CIA (e)Bulletin/(e)Bulletin de l'ICA
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April 2016

National Volunteer Week

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By Carmelina Santamaria

The CIA is incredibly proud to say thank you to more than 500 members for the time and energy they contribute to the profession. This is the fourth year the CIA has recognized our volunteers during National Volunteer Week (April 10–16).

In April 2012, the volunteer department at Head Office and the then Committee on Volunteer Initiatives (CVI) sent our first-ever personalized thank-you e-mail to all current volunteers and published an article in the (e)Bulletin. In 2013, we expanded our activities to also include dedicated (e)Bulletin articles from the president and the vice-chair of the CVI on the importance of volunteering. In 2014–2015 we continued with personalized thank-you e-mails from the CIA president and launched a social media campaign.

This year, in addition to personalized thank-you e-mails from CIA President Rob Stapleford and a social media campaign, we wanted the membership at large to learn how the work of some of our volunteers impacts the profession. We profiled six current volunteers performing different roles for the CIA, one volunteer for every day of the week:

  • Ryaz Mohamed, first-time volunteer and member, CIA Exam 6 Syllabus Committee
    • Decided to volunteer to improve exam-writing experience for future actuaries in Canada;
    • Volunteering is great for career development;
    • Skills developed: coordinating with large groups;
  • Marc Tardif, director on the CIA Board
    • After volunteering on various committees he decided to run for an elected position;
    • Appreciates the spirit of cooperation;
    • Skills developed: communication and being ready to express yourself and sell your ideas;
  • Elisabeth Lamarche, member of both the Post-Employment Benefit Plans Committee and the Group Benefits Exam Subcommittee of the Practice Education Course Organizing Committee
    • Striking the right family/work/volunteer balance is difficult;
    • Don’t wait until you think you have the time, include volunteering in your schedule;
    • Volunteering gave her more visibility at her firm;
  • Micheline Dionne, CIA Past President
    • Didn’t wait until retirement to become first and only female president;
    • Volunteering helped her be involved in causes that are dear to her heart and to prepare for the future;
    • Worked in areas of research, university accreditation, and international collaboration;
  • June Smyth, Chair of the Pensions Subcommittee of the Continuing Education Committee
    • Proud of the contribution she has made to strong continuing professional development (CPD);
    • Volunteering has opened up opportunities to meet people in different practice areas which is difficult in her position at a small firm;
  • David Oakden, CIA Past President and Gold Volunteer Award Recipient
    • Volunteered on almost 40 committees, councils, task forces, and designated groups during his 35 years as a volunteer;
    • Exchange of ideas among colleagues very valuable part of committee work; and
    • Considers volunteering the most meaningful and valuable part of one’s career.

We hope that those who have been uncertain about volunteering will be inspired by these colleagues. If they can do it, then you can too.

Carmelina Santamaria, is coordinator, volunteer services at the CIA Head Office.


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