Annual Notary Public Day 2014
Saturday, November 15, 2014
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"We Are In The Making Of A Notary Public Profession."

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Thanks to everyone for making Notary Public Day 2014 a success!
U.S. Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards and
Elaine Wright Harris (center, 2nd row) posing for
photo-op during the general session.

Left to right: J. Joseph Shepherd (President, MDLTA); Shirley Wallace (MD TIPIC);
Doug Diebolt (IN TIPIC); Wanda Moore (MD TIPIC); Elaine Wright Harris (2009 NNA NOTY, MD TIPIC); John P. McDonough, MD Secretary of State; Lee Bialostok (Founder, CEO, NotaryAct); Debbie Best-Schneidmill (Legal Assistant); Nancy Gusman, Esq. (Past President, MDLTA); Donnell Smith (MD TIPIC); Christopher H. "Kit" Bateman (MDLTA TIPIC Sub-Committee Chairman)

Guest Speakers - 3rd Annual Notary Public Day Program
DonnaEdwards MD-SOS JJosphShepherd Nancygusman LeeBialostok
The Honorable Donna F. Edwards The Honorable John P. McDonough J. Joseph Shepherd, Esq.
President, Maryland Land Title Association
Nancy Gusman, Esq.
Past President, Maryland Land Title Association
Lee Bialostok, Esq.
Founder, CEO, NotaryAct
Third Annual Notary Public Day Program

The third Annual Notary Public Day Program, coordinated by Elaine Wright Harris, NNA 2009 Notary of the Year, and implemented in conjunction with Prince George’s Community College, Largo, Maryland, was a tremendous success for all Notaries Public and public and industry officials who attended. This very special event, free to the public, included a morning general session from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and fifteen (15) 50-minute afternoon workshops on notarial procedures, Notary Signing Agent, Title Tnsurance Producer Independent Contractor (TIPIC), 21st century Notary concepts, and related topics. More than 100 prospective, new, and seasoned Notaries Public from various Maryland counties, Virginia, and Washington, DC attended the program.

It was an honor to have U.S. Congresswoman Donna Edwards and Maryland Secretary of State John P. McDonough attend as our featured guest speakers. Other distinguished guest speakers included Lee Bialostok, Esq., founder and CEO of the electronic journal, NotaryAct; J. Joseph Shepherd, Esq., President, Maryland Land Title Association (MLTA); and  Nancy Gusman, Esq., Past President, Maryland Land Title Association. Additionally, Bill Anderson, Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the National Notary Association (Chatsworth, California), conducted a special Skype video conference session on eNotarization.

Workshop presenters included Elaine Wright Harris, 2009 NNA Notary of the Year (Mitchellville, Maryland); Daniel Lewis, 2010 NNA Notary of the Year (Carmel, Indiana); Wanda Moore, MD TIPIC; Doug Diebolt, Certified Signing Agent (Lafayette, Indiana); Shirley Wallace, MD TIPIC; Donnell Smith, MD TIPIC; Frederick Harris, MD TIPIC; and Debbie Best-Schneidmill, Legal Assistant.

The General Session - 9:00 A.M. - 12:00 Noon

In her opening remarks, Elaine Wright Harris welcomed attendees and introduced guest speakers and workshop presenters. Elaine gave a brief history of the first Notary Public Day. Notary Public Day recognizes Notaries Publics for their service and contributions to national and international commerce.  The date of November 7 was chosen as Notary Public Day in recognition of the day that America’s first notary, Thomas Fugill, was appointed by the New Haven Colony in Connecticut. However, Massachusetts records show that Steven Winthrope was “chosen to record things" seven weeks earlier on September 9, 1639.  This polite disagreement is centered around whether being “chosen to record things” constitutes appointment as a Notary Public.

2014 National Notary Association Conference Highlights
Wanda Moore presented highlights of the 2014 NNA Conference. The annual conference is a well-attended event where Notaries Public from all across the United States can network and receive education on a variety of notarial topics. A few conference events of special note included:

  • One of the vendors was a Disabled Veteran-owned Appraisal Company that trains and provides employment for veterans.
  • Ken Bennett, Arizona Secretary of State, composed a song for Notaries and played it on his guitar.
  • Marcus Sheridan, CEO of River Pools and Spas, gave a very interesting keynote address on marketing. His book, “Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy” can be downloaded free of charge at www.TheSalesLion.com.

