November 2012

From the EAS Chairperson: Farewells and Welcomes

Kevin Pledge

by Kevin Pledge

It is hard to believe that my year as section chair is just about up—it has gone by very quickly. I am fortunate to have another year on the section council, and I will be continuing as secretary/treasurer as Steve Boger completes his term on the section council.

I want to thank and give credit to all the section council members that I have worked with over the last year, starting with the outgoing members: Steve Boger and Herschel Reich are both completing three-year terms. Steve has done an excellent job as secretary/treasurer, keeping our meetings on track and organizing meetings with an efficiency that any section would be envious of. Herschel has been working on the knowledge base, a key project that is gaining momentum and is likely to be part of a larger knowledge base supported by the Entrepreneurial Actuaries Section (EAS) and other sections with similar interests.

Joeff Williams and Jennifer Brady are completing one-year terms that came about when previous members were unable to complete their term. Joeff had a busy year as vice-chair, as well as overall meeting coordinator and coordinating the health meeting. The vice-chair normally becomes the next year’s chair, but you have to be an elected section member, so I am relieved Joeff was elected to serve a new three-year term and will serve as section chair for the coming year. Jennifer joined the council despite commitments with other sections, and while Jennifer decided not to run for a three-year term this year, I look forward to her continuing support of the EAS.

In addition to me, four section council members continue on the section: Nick Ortner, Carlos Sanchez-Fuentes, Pauline Reimer and Joseph Weiss. Nick and Carlos have done a remarkable job with the newsletter over the last year. Nick will be the section vice-chair for the coming year, so please support Carlos with submitted articles and feedback. Pauline has been our networking coordinator, an important role that I am pleased she will be continuing in over the next year. Joseph coordinated the annual meeting sessions—defining the sessions and recruiting most of our speakers.

We also look forward to the involvement of Nicole Fende and Derek Kueker as newly elected council members; congratulations to them and to Joeff, our three council members starting full three-year terms on the section council based on the most recent election; and to Shasha Huang, who will be serving a one-year term.

The success of our section is driven by not only council members, but also the friends of the council. Those not elected to the council can volunteer to participate in the council as a friend. Friends participate on council calls, help coordinate meetings, and represent the section on working groups; in fact, they can do everything except serve as chair, vice-chair or secretary/treasurer.

Over the last year, several friends of the section took on key roles. Two former council members continued as friends: Jim Ramenda represented the section on a couple of committees and Larry Stern coordinated the life symposium for the section. In addition, both Jim and Larry were available to give advice from their experience and long association with the section. Two new friends of the section started to plan upcoming meetings for us: Derek (a 2013 elected council member) volunteered to coordinate the EAS life and annuity symposium sessions in 2013 and Shehreen Zaman volunteered to coordinate the EAS health meeting sessions in 2013. Finally, Nicole Fende (another 2013 elected council member) represented the section with regard to issues associated with the Code of Conduct.

I hope this note does justice to contributions made by the section council and friends and illustrates that your active participation in the section is not limited to elected council members. Please think about volunteering as a friend of the section; anyone on the council will be happy to help you get started.

Kevin Pledge, FSA, FIA, is CEO and co-founder of Insight Decision Solutions in Markham, Ontario, Canada, and past chair of the Entrepreneurial Actuaries Section. He may be reached at