Announcing Our New Executive Director

Dear PKV Community,

Over a decade ago, some friends and I sat in my messy living room talking about the importance of human play and movement. Out of that conversation, Parkour Visions was born. From those (very) humble beginnings, tens of thousands of people have played, jumped, and laughed with us – got stronger, safer, and more confident -- and lives have been transformed, mine included.

In the last ten years we've opened gyms and closed gyms. We've raised many generations of apprentices and coaches. We've seen students come to their first class, and continue to find challenges for themselves at our classes years later. 

But a decade is a long time. In 2017, I let the PKV Board of Directors know that I was ready for a different challenge and it was time for me to step down as Executive Director. Be careful what you wish for! I got a “different” challenge in November when our landlord revoked our lease with just one month notice!

By that time the Board had engaged in a multi-month search for a new Executive Director. During our time of crisis was not the time to make a leadership transition. We were truly unsure if PKV had a future. But with the tremendous up swell of support from the community, we learned, again, that parkour is about overcoming obstacles – and our community is deeply committed to maintaining a thriving parkour presence in Seattle. Now that we are on strong financial footing and hotly pursuing our next gym space, this is a good time for me to step down and turn over the reins to someone I greatly admire.

Please join me in welcoming Caitlin Pontrella as the new Executive Director of Parkour Visions! I have known and respected Caitlin for years as a leader in the parkour movement. She is the founder of The Art of Retreat, an annual education & leadership conference for Parkour, founder of the North American Women's Parkour Gathering, an annual gathering of women practitioners, and is helping to start the United States Parkour Association, the national governing body for Parkour in the United States of America. We are exceedingly lucky to get her! Caitlin moved to Seattle from New York City, where she was a leader of the parkour community and co-founder of The Movement Creative, a social enterprise that was dedicated to sharing parkour through design & education in the city.  She also previously worked as an Architectural Designer at the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

With the unexpected loss of our gym, PKV is in a time of transition -- and times of transition are good times for thinking differently, reimagining how we can do more and better, and how we can share parkour with even more of the Seattle community. I am so proud of all PKV has accomplished since its start in my living room ten years ago, and I could not be more confident that Caitlin is the right person to lead PKV into the next phase of this organization's story.

Looking forward to playing with you all in our new gym space soon!

Tyson

P.S. If you have ideas for Caitlin, are interested in volunteering, or are interested in learning more, drop her an email: caitlin@parkourvisions.org. You can read Caitlin's letter to the community here.

If you'd like to hear Caitlin speak about parkour in her own words, watch her 2013 TEDx Talk, "Transforming Work into Play: Why Parkour?"

Caitlin Pontrella