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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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Certificate Program Offers a Unique Unclaimed Property Professional Development Opportunity

Posted By Contribution from Becky Stephens, 2018/19 UPPO midwestern vice president, Thursday, July 5, 2018

On July 11, 2018, the UPPO Certificate Program will open for enrollment. For the first time, the program includes two tiers – basic and intermediate. 


When then-president Karen Anderson asked me at the UPPO Annual Conference in March 2013 to chair a task force that would conduct research, analyze the feasibility and costs, and prepare a formal recommendation to the UPPO Board of Directors regarding certificate programs, I had no idea how well this educational offering would be received by UPPO members. Late in 2013, the Education Exploratory Task Force made its recommendations to the UPPO Board of Directors, which heartily endorsed and approved the proposal. The UPPO Certificate Program was born.


UPPO members met the initial offering of the basic certificate tier with great enthusiasm, and all seats sold out within 15 minutes of registration opening. Since the program’s inception, more than 135 participants have successfully completed the basic certificate program. Congratulations to all who have participated, completed the program and received their certificates. 


The next logical step was creating the curriculum and courses to be offered for the intermediate certificate tier, the next level of education for individuals who have completed the basic certificate program. To be eligible for the intermediate certificate, you must have successfully completed the basic certificate program. The Certificate Program Subcommittee, a roster of seasoned unclaimed property professionals who have dedicated many years to understanding the complexity of unclaimed property regulations, has been hard at work developing this next phase.


Below are seven reasons to participate in either the basic or intermediate tiers. Perhaps one of them will help to persuade your employer to enroll you in the certificate program.

  1. Be acknowledged internally for your expertise. What we do as unclaimed property professionals isn’t always understood by our employers, but the meaning of being a certificate holder within your profession is understood. Universally, holding a certificate means that you hold a certain level of expertise and had to complete quantifiable goals to receive it. 
  2. Become more effective and confident in your responsibilities. You’ll learn the fundamentals of compliance at a deeper level than you could in one educational session. 
  3. Be one of the first in your organization to hang the unclaimed property certificate above your desk. Whether it’s the basic tier or the intermediate tier, this is an achievement of which to be proud. (My certificate is on display for everyone to see when they visit my desk.)
  4. For managers with new employees, use this as a long-term training solution for your newer employees. It will teach and reteach topics throughout the year – to relieve you from providing that continued education new professionals demand and need. 
  5. Grow as a professional. It’s always good to challenge yourself and learn something new. 
  6. Earn CPE while you learn. For every live webinar and in-person educational session you attend at the Annual Conference through the certificate program, you’ll be eligible to earn one CPE credit. 
  7. Be able to provide feedback and improve the program for future classes of the program. The program has been reviewed and tested, and we think it’s pretty awesome, but we’ll want your honest opinions about how to make this better for future participants. 
For more information, visit the certificate program web page, and watch for registration to open on July 11 at noon CDT. 

Tags:  certificate program  education  professional development 

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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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UPPO members play an essential role in growing membership

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 12, 2017

The value of a professional organization like UPPO comes from strength in numbers. As membership grows, more knowledgeable individuals share their experiences and work to tackle common issues. So, it makes sense that recruiting new members is viewed as an essential, unending task for the organization.


Potential members often learn about UPPO from current members who are eager to spread the word about the organization’s benefits.


“The best individuals to sell the value that UPPO delivers are the members who have experienced it themselves,” said Chris Jensen, director of abandoned and unclaimed property compliance for Ryan. “Members can provide real-life examples about how they rely on other members to get questions answered or to come up with ideas to improve processes.”


When speaking with potential members, Jensen often touts three specific areas where UPPO shines:

  • Education: Webinars and the annual conference provide high quality education for professionals at all levels of experience.
  • Networking: Unclaimed property is such a niche profession that only those who are involved in it fully understand it. The ability to tap into that group’s knowledge is invaluable.
  • Advocacy: More than ever, holders and service providers need a voice fighting for them. Increasingly, UPPO gives them that voice.

James Santivanez, president and co-founder of JMS Advisory Group, believes encouraging client holders to become members builds greater trust.


“When our clients talk to other holders in their specific industry, they quickly learn that our advice and counsel is substantive and in line with what they’re learning,” he said. “That validation builds confidence and trust. If you have interested and engaged clients, you want them to be educated and to build their own knowledge base.”


Some of the other benefits that often resonate with potential members include tools and resources available on the UPPO website, including the Jurisdiction Resource Guide; and legislative and regulatory tracking via govWATCH.


“Any organization is going to be more valuable with as many intelligent inputs as you can gather,” Santivanez said. “It’s such an inclusive organization, whether you want to get involved in leadership, volunteer for committees, or just show up and quietly learn.”


As a token of appreciate for members who refer new members and to encourage member references, UPPO thanks recruiting members with a $100 gift card. To learn more about UPPO’s Membership Recruitment Program, access a digital version of the UPPO member packet or request printed copies, visit UPPO’s member referral web page.



Tags:  advocacy  education  membership  networking  recruitment  UPPO 

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UPPO members play essential role in growing membership

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 27, 2016

Whether it’s educating holders, working to ensure fair regulation or bringing unclaimed property professionals together, UPPO’s initiatives depend on a large, active membership. Growing membership helps strengthen the organization and the profession it represents, so recruiting new members is an unending task.


