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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 Announces Annual Members’ Choice Award Winners

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, June 23, 2020

With its annual 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:

 

Unclaimed Property State Representative of the Year

The Unclaimed Property State Representative of the Year Members’ Choice Award recognizes a state administrator or staff person who has gone above and beyond to assist the holder community.

 

UPPO members chose Tom Egler and Debra Cancel from Florida to receive this honor. Tom is exemplary in his willingness to assist holders with reporting dilemmas, including online upload and portal access. Debra is quick to provide missing holder numbers and answer reporting question. This reporting and compliance duo are truly “best in class” and balance the state and owner interests with encouraging appropriate holder compliance.

 

Unclaimed Property State of the Year

The Unclaimed Property State of the Year Members’ Choice Award honors a state that has a holder-friendly approach across the entire program and staff, including a user-friendly website and accessibility to pertinent compliance information, as well as a commitment to engaging the holder community.

 

UPPO members chose Pennsylvania as this year’s winner. Pennsylvania and its representative, Barbara Benkovic, are helpful, reasonable and responsive. Pennsylvania has earned a reputation for genuinely caring about building solid holder relationships.

 

Advocacy Partner of the Year

The Advocacy Partner of the Year Members’ Choice Award recognizes the industry stakeholder group that has achieved significant positive change for the unclaimed property community or has advocated vigorously for change in a particular area of unclaimed property compliance and enforcement.

 

UPPO members chose American Bankers Association for the assistance it provided to the Holders’ Coalition and UPPO’s Government Relations and Advocacy Committee in providing legislative information and local contacts with “feet on the ground,” which facilitated education of legislators and others on issues of importance to holders.

 

Legislation of the Year

The Legislation of the Year Members’ Choice Award is given to the governor and treasurer (or the highest appointed or elected official responsible for overseeing unclaimed property) of the state having the best piece of legislation that advances not only significant change in unclaimed property compliance but also one or all of the follow guiding principles:

  • Increases clarity.
  • Establishes or recommits to fairness for all stakeholders.
  • Establishes rules consistent and uniform of other states.

 

UPPO members chose Tennessee for pending legislation, S.B. 1634, which awaits approval by the governor. If enacted, this bill would increase the holding period for securities remitted to the state and prevent remitted securities liquidation for an extended period of time.

 

Congratulations to this year’s winners and thank you for your work with the unclaimed property community.

Tags:  awards  unclaimed property 

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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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UPPO Honors 2018/19 Award Winners

Posted By Tim Dressen, UPPO, Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2019

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: Pennsylvania’s website is user-friendly with all of the necessary compliance information and forms clearly labeled and easily located. 
  • Above and Beyond Award: Allen Mayer, chief of staff to Treasurer Frerichs of Illinois,  devoted many hours to our unclaimed property team over the phone explaining the nuances and intent of Illinois’ RUUPA. He also kept us updated on legislative and technical correction activity in the state.
  • Overall Excellence Award: Louisiana allows all holder types to be filed simultaneously; allows optional, user-friendly online reporting; offers an informal VDA process with consideration for waiving penalties and interest; and does not require negative reports or report notarization.
  • Industry Advocacy Partnership Award: Pennsylvania Department of Labor receives this award for renewed enforcement efforts regarding lost pension plan participants.
  • State Legislative Award: Pennsylvania implemented a change to its unclaimed property policy regarding securities, which was clarified through legislation. The change allowed the state to ensure that shareholders would not lose the benefit of their investments through escheatment as a result of mere inactivity. Rather, Pennsylvania implemented an RPO requirement prior to accepting transfer of shares.  

 

Awards of Merit

This award is given to member organizations that have provided exceptional support to UPPO during the past years. During the past year, UPPO has been working to introduce legislation to establish a VDA program in the state of California. Two member companies have led our efforts, and their work has earned them this year’s Award of Merit. Receiving the award at the conference were the representatives from those companies who worked so hard on this project: For True Partners Consulting, Cathleen Bucholtz, and for Alston & Bird, Kendall Houghton.

 

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:

  • Tom Powers, a GRAC work group leader who has really stepped forward this year to offer his knowledge and expertise in the area of banking and finance. Not only has Tom worked directly with UPPO, but he has also become an active member of the Holders Coalition. He has regularly stepped forward to assist in analyzing proposed legislation and to educate other members. He has also agreed to step up even more this next year and will co-chair GRAC.
  • Ann Fulmer, a co-chair of the on-demand webinar subcommittee. This was a challenging year for the group, and her leadership skills were instrumental in taking on those challenges. Charged with developing content for two intermediate certificate program webinars, the group found that developing content was more involved than it has been for basic tier webinars. Ann kept the project on task, despite the roadblocks.  
  • Sonja Roman-Molina, co-chair of UPPO’s Member Services Committee. As a leader of multiple work groups for this committee, she has played an instrumental role in projects that increase member value. She also conducts member retention calls to help our membership thrive.

 

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:

  • David Knott, co-chair of the Claimants Representative Committee
  • Jim Harris, co-chair of the Claimants Representative Committee
  • Randy Hotz, member of the Claimants Representative Committee
  • Dana Terry, member of GRAC and the Holders Coalition work group addressing the IRS ruling regarding IRAs
  • Jen Borden, member of GRAC and the Holders Coalition work group addressing the IRS ruling regarding IRAs
  • Nancy Kovala, co-chair of the Leadership Development and Nominating Committees
  • Michelle Andre, co-chair of the Government Relations and Advocacy Committee
  • Sonia Walwyn, co-chair of the Ethics Committee
  • Nora O’Connor, chair of the Bylaws Committee

 

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, Robert Joseph has served UPPO for many years on the Conference and Seminar Committee volunteering countless hours in helping to develop programming for the annual conference, reviewed many presentations, helped to select great speakers, and numerous other projects. Although he is stepping off of the Conference and Seminar Committee, he has accepted a new assignment as co-chair of the Leadership Development Committee. 

 

The second recipient, Carla McGlynn has served UPPO for many years, most recently serving on the board of directors. As a member of the UPPO Board, serving through the chairs to her current 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 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 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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