2015 Statistics and Actuarial Science Outstanding Alumni



2015 Actuarial Science Outstanding Alumnus: Chris Freese

Chief Risk Officer, US Insurance Solutions Business Unit, The Principal Financial Group

Chris Freese earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Statistics in 1993 (prior to Purdue offering an Actuarial Science degree).  After graduating, Chris joined the Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, Iowa as an actuarial student.  Studying for and passing all of the exams, Chris obtained his Fellowship from the Society of Actuaries in 1997. He is also a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. 

The Principal Financial Group is a global financial services company headquartered in Des Moines specializing in asset accumulation businesses in addition to traditional group and individual protection insurance products. The Principal Financial Group has $530 billion of assets under management. Chris has served in a number of roles at the Principal Financial Group as an actuary by participation in Principal’s actuarial rotation program. This program is designed to allow employees to rotate through different areas of the company to further development before committing to one path. 

Chris currently serves as the Chief Risk Officer for the US Insurance Solutions business unit which includes Individual Life and Group Non-Medical Employee Benefits.  Chris was named to this role in 2014.  Previously, Chris served as the Chief Actuary for Principal Financial Group from 2008-2014.  Chris’ prior experience also includes time in Principal Global Investors from 1998-2008 which is Principals institutional asset management business unit.  Chris also served as Managing Director for structured finance while in Principal Global investors which was part of the fixed income department.

Chris is the recipient of the 2015 Purdue University Department of Actuarial Science Outstanding Alumni Award.

2015 Statistics Outstanding Alumnus: Eric Fox

Global Project Leader with Honeywell Process Solutions

Eric Fox earned his M.S. in Statistics from Purdue University in 1987 and prior to that in 1986, earned his B.S. in Mathematics and B.S. in Statistics with Honors in Economics from Purdue.  He has been employed by Honeywell Process Solutions since 2003 based in Phoenix, AZ, where he is a Global Project Leader.  Key projects have included deployment of a global product barcode system and database for tracking all products throughout the supply chain [120 sites], leading the business strategic plan for a 5 year time horizon, and leading a Software Test optimization initiative of the Software Test organization based in Bangalore, India.  Eric received both his Black Belt and Master Black Belt certifications from the Honeywell Six Sigma organization. 

Prior to Honeywell, Eric worked for three years for Veros Software in Irvine, CA, as the Vice President of Economic and Statistical Modeling.  He led teams responsible for the implementation of statistical models for valuation of residential real estate which are used today by large lenders to make loan underwriting decisions without requiring an appraiser to visit the property.

Prior to Veros, Eric worked for thirteen years at United Technologies – Pratt & Whitney in West Palm Beach, FL, where he was the Manager of Statistical Methods for a group of 20 statisticians in both Florida and Connecticut.  Key activities included group leadership, implementation of strategies and policies for using statistical methods throughout the company, Probabilistic Life Methodology development for the Space Shuttle with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, creation and teaching of a Statistical Design of Experiments Workshop to instruct over 2500 P&W engineers and suppliers, development of a rocket engine reliability certification test program, and deployment of a Probabilistic Design System used to integrate statistical methods with in-house design software codes.

Eric has fond memories of the entire time he spent at Purdue and enjoyed all of the friends and classmates from around the world.  Eric credits his success to the firm foundation that his Purdue graduate degree and world-class professors gave him. 

Today, Eric loves to hike, play tennis, scuba dive, and travel.  He also volunteers as a Wish Granter for the Arizona Make-A-Wish Foundation.  Eric is the recipient of the 2015 Purdue University Department of Statistics Outstanding Alumni Award.