CAWG: Year in Review

by Laura Hemmer, FCAS, CAWG Volunteer Chair and Stephanie Litrenta, CAE, CAWG Staff Chair

That’s a wrap on our first year under our new name, Candidate Advocate Working Group! In November of 2021, the Candidate Liaison Committee (CLC) became the Candidate Advocate Working Group (CAWG) and officially moved under the Marketing and Communications umbrella of the CAS. The CLC had been previously under Admissions as exams have always been top of mind for candidates. While we have kept our strong ties to Admissions, this transition has brought in new opportunities to better connect and network with candidates. With 2022 coming to a close, we are looking back at that last year to share some of our top highlights and accomplishments.

The March issue of Future Fellows included an article on successful exam study after college graduation. This article was the inspiration behind the Spring CAS Student Central Webinar. The author of the article, Othon Hamill, was one of the presenters and shared study strategies, tips and guidance on taking actuarial exams while in college and after graduation. One goal of ours this year was to bridge the gap between students and candidates, and this is a great example of how we’ve worked towards this goal.

Finding new ways to engage with candidates has been a focus of ours this year. We developed a welcome letter and video to send to first-time CAS exam takers that introduced the CAWG and shared ways to get in touch with us. What ideas do you have for how we can engage with you? We would love to hear from you and invite you to email us your ideas at Each CAWG member plays a vital role in being the voice of the candidates, bringing ideas and feedback to the team on behalf of candidates at large. We know that exam results can produce some nervous energy and waiting for results on release day can be distracting. The idea to move the release time to earlier in the day, even by a couple hours, was brought forward, and we were able to make that happen for the spring sitting!

We’ve even had connections made within the CAWG that have lead to job opportunities for our members. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the profession while also building your professional network. The move to Marketing and Communications has opened up new opportunities to engage with other teams like the Public Relations Advisory Working Group, Social Media Team, Research and, as always, Exams. This has given us a chance to broaden our reach and give the candidate voice to other projects and initiatives. A highlight was that members from the CAWG got to share directly with the vice president of research what future CAS research topics would be valuable to them as a candidate and on the job.

Before closing, we would like to thank all of our CAWG members and the guests who joined us at group meetings throughout the year. We look forward to officially welcoming our new members and candidate representatives at our annual December day-long meeting. We are excited to see what we accomplish together in 2023!

Photo of CAWG members
In order from left to right —
Row 1: Dan Watt, FCAS; Laura Hemmer, FCAS; Jack Richards.
Row 2: Dallin Biorn, Othon Hamill, Tamar Gertner.
Row 3: Rehan Siddique, FCAS; Dr. Victor Carter-Bey; Bailey Hescock, ACAS; John Varnas.
Row 4: Liya Zhang; Mindy Moss, FCAS; Nitai Patel, ACAS.
Row 5: Stephanie Litrenta, CAE; Shannon Osterfeld; Claire DiOrio; Ildiko Ban, ACAS.