Equestrian Canada: Eva Havaris Resigns as Chief Executive Officer of Equestrian Canada

Source:  News Release

Eva Havaris Resigns as Chief Executive Officer of Equestrian Canada

Ottawa, ON, Sept. 25, 2017 – Equestrian Canada (EC) regrets to announce that Eva Havaris has resigned from her role as EC Chief Executive Officer, effective Sept. 28, 2017. 

Following a long period of reflection and transitional discussions with the EC Board of Directors, Havaris made the decision to move on from EC, stating, “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. 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, coming into the organization with a proven track record of strategic leadership within national sport organizations. She leaves behind a legacy of transformational change, having worked with an unwavering commitment to create a new era for EC by tackling long-standing challenges in a multitude of areas, including governance, national office operations, marketing and branding, and organizational strategy and alignment. 

Under Havaris’ leadership, EC secured unprecedented levels of funding and support from key partners for implementing organizational change. Some of the most notable organizational changes achieved over the past three years include: 

  • Transitioning the financial system from ACCPAC (DOS) to Microsoft NAV.
  • Overseeing the implementation of the Equestrian Canada Équestre brand representing a clear, aligned and powerful voice across all disciplines and segments of the EC mandate.
  • Executing the implementation of a lean, efficient, and professional governance model synonymous with industry top practice for non-profit governance.
  • Leading a collaborative process with key representatives resulting in a balanced voting member structure that ensures an equal voice for EC’s key constituent groups - equestrian sport disciplines, Provincial/Territorial Sport Organizations (PTSOs), and the equine industry affiliates.
  • Commissioning and completing comprehensive high performance and competition system reviews in order to develop clear recommendations for systemic changes and efficiency within equestrian sport in Canada.
  • Establishing the Horsepower Foundation in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Foundation, and raising its value to $84,000 to support athletes, programs and initiatives that further equestrian sport and the equine industry.


“Through her unwavering dedication and commitment to positive change, Eva Havaris dramatically improved EC’s governance, funding and operations during her time as CEO,” said Peggy Hambly, EC President. “We are saddened to see such a passionate and dedicated individual depart the federation, but we wish her much success in all her future endeavours.” 

“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.”

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