Giving Thanks!

November 11, 2021

Greetings from Northeast Ohio, where we are starting the transition from fall to winter, and I am greatly missing the warmth and sunshine I shared with the 400+ attendees at the CCA 2021 Annual Meeting in Scottsdale last week. For those in attendance, I hope you enjoyed being back among friends and colleagues as much as I did. The continuing education sessions were a big success as well, as I heard numerous comments about various sessions being “one of the best I ever attended”. Kudos to the CCA staff for pulling off this event under unusual and difficult circumstances. It was truly a team effort on their part, and as always, they did an outstanding job for us.

As I take over the reigns as President from Maria Sarli, it marks the first time that CCA has had a woman succeed another woman as President. After accepting the President-Elect nomination last year, I also learned that in 2022 for the first time all five U.S. actuarial organizations will have women in the role of President. At a time when diversity and inclusion is at the forefront of many people’s minds, I am honored to be part of this group of women leaders from around our profession.

I’m excited for the coming year – our Board of Directors and our various standing committees are working hard to continually improve our existing service offerings and create new opportunities for consulting actuaries to engage and learn – all with the goal of increasing the value of CCA membership.

One of my areas of focus over the last year was on strategic planning for CCA. The Strategic Planning Committee focused on three areas in their work during 2021:

  • What should our continuing education offerings look like in the future, so that CCA can continue to advance actuarial practice through innovative educational programs?
  • What are the professionalism needs of our members and are there additional types of content, whether educational or other resources, which CCA could provide to support those needs?
  • How can CCA best serve the needs of actuaries at smaller firms, who are now the largest demographic group among our members, making up about a third our membership and 40% of our new members over the last couple years

This group came up with some great ideas for how we can continue to increase the value of CCA membership for consulting actuaries. Some of their ideas are already in the works through the efforts of our standing committees, particularly in the areas of continuing education and membership. I’m excited to see their ideas come to life over the next year and beyond.

While the Board of Directors are here to help you get the most out of your CCA membership, as are our talented, dedicated, and creative team of CCA staff members, ultimately the CCA is a member driven organization – it’s YOUR organization. Volunteering is a great way to give back and become more engaged with other consulting actuaries, to help expand your network and grow in our profession.

It’s also a great way to advance your career. A study by United Health Group reported roughly 50% of people new to volunteering said doing so helped their career. And if that’s not evidence enough, a 2018 study from Deloitte found that 92% of hiring managers believe volunteering improves employees’ professional skill set. As a CCA volunteer you can learn leadership, public speaking, project management, writing, and many other skills that you can translate into opportunities for career advancement.

If you don’t know where to start, check out the Get Involved page on the CCA website or reach out to me or any member of the Board or CCA staff. We are all happy to help you identify opportunities to become more engaged with other CCA members.

One specific area where we are currently recruiting volunteers is for our Professionalism Committee. This group is tasked with planning our annual Professionalism Seminar, taking a fresh look at the members-only materials on our website to update them and continue building our portfolio of professionalism tools, and considering how the work of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee intersects with actuarial professionalism. If you have an interest in being part of the Professionalism Committee, you can complete the volunteer form on our website or contact Shannon Peterson.

As we look forward to the year-end holiday season, I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. This year, I will be giving thanks for the members of CCA who have entrusted me with leading your organization over the next year. It is truly one of the most fulfilling and educational experiences of my life. If I can be of service to you, please email me