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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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Practical Insights and Deeper Dives Highlight Annual Conference Sessions

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, January 9, 2019



Unclaimed property continues to provide a maze of compliance challenges for the professionals charged with managing their companies’ escheatment responsibilities. This year’s UPPO Annual Conference agenda offers a wide variety of sessions designed to help navigate that maze and keep up with the latest trends.


Managing Relationships

If your company is using third-party agents for employee benefits, payroll, equity or other services, understanding the roles of each party and ensuring everyone is properly fulfilling their responsibilities is essential to the unclaimed property reporting process. The Managing Your Third-Party Administrator session will offer tips for managing this important relationship.


The Bridging the Gap session looks at another key relationship – the one between holders and the states. This session will help attendees gain insight into building positive relationships with state administrators and maintaining a compliance program that is mutually beneficial to the holder, the state and property owners.


Emerging Property and Account Types

Unclaimed property compliance involves much more than uncashed payroll checks and customer credits. Dive into the specific requirements and considerations for unique account types in the unclaimed property process during the Unique Accounts with Unique Requirements session. Attendees with explore developments related to traditional and nontraditional retirement/IRA accounts, beneficiary accounts, HSAs and FSAs, and the effects of linking activity between customer accounts. 


Another rapidly evolving area of unclaimed property compliance is the world of virtual currencies. The Virtual Reality, Real Unclaimed Property session will look at issues arising from virtual currencies, blockchain technologies and modern incentive programs. Attendees will get insight into regulatory changes and practical considerations related to cryptocurrencies, virtual wallets and customer loyalty programs. 


Audits and VDAs

Always hot topics, unclaimed property audits and voluntary disclosure agreements will take center stage in several sessions. 


Unclaimed property professionals who haven’t yet been fully exposed to the audit process can gain an understanding of the concepts, timelines and expectations at the Audit 101 session. This introduction to audits will explore the scope and methodologies used by states and their third-party auditors. 


Holders under examination or participating in a VDA may be subject to estimated liability. The Estimation Under Audits and VDAs session will explore estimation methodologies and considerations and examine how states differ in their estimation practices. 


With so many companies incorporated in Delaware, that state spends a lot of time in the unclaimed property spotlight, but other states can’t be neglected. The Non-Delaware Voluntary Compliance session will look at VDAs in other states and when an informal approach may be more beneficial than a formal VDA. 


Not all third-party auditors were created alike. In fact, their processes and procedures vary greatly. The Third-Party Auditor Differences session will walk through the many different document requests that holders can expect throughout the audit process and will examine conflicting auditor requests when under audit by multiple states using different firms. 


View complete details about educational sessions and other 2019 UPPO Annual Conference events. The early-bird registration deadline is Jan. 28, so register today for the best rate.






Tags:  audits  cryptocurrency  IRAs  state administrators  TPAs  UPPO Annual Conference  VDAs  virtual currency 

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Five Reasons to Attend the 2019 UPPO Annual Conference

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 20, 2018

Registration is now open for the 2019 UPPO Annual Conference, March 24-27 in New Orleans. Each year, the conference provides an unmatched opportunity for unclaimed property professionals to learn about the latest developments in their field and talk shop with peers. The 2019 conference is shaping up as a must-attend event. Here are five of the top reasons to participate.


Education for All Experience Levels

The 2019 UPPO Annual Conference agenda features more than three dozen educational workshops and sessions. Concurrent workshops cover four tracks – basic, intermediate, advanced and special focus – making it easy for attendees to find the best options for their experience and interest levels. 


Industry-Specific Breakouts

Because the nuances of unclaimed property vary by industry, getting together with other people who face the same industry-specific challenges you do is invaluable. Breakout sessions will give attendees a forum to compare notes with peers in these industries: banking/finance; securities/mutual funds/broker dealers/transfer agents; life insurance; P&C insurance; manufacturing; retail/hospitality; oil & gas/energy; telecommunications & technology; healthcare providers and insurers; and state government. 


Continuing Education Credits

Attendees can earn Continuing Professional Education credits and Continuing Legal Education credits for attending the UPPO Annual Conference. CLE credits require action by Dec. 14, 2018, so review the requirements and register early!


