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CAS Vice Presidents Provide Perspectives on Changing Roles

The Board of Directors is proposing changes to the CAS Constitution and Bylaws to streamline the governance of the Society. Fellows will be asked to vote on the changes in conjunction with the 2021 CAS elections in August. In putting the proposals on the ballot, the Board is recommending that the Fellows vote in favor of the amendments.

The recommended changes were initiated by the Board’s adoption of an evolving volunteer-staff model, which includes retiring the Executive Council layer of governance and its role in CAS operations, and transitioning Vice Presidents to Senior Advisors.

The Vice Presidents were asked about this transition and shared their perspectives.

Kendra Felisky, VP-International

“I do not see my role changing with the shift from VP-International to a Senior Advisor. I will continue to provide guidance on how we execute the Board’s international strategy, just as I do today. What excites me about the new volunteer-staff model is that we will have more staff dedicated to international outreach, which will enable us to do even more outside of North America in support of the Strategic Plan goal to expand globally.”

Kim Guerriero, VP-Marketing and Communications

“The biggest change to my role as Vice President of Marketing and Communication will be my title.  My role is already to serve as a senior advisor.  Based on conversations with previous Vice Presidents in this area, this is how this role has been for a number of years.  I think this change will serve to allow the CAS to be more efficient and use the strengths of its members and staff.”

Mary Hosford,  VP Administration:

“My VP role is probably the most logical one to sunset and convert, officially, to an advisory role, as that’s more or less the role I have played all along. As noted, this role is administrative in nature, overseeing budget and financial matters, many of the CAS publications and other various areas that do not fit into any of the other VP “empires.”  (I’m the “all other” of CAS VPs!)   As such, in most cases my VP job does not usually require much in the way of actuarial input and thus having the CAS staff, who are experts in their respective areas, take the lead and use me as more of a sounding board makes perfect sense to me.”

Amy Juknelis, VP-Professional Education

“As most know, the Board is responsible for setting strategy while the Executive Council has been responsible for operational execution.  The reality is, at least on the Professional Education (PE) side, that the CAS Chiefs and their staff have the operational execution down and are well suited to deal with the changes and challenges that happen in the PE space.  And for some time now, the Professional Education VP has been serving as a senior advisor to the CAS staff.  I am there to bounce ideas off of, provide guidance and actuarial expertise, ensure we are setting the right goals to meet CAS strategy and more; but the CAS staff is ensuring the operational execution of the Board’s strategy plan.”

William Wilder, VP Admissions

“COVID-19 turned the world upside down and it forced the CAS to significantly accelerate its plans to move to computer-based testing.  Instead of gradually shifting to this platform over several years, we had to push it out for all our exams in less than one year.  Looking back, I think this was an enormous success story, and it underscores the value of effectively engaging the full skillsets of both volunteers and staff.  For me, it’s the strongest case we can make for the staffing model changes being proposed.  Yea, I’ll emerge from this transition an “Advisor” in name, not a “VP”, but much of the VP’s job is advisory in nature anyway since there is a robust and experienced leadership team among the Admissions committees already.  There must be – given the 700 volunteers that support Admissions every year, making sure new members are prepared to solve the business problems they’ll face and assuring that we don’t lose sight of our candidates’ perspective as we endeavor to evolve.”

Jim Weiss, VP-Research and Development

“The recasting of my role from VP to advisor will accentuate consultative aspects of the work such as collaborating on the research agenda, while moving responsibility for more operational aspects such as reporting or expenditure approval elsewhere - such as to the CAS’s capable professional staff (which includes actuaries).  I do not anticipate this change or the sunsetting of the Executive Council will create any material disruption for research, and I am optimistic the evolving volunteer-staff framework will align responsibilities in a manner that positions CAS even more strongly to achieve research-related outcomes in the Envisioned Future.”

Learn more about the evolving volunteer-staff framework through the dedicated section of the CAS website.

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