Media Contact: Shelli King

Tennessee Unclaimed Property Director Wins National Award

Gabriel receives award from Treasurer LoftisNASHVILLE, TN – The director of the Tennessee Treasury Department Unclaimed Property Division, John Gabriel, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award today from the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), part of the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST). The NAUPA Lifetime Achievement Award is the association’s highest honor presented to individuals who have worked diligently in the unclaimed property arena for many years. Recipients have excelled in their careers inside and outside of their state or corporate boundaries.

“I am incredibly proud of John and all of his accomplishments,” ­­State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr., said. “John is a well-known leader in the Unclaimed Property field across the country and an outstanding director for us at home in the Tennessee Treasury Department.”

This is the first time Tennessee has won this honor. John has worked for the Tennessee Treasury Department in the Unclaimed Property Division for 19 years, first as an operations manager and then serving as the Director since 2005.

“When I think about the people who have won this award before me, I honored to be included in this group,” said John Gabriel.  “The past winners have helped mold NAUPA, and it is an amazing honor to receive this award from those I respect so very much.”

Under John’s leadership the program launched an online portal,, where anyone is able to search for unclaimed property and file a claim for any missing money that belongs to them. Since the introduction of the website, the division has seen significant increases in the number of claims. In FY 2016 the division returned 41,827 claims to their rightful owners, a 28% increase in claims over FY15.

About the Division of Unclaimed Property:
Unclaimed property is money that has been turned over to the State by businesses and organizationswho cannot locate the rightful owners. Every year, millions of missing dollars are turned over, and the Tennessee Treasury Department works to get that money back to whom it belongs. This includes intangible assets such as bank accounts, stock certificates, checks, unclaimed wages, refunds, and gift certificates. At the end of FY16, there was $789.2 million in unclaimed property in Tennessee still waiting to be claimed.

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About NAUPA:
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) increases awareness of unclaimed property as a vital consumer protection program. It is the foremost authority on unclaimed property and the affirmed leader of the coalition of states, administrators, and holders working together to reunite rightful owners with their property.

The purpose of the association is to promote and strengthen unclaimed property administration and interstate cooperation in order to enhance States' return of unclaimed property to rightful owners and provide a forum for the open exchange of information and ideas.