The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, August 2019 … BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company, has named Tyler Alden wine director and restaurant outlets manager for Willows Lodge and its signature restaurant, Barking Frog. A member of the Gemstone Collection, the award-winning property is located in Woodinville, within Washington State’s renowned wine country. Denny Fitzpatrick, managing director, made the announcement.

“We are thrilled to have Tyler join us,” said Mr. Fitzpatrick, “and to innovate and lead our extensive wine program here at Willows Lodge in beautiful Woodinville Wine Country. “From everyday pairings in Barking Frog and the Fireside Lounge, to special events like our winemaker and brewer dinners, Tyler’s knowledge and experience will support and further enhance our F&B program here at Willows Lodge as one of the very best in the region.”

An advanced sommelier, Tyler Alden was previously the assistant wine director for Purple Cafe and Wine Bar in Seattle. He has also served as education and service director for Heavy Restaurant Group.

Tyler Alden is an expert on craft brew pairings and holds the title of Certified Cicerone, a certification program for beer similar to sommelier in the wine world. In August of 2013, he passed the rigorous three-day Advanced Sommelier exam by the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas, adding his name to an elite list. Mr. Alden is a graduate of the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. He resides in Seattle.