Despite all the challenges of 2020, people adapted to the situation, kept things going and even made substantial progress. The CAS staff and volunteers made the year one of the most productive ever. Need I remind readers that CAS Exams are now computerized? This is a rare, good thing that happened. This AR shows how the CAS is planning for the future, reflecting on the past and soldiering on.
Nestled in the middle of this AR, the CAS Strategic Plan is a bold blueprint for moving the organization forward that is centered on skills-building, member diversification and global expansion. CAS President Jessica Leong shakes up her President’s Message, creating a series of video interviews with actuarial powerhouses. Frank Chang of Uber kicks off the interviews, which are available as web-exclusives on the AR website.
Much like a year’s ending, retirement is a time to reflect. Our cover story tells of two pioneering CAS members, newly retired Linda Shepherd and Ollie Sherman (retired in 2010), who have the distinction of being the first African American woman and man to become CAS Fellows. Being first can be great and can have its downsides. In families, first-borns often bask in their parents’ full attention. Firsts in a profession can carry the weight of being a role model, perhaps unfairly, but they can leave a legacy of excellence and support for those who come after them. Shepherd and Sherman shine a light on the people and experiences that led them into the actuarial profession and helped shape their careers. Becoming an actuary was not an obvious choice for either of them — they had to discover it and were fortunate to have people in their lives who took an interest in their futures.
Also in this issue are reports on key topics discussed at sessions from the virtual 2020 CAS Annual Meeting. Although temporarily overshadowed by COVID-19, these concerns are still starkly relevant: social justice, opioid addiction and risk prediction. And just when you think that the year 2020 could not get any worse, it does. Note the correction below.