Clark Weeks specializes in actuarial services and helping municipalities control their risk. Since he did not write this, we will have to check with him to see if we got the basics right.
What is it?
Actuaries are people whose job is to use data in a way that can best plan for financial risk relating to insurance and the financing profession. Anything that would potentially be paid out, be it through an insurance claim or via a pension is evaluated through concrete data. Companies will experience mortality, retirement, disability and other common claims and so the appointed actuaries determine these risks and uncertainties. Actuarial sciences are also applied to cases where life insurance is being assessed, to create a fair rate for the beneficiary based on health of the subject, as well as habits. It’s even used like data science to assess risky ventures a company could make in their investments or in what insurance policies they choose to hold.
When did it start?
Insurance itself came around in the late 17th century, when risk assessment became easier for people to understand and a lot more scientifically based. The very first cases of mortality tables were released by actuarial scientists at the end of the century, and served to divide the population into categories based on lifestyle and circumstances of said lifestyle. This made it easier for insurance brokers of the era to figure out how much risk they were taking with any new policy made. For example, you wouldn’t give the best life insurance rate to a man who was a known alcoholic and got into a lot of bar fights, because his risk of kidney failure or getting himself killed are actually quite high.
How it applies to business
Actuarial services relate to business primarily through insurance, and actuaries themselves typically work with insurance firms where their skills are put to the most effective use. There, they will apply an analysis of factors related to life expectancy and create mortality tables that measure the predictability of a scenario happening, and give their unique proposals to brokers. Not just for mortality and life insurance, but they also determine scenarios for other kinds of insurance, such as property and liability, even health and dental.
When applied to finance, it works a lot like data science does in business, but there’s a few key differences. They can apply analysis to predict the outcome of an investment, and are thus a strong presence in investment banks. A good actuary in the financial world will have acute knowledge of industries and potential investments.
How it differs from data science
As mentioned previously, actuary services are very similar to data science used in businesses. Both assess risk, value, and determine outcome and reward by taking those risks into account. However, actuaries work with more concrete data and almost exclusively for insurance or investment related numbers, typically having more accurate numbers based off of existing results rather than educated guesswork. Data scientists apply their work to a broader number of subjects, both structured and unstructured, and are not just limited to insurance. However, their numbers are used as a guideline for success rather than an assurance.
Actuaries will often use existing algorithms and place a conclusive number on their work, whereas data scientists are the ones to develop new software and algorithms, and their guesswork is geared towards variables that can’t have a fully determined outcome but aim to be more progressive. One of the biggest differences between the two professions though is that actuaries have an in-depth grasp of the financials and economic issues of the businesses they work with to create financial statements, while data scientists will not often use their skills to create statements.
Besides Clark Weeks providing Actuarial Services, you can find out about other interests here.
Why is there an article about both Clark Weeks and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Atlanta Georgia? (Well, actually Lilburn, GA) Because his wife is of Serbian / Montnegrin origin and that is the church they attend. They have been very active in fundraising for the church and are very proud of it. Following is some history of the church.
Serbian Orthodox Church
The Serbian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous member of the Eastern Orthodox communion which comprises a major population in Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The first Serbian Orthodox emigrants arrived in the Americas in the first half of the 19th century. The majority of these Serbs came from the Austrian empire, the Kingdom of Serbia, and Principality of Montenegro. Among these emigrants were Serbian Orthodox priests who established their first parish communities and had churches built by the end of the 19th century.
St. Peter and Paul Serbian Orthodox Church – Its History
Efforts at founding a parish in Georgia started back in 1985. This happened when His grace Bishop Christopher of the Eastern Diocese, during his flight to Florida, learned through conversing with a parish priest from New York that there were a few Serbs in the city of Atlanta. Bishop Christopher then met with David Simic’s son and a few other Serbs at a cathedral on Clermont Road. The chances of starting a Serbian community in the city of Atlanta and meeting the bishop hit the newspapers. Unfortunately, the idea of it did not become a reality.
Finally, A Beginning
However, a group of Serbs coming from Atlanta were still hopeful in establishing a parish. Finally, on the 2nd day of October in 1993, Saturday, His Grace Dr. Mitrofan officiated the service in Buckhead, in the home of a fellow Serb namely Mrs. Pamela Collins. This momentous event marked the start of a Serbian parish in the city of Atlanta, with Mrs. Pamela Collins having been elected the first president of the parish. Word was immediately sent to other Serbs in the city through a written notice, with news of the event and the first picnic. Over time, these written notices became the parish newspaper which, since then, is published once a month. They named the newspaper “Glasnik”. It was later shortened to “Glas” and is still the name of the newspaper to this day.
