UPDATED to include more EC staff departures at the bottom.
Equestrian Canada has confirmed that Éva Thouvenot, who was the Senior Manager in charge of Marketing and Business Development, has accepted a position with Asmar Equestrian, the official apparel company of EC.
According to Thouvenot’s LinkedIn profile, she was hired as a Strategic Consultant for EC in June 2014, just one month after Eva Havaris started her job as EC’s CEO. Prior to that, the two had worked together at Taekwondo Canada when Havaris was their CEO and Thouvenot was a consultant in charge of delivering a “Revised national membership strategy.”
Taekwondo experienced major upheaval during their time with the organization, culminating in a lawsuit filed by Taekwondo associations in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and New Brunswick. In a July 2014 affidavit signed by Tony Kook, the Secretary General of the BC Taekwondo Federation, a number of concerns are listed including voting status, membership policy and insurance issues, and unfair treatment of BC athletes and coaches.
In her role as Strategic Consultant for EC, Thouvenot lists “Co-leading organization’s transformation” among her accomplishments and, more recently, she includes developing the operational plan. She was hired as the Senior Manager in charge of Marketing and Business Development in March 2015, reporting to recently-resigned CFO Mike Mouat.
“My primary responsibilities are to provide strategic direction for Equestrian Canada’s Marketing, Membership, Events, Sponsorship, Partnership and Fundraising activities,” she comments on her LinkedIn page. “I am responsible for improving the organization’s market position and image through innovative marketing strategies and customer insight analysis, achieving financial growth through partnerships and sponsorship and increasing the membership base through customer service Best Practices.”
EC has experienced unprecedented negative feedback over the last year including the resignation of four board members, many of them citing concerns over the lack of financial information. In addition, a Facebook group called Enough EC was started in December 2016 and has collected almost 2,000 members, many of whom have cited the same concerns of the Taekwondo community.
A recent post on the Enough EC group suggests that Havaris might have accepted a position at Sport Canada, but Jessie Christie, EC’s Communication and Media manager says that EC has “no comment” about the rumour.
Two other EC staffers have also recently departed. Emilie Church, Competition Services Coordinator, and Amy Payne, Competition Services Administrator, have both been removed from the EC staff list. Their departure is offset by the addition of Celine Zhang as Finance Manager, and Lan Zhang, Accounting Coordinator, in the Finance and Administration department.
Thouvenot will be the Director of Marketing for Asmar Equestrian effective June 14th. EC did not comment on plans to fill her position.
UPDATE – In addition to Mouat and Thouvenot, EC has seen the departure of five other staff members this year:
1) Bryan McSorley, Education Program Manager
2) Emilie Church, Competition Services Coordinator
3) Amy Payne, Competition Services Administrator
4) Adrienne Crampton, Sport Science Associate
5) Sophie Heron, FEI Athlete Services Administrator
Anna Johnson, High Performance Manager, is also out of the office on maternity leave.
UPDATE #2 – EC has written to inform that Mariangela Mazzei, Communications Coordinator, was on a short-term contract.