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KIRSTIN WATTS

President & CEO

As President, Kirstin is responsible for defining & articulating the vision and strategy for Center Ice Foundation of Central Ohio.  A proud hockey mom inspired by her 2 hockey-playing sons, Ian (14) and Connor (10), Kirstin is passionate about increasing the opportunities for ice-related sports in Central Ohio, specifically in the suburbs south and east of Columbus, and leaving the community - both of hockey and of Central Ohio - a better place.  

When she's not at the hockey rink cheering for her kids or representing the Center Ice Foundation, Kirstin works full-time in the pharmaceutical/healthcare industry as a Director of Strategic Accounts. She has served on a number of non-profit Boards of Directors: Cancer Support Community of Central Ohio, The Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation, The Miss Greater Columbus Scholarship Program, and the Pickerington Central Marching Tiger Alumni Association.  In her free time, Kirstin enjoys gardening, crafting, reading, traveling, and cheering for her favorite teams: the Junior Prowlers, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Kentucky Wildcats, the Ohio Bobcats, and the Pickerington Tigers!


An alumni of The University of Kentucky, and Ohio University (B.S., Organizational Communication; Master of Health Administration), Kirstin and her husband, Chris reside in Pickerington with their 2 boys and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lucy.

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BOB MCELHENEY

Executive Vice President, Operations

Bob serves as Executive Vice President of Operations for the Center Ice Foundation. In this role, Bob provides leadership in building key external stakeholder relationships, as well as helping to define the vision & strategy for the Foundation. He will also serve in a leadership role during the planning and construction phases of our project.

Bob just completed his 7th season as the Varsity Head Coach for the Prowler Hockey Club in Central Ohio. He is also a licensed insurance agent.

A Sylvania, Ohio native, United States Marine Corps Veteran and University of Toledo alumni, he and his wife, Maggie, live in Reynoldsburg with their 2 year old son, Bobby, and their newborn son, Thomas.

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CATHY HERRON

Executive Vice President, Strategy

Fueled by both a passion for growing hockey in Central Ohio and to creating & motivating collaborative and successful teams, Cathy Herron serves The Center Ice Foundation as Executive Vice President of Strategy. In this role, Cathy is responsible for leading the definition of our vision, strategy & brand, as well as overseeing large-scale projects which position us for success in development of the Columbus Southern Corridor Arena.

With nearly 20 years of experience as a Project Manager, Cathy's experience spans multiple industries, most recently technology & software.  She's a graduate of Franklin University and holds an MBA, a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification, and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

Cathy's self-described greatest accomplishment is raising her son, Alex, and being an "honorary mom" to Alex's countless hockey brothers.  Alex has played hockey for 9 years, progressing through House, Select, and Travel teams, and served as Captain of the Inaugural Junior Prowlers Hockey Club Bantam Travel Team for the 2020-2021 season. 

Cathy is an avid runner, having completed 17 half-marathons and 2 marathons over the past 8 years.  

A lifelong resident of Central Ohio, Cathy lives in New Albany with her son, Alex, and their 8 year-old Golden Retriever, Brody.

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WILLIAM LEHMAN

Executive Vice President, Business Development

Bringing over 2 decades of sales, business development, and supply chain leadership experience to our organization, Bill serves as EVP, Business Development.  In this role, Bill is responsible for identifying and building key relationships with potential sponsors, strategic oversight of our fundraising strategy, and contributing to our marketing & branding vision. Bill is an alumni of Muskingum University, where he played football for 4 years. 

A native of Lancaster, Ohio, Bill serves as a Head Coach for the Gahanna Travel Baseball program, as well as Registrar for the Junior Prowlers Hockey Club. Bill and his wife, Kelly, reside in Gahanna, with their sons, Nolan (13) and Nathan (10).

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WENDY HUX

Vice President, Fundraising & Events

Energetic, competitive, caring & loyal.  That's how folks describe our VP of Fundraising & Events, Wendy Hux.  In her role, Wendy is responsible for leadership and strategic oversight of the Foundation's fundraising efforts, as well as resource allocation & coordination of our event.

Wendy has been a hockey mom for over a decade, with both of her sons, Devin (21) and Brandon (18) playing Varsity hockey for the Prowler Hockey Association.  Devin is currently attending The University of Cincinnati, and Brandon is a Senior at Pickerington Central High School.

In addition to her volunteer work in youth and high school hockey, Wendy has worked on numerous community campaigns, is active in the Ohio Guardianship Association, and has served as President of her sons' school PTO.  In her free time, Wendy enjoys cheering for her favorite sports teams, the Buckeyes, Notre Dame, the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Prowlers!

Wendy is a graduate of Wright State University (B.A., Social Work) and is a licensed social worker in the State of Ohio.  She currently works as a Case Manager for the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging.

A native of Paulding & Coldwater, Ohio, Wendy and her husband, Nate, have lived in Pickerington since 1995, where Nate owns the Pickerington Community Pharmacy and Freedom Pharmacy.

