Meet CAS Vice President-Marketing and Communications Shane Barnes

Our Meet the Veep column introduces our members and candidates to the CAS vice presidents who serve on the Executive Council. The EC is the governance arm of the CAS that oversees the operations of the organization. It consists of the president, president-elect, executive director and six vice presidents in charge of different functional areas. In this installment, we are pleased to introduce CAS Vice President-Marketing and Communications Shane Barnes.

What is your day-to-day job?

I’m the lead data scientist for our small commercial and specialty segments at The Hartford, where I’ve worked for 11 years.

What is your role as the CAS Vice President-Marketing and Communications?

My role is to set the overall direction of the marketing and communications efforts of the CAS, which are both internal- and external-facing.

The marketing and communication committees focus on outreach. The internal outreach is our support for our members and future members. Each committee is vital to the success of the CAS and will focus on varying constituents. Other services are provided to our members such as unconscious bias training led by the Diversity Committee.

I also give my insights to the Executive Council as to whom the CAS should be engaging with in our external outreach efforts. I encourage the leadership to be forward-thinking in how actuaries can be perceived outside the profession through our public relations work.

What volunteer work had you done for the CAS that led to your appointment as VP?

My CAS volunteer work began when I was a candidate, as a representative to the Candidate Liaison Committee. This gave me great exposure to the CAS and what it did as an organization. It got me excited about continuing as a volunteer as I earned my credentials. I’ve served on the Exam Committee, the CAS Brand Task Force and the New Members Committee, which I chaired. I also served on the board of CANE (Casualty Actuaries of New England), which gave me a good perspective of the role of our Regional Affiliates.

Volunteering has been a great way for me to network and meet members, and for me to interact with CAS leadership. Professionally, volunteering has taught me how to influence various stakeholders. The ability to effectively influence is a core competency in my job.

What are your goals as VP-Marketing and Communications?

The CAS engages with a lot of different audiences, and my over-arching goal is to enhance the outreach to our various stakeholders — university students, candidates, new members and the membership at-large.

I want to stress to our new members that you are not only part of an organization, but you’re part of a community of professionals that you can learn from and can help you in your professional journey. I want our outreach efforts to bring people together.

I also want to help our leadership to understand how the CAS is perceived. We need to be open-minded about how the future is unfolding, so we can position ourselves to continue to be relevant. More specifically, we need to understand where things are heading with predictive analytics. Actuaries were among the first predictive modelers, and we need to be proactive to maintain our leadership position in that space. I think the creation of the new CSPA (Certified Specialist in Predictive Analytics) credential, which I just earned, is a good example of how we can be proactive.

Could you share an interesting fact about yourself?

I grew up in the Midwest and earned my mathematics degree from Doane University, a small school in Crete, Nebraska. That environment let me be active in the university, which instilled in me the idea of volunteering and giving back. After graduation, I decided it was time for a change, so I moved to the East Coast and have been in Hartford since I graduated college.

My wife and I have four children (three boys and a girl).  When I’m not chasing the kids around, I love to play board games in my spare time.

When you meet new Associates and Fellows at the Spring and Annual Meetings, what information or advice do you try to impart to them?

I always encourage our new members to try something new. Be open to volunteering and serving on committees, and contribute — don’t be dead weight. Meet new people — don’t always stick with people who are familiar. Be curious and open-minded that the world is changing. We need new members to invoke their curiosity and embrace innovation to move the profession forward.