Parthen to step down as USA Taekwondo CEO

March 01, 2013, 6:49 p.m. (ET)

Fresh off of USA Taekwondo’s most successful U.S. Open in history with more than 2,000 athletes from 76 countries, Eric Parthen has announced his resignation as the Chief Executive Officer of USA Taekwondo (USAT).  Parthen has agreed to stay on in a supportive role over the course of the next several months to assist with the transition to new leadership.

“I’d like to thank USA Taekwondo’s Board of Directors for the opportunity to lead this organization for the last 18 months,” said Parthen.  “Thanks to the efforts of our athletes, coaches, staff and volunteers, we’ve been able to stabilize the operations of USAT and also put it on a path of tremendous growth for the future stars of the sport.”   

"On behalf of the Board and membership, we appreciate the leadership Eric showed in guiding USAT over the course of last 18 months,” said Board Chair Anne Chase. “He took over at a particularly turbulent time and his skills and experience helped guide the organization toward a much brighter future."

Parthen took over USA Taekwondo in mid-September 2011 at a time when the organization was amidst a financial crisis.  With mounting debt that was approaching $600,000, USAT was forecast to run out of cash in mid-October.  After trimming expenses, including reducing staff by more than 30 percent, Parthen’s leadership enabled USAT to survive and emerge as a thriving entity that is well positioned for the future.  Some of the organization’s accomplishments during Parthen’s tenure include:

  • USA Taekwondo athletes qualified a full team for the 2012 Olympics (one of only two teams in the world to do so) and won two medals, which tied for second only behind Spain and China’s three medals.
  • For the 2012 fiscal year, USA Taekwondo achieved its first operating profit since 2009. In spite of the initial financial challenges, USAT’s net revenues in 2012 were nearly $62,000, which also included reducing prior year payables and liabilities by nearly $200,000.
  • Implemented new philanthropic fundraising programs that increased net fundraising revenues from $5,000 in 2011 to nearly $150,000 in 2012.
  • Improved relations with USAT’s International Federation, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), to the extent that Parthen was invited to consider running for a WTF Council seat in the upcoming 2013 elections by several people in international leadership roles.
  • Overhauled USAT’s financial practices to resolve nearly all of the 33 recommendations from the U.S. Olympic Committee’s audit from July 2011 and the issues identified in USAT’s previous external audits. 
  • Athlete participation increased at USAT’s National Championships and U.S. Open, which included a 51 percent increase at the U.S. Open from 2011 to 2013. 
  • Initiated new partnerships with world-class taekwondo equipment companies like Daedo and Kwon who support national team athletes and service USAT’s membership.   
  • USAT’s 2013 membership is up 11.9% year-to-date compared to 2012.
  • Rebuilt staff confidence and morale, which enabled efficiency that is evidenced by the accomplishments above in spite of having 30% less staff resources.  

“I look forward to watching USAT’s talented staff continue to build on the successes of the past to help USAT rise to new levels in support of its athletes and programs,” said Parthen. 

USAT’s Board of Directors is currently evaluating its transition plan that will likely include appointing an Interim CEO in the near future. 

For more information or questions, please contact Kevin Loughery at 719-866-3626.