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SABRINA HECKATHORNE

Secretary & VP, Marketing

In her dual role as Secretary & VP of Marketing, Sabrina is responsible for planning & reporting the board meeting agendas, facilitating board meetings, and collecting & maintaining our records, as well as executing our marketing & branding strategy through collaborative internal and external efforts.

An alumni of University of Akron, Sabrina currently works as a Senior Claims Examiner for American Electric Power.

Sabrina is no stranger to non-profits, having served for three years on the Board of Directors for the Easton Youth Hockey Association.  She and her husband Steve live in Reynoldsburg with their twin sons, Sam & Stuart, who play for the Junior Prowlers Travel Hockey Club.

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KELLY LEHMAN

Treasurer

When the Center Ice Foundation was in need of someone to manage our money, Kelly Lehman answered the call!  As Treasurer, Kelly is responsible for expense management and fiduciary accountability (audit, taxes, and other un-fun things).  Kelly is no stranger to hockey, having grown up in Toronto, ON, Canada.

A graduate of The Ohio State University, Kelly works as a 2nd Grade Teacher in the Southwest Licking Local School District. She and her husband, Bill, live in Gahanna with their sons, Nolan (13) and Nathan (10), both hockey players for the Junior Prowlers and EYHA, respectively.

Kelly is a proud hockey and baseball mom, and when she's not taking her kids to sports practices or watching their games, she enjoys traveling, reading, and fitness. 

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JAMIE LEESEBERG

Vice President, Government & Community Relations

Jamie joined The Center Ice Foundation of Central Ohio with the vision and drive to help us achieve our mission of bringing more ice to Central Ohio. Currently serving as City Council President for Gahanna, Ohio, Jamie is no stranger to economic development, having been an integral part of the development of the Creekside project.

In addition to his work for the City of Gahanna, Jamie works as a Site Project Manager for Moody Engineering, having both a BS and MS in Civil Engineering from The University of Toledo.

Originally from Columbia Station, Ohio, Jamie and his wife, Angi, reside in Gahanna with their daughter, Emily (15), and their son, Matthew (13).  Both of their children are avid athletes: Emily is a champion wrestler, and Matthew runs cross country and plays hockey for the Junior Prowlers.  In addition to cultivating his kids' athletic prowess, Jamie enjoys boating, skiing, playing "beer league" hockey, and cheering for his favorite teams: the Browns, Indians, and Red Wings (but we won't hold that against him!)

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TEZLYN REARDON

Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion

With substantial experience in building cultural awareness and high-functioning diversity & inclusion programs, Tezlyn, "Tez" joins the Board of Directors as Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion. In this role, Tez is responsible for expanding our outreach, fostering an inclusive culture, and ensuring diversity of thought and experiences in the building and execution of our vision. As a Foundation, we aspire to address the disparity in representation in ice sports, particularly hockey, for communities of color and women, eliminating barriers, and ensuring that all who want to play have the opportunity and means to do so.

Tez is an 8-year resident of Pickerington and mother to Tyson, a 7th grader at Lakeview Junior High. For the last 7 years she has worked at Alliance Data Card Services in Columbus and is currently a Lead Consultant in Robotic Process Automation, discovering business opportunities for efficiencies and cost-savings. In 2019, she helped to found and launch the African American Resource Group at ADCS and serves as co-chair of the group who has been instrumental in driving cultural awareness and change in the company in 2020. Prior to ADCS, her career was spent in the forecasting and analytics space at NetJets, Victoria’s Secret, and Highlights for Children. 


Tez also has spent a lot of time in non-profit leadership roles as she was the founding Board President for Franklin County Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors (LOSS), serving from 2015-2018. In 2017 she completed the Project Diversity program through Central Ohio United Way for minorities who are interested in non-profit leadership to encourage diversity in organizations that serve our community.


Locally, she is a member of the PYAA Basketball Executive Board and the Director of Boys Grades 6-8 while also serving as a coach for the last five years. Reardon grew up in Logan, Ohio and graduated from the University of Massachusetts where she played on the women’s basketball team and scored over 1,000 career points. She has a passion for helping others and driving change in her community, with a particular focus on helping young people find & pursue their aspirations. 



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CRAIG BUSH

Director, Athletic Development

Bridging the gap between group and athletic stakeholder organizations, Craig serves as Director of Athletic Development for the Center Ice Foundation.  In this role, Craig serves as a liaison between the Foundation and key groups such as local youth & adult hockey leagues, figure skating, sled hockey, curling, and the surrounding school districts.

A native of Lancaster, Ohio, Craig is no stranger to athletics, having been drafted by the Boston Red Sox as a pitcher.  Currently, Craig provides private baseball instruction and serves as a Coach of the Junior Prowlers Hockey Club.  He & his wife, Gwyneth reside in Pickerington with their daughter, Elizabeth (15), a swimmer, and son, Ethan (13), also a swimmer and a member of the Junior Prowlers Hockey Club.

