Joanne RyanFSA, MAAA, CPC, ACC, ELI-MPIMG_0199 - Version 3

1st the Boring
I am a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) through the International Coach Federation (ICF), where I have also received the designation of Associate Certified Coach (ACC).  I am a graduate of the ICF-accredited training program at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), where I am certified as an Energy Index Leadership Master Practitioner (ELI-MP). I am a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA) and a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA). I have an MS in Applied Mathematics from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a BA in Mathematics from Iona College. Diversity MBA Magazine selected me as one of the Top 100 Under Age 50 Emerging Leaders in 2011.

2nd the Interesting
When I look back at my life, what I have found amazing is how my life has basically found me.  Don’t get me wrong, I am very driven, motivated, and always willing to put in the extra effort to go after and get what I want; but what often seems like the best laid plans tend to go astray as life’s experiences lead us in new and better directions that we simply cannot anticipate as we try to set our course.

One example is how I became an actuary.  Initially it was only going to be a temporary gig, but it’s hard to say that now after 25 plus years of actuarial work under my belt, and after spending countless hours studying for the actuarial exams and moving up the corporate ladder to director-level positions.  From a very young age, I wanted to teach, and since I always liked math, my college focus was on becoming a high school math teacher.  It wasn’t until I started looking for a job during my senior year that I began to have this burning desire to see what it was like to work in the corporate world.  Having no idea what actuaries did, I took a job in an actuarial department, fell in love with the work, started taking exams, and the rest is history.

How professional coaching found me is also interesting.  The short answer is I started coaching with a friend of mine, began to rock out all areas of my life, fell in love with what coaching is and what it can do for people, and again, the rest is history.  What amazed me the most is how much coaching helped me with my professional life.  Already being very successful as an actuary by most people’s standards, coaching helped me become a much better manager and leader; I became clear on what I want to do for the rest of my career and now have a plan on how to get there; and my focus at work has changed, resulting in more engagement, more fulfillment, and more fun!  And I can’t even begin to tell you how much coaching changed my personal life.  Having seen what coaching did for me, I became a true believer in coaching and realized I wanted to be able to give others what coaching gave me.

3rd the Fun
I have to say, I have never been happier and enjoying life more than I am right now.  Being an avid golfer and loving the outdoors, with the caveat the weather has to be warm, I guess you can now say I’m commuting back and forth from New Jersey to Florida.  You can find me scootering around St. Pete, going for a run on a trail in New Jersey or on the beach in Florida, or paddle boarding on a Florida bay.  New Jersey is the friends and family hub, and I feel blessed to have so many special relationships in my life.  I love to learn and am the Google queen, frequently searching for information on nutrition to self-development to leadership and more.  I am definitely living life to the fullest; and why not, there are no do-overs!

Finally the Bottom Line
Coaching has simply changed my life.  I’m living life so much more in the moment, enjoying what really matters to me and letting go of what doesn’t.  I am less stressed and am loving the work-life balance I have created.  Having played it safe most of my life, I am now almost addicted to getting outside of my comfort zone and looking to seize that next opportunity that will make my life even that much better.  It has been such an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience becoming a coach and being able help others’ lives go from good to great like mine has.  Volunteering and being able to use my coaching skills at some great organizations, such as  Grad Life Choices, has made my life even that much more fulfilling. My hope is to inspire, motivate, and energize others to follow their dreams and create the lives they want, as they take that bit of risk to get all those amazing rewards life has to offer!


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