October 2013

Letter From The Chair

By Steve Finn

What a year it has been for the Technology section! I hope that the 1,100 members of our section have enjoyed and been able to utilize the information provided through CompAct, webinars, and the various meetings over the last 12 months. Rich Junker and Paul Ramirez have done an outstanding job in lining up great authors and articles for each of our quarterly CompAct newsletters. In addition, they also brought a new department into CompAct this year with Mental Math, which has already proven to be popular among our readers.

The “Beyond Excel” webinar our section sponsored in June exceeded our expectations, as we reached the maximum number of sites in record time. Our speakers covered a number of topics to help expand our use of Excel more effectively and efficiently, and the response certainly seems to indicate the need for us to pursue additional webinars on the issues actuaries face with Excel and being able to keep it a meaningful and useful tool. For those who made the initial purchase, I encourage you to go to the SOA website, where you can review the webinar to refresh your memory on the many valuable pointers provided by our speakers.

The Technology section also sponsored a number of sessions at SOA meetings throughout the year. Albert Moore also worked this year to develop a chess tournament at both the Life & Annuity Symposium and the Annual Meeting. The tournaments were big hits among the attendees, and we hope to continue the fun into next year.

As I wrap up my year as chairperson of the Technology section, there are so many people to recognize for their contributions to the section. While I won’t be able to include everyone here, there are a few I would like to point out. Thanks to Eddie Smith and Chris Olechowski, who finish up their three-year terms on the section council at the Annual Meeting. Eddie is a former vice chair and chairperson of the section, and has been an invaluable resource to me during my year as chair. Chris has been the lead person in the planning and recruiting for the Annual Meeting sessions sponsored by the Technology section, and has provided us some great speakers. Meg Weber and Sue Martz at the SOA have been instrumental in keeping our section moving forward with the time and energy they provide.

If you have not done so before, I encourage all actuaries to get involved at some level with the SOA, whether it is through section involvement, exam development, or presenting at meetings and/or webinars. I can’t begin to tell you what a rewarding experience it can be to work with great people like Meg and Sue, and all of the others at the SOA.

Albert Moore will be taking over as chairperson of the Technology section for the next year. I know he will do an outstanding job in his role of continuing to develop the Technology section and meeting the needs and wants of our members. Thanks again for giving me this opportunity to work with all of you, and I look forward to great things from the Technology section in the years to come!

Steve Finn, FSA, MAAA, is a senior staff actuary at Ameriprise Financial in Minneapolis, Minn. He can be contacted at steve.j.finn@ampf.com.