CCA Member Spotlight

Consulting actuaries don’t sit on the sidelines. We’re front and center – the movers and shakers – unafraid of using our powers of intellect and charm to advise and conquer. We are individuals with extraordinary stories to tell. This page will feature the stories of CCA members - who they are and what they do both inside and out of the actuarial world.

Bonnie Wurst

Meet CCA Member: Bonnie Wurst

Meet your fellow CCA member, Bonnie Wurst. She is a dedicated CCA volunteer who appreciates our organization's rich culture of volunteerism. A resident of the Gopher State, she enjoys all things outdoors: boating, bonfires, snowmobiling and fishing. Thanks for taking a minute to learn more about Bonnie.

Name: Bonnie Wurst | Location: Minneapolis, MN | Employer: Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Company | Area of Practice: Retirement

After graduating from college, I started working as a benefits analyst at a major consulting firm. It was a lucky introduction to the actuarial profession, which seemed to be a great fit for my skills and interests. I began taking actuarial exams and never looked back!

A friend, who was studying for her CPA excitedly told me that she now understands what actuaries do - we look up life expectancies on published tables! Fortunately, what we do is a bit more complex than that.

I enjoy taking advantage of the plentiful opportunities to learn from people doing great things in our profession. Also, as a member of the program committee for the annual Enrolled Actuaries Conference, I am impressed and grateful that CCA members are generous with their time and talents. There is a rich culture of volunteerism.

On the professional front, I am proud and grateful for very long relationships with some of my clients, with whom I have had the privilege of working for and growing with for essentially my entire career.

I graduated from Mankato State University in Minnesota with a double major in mathematics and speech communication. It was an unusual combination of subjects, but both have served me well in my actuarial career.

Try to find the right balance between learning from your colleagues doing hands-on work and progressing through your actuarial exams. Both are equally important. It can be tempting to spend more time working on projects at the expense of studying for exams, or vice versa, but succeeding at both, especially at the beginning of your career, will build a solid foundation for growth.

As a consulting actuary my goal is to answer complex questions and translate very technical issues into something that makes sense to the users of that information. If the numbers are right, but the users of those numbers are confused, I haven't done my job well.

I didn't think so, but upon reflection I must admit that one of my longest professional relationships has been with my trusty HP 12C! I don't go anywhere without it!

2020 showed us that everything can change overnight, and that we cannot control everything. But on a more positive note, we also learned how resilient we can be!

My happy place is our cabin on a lake in northern Minnesota. That’s where we entertain family and friends, relax, and enjoy boating, bonfires, card games, snowmobiling, fishing and all things outdoors! I also enjoy reading, live music events and adventures of all sorts with family.

I am an avid snowmobiler, which means that winter and snow are some of my favorite things. As a lifelong resident of Minnesota, this is one way to not only tolerate but fully embrace our long winters. It’s very soothing to me to get out into the woods and see the beauty of winter.

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