Jim van Iwaarden
Consulting Actuary

email Jim 612.596.5961

Meet Jim

Jim is a consulting actuary known for innovative retirement plan design, and for explaining technical topics in a way that’s clear and…wait for it…fun.  He’s pretty extroverted, for an actuary.

Jim started the firm in 1991 after spending 12 years at the national chains.  Our firm reflects his positive can-do outlook.

Personal

Jim and his wife Ellen live on the Minneapolis lakes with their still-puppyish lab mix Callie.  Their two daughters are fully launched (yay!) in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Jim loves to be on the steep end of the learning curve in his work and hobbies, which include viola (and viola jokes), surfing, paddling, cycling, golf, bowling and cross-country skiing.  He’s the Treasurer for Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis, a former board member for the Loppet Foundation and a founding board member for Nice Ride, the Twin Cities bike sharing system.

Credentials

Jim is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA), an Enrolled Actuary (EA), a Fellow of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries (FCA), and former chair of the Minneapolis Pension Council.  The first college graduate in his family, he earned a B.S. in math with highest honors from the University of California, Riverside (UCR).  And at a CCA meeting a few years back he won the hotly contested “ERISA Jeopardy” tournament. Pension regulations for $500, please…

Mark Schulte
Consulting Actuary

email Mark  612.596.5971

Meet Mark

Mark is a consulting actuary and a co-owner of the firm.  He’s known for his teaching skills, and loves helping others understand and solve tough problems.  He keeps us up to date on new developments in the pension and retiree medical fields, blogs on national pension issues, and speaks frequently at retirement conferences. His latest quest is to develop new ideas for modernizing our nation’s public sector pension systems.

Mark joined the firm in 2009 after almost 10 years at the national chains.  We sought him out for his enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit.

Personal

Mark and his wife Sarah live in the Twin Cities with their two delightful daughters.  He’s an avid cross-country skier, gardener, and cross-fitter who can do an impossible number of pullups.

Credentials

Mark is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA), an Enrolled Actuary (EA) and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA).  He earned a B.A. in math, summa cum laude, from St. Olaf College.

Sandi Bruns
Consulting Actuary

email Sandi  612.596.5968

Meet Sandi

Sandi is a consulting actuary known for producing an incredible amount of quality work.  We still can’t quite figure out how she does it.  She’s patient, thorough and generous with her knowledge.

Sandi joined the firm in 2002 after many years of insurance company experience in pensions and variable annuities.

Personal

Sandi and her husband Ben live in the Twin Cities.  She goes off to knitting conventions every year, and creates outfits for every new baby in the firm.  She occasionally talks about retiring but we talk her out of it, because we know how she loves to work and we’d miss her too much.

Credentials

Sandi is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA), an Enrolled Actuary (EA) and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA).  She earned a B.A. in math from Gustavus Adolphus College.

Peter Cullen
Consulting Actuary

email Pete  612.596.5964

Meet Pete

Pete is a consulting actuary known for his diligence and technical expertise.  He enjoys developing creative solutions and helping his clients to optimize their retirement plans.  When he talks we all listen, because he’ll bring a thoughtful new perspective to the discussion.

Pete joined the firm in 2001, a first round pick in the college draft.  He joined us, in part, for the flexibility: he could both work here and coach the University of St. Thomas football team, which he did for a couple years.

Personal

Pete and his wife Lindsey live in the Twin Cities and home school their six kids.  As you might guess, family is a major priority for Pete.  They are very involved in the home school community and youth education in their church.

As an outlet for his busy home and work life, Pete started a family Ultimate Frisbee league and plays twice a week. He also loves hiking and losing to his wife at ping pong.

Credentials

Pete is an Enrolled Actuary (EA) and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA).  He earned a B.A. in math, summa cum laude, from the University of St. Thomas.

Candace Gislason
Consulting Actuary

email Candace  612.596.5963

Meet Candace

Candace is a consulting actuary known for her warmth and listening skills.  She specializes in public sector pensions and retiree medical.

Candace joined the firm in 2014, after many years of experience in insurance, small business startups and as a Navigator for Minnesota’s ACA health insurance exchange.

Personal

Candace and her husband Scott live in St. Paul with Sigrid the wonder dog.  They’ve raised two engaging and beautiful children, a son recently out of college and a daughter soon to finish.

Credentials

Candace is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA).  She earned a B.A. in math, cum laude, from St. Olaf College.

Brenda Hardy
Consulting Actuary

email Brenda  612.596.5962

Meet Brenda

Brenda is a consulting actuary known for her focus and business acumen.  She led our firm into public sector retiree medical work, years before GASB issued its first statements, and she specializes in large employers’ financial reporting.

Brenda joined the firm in 2000, after many years of experience in insurance and managing the Twin Cities retirement practice for one of the national chains.

Personal

Brenda and her husband Jim live in St. Paul with their two very athletic yet academic sons.  They can often be found at hockey and baseball practices and games.

Credentials

Brenda is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA), an Enrolled Actuary (EA) and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA).  She earned a B.S. in math, summa cum laude, from Winona State University.

