Fileccia celebrates 25 years since first job at Coyotes with promotion
Simply put, there was only one choice that made sense when Rainy Partners named a new president for Ice Den Scottsdale and Ice Den Chandler.
After starting with the then-Phoenix Coyotes in 1996 as a summer sales associate to sell season tickets, she was hired in a full-time position in Ticket Operations where she worked two seasons, before joining the Goals For Kids Foundation fundraising for valley children’s charities and planning special events for another three.
“In a full circle moment, at the same time, my first niece was born a month early in Winnipeg and treated using a specialized machine the Winnipeg Jets Goals for Kids Foundation donated when Thomas Steen retired,” explained Fileccia, a Winnipeg native who moved to Arizona to attend Arizona State in 1993. “It was always my plan to return home to work with the Jets in some capacity. When the Jets became Phoenix Hockey and then named the Phoenix Coyotes the summer I graduated in 1996 (with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism), the plan changed.
“My college roommates and I were at McDuffy’s Sports Bar in Tempe to watch the Jets’ final playoffs series in April 1996 and they were hosting a Meet the Team party to promote the team’s relocation. Throughout the night we dominated a hockey-related trivia contest and when a member of the front office staff stopped by our table, I jokingly offered to trade the swag we won for a job.”
And 25 years later, Fileccia has ascended the ranks, succeeding Mike O’Hearn, who is now executive vice president of Rainy Partners, the parent company of the Ice Dens. O’Hearn’s focus will be on new business development and identifying growth opportunities and strategic partnerships. He had been Ice Den president since the doors opened in 1996.
“Mike is an accomplished executive, respected leader and a cherished mentor who has impacted in a meaningful way hundreds of Ice Den employees, and thousands of community members over the past 25 years,” said Rainy Partners president Taylor Burke.
“Even though Mike and I lived only a few streets apart in Winnipeg, we did not meet until the Jets relocated to Arizona,” added Fileccia. “He has been a steady source of encouragement and guidance my entire career, always as a resume reference, keeping in touch for quarterly coffee catch ups and supporting my efforts while I was in non-profit. When the invitation to join his team was extended, it was too good to pass up and eventually led to this new opportunity. We have huge skates to fill with Mike’s transition to our corporate office, but his past experience in hockey operations has set us up for success with the team he built.”
“Marcy’s ready to take the reins of this company. With her leadership, the Ice Dens are poised to move into the next decade, stronger and more focused than ever,” O’Hearn stated.
Fileccia said she started skating back home when she was three years old and played ringette (pictured left) through high school as girls hockey wasn’t an option “way back then.”
“Hockey rinks have been a constant home away from home for me, whether it was for my own practices and games, watching my siblings or cheering on the Original Jets,” said Fileccia. “My favorite players were Dale Hawerchuk, Jim Kyte and Bob Essensa.”
After her first stint with the Coyotes wrapped up after the Burke family sold the team, Fileccia spent 15 years in non-profit at Special Olympics Arizona, Banner Health Foundation and the Pat Tillman Foundation.
She returned to the Ice Den in 2013 prior to the purchase of the Chandler facility to focus on marketing, special events and communications efforts.
“A highlight that stands out most to date since my return to the Den, is the Shane Doan Rink dedication (in 2018),” Fileccia said. “Having watched Shane from his rookie season with the Jets, and then working with him at both the Coyotes and Ice Den has been an incredible experience. His commitment to hockey and the community is inspiring and contagious.”
“I most look forward to continuing to grow hockey and figure skating in the state. Meeting and getting to know our community members and watching players and skaters from their first steps on ice to competing at the highest levels is extremely rewarding.”
The enthusiasm exuded by Fileccia is seconded by Burke.
“My confidence in Marcy’s leadership and the strength of the Ice Den team has positioned us well for this evolution,” said Burke. “I am excited about what the future holds for us as we make this transition, and I look forward to watching our organization and team continue to thrive.”
— Matt Mackinder
(Jan. 22, 2021)