Mackenzie Maltby Tamayo has always been a helper. So it’s not surprising that she’s gravitated toward the hospitality industry.
“The core word of hospitality is hospice, which quite literally means to take care of,” Tamayo said.
As director of sales and marketing for Altitude Hospitality Group, she helps develop and accomplish the visions for growth of the group’s restaurants and venues, which include Garden of the Gods Market and Catering, Till Kitchen, The Roost Coffee House, Altitude Floral, The Pinery at the Hill and the newly opened Sprig restaurant.
“I believe that food isn’t just something that you give to someone,” she said. “It’s a deeply vulnerable experience on both ends, and I love creating really thoughtful atmospheres where people can come together and enjoy one another. That’s done through events at the Pinery, having a glass of wine and steak at Till Kitchen, lunch with girlfriends at Sprig.”
Tamayo has been with the group since 2013; she started as a bartender and server at The Pinery and worked her way up to director of sales. While she was there, The Pinery was named the best wedding venue in the Springs.
“I basically created the position I have now,” she said, adding her favorite part of the job is “the satisfaction that I’m contributing to the community.”
That could be said of her community work as well.
Tamayo was a winner in 2017 of the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC’s Community Builder award for outstanding community involvement. As a board member of Converge Lecture Series, she helps to bring in leading poets and artists; at CASA, she has worked with battered women; she has spearheaded large fundraisers for organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Kidpower of Colorado, Dream Centers and many more.
Tamayo’s family came here from Dallas in 1999, a move that felt like culture shock to the then-sixth grader. But now, after graduating from Colorado Springs Christian School, earning a degree in English from UCCS, and living and working here for 20 years, she has a deep love and admiration for Colorado Springs.
“I see community as extension of who I am, and I have a responsibility to it, and I think leaders in this community have a responsibility to it,” she said.
In the next five years, she wants to see Altitude Hospitality Group expand into the “booming renaissance in downtown Colorado Springs. I see Colorado Springs as being just on the brink of something really great.”
She also hopes to pursue another passion: writing.
“I’d love to go back to school,” she said. “In five years, I hope I’m applying for a doctoral program. So I can teach. At some point, I’d love to teach creative writing at the college level.”
What do you want to be when you grow up?
“I read once that it takes a lot of courage to grow up and be who you really are. I suppose I want to be all of me — an ever-present, ever-evolving, ever-faithful woman of integrity who’s dedicated to her family and her community.”