Hieromonk Fr. Nikodim
Things were beginning to take shape then, but the spiritual aspect was something the parish needed addressing. Hence, the liturgy was realized monthly by Hieromonk Fr. Nikodim. He was a parish priest in Orlando who served as an administrator to the new parish. Since Fr. Nikodim still had his parish in Orlando to look after, he only visits the new parish once a month, on a Friday afternoon. While staying with one of their parishioners, the priest would hold religion education classes for the adults on Friday nights. The parishioners always attended the classes. They were happy for having Fr. Nikodim, whom they thought of as an excellent lecturer and preacher. He also served the Divine Liturgy on Saturday mornings. Being naturally humble, he helped and guided the parish through its difficult times and encouraged the parishioners to be optimistic and have believe in God that their prayers will be answered. Sadly, Fr. Nikodim passed in 2008 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
A Permanent Priest
1997 was a significant year for the parish. In this year, the first permanent priest of Saints Peter and Paul mission church was appointed by the name of Fr. Milovan Katanic. It was also in this year that a decision was made to dedicate the missionary parish to the Holy Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, hence the name of the church. In July of the same year, they celebrated their first church Slava in the Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Marietta. The event was attended by Fr. Nikodim and Fr. Milovan Katanic who assisted His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrofan in serving the Divine Liturgy.
Church Building Projects
Because the parish had no permanent place of their own where they could hold their services, one priority was to create a building fund and a building committee which aimed to purchase a property for the church, with an existing church or structure they could modify for their use. Because the goal was financial in nature, they had to look for ways to come up with enough money – organizing picnics and social events with the objective of raising money for the fund. The parishioners checked out several locations that were to their liking. However, some of these locations were too expensive or didn’t suit their needs.
First Permanent Location
Opportunity knocked in 2001 when the parishioners noticed that a former bank building in Lilburn was on sale for $283,000. Although the price wasn’t that affordable, being aware of the significance of the church, the parishioners stepped up and were able to collect a down payment in a short period of 75 days. Eventually, they became owners of the building, which was another turning point for the parish. The remaining loan for the building was fully paid in 2007.
Building the New, Current Church
On February 27, 2011, the Circle of Serbian Sisters and Mrs. Jovanka Loncaric, then parish president proposed the reestablishment of the building fund. Since the temporary church building on Beaver Ruin road needed extensive renovation, the new building committee was tasked to look for a suitable land where to construct the new church. In 2012, they purchased a new church property. By the next year, the parishioners focused on taking care of the new property and renovating the older house that was already there when they purchased the land. Funds for the renovations were collected through sports tournaments in basketball, soccer, and table tennis.
In 2015, a new Building Committee was elected, whose goal this time was to propose for future church construction and plans, hire architects and work on methods to fund the entire project. Clark Weeks helped the Serbian Orthodox Church by giving financial advice and helped raise funds. To increase the funds, the parish decided to sell the old property on Beaver Ruin road and add it to the new building project on the new property.
The construction of the new church began in July of 2017. The new church was completed on Jun 19, 2018, on the Feast of the St. Sisoes the Great. In October 13, a banquet was prepared in honor of the blessing of the new church, and the consecration began the following day. Over 900 people attended one of the most important dates in the parish’s history.
Besides Clark Weeks interest in the Serbian Orthodox Church in Lilburn near Atlanta, GA you see other topics here.
This is a first post in a fun little blog about Clark Weeks varied interests. Everything ranging from actuarial science to skiing and scuba diving. We hope you enjoy the eclecticism of this blog.
Clark Weeks has gone scuba diving in the Cook Islands in the Pacific. It is a remote place with spectacular reefs. Why? Because it is so remote, pollution and damage from humans is at a minimum. Coral bleaching from global warming could still hurt these amazing reefs.
Why Montenegro? Besides being a beautiful place, his wife’s family is from there. Which also ties into the Serbian Orthodox Church below. It is a fairly new country in a region that has seen a lot of flux over the last 100 years.
Then there is underwater hockey. Clark Weeks plays on the USA National team in this sport. Never heard of underwater hockey? It is a sport that was invented by British military frogmen to stay in shape. It is played with a 12″ “hockey” stick that looks more like it would be good for spreading icing on a cake. Players have mask or goggles and fins and try to move a specially designed puck along the bottom of the pool to score a goal. Obviously, to play this game you need to get really good at holding your breath.
Then we can talk about actuarial science. This is basically the science of evaluating risk. It is obviously important to insurance companies but has other applications as well. Mr. Weeks works with municipalities and other organizations to help quantify and minimize their risk.
Then there are also the varied investments the Mr. Weeks evaluates. One area that he looks it is investing in oil wells. This is obviously quite different than buying stock in Exxon or BP. There is potentially more risk, but if you know what you are doing, there is also a lot more reward than a simple dividend check and appreciation of the stock.
Serbian Orthodox Church
There is also the Serbian Orthodox church in the Atlanta area. Its name i the Saints Peter and Paul Serbian Orthodox Church. It is another of Clark Weeks varied interests. Mr. Weeks and his wife are actively involved with the church and help to fund raise for it.
Besides the other sports mentioned, Mr. Weeks is also an avid skier. He particularly loves Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah.
We hope you enjoy this quirky little blog about Clark Weeks many interests. To find out more, go here.