Challenge Development Committee

The Modeling the Future Challenge is supported by a "Challenge Development Committee" consisting of professional actuaries and other members of The Actuarial Foundation's community. The Challenge Development Committee is responsible for reviewing and refining the Challenge Statement, data resources, and other information critical to the operations of a successful competition. The committee helps ensure that the Challenge represents a strong resource to help students learn about the actuarial profession while dipping their toes into the real-world waters of how actuaries use data and mathematics to make projections about the future.

If you are an actuary, or in a related profession, and would like to learn more about becoming a member of the Challenge Development Committee for upcoming Modeling the Future Challenges, please contact:

Brian Donlan, FCAS

Brian Donlan is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society with nearly 20 years of Ratemaking experience. His education is in Economics, with a Master’s Degree from the University of Iowa. Brian currently leads the Encompass Insurance pricing organization. He is a member of the Casualty Actuarial Society Professionalism Education Committee. He is also currently on the Board of Trustees for The Actuarial Foundation.

Jason Freeman, ASA

Jason Freeman is an actuary at Clover Health, an innovative startup Medicare Advantage company. Jason joined Clover in 2016 after starting his actuarial career at Kaiser Permanente in 2011. Prior to becoming an actuary, Jason spent 13 years in education, as a teacher, analyst, and advocate, as well as founding director of the Coalition for Science After School.

Roy Goldman, FSA

Roy is a retired actuarial executive who was a Chief Actuary or CFO of four major health insurers. He serves on the board of directors of the Society of Actuaries and The Actuarial Foundation and is a member of the Health Advisory Panel of the Congressional Budget Office. He has a Ph.D. in mathematics and is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, and a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst. He has been active in actuarial and public education for most of his career.   

Melissa Hollis, FSA

Melissa is an Actuary at Principal in Des Moines, Iowa.  She works on the Business Analytics team within the Specialty Benefits Division which includes group dental, vision, life, disability and critical illness insurance, and individual disability insurance.  Melissa is a graduate of Bryant University and Concord Law School and is a member of California Bar Association.

Paul Heffernan

Paul Heffernan, FSA

Paul is an actuary at Prudential Financial in Newark, NJ. He has over 20 years of experience as a life insurance actuary, including roles in financial reporting, assumptions, pricing, and investments. Prior to his actuarial career, Paul worked for several years as a college professor in mathematical sciences. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Duke University and a Ph.D. from Cornell University. Paul is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Joth Tupper

Joth Tupper, FSA

Sam Wehner, ASA

Sam Wehner is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries and has been working as an actuary for almost 6 years.  He started his career at Actuarial Resources Corporation where he eventually became lead software developer for a few of the ARCVAL system components, including TL-Flyer, ARC's traditional life calculation module.  He decided to take an opportunity in a non-traditional role at a growing start-up called Site 1001 where he is now a software engineer designing a building/facilities intelligence system using state-of-the-art Internet of Things and will be using his knowledge of data science to provide information on critical systems and assets, helping to pave the way toward smarter cities.

Tom Zavist, EA, FSA

Mr. Zavist consults with small employers regarding their retirement plans. He has extensive experience with annual pension plan valuation, defined contribution plan allocation, individual employee benefit calculations and statements, government filings, and Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) topics.  Since 1986, Mr. Zavist has managed pension, health and group life projects for both private businesses and governments. Mr. Zavist earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Rice University (Houston, TX). He has over ten years’ experience supervising and training others and currently is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and an Enrolled Actuary with the Joint Board.

Rebecca Owen

Rebecca Owen has worked in numerous aspects of health actuarial practice, with a focus on the role and nature the insured population plays in the cost and utilization of care. Her experience includes extensive data modeling for identifying cost drivers, outliers, and delivery patterns, both in medical services and pharmaceutical benefits. She has worked on evaluating the impact alternate payment methodologies play in understanding risk for payers and providers. She has published and spoken extensively about topics such as the opioid epidemic, the actuarial role in public health and profiling complex, costly patients.

Rebecca is an active volunteer in the actuarial profession as well as the community. She loves being outdoors in all seasons, except when she wants to be on the couch with her dogs reading novels and listening to opera.

Susan Watson

Susan is an Assistant Professor of Practice in Actuarial Science at Drake University.  She also directs Drake’s School of Actuarial Science and Risk Management.  Susan has built successful careers in academia, the insurance industry, and the not-for-profit sector ranging from Program Director, Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Actuary to founder of a multi-agency non-profit service organization in the Des Moines metro area.  Susan holds degrees from Drake, Texas A&M, and Bethel Universities and is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries.  She participates on several boards in the community and is an active member of numerous professional and civic organizations.