Great Location

New Orleans is known for great food, music, nightlife, history and culture. Whether simply visiting the legendary French Quarter or getting out and seeing less familiar neighborhoods, explore the great city of New Orleans while attending the annual conference. There’s no other city in the world quite like it. 


Fun Networking Events

Among the biggest benefits to attending the UPPO Annual Conference are making new connections and reconnecting with familiar faces. In addition to receptions, breaks and meals, the conference includes a couple opportunities to explore New Orleans and network in casual settings. This year’s UPPO Scholarship Program event is a one-hour French Quarter walking tour, where you can learn about the city’s history, music, food or haunted history. Conference attendees will also have the opportunity to visit Mardi Gras World, the largest float designing and building facility in the world, for dinner, drinks and fun at the Tuesday evening event. 


These are just a few of the reasons to register today for the 2019 UPPO Annual Conference. Visit the conference website to learn more, view the agenda and begin planning your conference experience. Need help getting approval to attend? We’ve compiled a few tips and tools to make it easier. Register early to take advantage of the lowest rate, and make your plans to join us in March. 



Tags:  UPPO Annual Conference 

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UPPO Honors 2017/18 Award Winners

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 15, 2018

Each year during the Annual Conference, 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.


Members’ Choice Awards

With the Members’ Choice Awards, UPPO recognizes specific state administrators and unclaimed property programs for their excellence. UPPO members nominate candidates and choose the winners from the subsequent slate of nominees. Congratulations to this year’s recipients:

  • Website Award: Virginia. This state’s website is detailed but easy to use for both claimants and holders.
  • Above and Beyond Award: Barbara Benkovic, division manager, Pennsylvania Unclaimed Property. A nomination for Barbara said, “She is a rock star. She has grown in her responsibilities and has about 20 years’ experience in reconciling and importing holder reports. She knows the Wagers system about as well as Ken himself! She also is widely respected by the holders for helping them through issues, challenges and everything reporting-related. She is valuable to the holder community. She is knowledgeable of Pennsylvania state law, policy and procedure. She is cooperative and accommodating when you work with her through the VDA process. She truly goes above and beyond to support the holder community while representing the interests of Pennsylvania. She comes from a place of ‘how can I help you.’ We need a Barb Benkovic in every state.”
  • Overall Excellence Award: Alaska. The Unclaimed Property Team in Alaska, especially Rachel Lewis, takes the time to explain the ins and outs of Alaska’s functions to “newbies.” They are very helpful to those who aren’t fully aware of how state escheatment works.
  • Industry Advocacy Partnership Award: DuCharme, McMillan & Associates (DMA). DuCharme, McMillian, & Associates has developed end-to-end unclaimed property software that greatly automates the compliance process and provides a clear path to the customer.  The software sends emails to owners in the first 90 days after upload, generates an informal due diligence letter to be mailed in the second 90 days, has the ability to notify users when a response is received from an owner and provides workflows for each property from Import to Report and Remit based on state laws and owner responses.
  • State Legislative Award: Rhode Island. This state implemented the “Your Money” program, for which the treasurer’s office actively seeks to repay owners.

Awards of Merit

This award is given to member organizations that have provided exceptional support to UPPO during the past years. Three member companies received this award for providing their services pro bono to write an amicus brief for UPPO to submit to the court hearing the Office Depot case. Receiving the award at the conference were the representatives from those companies who worked on the amicus brie: For Alston & Bird, Ethan Millar; for Baily Cavalieri LLC, James Ryan and Jameel Turner; and for McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvany and Carpenter LLC, Michael Rato.


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-Paul Descloux, who co-chairs the Finance Committee and worked diligently to analyze UPPO’s membership data, allowing the committee to thoughtfully consider UPPO’s dues and make recommendations to the board.
  • Emily Ford, who coordinated the popular industry breakout sessions at the annual conference for the second year. She also participated on the speaker subcommittee to place speakers and review presentations, and assisted with the development of the ice-breaker questions on the meal-room tables.  
  • Adriane Counts, who, as co-chair of the On-demand Virtual Education Subcommittee, worked diligently to shape the offerings for the on-demand webinars that are part of the basic and soon-to-be-launched intermediate certificate program.

