Each month, we will feature a member of the Academy and share a glimpse into their professional and personal lives.
Specialty: Risk Management and Financial Reporting
WHY DID YOU BECOME AN ACTUARY?
In June 1975, I met a former math teacher while working on a spring supplement to my high school yearbook. He described the profession and found brochures from some actuarial organizations in the school’s counseling office. That was the first time that I found an intriguing connection between my interest in math and a real occupation.
DESCRIBE A CHALLENGE YOU HAVE OVERCOME.
My boss—the CEO, not an actuary—told me, “You just get me the numbers; let me worry about what they mean.”
I continued to worry about the meaning in my numbers. When I saw serious meaning that I knew the CEO would not like, I drafted a lengthy memorandum explaining the concern and the analysis I had done leading to it and sent it to the CEO—and the chairman. (ASOPs were new at the time and ASOP No. 41, Actuarial Communications, did not yet exist.)
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT BEING AN ACTUARY?
Understanding the dynamics of the business I work with and the standards by which we evaluate and report their performance, then finding ways to improve the integrity and clarity of the message about results of actual performance.
SHARE SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF.
I love to read, run and explore nature.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU SHARE WITH YOUNG ACTUARIES?
When you think you understand how something works, check yourself by doing the math and testing to be sure it produces the results that you expect.
When you grow to the point that you’re helping others to learn, teach the way they learn; don’t expect them to learn the way you teach.
"Get your credentials, learn to work with others, jump into new things, and challenge yourself. You will never grow without doing these things."
"When younger actuaries ask me for advice, I always tell them the same thing: Study hard early and get those exams out of the way. They open a lot of doors!"
"If you’re introverted, like me, push outside your comfort zone and work on your networking skills. It’s worth it!"