Fortunately, many potential members learn about UPPO from current members who recognize the benefits of bringing more people into the organization.


Mike Ryan, senior vice president at Georgeson, has recruited several UPPO members. He often speaks to industry groups about unclaimed property issues, and includes a discussion about UPPO and its resources for holders within his presentations. Individual conversations with attendees at these events also often include encouragement to join.


“The greatest thing about UPPO is the networking—the sharing of ideas and things that work and don’t work,” Ryan says. “The more members we have, the more experiences we can tap into.”


Ryan finds that potential members are often intrigued by the ability to connect with peers who share similar issues and speak the same industry jargon. He frequently shares the benefit of the industry breakout groups at the UPPO Annual Conference and the online member forum.


“If someone handling unclaimed property for a bank, for example, knows the annual conference will likely be attended by peers from 20 other banks who understand the issues they’re dealing with and are willing to share, they want to be there too,” Ryan says.


Randy Hotz, president of Choice Plus LLC, recently referred a new member to UPPO. They first met at a Michigan Senate finance committee hearing and had a series of subsequent conversations. Several times, while talking about unclaimed property issues, Hotz mentioned UPPO’s work and encouraged membership.


He focused on the association’s long track record of advocacy, professional reputation and positive standing among stakeholders, including holders, the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, individual state administrators, the American Bar Association and the Uniform Law Commission. Soon, his encouragement paid off in the form of a new UPPO member.


“For people truly interested in getting involved, it’s not that difficult to sell them on the benefit of membership,” Hotz says. The trick is identifying those people who are a little more active and motivated.”


In addition to the networking, conference and advocacy benefits, some of the other benefits that often resonate with potential members include:

  • Educational webinars and events
  • Tools and resources available on the website, including the Jurisdiction Resource Guide
  • Legislative and regulatory tracking via govWATCH  


As a token of appreciation for members who refer new members and to encourage member references, UPPO thanks referrals with a $100 gift card. To learn more about UPPO’s Membership Referral Program, access a digital version of the UPPO member packet or request printed copies, visit UPPO’s member referral web page.



Tags:  advocacy  education  membership  networking  recruitment  UPPO 

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Certificate program provides unique opportunities for education and development

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Since its inception, the Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization (UPPO) has made training one of its cornerstones. To give members a well-defined path to gain a well-rounded education in unclaimed property and to demonstrate their professionalism and knowledge, UPPO introduced the Unclaimed Property Certificate Program last year.


The inaugural group of 30 participants recently completed the program. The level of education provided as part of the certificate program surprised and impressed several of the first-year participants.


“It really showed me what I did and didn’t know,” says Shaunna Glogoza, accounts payable lead and unclaimed property clerk for Landauer, who has worked in unclaimed property for four years. “It’s easy to take for granted some of the fundamentals and think you know it all. I was expecting to simply refresh my existing knowledge and earn the certificate. I wasn’t expecting to get as much out of it as I did.”


Achieving the certificate requires completion of a series of live and on-demand webinars and UPPO Annual Conference sessions, along with a passing grade on quizzes following each education session. Topics include due diligence, dormancy, record retention, non-compliance liability, and timely remitting and reporting. See the full curriculum.


One of the many benefits of the program is the inclusion of all aspects of unclaimed property. Because practices and requirements vary by state, property type and industry, even people who have been handling unclaimed property for several years may not understand the nuances that don’t apply to their day-to-day responsibilities.


“Having worked in all areas of unclaimed property for about five years, I went into the program thinking it would be really easy,” says Jessica Rogers, unclaimed property administrator at Lincoln Financial Group. “But it put me in my place. The value far exceeded my expectations. I definitely learned a lot.”


In addition to the knowledge gained through participation in the program, achieving a certificate demonstrates a commitment to professionalism. It can build self-confidence of certificate recipients and the confidence of others.


“People have more trust in you if you’ve been through a formal educational program like this,” says Jason Higginbotham, CAPM, manager at Crowe Horwath LLP. “As a holder advocate, it helps me differentiate myself to be able to say I’ve been through the UPPO certificate program.”


The inaugural year certificate program participants are excited not only to have been part of the first group to achieve certificates, but also at the possibility for expansion of the program. Ideas include offering certificates for multiple tiers—beginner, intermediate and advanced. In fact, Higginbotham, who serves on the Certificate Program Subcommittee, says these are among the program’s long-term goals.


With registration opening on July 12 for a new class of participants, now is the time to consider whether it’s worth pursuing a certificate. Those who have been through it respond to this question with a resounding, “yes.”


“It’s absolutely worth it,” Glogoza says. “The amount you will learn can easily be applied to what you do every day. It’s one of those, ‘You don’t know what you don’t know until you find out’ things. Even people who have been in unclaimed property for several years can learn from it, so it’s definitely worth it.”


Higginbotham concurs. “There’s no other program out there for unclaimed property professionals that compares to this one,” he says. “If you work for a holder, this is the perfect way to get a broad introduction to unclaimed property and the only end-to-end overview of everything you need to know. If you’re a holder advocate, this is a good way to demonstrate to clients that you not only have the experience but also the education to represent them effectively.”


Learn more about the UPPO Unclaimed Property Certificate Program and watch for registration to open for the 2016/17 certificate program on July 12 a noon CDT/1 p.m. EDT. It will be limited to 65 members.


Tags:  certificate program  education  professional development  training  unclaimed property 

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