Shining Star Awards

Several UPPO members received Shining Star honors for their “shining brightly to help guide the way.” They are:

  • David Knott, co-chair of the Claimants Representative Committee
  • Jim Harris, co-chair of the Claimants Representative Committee
  • Jason Higginbotham, co-chair of the Certificate Program Subcommittee
  • Ann Loperfito, co-facilitator of the Industry Focus Conference Calls
  • Jeannette Badalucco, co-facilitator of the Industry Focus Conference Calls
  • Will King, co-chair of the Conference and Seminars Committee
  • Leigh Underwood, co-chair of the Conference and Seminars Committee
  • Robert Joseph, co-chair of the Conference and Seminars Committee
  • Eric Mauldin, co-chair of the Virtual Learning Paid-live Subcommittee

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. This year’s recipient, Sam Schaunaman, has become a “household name” within the UPPO family. He has worked tirelessly on a number of UPPO committees, but is perhaps best known for his work with the Government Relations and Advocacy Committee. With a passion for the law and monitoring important legal cases that shaped the unclaimed property landscape, he has provided regular legal updates on the monthly GRAC calls and made sure important case law was added to UPPO’s govWATCH service. He has attended almost every UPPO annual conference for over two decades. He has been a mentor to many in this industry and will be sorely missed as he begins to enjoy retirement, spending much deserved time with his family. 


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, Karen Anderson has served multiple times, in multiple positions on UPPO’s board of directors and most recently serves on the Government Relations and Advocacy Committee as one of its three co-chairs. This year, she will is taking on a new role as chair of the Holders Coalition.


The second recipient, Heela Popal has served UPPO for many years, most recently on the board of directors. As a member of the UPPO Board, serving through the chairs to her most recent role as immediate past president, she has demonstrated great leadership skills and has clearly helped to advance UPPO’s mission.


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



Tags:  awards  unclaimed property  UPPO Annual Conference 

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UPPO Annual Conference Wrap-up

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 8, 2018

More than 600 unclaimed property professionals gathered in Tampa, Florida, on March 4 – 7 for UPPO’s 2018 Annual Conference. Attendees enjoyed a multitude of networking opportunities, special events and educational sessions.


Educational Sessions

The foundation of the UPPO Annual Conference is its strong educational lineup. This year’s event included four educational tracks, providing basic, intermediate and advanced sessions along with industry-specific workshops. The session agenda included all of today’s hot topics in unclaimed property, including Delaware reforms, virtual currency, audits and compliance challenges.


Attendees also heard from state administrators during the According to the States session, got insight into unclaimed property audit litigation through the Mock Trial session, and enjoyed a keynote presentation from speaker, sales coach and author Bud Boughton. 


State of UPPO

2017/18 UPPO President Carla McGlynn provided attendees with an update on the association’s recent work and ongoing initiatives. The year’s highlights included membership growth, development for the upcoming certificate program expansion and establishment of a grassroots advocacy network.


“Thanks to the members of our board, along with numerous committees, work groups, and staff, we’ve achieved great things this year,” McGlynn said.


2018/19 Board of Directors

McGlynn thanked members of the 2017/18 UPPO Board of Directors for their service and recognized departing board members Heela Popal and Sherri Moll for their years of leadership. She then turned the gavel over to her successor as UPPO Executive Director Toni Nuernberg installed the new board:

  • President Marilyn Henry
  • First Vice President Troy Wangen
  • Second Vice President Heather Steffans
  • Treasurer Chris Jensen
  • Secretary Jennifer Waryjas
  • Midwestern Vice President Becky Stephens
  • Eastern Vice President Mike Ryan
  • Southern Vice President Michelle Graf
  • Western Vice President Lisa Linden
  • Immediate Past President Carla McGlynn

Upon her installation as 2018/19 president, Marilyn Henry discussed her commitment to continuing the organization’s momentum and building on successes from the past year.


“As we work to reach more potential members, we will look for opportunities to build on our valuable benefits," she said.


UPPO Scholarship

Each year at the Annual Convention, the association announces the winner of the UPPO Scholarship. To foster an environment of continuing education, UPPO established its scholarship program to financially assist members and their children who wish to continue their education in college or vocational school programs. This year’s recipients are Anne Mickey, daughter of UPPO member Michele Hughes; and Jeremy Walsh, son of UPPO member Kendall Houghton.


