Patience is a virtue is a philosophy that Mackenzie Tamayo has lived by since 2003, when she started her career in customer service and hospitality at Serranos Coffee Co.

While at times she feared being stuck in one role forever, she knew that  meant she needed to work harder.

“There were seasons where I didn’t feel like I was ever going to grow,” Tamayo said. “But what I recognized is that … when you serve others and you do it quietly, you do it kindly and persistently — you will always be seen.”

Tamayo, who is now the director of sales at The Pinery at the Hill and Till Kitchen, was recently awarded the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau Community Hero Award for her work creating Unveiled, a wedding show she developed with Sarah Evans Weddings.

The Pinery, a 22,000-square-foot venue at 775 W. Bijou St., opened in Colorado Springs in 2013, and Tamayo started working there as a server.

The 29-year-old climbed her way to bartender, banquet captain, assistant sales coordinator and eventually became the director of sales.

In that role, Tamayo is responsible for building relationships and bringing business to The Pinery.

She spoke with the Business Journal about working as a young professional in Colorado Springs.

What do you like about working in Colorado Springs? 

I feel something in the air [in] Colorado Springs. The urban redevelopment here is incredible. The Pinery was a broken down, sad building that was an eyesore [but] we transformed it into an economic mecca. The growth has been exponential. There are great new restaurants in Old Colorado City [and] downtown is renovating so much of what they’re doing. I feel like I’m a spoke on a wheel that’s essentially helping this thing move. … Colorado Springs is ready for growth.

What have you accomplished as director of sales? 

Putting on the Unveiled [wedding] show that will come in January — we do it once a year. [I’m also on] the board of the Converge lecture series which [brings speakers to The Pinery] four times a year. I think another huge accomplishment is that I have been with the company for four years and I started as a server. I believed in the company and in the cause. … I [also] think winning the Community Hero Award was a big deal, so being recognized was a huge accomplishment for me. It says more about the team at large here.

What should Colorado Springs do to retain young professionals? 

The narrative was, five years ago, that nobody wants to come to Colorado Springs — it’s lame; there’s nothing to do here; there’s no innovation. [But] what we’ve seen with PlanCOS, what we’ve seen the mayor show up and do, what I’m seeing here just from events, is that people want things to do. [And] changemakers are coming alive now. … I truly believe that in order for people to get excited about the future and get excited about [Colorado Springs] growing, there needs to be things here for them to do.

What should people know about The Pinery? 

What I love so much about The Pinery is that we took a risk. … I remember I walked around here with a hard hat on and dreamed, and I love seeing this place thrive. I love watching people leave with smiles, I love that … people want to get excited about events again. They want to get excited about fundraisers again. … I’m always viewing it from a client’s perspective, that they’re going to leave knowing they’ve been cared for, they’ve been fed and that we see them and we’re grateful for their business.

What advice would you give to other young professionals? 

[What] I hear from unsuccessful young professionals is, ‘They just didn’t see my value so I left.’ I can’t encourage [young professionals] enough to grow where you’re at and be the best you can be exactly where you’re at. When it’s time, you will be recognized and you will be ready to be planted in a new place. So be patient and be kind and be present because without those three things you’ll never be successful at any job you have, ever.