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UNCLAIMED PROPERTY FOCUS is a blog written by and for UPPO members, featuring diverse perspectives and insights from unclaimed property practitioners across the U.S. and Canada. We welcome your submissions to Unclaimed Property Focus. Please contact Tim Dressen via with any questions about submitting a blog post for consideration and refer to our editorial guidelines when writing your blog post. Disclaimer: Information and/or comments to this blog is not intended as a substitute for legal advice on compliance or reporting requirements.


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Delaware Extends Feb. 2020 Invitations

Posted By Toni J. Nuernberg, CAE, UPPO/Forius, Friday, April 3, 2020

Delaware has issued an alert extending the invitations to join the VDA program issued in February 2020.


Here is a link to the alert. 

Tags:  Compliance  Delaware  unclaimed property  VDAs 

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UPPO Honors 2019/20 Award Winners

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Each year, UPPO recognizes the hard work and dedication of association members whose efforts contributed to the success of UPPO and the unclaimed property profession throughout the past year. They deserve recognition and appreciation for their hard work, leadership, teamwork and passion.


Team Player Awards

This award is presented to volunteers who serve on committees, work diligently on projects that advance the work of their committees and help pull the team together to accomplish their goals. This year’s recipients include:

  • Jon D’Amato and Jason Higginbotham, as members of the Certificate Committee, researched the possibility of creating an accredited credentialing program that, if created, will allow unclaimed property professionals to receive a formal designation to use behind their name. This has been an incredible undertaking and is much more involved than anyone could have imagined. While it’s still a work in process, Jon and Jason earned this honor for their hard work and commitment to the project.
  • Sherri Przybysz served as a co-chair on the Member Services Committee. She has provided leadership for the committee and has worked tirelessly to help move a number of UPPO's strategic initiatives forward, including the new member benefits webinar, ideas for new member recruitment campaigns and instilling an overall passion for membership in UPPO.


Shining Star Awards

Seven UPPO members received Shining Star honors for their “shining brightly to help guide the way.” This year’s Shining Stars are:

  • Sara Lima is completing her three year term as GRAC Co-chair. She worked on UPPO’s new Strategic Plan’s advocacy initiatives.
  • Brian McCarthy is a GRAC member who is leading the Identification Work Group that reviews new legislation as it is introduced and provides leadership to the ID Work Group members as they determine which of UPPO’s five priority issues need to be addressed.
  • Michael Unger has been a leader with the UPPO Scholarship program since its inception.  He has been a co-chair for a number of years and worked diligently to promote the program and helped to raise funds for the program to support four scholarships annually.
  • Kath Shemwell is a member of the Conference and Seminars Committee who has taken on a number of assignments this past year with enthusiasm and dedication. She has taken on the work of finding room monitors for annual conference sessions. She will be a co-chair of this committee for fiscal year 20/2021.
  • Each of the following individuals serve on either the Finance or Member Services Committee and are being recognized for their leadership as UPPO took on the initiative to review and update its dues structure to continue to support and grow the association for years to come. 
  • Suzy Emre, Finance Committee co-chair
  • David Glad, Finance Committee co-chair
  • Cherish Simmons, Member Services co-chair
  • Sonja Roman-Molina,  Member Services co-chair; and
  • Jeff Pickel, Member Services member and former co-chair


President’s Award

This award, chosen by the association’s president, honors a member who has taken on a huge task or project that will help change or improve the unclaimed property profession for years to come.  


The first recipient, Mike Ryan was one of the “founding fathers” when UPPO was created, originally as the Unclaimed Property Holders Liaison Council. He has served on UPPO’s board of directors several times in the role of president and most recently as Eastern Region vice president. He is completing his service on the UPPO board at the end of this fiscal year and to say he will be missed is an understatement. Anyone involved with UPPO knows Mike Ryan for his passion, dedication and elite fund raising skills.


The second recipient, Marilyn Henry began her service as Eastern Region vice president, moved through the chairs of UPPO and served as its president for fiscal year 2018/19. She just finished her term as the immediate past president. She led the board through strategic planning during her term as president, and her legacy to the board is a number of key strategic initiatives that are moving the association forward in amazing ways.


Super Nova Award

UPPO’s highest honor, the Super Nova award is normally reserved for someone who is either retiring or stepping back after many years of service.


In his 30+ year career helping UPPO members and the broader unclaimed property community, Super Nova Award recipient John Coalson has served UPPO in a number of capacities, most recently as a member of UPPO’s Government Relations and Advocacy Committee. He has provided his wisdom to UPPO during the recent meetings of the Uniform Law Commission as it redrafted the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act.


The second Super Nova Award recipient, Debbie Zumoff has served UPPO in many roles, including president. After completing her board service, she continued to serve on UPPO’s Government Relations and Advocacy Committee. She helped lead UPPO’s testimony and written submissions to the ULC as it drafted the RUUPA. She is the ultimate professional and speaks with authority and expertise no matter if a planned speech or an ad hoc interview.


