Meet our team

Get to know the people behind Sparx.

our leaders

Russ Layton

Founder, CEO

Russell Layton is an engineer and entrepreneur who has been building products for as long as he can remember. About a decade ago, Russ’s repeated frustration with skate sharpening at hockey shops inspired him to purchase a portable skate sharpener. Once he mastered the art of sharpening, he was convinced that an easier and more convenient skate sharpening solution was needed by every hockey player. Before Sparx, Russ held numerous leadership roles in engineering and finance. Russ holds a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University.

Dan is the leader of the Sparx engineering team. With over 22 years of product development experience, his background covers industries from consumer products to semiconductor equipment to surgical navigation systems. A veteran of tiny start-ups and Fortune 100 companies, Dan was thrilled with the idea of taking Sparx from proof of concept to mass production.

Dan Beaudet

V.P. of Engineering
Ivan is Sparx Hockey's 1st employee - working on all aspects of the sharpener - concept development, mechanical, industrial, and graphic design. Ivan studied Mechanical Engineering at Northeastern University and has previously worked in automotive and consumer product industries. He enjoys trail running, fun vehicles, and photography.

Ivan Goryachev

Engineer, Designer
Kara is involved in most aspects of the day-to-day running of Sparx, from handling the bookkeeping to working with customers, with so many databases in between. Kara is one of the few Sparx employees who has never played a game of hockey in her life, but we still let her work here.

Kara Bayer

Operations Manager
Judd is the North American Sales Manager at Sparx Hockey. He founded and led his own successful sales agency for 14 years before joining Sparx. As a player, coach and hockey Dad, Judd immediately saw the value of the Sparx skate sharpener. He saw no other choice but to close up his sales agency and put his full efforts into Sparx Hockey.

Judd Feingold

North American Sales Manager
Steve leads the marketing and communications efforts for Sparx Hockey. Prior to joining Sparx, Steve held marketing leadership positions at several top sports brands including Nike, Performance Sports Group and Bauer Hockey. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Jones still plays the occasional hockey pick-up game when he’s not at the rink coaching one of his two children.

Steve Jones

V.P., Marketing and User Acquistion
Matt started his professional career in the operations management leadership program with GE. After multiple roles and sites across the country, he joined the Sparx team. Matt first got on skates when he was 3 and played the next 15 years through high school. He ended his competitive playing career via intramural hockey at the oldest rink in the US (Matthews Arena), while at Northeastern.

Matt Letourneau

Head of Operations
Donna started at Sparx in September 2016, handling customer service inquiries. She worked in this role for over a year and recently moved into an Inside Sales Position. Donna works closely with Judd and our outside sales reps. Prior to working at Sparx, Donna was an Account Manager for Starwood Hotel Citywide Sales in Boston. She has always enjoyed sales. Donna has three young children who are all activity involved in sports.

Donna Harrington

Inside Sales
Andrew is our Inside Sales Lead. He works closely with Judd and our outside sales reps. Andrew graduated from UMass Amherst with a degree in Sports Management. While at UMass, Andrew played four years of club roller hockey. He and his teammates won the 2016 NCRHA National Championship. Andrew has played ice hockey his whole life and now plays in a local men's league.

Andrew Kelley

Inside Sales
Mike works closely with customers and our engineering team. Mike came to us from Bauer Hockey where he established their Performance Lab in both Boston and Minnesota. Prior to Bauer, Mike was the assistant equipment manager with the Worcester Sharks, affiliate of the San Jose sharks. With over 5 years working in professional hockey, he is still an avid hockey player.

Mike Blomgren

Technical Support Supervisor

our board members

Soren L. Oberg is a managing director at Thomas H. Lee Partners and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. Mr. Oberg is currently a director of SystemOne, Ceridian Corporation, CompuCom Systems, Inc., and Prime Risk Partners. His prior directorships include Comdata Inc., Grupo Corporativo ONO, National Waterworks, Inc., Systems Maintenance Services, Inc., and West Corporation. Mr. Oberg holds an A.B., cum laude, in Applied Mathematics from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Soren Oberg

Board of Directors
A General Partner at Spray Venture Partners, a healthcare technology venture capital firm he founded in 1996, Kevin brings decades of business experience to Sparx. He is currently the Executive Director of Solace Therapeutics, a women's health company.

Kevin Connors

Board of Directors
Currently President and CEO at RiverMeadow Software, Jim is an active board member and angel investor. Jim has served as CFO to more than 20 companies over the past 15 years, acquiring extensive experience in raising capital, IPOs, M&A, and international business.

Jim Jordan

Board of Directors