SOA Blog

Annual Meeting Opening Session—Informative and Creative

The SOA’s 2013 Annual Meeting kicked off yesterday with a highly informative opening General Session. SOA President Tonya Manning addressed a full house, welcoming 11 past presidents, President-Elect Mark Freedman, incoming President-Elect Errol Cramer, and special guests from seven actuarial organizations.

Manning thanked all the volunteers who worked so diligently to put this year’s program together and went on to announce this year’s 11 recipients of the Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Manning then shared with the crowd the lessons she learned this past year as president. First, the SOA has a dynamic and evolving membership from all across the globe. While 86% of members are from North America, 72% of exam takers are outside of North America with a growing segment in Asia.

Second, relationships matter. The various actuarial organizations need to work together to advance the profession. We need to work in a collaborative manner with other professional organizations, as well as cultivate opportunities in emerging fields.

And third, integrity remains essential. Remaining trustworthy is essential to future success. But we must also be engaged in addressing the complex issues of the day, such as the public sector pension plans and the issues and questions around the Affordable Care Act. We cannot be silent on important issues and expect to be seen as relevant.

The keynote speaker for the breakfast was Dan Roam, author of the international best seller, The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures. Roam’s spirited presentation demonstrated how we do not effectively capture the power of our visual mind. As he explained, any problem we can talk about can be relayed visually, and whoever best describes the problem is the one most likely to solve it. Roam had the audience work through a very informative and fun exercise that demonstrated the concepts he covered.

For photos of the first day stay here on the blog to view the gallery!

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