The Treasury Star Award recognition program is a formal process that allows employees to nominate anyone in the department based on how the nominee aligns with the 3 foundational building blocks of Treasury’s Strategic Plan: Employee Engagement, Culture of Service, and Continuous Improvement.
Working in Unclaimed Property for 18 years has given Star Award winner Carrie Best a thorough operational knowledge of a department with literally thousands of moving parts. As a departmental analyst, she trains staff, liaisons with vendors, troubleshoots the KAPS system, takes care of support tickets, evaluates CSR calls and even does some claims processing.
Starting as a customer service representative/calculations assistant, then moving into supervisory and analyst roles has given Carrie a broad view of Unclaimed Properties and clarified what she likes best about her job: it’s a little bit of everything. She enjoys researching a difficult claim or problem-solving a KAPS system issue, and she likes the challenge of reuniting claimants with their property.
Carrie recounted an incident that occurred during her first year that helped her understand how meaningful it could be to work in Unclaimed Property.
“I was finally trained on phones and taking calls without a trainer sitting there listening. A lady called and asked me to check to see if she had any lost property. She is chatting as I look up her information, telling me all about her daughter who is going into college. I tell the customer that I’ve found something and that it is kind of a lot….then I asked her if she needed to sit down because I could tell by her voice she was already shocked.
“The woman was getting over $16,000 in child support back-payment and she started to cry — the money was going to help put her daughter through school! So that was pretty awesome.”
“I always begin with the understanding that ‘this isn’t our money’,” said Carrie. “We’re trying to get it back to the rightful owners or their heirs, and I appreciate being able to assist people with the knowledge I have after 18 years in the department. There’s still stuff I don’t know, but I’m willing to research and work to help others be successful.”
Stephanie Weeks nominated Carrie for the Star Award and underscores Carrie’s abilities as a go-to office resource who is relied upon for her depth and breadth of departmental experience.
“Carrie worked for months to help develop a tool that would automatically assign work to our staff and has continued to fine-tune it with our developers to try to get each aspect right,” Stephanie commented. “This feature allows the staff to refill their work queues as needed without having to ask for someone else to do it. Her demeanor may appear reserved, but her impact is enormous.
“She does an amazing job of keeping the staff informed, along with seeking solutions for any issues that may arise — which is just about every day!” added Weeks. “Carrie works on improvements for our system, office and general processes with the goal of making our work and service more efficient. Long story long, she’s an exemplary employee and without her, I think a lot of us would be lost.”
Best was part of a small group integral to testing, reporting on and ultimately switching to the department’s new KAPS system in 2018, and is very proud of the implementation and continued improvements they’ve been able to make on the project. The KAPS system handles everything that comes in as unclaimed property; it can take in all the holder reports and put all the properties into the system where claimants can claim their unclaimed funds.
Carrie is quick to attribute kudos to her co-workers, and especially to her supervisor and mentor, Laura Herrin. “Learn from your peers, learn from management,” she advised. Mom to eight-year-old Aiden, Carrie’s succinct recommendations for success travel from home to office: “Work hard and ask questions, that’s how you learn. And be a team player!” ~