Meet our team
We are hockey loving engineers, innovators, and rink rats.
Founder & CEORead More
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. Russ then began working on several designs and business models for an improved skate sharpener. After several years of R&D, the Sparx Team is gearing up to begin shipping the world’s BEST automated skate sharpener. The Sparx product sharpens with pro-level precision and is safe and easy enough for home use.
Before Sparx, Russ held numerous leadership roles in engineering and finance. While working in R&D, Russ developed many innovative products in markets as diverse as Surgical Instruments, Consumer Products, and Telecommunications. One of the most exciting projects Russ has been a part of was an autonomous satellite guided farm tractor which was featured in Popular Mechanics. While working in Medical Devices, Russ’s career veered from engineering to assessing investment opportunities in next generation technologies. Time spent evaluating businesses and working with successful entrepreneurs ultimately was the tipping point for Russ starting Sparx Hockey.
Outside of work, Russ plays a lot of ice hockey. Highlights of his hockey career have included playing for Stanford University and playing in the World Pond Hockey Championships in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. He is also a competitive runner and adventure racer having participated in marathons and adventure races up to 100 miles (161 km) in length. Russ holds a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University. He is also very fortunate to have the support of a wonderful wife and two fantastic kids.
VP, EngineeringRead More
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 also holds a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, cycling, and travel.
Marketing ManagerRead More
Colleen finds inspiration in being surrounded by intelligent, passionate and driven individuals.
A success-driven marketer and person, Colleen is a lover of startups. Before joining Sparx she worked at Groove Networks (acquired by Microsoft) and spent 8 years at HubSpot (IPO in October of 2014) where she helped hundreds of companies and agencies grow their businesses by becoming smarter marketers.
That drive for success led Colleen to a remarkable hockey career that brought 2 ECAC Championships (equivalent to NCAA at the time) while at the University of New Hampshire, 3 World Championship and 2 Three Nations Cup appearances with Team USA and culminated as a member of the gold medal winning U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey team in 1998.
Following her playing career, Colleen has remained involved in hockey by volunteering as a member of several Boards of Directors including; USA Hockey (Executive Committee), the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, Celebrities for Charity Foundation and the Blue Line Club of UNH.
If you meet Colleen and are short on time, do not get her talking about her family; Erin, Jack (7 yrs), Riley & Finn (Twins, 4 yrs) and Lucie (Shih Tzu - 10 yrs).
Mechanical EngineerRead More
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.
Media DesignerRead More
Steve’s our in-house designer/creative who’s worked in the hockey industry his whole life. When he’s not making cool pamphlets, stickers, or designing websites you can find him perfecting his craft (skate sharpening). With 10 years of sharpening experience, he’s our resident sharpening expert who’s even got his own website on skate sharpening. His hobbies include: golfing, playing hockey, watching the Philadelphia Flyers, True Detective, and hunting down the nearest Chik-fil-a.
National Sales ManagerRead More
Judd is the National Sales Manager at Sparx Hockey and is an entrepreneurial sales professional. He founded and led his own successful sales agency for 14 years before joining Sparx.
Like other hockey parents, the sport has taken over Judd’s life. He is a coach and an administrator for his home town hockey club and he plays in a men’s league. With three hockey players in the house, Judd immediately saw the value of the Sparx skate sharpener and how it would benefit all hockey families and players. He saw no other choice but to close up his sales agency and put his full efforts into Sparx Hockey.
Beyond hockey and work, Judd enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, sons and dog.