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Meet 2018/19 UPPO President Marilyn Henry

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 10, 2018

When Marilyn Henry volunteered to assist as a room monitor at an unclaimed property conference, she never considered that it was the first of many roles that would lead to her position as 2018/19 UPPO president. At the time, UPPO – under its original name, the Unclaimed Property Holders Liaison Council – was still relatively young. The organization’s educational programs were tacked on to state unclaimed property events and membership was small.

 

“When we started having our own conferences, it was like a family,” she said. “We’d get together once a year, and you knew everybody. We’ve seen a lot of growth since then.” 

 

It wasn’t long before Marilyn’s involvement grew as well. Whether participating as a committee member or leading an annual conference session, UPPO has been an important part of her unclaimed property career, which began more than 20 years ago. 

 

Returning to work at a bank in 1986 after serving the important role of stay at home mom, Marilyn soon moved to a position in accounting, where she was first exposed to unclaimed property. 

 

“It was something that just had to get done,” she said. “I gathered information from different areas, typed people’s names onto the forms using a typewriter and then sent the forms to the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. That was the beginning, but it eventually led me to the job I have today.”

 

When the bank was acquired by a larger bank in 1995, she moved on to positions without unclaimed property roles at MetraHealth (which later became UnitedHealth Group) and Travelers. In 1999, she returned to UnitedHealth Group and has been handling unclaimed property ever since. 

 

She joined UPHLC in 2000 to learn how other companies were handling their unclaimed property. Her first contact with the organization was with Mike Ryan, who currently serves with Marilyn on the UPPO board. 

 

Marilyn was first elected to the board in 2012 as Eastern vice president with a reelection in 2014. In 2016, she was elected second vice president, moving into the first vice president role last year and subsequently her position as 2018/19 president. 

 

Unclaimed property continues to be a rewarding career, especially when reuniting people with money they really need.

 

“Sometimes people don’t realize they have any money coming to them,” she said. “And they really need it. Because we administer health claims, a lot of those checks often go uncashed when the member is really ill. When an heir comes forward who had to spend a lot of money on medical care, knowing they will be reimbursed for some of that money is really rewarding.”

 

Today, as she serves as UPPO president, unclaimed property professionals face some big issues, including third-party audits, ever-changing state laws and inconsistencies in reporting requirements from state to state. Despite efforts through the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act to bring about more consistency, states have been adopting the act piecemeal, so UPPO’s work to promote fair and balanced statutes continues to be essential. 

 

One of UPPO’s projects occurring during Marilyn’s term is refinement of UPPO’s advocacy work and expansion of a grass-roots member network, getting more people involved to make a greater impact. She is also excited about the upcoming expansion of the organization’s certificate program this summer.

 

When Marilyn isn’t focusing on unclaimed property, you’re likely to find her outdoors. She enjoys spending time riding her John Deere tractor and four-wheel ATV. 

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