women rise through the ranks.”