Wanda invited two Maryland Notaries Public who attended the conference for the first time to share comments about their experiences. Karen Brown and Debbie Best-Schneidmill both agreed that attending an NNA Conference was a major investment in their Notary profession.

Karen Brown shared that online registration was very user-friendly. She highly recommended taking advantage of early bird registration discounts. Karen said, "The pre-selection of workshops was convenient and the workshops provided good refresher training for Notaries Public. The structure of the conference allowed opportunities for Notaries to network with peers. Overall, I was positively impacted by the conference, including the fabulous Gala event. I plan to attend next year."

Debbie Best-Schneidmill shared that she was impressed with the different workshops that met the needs of beginner, intermediate, and advanced Notaries. She said, "Workshops taught by experts in the field, complemented by a binder filled with all workshop PowerPoint slides and notes, provided me a great reference tool." Debbie was surprised and excited to see that NNA published her 2014 conference feedback comments on NNA's 2015 Conference invite e-mail. Debbie commented, With 30 years of Notary experience, I didn’t believe there would be much for me to learn. Boy was I wrong!

Maryland Secretary of State Address
Secretary of State John P. McDonough shared information on the function of the Secretary of State office and the important role of Notaries Public. He announced the raise in the notarial fee from $2 to $4 and addressed questions from the audience.  Since the position of Secretary of State is appointed by the Governor, this was Secretary McDonough’s last visit for Notary Public Day as Secretary of State. He promised to share information about Notary Public Day with the new Secretary of State, who takes office on January 1, 2015.  

The Ultimate Notary Journal - NotaryAct
Lee Bialostok, Founder, CEO, NotaryAct, conveyed the importance of maintaining accurate records of notarial acts and described the genesis of his decision to create the ultimate notary journal. He said, "I am most proud of attributing the term 'a solemn moment' to notarial acts and I recommend that everyone in the audience review the Maryland Notary Handbook and the frequent references to solemnity. Early in my law career I was dismayed to see how frequently Notaries were encouraged to cut corners by not requiring signers to appear before them in person, exposing themselves and others to significant risk of fraud. I created NotaryAct to eliminate that risk. NotaryAct captures irrefutable proof of the signers physical presence and verification of identity before the Notary."

U.S. Congressman Donna F. Edwards Address
Congresswoman Donna Edwards’ address recognized and praised Notaries’ Public service to the public. She recounted an observation at a bank while conducting personal business where a customer needed a Notary Public, but unfortunately the bank Notary was not available. The customer was referred to an alternate source. Congresswoman Edwards also recognized the service that Community Colleges provide – accessible, affordable education.

Maryland Land Title Association Address
Nancy Gusman, Past President, Maryland Land Title Association, discussed the impact of the new Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) rules for conducting loan closings that will become effective August 2015. She shared information about the new Closing Disclosure form that replaces the HUD-1 (Settlement Statement) and the Truth and Lending Disclosure forms.

Maryland Land Title Association Address
Joe Shepherd, President of the Maryland Land Title Association, addressed the conference attendees about changes the MLTA has implemented to enhance the membership experience of TIPIC’s in the MLTA. He announced the formation of a task force within the Association to explore ways in which membership benefits could be better communicated and appreciated by both current and prospective TIPIC members of the MLTA. Both Joe and Elaine agreed to work together in the coming year to find ways in which both groups could benefit each other.

eNotarization Presentation via Skype
Bill Anderson, Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the National Notary Association, conducted a very informative live-remote video conference on the current state of eNotarization. Skyping in from Chatsworth, California, Bill shared information on electronic notarization basics, laws that govern digital transactions, and what Notaries can expect to see happen as more companies go paperless and more counties accept eRecorded documents. He also addressed a variety of questions from the audience sent via Skype. Click here to view the eNotarization video presentation.

Workshops - 1:10 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Workshop Instructors

DebbieBest LeeBialostok DougDiebolt FrederickHarris ElaineWright WandaMoore DanielLewis DonnellSmith ShirleyWallace

Elaine Wright


Workshop Title

Workshop Description

What is a Notary Public
Debbie Best-Schneidmill What Is a Notary Public?

