American Academy of Actuaries Recognizes Volunteers’ Efforts

WASHINGTON – 15 Oct. 2012 – The American Academy of Actuaries honored three of its volunteers, Shawna Ackerman, Mita Lodh, and Mike Ward, for their contributions to the professional association and their efforts to advance its mission. The three actuaries were presented with the Award for Outstanding Volunteerism during a ceremony held earlier today.

“The Academy benefits each year from the substantive contributions of more than 1,200 volunteers who are actively engaged in fulfilling its public policy and professionalism missions,” said Academy President Dave Sandberg, who presented the awards. “In their volunteer work for the Academy, Shawna, Mita, and Mike each contributed substantially to important Academy work, demonstrating a commitment to the profession and the public that won the admiration of the members and officers of the Academy.”

Ackerman is a consulting actuary for the California Earthquake Authority in Sacramento, Calif. She was recognized for spearheading a multiyear effort that spanned all actuarial disciplines and resulted in the publication of a special report on actuarial soundness. The report provided a platform for engaging and educating policymakers and regulators about the meaning, variations, and importance of the phrase “actuarial soundness.”

Lodh is a principal at Optumas in Scottsdale, Ariz. She was recognized for leading the Academy’s work over the past several years on the risk-sharing mechanisms established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Her hard work and expertise on these market-stabilizing mechanisms and on other ACA issues have been invaluable contributions to the Academy’s efforts to guide federal and state regulators as they implement ACA provisions.

Ward is a vice president, actuarial for the Life Insurance Co. of the Southwest in Fort Worth, Texas. As vice chairperson of the Academy’s Actuarial Reserves Work Group, Ward worked to fulfill the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Life Actuarial

Task Force’s charge to address reserving of fixed annuities with guaranteed life income benefits. He was recognized for his work creating a spreadsheet testing alternate reserve calculations now is being used by companies and regulators, and for providing training in its use. Ward also chairs an Academy work group and serves as a member of seven other Academy committees.

The Academy established the Award for Outstanding Volunteerism in 2011 to honor Academy volunteers who have made a single, noteworthy volunteerism contribution that is above and beyond what is reasonably expected of an Academy volunteer.

For more information, please contact Heidi Guerra of the American Academy of Actuaries at 202.785.6923 or For more information on the American Academy of Actuaries, please visit:

The American Academy of Actuaries is a 17,000-member professional association whose mission is to serve the public and the U.S. actuarial profession. The Academy assists public policymakers on all levels by providing leadership, objective expertise, and actuarial advice on risk and financial security issues. The Academy also sets qualification, practice, and professionalism standards for actuaries in the United States.