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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 tim@uppo.org 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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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.

 

Sponsors

  • 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
  • KPMG LLP
  • MarketSphere Unclaimed Property Specialists
  • McDermott Will & Emery
  • RSM US LLP
  • Ryan LLC
  • Keane
  • Boomerang Asset Recovery LLC
  • Crowe Horwath LLP
  • Reed Smith LLP

 

Exhibitors

  • 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.

 

Attractions

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:

Shops

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.

 

Nightlife

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.

 

Restaurants

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!

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Attending the UPPO Annual Conference? Explore Austin

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 9, 2017

In addition to unmatched educational and networking opportunities, the 2017 UPPO Annual Conference presents a chance for attendees to take advantage of a great location, Austin, Texas. Best known for its diverse music scene, Austin offers visitors a multitude of sightseeing, dining, shopping and entertainment options. Following are several of Austin’s many worthwhile destinations to consider while in town.

 

Entertainment

A trip to Austin would not be complete without live music. The city boasts dozens of music venues and one of the best local scenes anywhere. A few of the most popular live music bars and clubs are:

 

Restaurants

Dining options abound in Austin, so it shouldn’t have a difficult time finding something to please even the most refined tastes. Popular choices for Mexican food include La Condesa and Torchy’s Tacos. If you’re craving great barbeque, try La Barbecue or Stubbs Bar-B-Q. You’ll find upscale Thai and Chinese cuisine at Sway Thai and Wu Chow, respectively. And if you’re seeking dining options as quirky as Austin itself, check out Hillside Farmacy, a former pharmacy, or Launderette, a former laundromat.

 

Attractions

The Texas Capitol building is one of the most iconic statehouses in the nation. Located less than a mile from the UPPO conference site, the 128-year-old capitol is open to the public and features free guided and self-guided tours.

 

Presidential history buffs can explore the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, which features exhibits, events and information dedicated to the life and political career of the 36th U.S. president.

 

Visitors who are interested in taking in some art while in Austin will love the city’s many galleries and museums, including:

  • Blanton Museum of Art, featuring nearly 18,00 works of art, including European paintings, prints and drawing, and American and Latin American contemporary art
  • Mexic-Arte Museum, dedicated to the work of Mexican and Latino artists
  • Yard Dog, a gallery showcasing eclectic pop art and folk art from around the world, including several artists who are also well-known musicians
  • HOPE Outdoor Gallery, a community art park also known as Graffiti Park, featuring the work of street artists and muralists

 

Whether you’re interested in getting some exercise or simply enjoying the outdoors, Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail offers a 10-mile of biking, jogging and walking trail and boardwalk. Its location in downtown Austin provides visitors with a nature getaway in the midst of a bustling city.

 

Shops

Austin is filled with unique, independent retail shops for every taste, some of them unlike anything you’ll find at home. A self-described “emporium of transcendent junk,” Uncommon Objects brings together two dozen antique sellers offering vintage books, jewelry, art, collectables and assorted oddities.

 

If you miss the days of flipping through albums rather than downloading mp3s, Austin has you covered. Waterloo Records, Breakaway Records and End of an Era are a few of the city’s most popular independent record stores.

 

Looking for designer fashions? Try Kick Pleat, Olive and By George. If vintage is more your style, Feathers Boutique, Blue Velvet or Charm School Vintage. Or, if you live by the old adage, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” head to Allens Boots and Callahan’s General Store will meet your western wear needs.

 

Explore

Austin has a lot to offer. If you really want to go get a feel for the city, start by exploring the shopping and entertainment districts surrounding the JW Marriott Austin, the UPPO Annual Conference location:

  • 2nd Street District, featuring shops and restaurants
  • Warehouse District, home to some of the city’s best music venues and dining options
  • Sixth Street, reflecting the eclectic vibe for which Austin is known, including entertainment venues, dining and bars to meet most tastes

 

Enjoy your time in Austin!

 

 

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UPPO Honors Annual Award Winners

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 29, 2016

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.

 

Member’s Choice Awards

With the Member’s Choice Awards, UPPO recognizes specific state administrators, staff, and unclaimed property programs for their excellence. Conference attendees chose the winners from a slate of nominees, and the winners were announced during “The State Talk”. Congratulations to this year’s recipients:

  • Above & Beyond award: Walter Graham, Florida
  • Website award: Indiana
  • Overall excellence award: Michigan

 

Awards of Merit

This award is given to member organizations that have provided exceptional support to UPPO. Reed Smith, Bailey Cavalieri, McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, and Alston & Bird received this honor for working collaboratively to represent UPPO on a pro bono basis, producing an amicus curiea brief for the Taylor v. Yee case being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

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:

  • John Waite, who initiated the recommendation of the owner representatives education and networking group to the board of directors.
  • Jennifer Borden, who assisted Uniform Law Commission and UPPO representatives better understand the securities industry as they work toward a clear, concise and fair Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act.
  • Adriane Counts, who led the on-demand virtual education subcommittee, turning it into an effective and efficient group that provided education to membership and the UPPO Certificate Program.  

 

Shining Star Awards

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

  • Rick Mah, for his sustainable and forward-thinking attitude and guidance on the UPPO Scholarship Program.
  • Karen Anderson and Chris Hopkins, for their leadership and guidance on the consolidated reporting issue that UPPO and Nevada are working together on.
  • Leigh Underwood, for her leading the development and successful launch of the new certificate program.
  • John Paul (J.P.) DeCloux, for developing a system to help the Finance Committee consider project ROI and analyze the lifetime value of members based on current membership factors.
  • Chris Powers, for recommending a change to UPPO’s credit card processor, which will save the association approximately $10,000 annually.
  • Jon Hallack, for working to reform Michigan’s audit procedures.

 

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. Kendall Houghton and Debbie Zumoff received this award for their tireless leadership representing UPPO at the ULC Drafting Committee meetings.

 

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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