Interview went great! How to ask for a reference discreetly?

I’m a staff accountant and I had a great interview today. The hiring manager has already emailed me back to go through the next steps. They are requesting 2-3 references – I’ve never had to give references before, so this is something I’m a bit unfamiliar with. I’ve already got one locked down.

I want to ask my former supervisor, who left my current company a year ago. We worked well together and I think she’d have some good things to say about me, but I haven’t really kept in touch with her – a mistake on my part. The other concern is that she’s still in touch with a lot of my coworkers. I’m worried the fact that I’m interviewing will get out if I ask her. My job description has changed drastically over the years and she’s one of the only people who knows what I’m doing now. People from my previous jobs wouldn’t be able to speak to my current level of responsibilities and experience.

What are some good ways to reach out to someone I haven’t spoken to in a year?

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