Have you ever wondered what it is like being a Notary Public? Learn about the important role of the Notary Public and the steps to becoming a Notary Public in our tri-state area (MD, VA, & DC). Also, you will have the opportunity to explore the process of notarizing documents “properly.”
  • Prospective Notaries or anyone who desires to become a Notary
Daniel Lewis Protect Your Notary Business

Learn the importance of Bonds, E&O Insurance and other business insurances.  Explore true life examples of why bonds and insurances are so important to running a secure and successful business.

  • Notaries Public
  • Signing Agents
  • TIPICs
Elaine Wright Become an Acknowledgment, Jurat, and Official Witness Expert

Mastering notarial certificate wording will enable Notaries to properly execute acknowledgment, jurat, and official witness notarizations.
  • Notaries Public
  • Signing Agents
  • TIPICs
Donnell Smtih The 21st Century Notary

As a Notary in the 21st century, you have to embrace technology or be left behind. Incorporating information technology into a business can make the difference between success and failure. Learn about software applications that help Notaries work smarter and more efficiently while staying on a budget.
  • Notaries Public
  • Signing Agents
  • TIPICs
Lee Bialostok NotaryAct (Eletronic Journal)

Imagine not having to record notarization details in a paper journal! Learn about this simple to use, cost-effective, electronic journal application called NotaryAct. It works on Apple and Android mobile devices and desktops. NotaryAct utilizes GPS technology to verify the identity and physical presence of signers. Information captured is securely stored in your personal cloud journal.

  • Notaries Public
  • Signing Agents
  • TIPICs
Doug Diebolt
Wanda Moore
Conducting a Refinance Closing The Refinance Loan Closing Process will be covered from A – Z. Information and tips will be shared that can sharpen skills and enhance techniques utilized in conducting loan closings. There will be a review of the replacement HUD/TIL document (Closing Disclosure) which goes into effect 8/1/2015.
  • Signing Agents
  • TIPICs
Daniel Lewis Other Income Opportunities Available to Notaries Public While the economy ebbs and flows, Notaries Public and Notary Signing Agents may feel their business is at the mercy of the economic conditions and/or the lending environment. This workshop examines atypical and ingenious methods of utilizing Notary skills that can be transferred to other similar business opportunities.
  • Notaries Public
  • Signing Agents
  • TIPICs
Shirley Wallace It's Not Where You Start
It's Where You Finish
Develop a clear picture of the Signing Agent profession and how you can benefit from this opportunity. Discover how you can overcome hurdles of passing the Title exam, signing up with loan companies, and being in control of your income to meet the goals that you set for yourself.
  • Signing Agents
  • TIPICs
Elaine Wright Harris
Frederick Harris
The 21st Century Signing Specialist

Learn to conduct your business using 21st Century technology. No more paper? Utilize the smart tools available to you.

  • Signing Agents
  • TIPICs

Door Prizes, Door Prizes, Door Prizes
Many door prizes were given to Notaries Public who participated in Notary Public Day. During the general session, two lucky Notaries won a complimentary one-year NNA membership and one lucky winner won a $50 gift certificate from the PGCC Foundation towards a Notary class of their choice. Additionally, a prize was given to a lucky winner in each Notary workshop! Notaries were excited to receive gift cards, notebooks, journals, and much more.

The third Annual Notary Public Day was a huge success!  Participants suggested longer workshop sessions and a closing session. Attendees left with renewed enthusiasm and awareness why Notary Public education is so vital to performing our roles as Notaries Public. “There is so much that Notaries can accomplish as professional Notaries Public and/or Notary Signing Specialists when they possess determination and stick-to-itiveness and develop a real appreciation for the Notary profession,” said Elaine Wright Harris.

Sincere Thanks
Elaine Wright Harris extends sincere thanks to guest speakers, workshop presenters, sponsors, Abraham Davis (photographer), Elaine Murrell (lunch hostess), and Delores Clark and Esther Anderson (registration assistants) for making this another memorable event. A special thank you to PGCC Workforce Development Coordinator, Mary Jane Shearer.

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Click here to view 2013 Annual Notary Public Day. Click here to view 2015 Annual Notary Public Day.
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