Equestrian Canada announced Sept. 25 that Eva Havaris has resigned from her role as EC Chief Executive Officer, effective Sept. 28.
“Following a long period of reflection and transitional discussions with the EC board of directors, Havaris made the decision to move on from EC,” stated the press release from the organization.
“I joined EC readily accepting the challenge given to me by the EC board of directors to execute major organizational transformation at the governance and operational levels,” said Havaris in the release. “There was never any doubt in my mind that there would be both exciting and difficult moments along the way. Creating change within an organization deeply rooted in history and tradition is never easy, but there was widespread recognition that changes had to be made. Each moment taught me so much and the experience has deepened my personal conviction and resolve to build a better and more integral Canadian sport system.
“We have achieved a tremendous amount in the last three and a half years,” Havaris continued. “With the emergence of a new board on the immediate horizon, it is an opportune time for me to move on to my next challenge and allow new leadership to put in place the actions and plans that were finalized over the last few months. The new board has everything they need for the future of the organization, and I will remain available to assist them during this period of transition.”
Havaris took on the role of EC CEO in June 2014. Earlier this year, the organization faced turmoil when three of its board members resigned—with some citing changes to the governance structure and others raising financial concerns—and an open letter from high performance eventers circulated that criticized a lack of transparency, lack of accountability and unprofessional behavior within EC.
In response, EC held an emergency meeting and then released a statement in February that said, “Rest assured the financial health of the organization is not in jeopardy.”
In its Sept. 25 press release, EC stated that under Havaris’ leadership, “EC secured unprecedented levels of funding and support from key partners for implementing organizational change.”
“I am grateful for each and every experience during my tenure at EC, and for the courageous support and commitment shown by members of the board, staff, key stakeholders, volunteer community and key funding partners,” said Havaris. “I believe wholeheartedly in what is possible for this organization and industry, and I wish the community and the organization all the best in the future.”