Meet 2019/20 UPPO President Troy Wangen
Originally appeared at uppo.org
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Like many UPPO members, Troy Wangen didn’t anticipate a career in unclaimed property upon graduating from college and seeking his first professional position. In fact, he barely knew what unclaimed property was when he applied for a job at Deloitte & Touche LLP, which was hiring in Bismarck, North Dakota, after graduating with a BA in accounting and business administration from University of Mary.
“I applied because I wanted to work at a ‘Big Four’ accounting firm,” Wangen said. “I got the job and, lo and behold, working with and learning from people like Val Jundt, Pam Wentz and Heela Popal – staples in UPPO and the unclaimed property world – led me down this path. Thirteen years later, I’m the president of UPPO.”
Troy worked at Deloitte in Boston from 2006 – 2009, when the company sold its unclaimed property practice to Thomson Reuters, where he stayed until the end of 2010. In 2011, True Partners Consulting hired him to start an unclaimed property office in its Chicago headquarters.
Troy currently serves as a managing director in True Partners Consulting’s Unclaimed Property Practice. He specializes in the development of strategic defense for unclaimed property audits, including working directly with state administrators/representatives on audit issues and negotiating settlement agreements.
“What really makes me want to come to work every day are my client relations and building those up,” Wangen said. “For a lot of them, unclaimed property compliance was something they had assigned to them. Helping them show they can be successful at managing unclaimed property is rewarding.”
In 2010, Troy attended his first UPPO Annual Conference. He quickly experienced the benefit of networking and learning how other companies were dealing with the same issues he worked on at Deloitte. Soon, former Deloitte coworker Heela Popal asked him to get involved in UPPO’s new Virtual Learning Subcommittee. Eventually, he became chair.
His committee work led to an appointment to the board’s secretary position in 2015, when the current secretary, Carla McGlynn, was elected as second vice president. Two years later, Troy was elected second vice president, resulting in his progression to first vice president last year and, today, 2019/20 president.
This is a significant year for UPPO, as the organization kicks off a new, three-year strategic plan. The plan includes a new vision statement – “UPPO is the bridge between our members and the states to identify and implement common ground solutions to benefit all stakeholders” – along with goals in the areas of advocacy, public perception, state relations and education.
“A lot of work has been done in some of the areas covered by the plan, but now we get to take that work and really drive it forward,” Wangen said. “As states are implementing their legislation inspired by RUUPA, continuing to build relationships with the states is very important. Our new vision statement highlights that. Also, our board this year is really going to look at who our members are and what that means for dues, service offerings and education. We need to really understand who is benefiting from UPPO and what we can do to help them be more successful.”
When Troy isn’t focusing on the world of unclaimed property, he has a wide variety of hobbies that keep him busy. He loves to travel, whether for weekend trips within the United States or longer vacations internationally. He tries to see as many Broadway shows in New York and touring versions in Chicago as possible, and he enjoys Chicago’s fantastic restaurant scene.
“Although it may be perceived as the opposite of some of my other hobbies, I’m also a NASCAR fan,” Wangen said. “After attending one race with friends, I was hooked. Although a lot of the drivers my friends and I follow have retired, we still try to take in a race or two a year.”