Congratulations to all of this year’s winners for their selfless dedication and commitment to their association and profession.

Tags:  awards  unclaimed property 

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March 2020 President's Message

Posted By 2019/20 UPPO President Troy Wangen, Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Updated: Monday, March 30, 2020

I hope you are staying safe and healthy during this unusual time. Like you, UPPO is adjusting to its current circumstances, which will not allow us to hold an annual conference in 2020. Many of us were looking forward to catching up, meeting new friends and learning about what is happening in our industry. We had an amazing conference planned and a lot of new offerings for attendees. It’s heartbreaking to be so close to the finish line and not being allowed to cross, but we all need to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19.


I’ve decided to use my final president’s message to recognize this year’s award winners and thank people who dedicated their time and energy to planning the conference.


Award Winners

Each year, we name several award winners whose volunteer work contributed to UPPO and the unclaimed property professionals community. This year’s award recipients include:

  • Shining Star Award: Sara Lima, Brian McCarthy, Michael Unger, Kath Shemwell, Suzy Emre, David Glad, Cherish Simmons, Sonja Roman-Molina and Jeff Pickel
  • Team Player Award: Jon D’Amato, Jason Higginbotham and Sherri Przybysz
  • President’s Award: Marilyn Henry and Mike Ryan
  • Super Nova Award: Debbie Zumoff and John Coalson

Congratulations to our award winners for these well-deserved honors. Head over to the UPPO blog to watch videos with more information on our winners, and look for a blog post later this week for more on these recipients’ impressive work.



Led by co-chairs Leigh Underwood, Will King and Emily Ford, UPPO’s Conference and Webinar Committee worked on this conference for nearly a full year, putting together a four-day agenda packed with educational and networking opportunities. In addition, the Speaker Subcommittee selected all of the speakers for the sessions, reviewed every presentation slide deck and coordinated breakout session coordinators and room monitors.


The Scholarship Committee, co-chaired by Michael Unger and Cathleen Bucholtz, arranged a fun selection of activities benefiting the UPPO Scholarship Program. Planned events included sunrise exercise options, a 50/50 raffle and an expanded silent auction.


The Member Services Committee, co-chaired by Sonja Roman-Molina, Cherish Simmons and Sherri Przybysz, put together several conference activities, including the new Industry Ambassador Program. This concept was designed to expand on our industry breakout sessions and give first-time attendees someone to help them navigate the conference.


Thank you to all of these volunteers for your hard work and dedication to designing what was sure to be an outstanding conference. I can’t wait to see many of your ideas in action at next year’s conference.



I would also like to thank our amazing UPPO staff. They did a stellar job and spent countless hours planning the annual conference. In addition, the staff tackled several other challenges resulting from the board’s work this year – a rewrite of our bylaws for the makeup of the board of directors, a substantial rework of the policies and procedures and rollout of a completely new dues structure. These projects took great time and effort to make sure our organization is successful. Thank you, Toni, Shannon, Brianne and Debbie. I would also like to recognize that UPPO has been partnering with Toni and her team for over 10 years now and it has been a wonderful partnership!


Board Members

To this year’s board of directors, thank you for your leadership and unwavering dedication to this organization. I do not know a more passionate and supportive group of people. It has been a true honor serving alongside you as we tackled many new things for UPPO whether we agreed upon them or not. The diversity among the ideas this year shows that we are bringing all the right people to table to really make sure this organization is sustainable for the future! It has been an absolute pleasure working with you. I wish you the best of luck in the year ahead and look forward to continuing to serve for one more year as I assume the role of immediate past president.


Yesterday, I turned the reigns over to Heather Steffans during our Annual Business Meeting. She will do an amazing job leading the organization for the next year. Congratulations, Heather. I can’t wait to see UPPO continue to evolve under your leadership.


My term as president has passed quickly. Thank you to everyone who has been supportive throughout the year. This is truly a member-driven organization, and I appreciate the many ideas and thoughtful feedback you have shared with me throughout the year. I wish you good health as we work together to overcome our current challenges, and I look forward to seeing you at our 2021 Annual Conference in San Antonio.

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2020 UPPO Annual Conference Video #4

Posted By Administration, Friday, March 27, 2020

Despite the UPPO Annual Conference cancellation, many people worked tirelessly to develop what was on track to be the best-attended conference in UPPO history. To recognize those people, 2019/20 UPPO President Troy Wangen recorded a series of videos, which have been posted on the UPPO blog throughout the week. 


View the first video here.

View the second video here.

View the third video here.

View the fourth video below:


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2020 UPPO Annual Conference Video #3

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 26, 2020

Despite the UPPO Annual Conference cancellation, many people worked tirelessly to develop what was on track to be the best-attended conference in UPPO history. To recognize those people, 2019/20 UPPO President Troy Wangen recorded a series of videos, which are being posted on the UPPO blog over the next few days. 


View the first video here.

View the second video here.

View the third video below.

View the fourth video here.


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