Katie Ellering, who has a long history in Arizona’s hospitality industry, took ownership of Tortilla Flat a little over a year ago. The historic town has a one-of-a-kind history and hosted everyone from Theodore Roosevelt to Barbara Streisand. Learn about Katie Ellering…
Hometown: Lakeville, MN
First job: Bank teller at New Market Bank, an amazing family-owned and -operated local bank where the employees are like family and we knew our customers by name.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in AZ: On the water! My fiancé and I are boat enthusiasts, and we love to explore all the Arizona lakes. We recently took a trip to Lake Powell and spent 12 days cruising the lake and floating in the canyons, absolutely breathtaking views!
Person who has impacted your life the most and why: My mom, Debbie Ellering, has had the biggest impact on my life because she raised me to be a strong, independent woman and taught me to always believe in myself and what I can achieve. She has supported me in everything I’ve ever done and she’s always been there when I needed her. She was the breadwinner in my family while my dad, Mark Ellering, took care of me and my older brother until we got to high school and he had more time to open his own business. I had to go to my friends’ house to get my hair done for picture day but it was all worth it when he made his famous grilled cheese sandwich for us.
Your biggest accomplishment in your eyes and why: I think my biggest accomplishment would have to be buying and operating a town. I couldn’t have done it without my partners and Chris Field, my fiancé, and it has been an amazing adventure for us since the day we took over Sept. 1, 2019.
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: My biggest obstacle was moving 1,600 miles from my family and everything I knew when I was 20 and starting my journey in Arizona. I found a job and was working full time and paying my way through college at Arizona State University. My hard work and dedication paid off when I graduated and began my career in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Someone who inspires you and why: Michelle Obama is an inspiration to myself and young women everywhere, graduate of Princeton and Harvard, intellectual property lawyer and devoted mother, I’m not sure that there’s anything Michelle Obama cannot do.
Favorite quote: “I work really hard at trying to see the big picture and not getting stuck in ego. I believe we’re all put on this planet for a purpose, and we all have a different purpose… When you connect with that love and that compassion, that’s when everything unfolds.” –Ellen DeGeneres
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules and build a life you’re proud to live. Be the person that makes others better by your presence and leave that impact in your absence.
What you think makes someone fabulous: Being fabulous means always being true to you, practicing positivity, finding inspiration and going after your dreams.