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MATT "MATTY" SEXTON

Director of Media Relations

Matt "Matty" Sexton joins The Center Ice Foundation as Director of Media & Public Relations. In this role, Matt oversees our social media content.  An entrepreneur & branding aficionado, Matty is known locally as the DJ for the Columbus Blue Jackets.  He owns a successful entertainment business, serving a myriad of clients in the sports & music industries.

An alumni of THE Ohio State University, Matty enjoys cheering for his favorite sports teams (in order): the Buckeyes, Cincinnati Reds, Columbus Blue Jackets, Notre Dame Irish, and Nashville Predators.  In his spare time, he also enjoys fitness & cooking.

Matty was brought to our organization by a strong desire to give back to the community, as well as a passion about helping to grow the sport of hockey in Central Ohio.

Originally from Newark, Ohio, Matty & his trusty sidekick Pitbull, Gage the Bully currently split their time between Dublin, OH, and Nashville, TN.

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ANGIE LEROY

Director, Grants & Public Funding; Executive Sponsor, Funding Committee

Angie joins the Center Ice Foundation as the Director, Grants & Public Funding, as well as the Executive Sponsor of our Funding Committee, and is responsible for building relationships with key philanthropic organizations and individuals, whose values and vision align with the Foundation's. 

A native of Northern Wisconsin, Angie has been around hockey her entire life. With a husband who works in the business, a son who plays the sport, and a passion for kids to be a part of a team where they can learn essential life-lessons through hockey, we couldn’t have found a better partner to be a part of our growing team.

A graduate in Public Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Angie has over 20 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations in the roles of fundraising, event planning, grant writing, project managing and marketing. 

When she’s not driving her son to hockey tournaments while working in hotel rooms and taking board meetings virtually from the car, Angie enjoys writing screenplays, scrapbooking memories, tracking ancestry and hanging with her fellow hockey moms. 

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JACOB MARQUARDT

Marketing & Project Coordinator

Jacob Marquardt serves as Marketing & Project Coordinator for the Center Ice Foundation.  In this role, Jacob is responsible for event planning and event-day logistics, collaborating with our team on a variety of projects, as well as advocating for athletes with all abilities as we continue to define our vision for the athletics complex in the Columbus Southern Corridor.

Born and raised in Chicago, Jacob was diagnosed with an epilepsy condition known as Infantile Spasms as a result of having multiple strokes prior to birth. Despite the Cerebral Palsy condition, he has worked hard and persevered and is a proud alumni of Pickerington North High School.

An avid fan of all Chicago sports, he particularly enjoys going to Loyola Chicago Basketball games. Jacob has also enjoyed participating in Special Olympics track, basketball, and bowling. He is a youth hockey superfan and enjoys watching his younger brother play Bantam hockey, and when he’s not at the rink he enjoys watching his sister swim for the Pickerington Central Tigers.

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BRIANNE HIRSCH

Board Member-At-Large

Brianne Hirsh, comes to the Foundation with ideas, passion, and an uncanny ability to get things done!


A native of Toledo, Ohio, Brianne graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Special Education from Old Dominion University in Virginia, while living a military wife's life; her husband David served in the US Air Force.

Brianne and David moved to Pickerington (David's hometown) in 2016, and Brianne currently works as an elementary school educator in Pickerington Local School District.  Their son, David (10), is a Goalie for the EYHA Ice Dragons Squirt Travel Team, and a Black Belt in TaeKwonDo, and she & her husband just welcomed a newborn daughter, Jane.

When she's not at the rink or the dojo, Brianne is an avid crafter, and she and her family love to cheer for the Buckeye Hockey Team!

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VICTOR PAINI

Board Member-At-Large

Victor Paini, brings to the Center Ice Foundation deep subject matter expertise in public service, having served on both the Canal Winchester City Council and as a Madison Township Trustee.

A graduate of Pickerington High School and Ohio University (B.S. Communications Systems), Victor is a lifelong resident of the southeast side, and has spent his adult live giving back to the communities he loves.  In addition to his role with the Center Ice Foundation, Victor serves on the boards for the BrockStrong Foundation and the Motts Military Museum, and he is the Founder & president of the Canal Winchester Youth Lacrosse Association.  In 2012, Victor was honored as a recipient of the Columbus 40 Under Forty Award.

Brought to our group by his passion for smart economic development on the southeast side, what really excites Victor about our project is the potential for his son, a youth hockey player, to have a "home rink" close to home.  

Victor's career spans 2 decades as a technology executive.  He and his wife, Tiffani, live in Canal Winchester with their two children, Wesley (13) and Julia (12).

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KURT FANSLER

Board Member-At-Large

Kurt earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Youngstown State University, and he currently works as a Project Manager for Heapy Engineering.  Kurt also serves as the League Commissioner for the Canal Winchester Youth Football League, and his favorite title is "Goalie Dad" to his hockey-playing son, Dylan.  

Originally from the Toledo area, Kurt and his wife, Kim, live in Canal Winchester with their sons Ryan and Dylan.