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Volunteers are the Lifeblood of the Institute

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By Jim Christie, FCIA
CIA President

Late December and early January are relatively quiet times for me as President. However, as I look back on the first half of my term of office, I continue to be amazed at the contributions that are made on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to the Canadian profession by so many actuaries volunteering their time and effort.

Though all actuaries benefit so much from the volunteers’ commitment, many of these volunteers do their work quietly without receiving much credit from the rest of us. I have been a volunteer in one capacity or other with the Institute since I became a Fellow almost 30 years ago. I can easily say that every volunteer activity I have enjoyed within the CIA has provided more to me than I ever gave to the Institute. That benefit may have been a deeper knowledge of areas where I already had expertise, a broader understanding of issues that was gained by hearing other points of view, or simply an expanded network of relationships.

There are many ways to volunteer within the Institute. We currently have over 50 councils, committees and task forces so at any time some of them are looking for help. I have asked all committee chairs to give special focus to ways of involving newer members in their committee’s activities.

Francis Bacon once said, "I hold every man a debtor to his profession." As actuaries we all benefit from the work done by the many volunteers within the Institute. But virtually all of these volunteers will tell you that, like me, they have been net beneficiaries from volunteering. I know you all have busy lives but I urge you to consider making time to volunteer to help the Institute with issues that particularly interest you. You will be a better actuary thanks to whatever you choose to give back to the profession.

If you would like to be more involved or speak to someone who is currently volunteering, please contact Carmelina Foti, coordinator of volunteer initiatives and member services, at carmelina.foti@actuaries.ca.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write me at president@actuaries.ca.

Jim Christie, FCIA, is President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

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