Mark Bomersback, General Manager

Bomersback returned as GM of the Storm in May of 2022. He was previously the GM of the team from 2017-2019. As a player, Bomersback played 4 years in the AJHL for the Canmore Eagles from 1999-2003, en route to breaking the AJHL all time career scoring record with 394 points, which he still holds  today.  From Canmore, Mark moved on to play Division 1 college hockey for the Ferris State Bulldogs, graduating in 2007 with a degree in Sports Management. Bomersback would later spend 5 years playing professionally in North America and overseas before retiring in 2013.

Bomersback brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, from being a player that has gone through the league and moved up to play at higher levels. He knows what it takes as a player to get there and would like to help as many current and future Storm players do the same, while bringing a strong on ice product that the people of Grande Prairie and the fans can be proud of. ” We want to win hockey games , we want to win championships and we want to give our players the best chance to succeed and move on to play higher levels of hockey. The AJHL is such a great league and  Grande Prairie a great city and larger community. We’re grateful for a great fan base and playing in such a beautiful facility like Bonnetts makes Grande Prairie one of the best places to play,” notes Bomersback. His main goal is to bring an on ice product that the people of Grande Prairie and the fans can be proud of.

“I would like to thank the Community, Volunteers, Fans, Billets and Board of Directors for their continued support. In the end the combined efforts of all of these people are the sole reason of why this organization will get to where it needs to be. Thank you to you all.”

Eric Thurston, Head Coach

Eric Thurston was born in Edmonton, Alberta and spent his minor hockey years there before moving up to the BCJHL. After a short time playing there, Eric spent 3 seasons with the Victoria Cougars of the Western Hockey League where he was a second team all-star defenseman during the 1983/84 season.  Eric then went on the play for the University of Alberta Golden Bears where he won a Usport Championship in 1985/86 and was the Canada West Rookie of the Year.

After 7 seasons playing in Europe, Eric returned to his roots in Edmonton with the University of Alberta Golden Bears where he was Assistant Coach for 11 years winning 2 National Championships. He then moved into the Head Coach role winning 2 National Championships.

During the 2011/2012 season, Eric served as the Head Coach for the U20 and U18 National teams, winning bronze with the U20 at the world championships in the Ukraine. During this time his role also included Director of Coaching and Player Development for the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation.

From 2018-2022 Eric was the Head Coach and General Manager of the Drayton Valley Thunder before becoming the Head Coach of the Grande Prairie Storm.  With over 30 years of coaching experience behind him, Eric focuses on building the culture of a team by balancing hard work, community involvement and a positive experience for the players.

Chris Schmidt, Assistant Coach

Chris Schmidt was born and raised in Beaverlodge and played minor hockey in Beaverlodge  and Grande Prairie, before playing 4 years for Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1994 and signed with LA in 1996. Schmidt played in the LA Kings system for 9 years, including 10 games with the Kings, followed by 8 years of professional hockey in Germany. He played in 2 World Championships and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics with the German National Team. Schmidt is an active member in the Peace Country hockey community, having coached with the Academy hockey program since 2013. He coached the GPAC U18AAA team for 5 years, and is entering his third season as the Storm’s assistant coach. Schmidt lives in Beaverlodge with his wife and 5 kids.

Brandon Wells, Goalie Coach/ Assistant Coach

Brandon Wells was born and raised in Spirit River, Alberta. He played two years with the local GPAC system, before moving onto the Okanagan Hockey Academy. After that , he moved on to play for Melville Millionaires(SJHL), Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL), and Trail Smoke Eaters(BCHL). After junior hockey, Wells attended and played at Plattsburgh State University (NCAA Div 3) where he majored in Sports Management & Marketing, and minored in Business & Coaching. Last year was his first year with the Grande Prairie Storm, and he looks forward to helping build this great franchise.

Torie Beemer, Athletic Therapist

Originally from Mississauga, ON Torie grew up as a life long athlete playing 15 and 13 years respectively  of competitive hockey and lacrosse. Torie continued her athletic career  playing varsity women’s field lacrosse at Wilfrid Laurier University while completing her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology. The experiences during her time attending WLU as an athlete fueled her passion for rehabilitative medicine and athletics leading her to pursue a second undergraduate degree in Athletic Therapy from Sheridan College. Torie has worked within a variety of sports with a special focus and passion for hockey which continued after graduating and achieving full certification in 2021. Torie previously has worked in a variety of levels of hockey from Minor/Prep Hockey to University Men’s Hockey in the OUA, and most recently Junior A in the SJHL.


Nicole Menzies, Executive Director

Nicole Menzies was born and raised in Westchester County, New York, before moving to Grande Prairie in 2010. She has spent most of her career teaching both Business and Elementary Education for the University of Alberta and NWP (formerly Grande Prairie Regional College), and holds Masters degrees in both Teaching and Administration and Supervision. Menzies has volunteered extensively in the Grande Prairie community, primarily with Grande Prairie Minor Hockey and the Mamas for Mamas charity, and is grateful to live in a vibrant and supportive community like Grande Prairie. As Executive Director, Nicole looks forward to leading the Storm organization with an eye on community engagement, fiscal responsibility, and strong development opportunities for players. She lives in Grande Prairie with her husband, Jordan (Storm alumni, 1999-2003) and three hockey-loving children.

Chanda Peddie, Billet Coordinator

Moved to Grande Prairie from Ontario in 1998 so GP is now my home!

Married to Mark, mom to Ashley and Brandon. Grandma to Wesley and soon-to welcome a new grand-daughter this winter!

Works as an Administrative Assistant for GPPSD at École Montrose. My passion for French culture, day to day learning and the wellbeing of children has blossomed throughout my many years in the education system.

In 2008, the Storm trainer approached me while working at school asking if I knew a French family that could help out our Junior A hockey program and billet a new French player moving to town. We chatted as a family and decided to join the team! 15 years later, I am still here 😊

In 2016 I started coordinating. Being a mom, makes this volunteer job that much easier! It’s my passion to find the best families to care for all “my boys”. The Stom organization has certainly welcomed me and my billet families as part of their team!

I do this for the love of the game! Such a rewarding experience. I continue to chat/visit with quite a few of my players. It absolutely warms my heart when I get hello text messages, especially on Mother’s Day! I now get wedding invitations and birth announcements and these boys will forever be part of my family.


Laura Gardner, Volunteer Coordinator

Laura Gardner has lived in Grande Prairie for over seven years and has immersed herself in the hockey community by volunteering as a division commissioner and team manager for the past four seasons as well as a tournament Chair and member of the Grande Prairie Minor Hockey Board.  She has also served on the Highland Games Board as Special Events Coordinator.
She has been in Operations Management as well as HR and HSE Management with Oil & Gas service companies since moving to Grande Prairie from Kelowna with her family.  A busy mom of three, she can often be found at a rink in town watching her children play hockey.
Her family has been a billet family for the last two seasons and enjoys supporting the players and giving them a home away from home during the season.
Her true passion is working with people within the hockey community of Grande Prairie and takes pride in helping to enhance the game day experience for Storm Fans.


Phil Mercer
Doug Auchenberg
Barry Prins