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Emily Knutson
Consulting Actuary

email Emily  612.596.5966

Meet Emily

Emily is a consulting actuary known for fast turnaround and quality work.  She supervises the development of our “latest and greatest” actuarial templates, and she’s had a hand in just about all of our reports.

Emily joined the firm in 2001, a first round pick in the college draft.

Personal

Emily and her husband Bosco live in the Twin Cities with their two active and inquisitive young sons.  She’s home every Friday to be with the boys as they grow up.

Credentials

Emily is an Enrolled Actuary (EA) and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA).  She earned a B.A. in math and actuarial science from the University of Minnesota.

Laura Pistotnik
Consulting Actuary

email Laura  612.596.5970

Meet Laura

Laura is a senior actuarial analyst known for her inquisitiveness, infectious laugh and pride in her work.  She’s played a major role in streamlining our valuation processes and is our first homegrown health actuary.

Laura joined the firm in 2008, with a short break to tour Europe after college graduation.

Personal

Laura lives in the Twin Cities with her partner Patrick and their German shepherd Lucy.   They always have an enviable social calendar – weddings, trips to the cabin, etc.  And if there’s a big concert or sporting event going on in town, they’re probably in attendance.

Credentials

Laura is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA) and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA) .  She earned a B.A. in math and actuarial science from the University of Minnesota.

Gina Ganab
Senior Actuarial Analyst

email Gina  612-596-5965

Meet Gina

Gina is a senior actuarial analyst known for her classy professionalism and passion for quality.  She keeps us all focused on producing an accurate and elegant work product. She also fills the role of social director for our group. If we’re all out to lunch or happy hour, it was probably her idea.

Gina joined the firm in 2006, after being honored as the outstanding graduate of her college’s math & statistics department.

Personal

Gina lives in Minneapolis and loves to travel.  She often comes back with stories from exotic places the rest of us have never even heard of.  We all enjoy traveling vicariously through her. Another one of Gina’s hobbies is fitness. From yoga to weight lifting, she’s always on the go!

Credentials

Gina double majored in mathematics and statistics, earning a B.S., summa cum laude, from Winona State University. She is working her way through the actuarial exams and planning to start A.S.A. modules this winter.

Aaron Driessen
Actuarial Analyst

email Aaron  612.596.5967

Meet Aaron

Aaron is an actuarial analyst known for his problem solving skills and can-do spirit.  He’s the internal tech guy who keeps our systems running.

Aaron joined the firm in 2013 after a stint as a bartender.  He’s the kind of solid dude you’d want to tell your troubles to.

Personal

Aaron lives in Minneapolis and loves the outdoors.  He recently fly fished his way to the Pacific Northwest.

Credentials

Aaron earned a B.S. in mathematics from North Dakota State University.

Emily Erickson
Actuarial Analyst

email Emily  612.596.5976

Meet Emily

Emily is an actuarial analyst known for her efficiency, amazing memory and health insurance knowledge.  She’s updated our health claim analysis tools to be the best they’ve ever been.

Emily joined the firm in 2015 after several years with a health insurance company.  She wanted to apply her knowledge in our consulting environment.

Personal

Emily lives in Minneapolis with her partner Toby and their golden retriever Zoe.   Like true Minnesotans, they love being outdoors. Their idea of a great vacation is finding a new area to camp and explore.

Credentials

Emily double majored in mathematics and statistics, earning a B.S., cum laude, from North Dakota State University.

Sean Todd
Actuarial Analyst

email Sean  612.596.5973

Meet Sean

Sean is an actuarial analyst known for his calm approach to solving complex problems.  He’s our database guru and systems geek.

Sean first joined the firm in the 1990s, moved to California and luckily for us, returned in 2013.

Personal

Sean lives in the Twin Cities with his three equally calm sons.

Credentials

Sean is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA).  He earned a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Minnesota.

Dane Washenberger
Actuarial Analyst

email Dane  612.596.5975

Meet Dane

Dane is an actuarial analyst known for his diligence and efficiency.  He’s our go-to analyst for Minnesota public pension plans.

Dane joined the firm in 2015; we were lucky enough to have him intern with us his senior year so he avoided the college draft altogether.  He’s enjoying his time out of the pool after four years on the varsity swim team.

Personal

Dane and his wife Meg live in downtown Minneapolis.  They’ve recently celebrated their first anniversary.

Credentials

Dane earned a B.S. in actuarial science from the University of St. Thomas.

Carla Hinker
Office Administrator

email Carla  612.596.5960

Meet Carla

Carla is our office administrator.  She takes care of all of us, and effortlessly handles the administrative details so we can focus on our clients.

Carla joined the firm in 2000, bringing with her years of experience with another actuarial firm.

Personal

Carla and her husband David live in the Twin Cities.  They’ve raised a daughter and two sons, all out on their own.  They are taking full advantage of their empty nest; there aren’t many movies that Carla and David haven’t seen or restaurants they haven’t enjoyed.