ICE expand front office staff, hire Leah Watkins to head Business Operations and Fan Experience

Cranbrook, B.C. – The Kootenay ICE Hockey Club announced Tuesday it has expanded its front office staff, hiring Leah Watkins and Priya Plested.

Watkins is the new Director, Business Operations and Fan Experience for the ICE. She joins the organization after spending the previous three years in sales and marketing. Most recently, Watkins was a Solutions Consultant with 1Life Workplace Safety Solutions. Beyond that, she spent time as Senior Account Manager, Solutions Consultant and Trainer with Maxim Software Systems.

Watkins also spent four years volunteering for various sports organizations.

Watkins has a business degree in Administration with a Major in Marketing.

“Leah will provide some tremendous skill, energy, and enthusiasm that will translate into deeper relationships with our customers and business partners,” said Matt Cockell, President and General Manager.

The ICE have also hired Priya Plested as its Manager, Business Operations and Fan Experience. Plested joins the ICE after volunteering with the Kamloops Blazers as part of their game day staff from 2013 to 2018. Plested also worked with Hockey Canada during the 2016 IIHF World Women’s Championship and spent the summer of 2017 as a business intern with the Western Hockey League.

Plested earned a Bachelor of Business Administration, Majoring in Marketing and Finance at Thompson Rivers University.

“Priya brings a progressive approach to game day operations and her experience working with a number of first-class organizations will greatly benefit the ICE,” explained Watkins.

Both Leah and Priya join an expanded ICE front office that includes Raylin Kirsch, (Vice President), Brant Hilton (Manager, Communications and Community), Rylee Andersen (Manager, Office Experience) and Robin Sudo (Bookkeeper and Antemist).


Kootenay ICE 2018-19 season seats are available. Get yours today by stopping by the ICE Gear Store at Western Financial Place, by calling 250-417-0322 or online at

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