Attendees wishing to support the UPPO Scholarship Program participated in a Pirate Water Taxi tour of the Tampa area and donated to the program during the conference.


Sponsors and Exhibitors

The UPPO Annual Conference would not be possible without the support of sponsors and exhibitors. Thank you to all of the vendors who helped make this year’s event a success.



  • True Partners Consulting LLC
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
  • Altus Group
  • Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
  • Duff & Phelps
  • Morris Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP
  • JMS Advisory Group LLC
  • Alston & Bird LLP
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • Finders International
  • MarketSphere Unclaimed Property Specialists
  • McDermott Will & Emery
  • Ryan LLC
  • Keane
  • Boomerang Asset Recovery LLC
  • Crowe Horwath LLP
  • Reed Smith LLP



  • Altus Group
  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP
  • Boomerang Asset Recovery LLC
  • Crowe Horwath LLP
  • DuCharme, McMillen & Associates Inc.
  • Duff & Phelps
  • Dunbar
  • Eagle Technology Management Inc.
  • Financial Software Innovations Inc.
  • Georgeson LLC
  • Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM)
  • JMS Advisorry Group LLC
  • Keane
  • MarketSphere Unclaimed Property Specialists
  • Navigant
  • New York Post
  • NY Daily News
  • Phoenix Finders Group
  • Ryan LLC
  • Shareholders Services Association (SSA)
  • Trintech
  • True Partners Consulting LLC
  • Yellow Tag Auctions


Mark Your Calendar

Thank you to attendees, speakers and members who helped plan this year’s conference, without whom it could not have been such a success. Plan to join us next year in New Orleans on March 24 – 27 for the 2019 UPPO Annual Conference. Planning is already underway, and it’s sure to be another great event.


Want to get more out of your conference experience or learn more about what you missed? Join us for a free member webinar at 1 p.m. EDT on March 28, featuring conference speakers sharing their experience and what they took away from the event.



Tags:  education  unclaimed property  UPPO Annual Conference 

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Attending the UPPO Annual Conference? Explore Tampa

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 21, 2018

In addition to unmatched educational and networking opportunities, the 2018 UPPO Annual Conference presents a chance for attendees to take advantage of a great location, Tampa, Florida.



Tampa offers plenty of fun for adults and kids alike. One of the largest zoos in North America, Busch Gardens offers a chance to get up close and personal with exotic animals and to feel the exhilaration of some of Florida’s best roller coasters and thrill rides. If the thrills of a theme park are a little too thrilling for you, take in a bit of history at the Henry B. Plant Museum. The museum uses educational exhibits and events to help visitors explore the late Victorian period, the beginning of Florida’s tourist industry, and the early years of the city of Tampa. 


Other popular attractions include:


Looking for some retail therapy? Hyde Park Village features popular shops, unique boutiques and great dining in a delightful outdoor environment. International Plaza and Bay Street includes 200 stores and 16 restaurants in an enclosed mall with an adjacent open-air village.



Once a hub for Tampa’s cigar industry, Ybor City has channeled its Cuban, Spanish and Italian cultures into its range of popular entertainment options. Club Prana is one of the city’s most eclectic dance clubs, featuring five levels and a mix of hip-hop, reggae, latin and dance music. Gaspar’s Grotto pays tribute all year long to the famous pirate invasion celebrated annually during the Gasparilla Celebration. Tampa Bay Brewing Company offers a more laidback environment and some of the city’s best microbrews.


While visiting Ybor City, make sure to try a Cuban sandwich or paella a la valenciana at Columbia Restaurant, Florida’s oldest restaurant. Most nights feature a Flamenco show for just a few bucks more.



For more than 60 years, Bern’s Steak House has been serving up char-grilled steaks, delicious sides and selections from a massive 7,000+ vintage wine menu. If you’d rather take full advantage of Tampa’s proximity to the ocean, Oystercatchers features locally sourced seafood and magnificent views of Tampa Bay.


If you’re up for a little experimentation, try Edison Food + Drink Lab. This unique restaurant’s industrial science theme is evident in everything from creative menu items to the lab-inspired décor.


Enjoy your time in Tampa!

Tags:  UPPO annual conference 

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