Spark gang, I have exciting news to share with you…
As many of you know, we formally announced closure of Spark last Monday, the 29th.
I know that decision shook many of you, I know that being left without a gym is one thing, but replacing something as special as Spark was going to be impossible.
After my public announcement many in the local CrossFit community who have touched Spark reach out in support, asking how they can do their part to keep the Spark community going.
I was reluctant to do anything more than part out the assets and inventory.
There are only a couple people that I knew would be a good fit to take Spark on as a whole and at the time I didn’t think the timing would allow us to come together.
One of those people is James Ellis.
James is a close friend who coached at Spark from its inception in 2014, off and on, through to 2017.
James and I had a discussion back in 2017 when I was considering selling Spark then, at that time I wasn’t quite ready to move on.
James, at the time, was committed to moving into gym ownership, moved forward and took ownership of CrossFit Infinite Strength in Scottsdale. Which he still owns and also just acquired CrossFit Hammer in the West Valley.
For those of you who don’t know James, I’ll be filling you in in the coming days so you can get excited about the new leadership.
Another person is Steven Ray Garcia, many of you have met Steve, he is one of the nicest guys I have met and has been a member of Spark over the last year.
When Steve heard the news about Spark he called me up and expressed his interest in finding a way to keep it going.
James and Steven are close friends, when they got word of each other’s mutual interest in Spark they approached me with the proposal of partnering up to buy Sparks assets with the intent to put the pieces back together.
One of the things that James said to me that let me know it was worth moving forward with was that “part of my heart is still at Spark”.
That really touched me and let me know that I needed to make this effort for him and for you, our members and tribe.
Today, we shook hands and signed papers. Tomorrow we are finalizing the last pieces of transferring everything over to the new Spark leadership.
You guys, this could not be a better fit.
Both James and Steven possess the tools, fortitude and work ethic to build Spark to what it has been and beyond to what it is destined to be.
Erin and I are committed to making this a smooth transition and both James and Steven are wanting us to maintain a presence in the community going forward so we will still all get to hang out and be friends!
Further, I have offered to consult and mentor in whatever capacity they need on their journey as I’d love nothing more than to see Spark continue to thrive for many years to come.
It’s a great day for the Spark tribe and we are excited to facilitate this community into the next phase.
James is a very humble guy so I just wanted to share a few of his accolades so you can gain some insight into his experience:
- 2x Team Regional CrossFit Competitor (‘11-‘12)
- 10x USA Weightlifting National Qualifier (5x top-10 finishes)
- AZ State record holder of Snatch, C&J, and Total in the 77kg weight class
- 7 years full-time as an instructor of Exercise Science at Bryan University
- 13 years in the fitness industry, starting in ‘07
- Former VP of the Arizona Weightlifting Federation
- Owner of CrossFit Infinite Strength, and recently Hammer CrossFit
- 3-year varsity cheerleader at University of Illinois (he told me not to share that one)🤣
- CrossFit Level 1 & Level 2 Coach
- CF Kettlebell Course Certification
- Cf weightlifting Course Certification
- Precision Nutrition Level 1
- USAW National club Coach
- Functional Movement Screening Specialist
- Multiple NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Specialist Certa
- OPEX certifications for coaching, individualized program design, nutrition, assessment, life coaching and business systems.
As you can see, a life committed to fitness. You guys are very lucky!