Our Team

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Meet  Our Sales & Catering Team

at Willows Lodge

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Janene Varden Head Shot

Janene Varden

Director of Sales & Marketing

Worked at Willows Lodge since 2007
Birth place: Bellingham, Washington

Favorite activity to do in Woodinville – Grab a coffee and then go for a walk on the Sammamish River Trail with my husband and our pup, Leo.

Why you love working at Willows – I love coming to work at Willows because of our culture, the beauty we are surrounded by, as well as what our brand stands for in terms of quality, consistency, and truly genuine hospitality. Having been in this industry for 30+ years, one of my favorite things is witnessing the positive impact our team can make on the guests and groups we serve by creating memories and Being the Difference.

What you like to do on a day off from work – Something active with my family like a local hike or exploring an area we haven’t been to before in the Jeep!

Robin Akkerman

Associate Director of Sales

Worked at Willows Lodge since 2000
Birth place: Beloit, Wisconsin

Robin Head Shot

Favorite activity to do in Woodinville – Saturday or Sunday brunch, followed by wine tasting

Why you love working at Willows – My years here, since opening, continue to showcase the Lodge’s resilience through creativity, invention and flexibility.  Every day is a new opportunity to serve guests and patrons from all over the world and turn them into repeat guests.  The team’s absolute mission is to make memories

What you like to do on your day off from work: Spend time with friends and travel locally.

Your favorite secret about Woodinville Wine Country: That it continues to be the country’s largest wine tasting region adjacent to a major metropolitan area – Seattle.  In 2000, there were 9 wine tasting rooms in Woodinville.  At the end of 2021, there are 125+ wine tasting rooms of which at least 35 are walkable from Willows Lodge, and the remainder are within a 10 mile drive radius of the Lodge.

Joan Head Shot

Joan Monson

Sales Manager, CMP

Worked at Willows Lodge since 2005
Birth place: Hanover, New Hampshire

Favorite Woodinville activity: Chateau Ste. Michelle is my favorite winery to visit as their property is like a gorgeous garden oasis.  Pack a picnic, bring a blanket and discover a new favorite wine to enjoy…and if you are lucky, a peacock might just stroll by!

Why you love working at Willows Lodge – I am fortunate to work at the favorite getaway destination in the Pacific Northwest, with a team of passionate professionals who truly love what they do.

What you like to do on a day off from work - Trail running at St. Edwards State Park!

Erin Laccinole

Director of Catering & Conference Services, CMP

Worked at Willows Lodge since 2002
Birth place: Vancouver, Washington

Erin Head Shot

Favorite Woodinville wine/winery: JM Cellars because of their small, specialized production with a lovely,  homey facility.  You feel like you are being welcomed into their home with a great family story.  My favorite wine is JM Cellars Viognier.

Why you love working at Willows – Every day is different!

What you do on a day when you’re not working – Love to use this day to go on a long bike ride, work in the yard, nap and hang with my pups, Abby.

Jenn Head Shot

Jenn Wenman

Associate Director of Catering

Worked at Willows Lodge since 2002
Birth place: Seattle, Washington

Favorite activity to do in Woodinville – Walk/”hike” the Tolt Pipeline Trail

Why you love working at Willows – I love working at Willows Lodge because we have created such a strong family that includes not just our employees but so many of our guests as well.

What you do on a day when you’re not working – Watch football, workout and spend time with family and friends

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