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NNA Leadership

  • Milton G. Valera

    Milton G. Valera, Chairman

    Valera has led the Association since 1982 when he became President and CEO of what is today the largest and most respected organization serving U.S. Notaries. In his more than four decades at the NNA, Valera has overseen all of the Association’s major programs that now define the arena of Notary education and support services. Among his greatest achievements is the creation of two influential landmark sets of standards for Notaries: The Model Notary Act of 1984, 2002 and 2010, and their predecessor, The Uniform Notary Act of 1973, and The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility. Valera was also the founding Editor and Publisher of the Association’s two flagship member publications – The National Notary magazine and the Notary Bulletin newsletter. In his current role as Chairman, Valera focuses on long-term strategies and governance issues for the Association and all of its service entities. He also serves as President of the NNA’s philanthropic arm, the National Notary Foundation. Before his career with the NNA, Valera worked as a newspaper editor, as well as in marketing and public relations. He earned an Associate in Arts Degree, Journalism, from Los Angeles City College and a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Journalism, from California State University, Northridge.

  • Thomas A. Heymann

    Thomas A. Heymann, President And Chief Executive Officer

    Since 2012 Heymann has led the National Notary Association which has trained, served and advocated for nearly 200 million Notaries Public since 1957. He also oversees the following enterprises operated by NNA Services LLC: Trusted Notary Solutions for Employers,,, and, NNA Insurance Services, LLC, the California Notary Association and Immigration Forms Specialist Training & Support. Heymann has more than 40 years of experience in executive management and corporate governance in operationally complex, service intensive environments spanning a variety of industries including education, retail, technology and restaurant. In education he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Knowledge Learning Corporation, the nation’s largest private provider of early education. In retail, Heymann served as President of Disney Stores, Inc., which included their global presence in retail, online and catalog enterprises. In technology, he has served on the boards of several public technology companies, including, Loudeye Technologies, Atari and Additionally, he was the managing director and co-founder of venture capital firm Digital Coast Ventures. In the restaurant industry, he served as President of The Levy Restaurants and Mastro’s Restaurants, LLC. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Northwestern University.

  • Deborah M. Thaw

    Deborah M. Thaw, Executive Vice President

    Thaw has been an integral part of the growth and development of the National Notary Association for over three decades. Her service as the NNA’s Executive Director spanned 23 years before she was elevated to Executive Vice President. She has also served as Executive Director of the National Notary Foundation since 1997. Thaw represented the NNA on several state task forces and contributed significantly to the landmark Model Notary Acts and The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility. Prior to joining the NNA, Thaw was a reporter and editor for newspapers in Pennsylvania and Los Angeles, and also did radio broadcast work. She earned bachelor of arts degrees in English and journalism from Syracuse University.

  • Rob Clarke

    Rob Clarke, Chief Financial Officer

    Rob Clarke handles all facets of financial reporting and analysis as well as cash management activities at the Association. He has several decades' experience in the world of finance and prior to joining the NNA served as Vice President of Finance, Financial Planning and Analysis for Andrews International, the nation’s largest private security firm with $400 million in annual sales. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and management information systems from California State University, Northridge, and is a CPA.

  • Thomas K. Hayden

    Thomas K. Hayden, Chief Marketing Officer

    Hayden oversees all of the marketing activities for the Association, including strategic initiatives to grow membership. He brings to the NNA over 18 years of marketing and information technology experience with a proven ability to develop and to deliver strategic marketing and technology programs. Prior to the NNA, he was the Director of Marketing Systems for SAGE Publications, a global publisher of Society journals, textbooks, and databases. He has also managed marketing and marketing communication programs for information services, technology, and professional service businesses. Hayden holds a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and marketing from California State University Long Beach.

  • Dave Stephenson

    Dave Stephenson, Vice President, CIO/CTO

    Dave Stephenson brings more than 20 years of technology management experience to the NNA. He has held global management roles with increasing levels of responsibility in applications development, infrastructure, operations, and strategic technology planning. He has built and managed high-performing teams through rapid growth, mergers and acquisitions, and two initial public offerings. Before joining the NNA, Stephenson served on the executive team at Sage Publications and Fox Rent A Car. Prior to that, he held various technical and management positions in Silicon Valley at Kana, Rational/IBM, and Pure Software. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA and his Master of Business Administration degree from Pepperdine.

  • Julie Hertel

    Julie Hertel, Chief Human Resources Officer

    Julie Hertel oversees the NNA’s Human Resources division and is dedicated to creating a productive and engaging work environment through implementing effective HR strategies and processes, and fostering collaborative teams. Hertel brings more than 17 years of HR experience with demonstrated success in organizational development, employee engagement and talent development. Prior to joining the NNA, Hertel served as an Executive Director at Paramount Pictures and before that, she served as Director of Human Resources at Technicolor for 14 years. She attended Saint Leo University and her professional experience covers a wide range of industries including manufacturing, publishing and entertainment.

  • William A. Anderson

    William A. Anderson, Vice President, Government Affairs

    William A. Anderson is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on Notary best practices, procedures and ethics in the mortgage industry and the real estate closing process. As the NNA’s Vice President of Government Affairs, he identifies, analyzes and follows the scores of bills affecting the notarial profession which are considered each year by the nation’s state legislatures and the U.S. Congress. Anderson also oversees Notary bond and insurance programs and the organization's efforts to promote, professionalize, and elevate the Notary Public office. An expert in Notary law and technology, corporate Notary policies and legislative issues, he has created curriculum and presented Notary education courses in nearly 40 U.S. states.

  • Chris Sturdivant

    Chris Sturdivant, Vice President, Business Development

    Chris Sturdivant joined the National Notary Association in 2011, having previously spent 13 years in the mortgage banking and financial industries. He works with corporate clients nationwide, including banks, hospitals, insurance brokerages and retail business service providers. His professional background includes management in both mortgage originations and specialty servicing with major banking organizations including CitiMortgage and Morgan Stanley. He currently oversees the NNA’s Trusted Notary Program which helps mortgage servicers achieve compliance with the OCC Uniform Servicing Standards and increases the professionalism of Notaries in the banking industry. Sturdivant is a graduate of UCLA with a degree in Economics.

  • Steven Bastian

    Steven Bastian, Vice President, Product Management

    Steven Bastian is an expert in Notary law and practice with 35 years of professional experience who has contributed significantly to shaping the National Notary Association’s strategic, education and member service initiatives. He is responsible for defining Notary standards of practice and setting learning objectives for the NNA’s education programs with particular emphasis on serving businesses that employ Notaries. Since joining the NNA in 1993, he has worked to develop a strong curriculum in notarial procedures, legal requirements and best practices. He has been instrumental in developing programs to help financial institutions comply with federal mandates and will continue in this role by supporting the NNA’s new Trusted Notary Program.

  • Leslie Bonilla

    Leslie Bonilla, Vice President, Customer Care

    Leslie Bonilla brings more than 20 years of experience to the NNA in her role leading the NNA’s Customer Care teams. As the overseer of the professionals who support and serve both our nationwide community of Notaries and corporate clients every day, her primary responsibility is ensuring our Call Center and Trusted Notary staff provide world-class customer engagement. And as the head of our Notary Support Services team, she strategizes and implements both technology and process improvements to continuously improve our customers’ experience with the NNA. Bonilla joined the NNA in 2012 following her leadership positions with Sears Roebuck, Network Omni and Charter Communications.

  • Phillip Browne

    Phillip Browne, Vice President, Communications

    Phillip Browne oversees the Association’s content marketing, member publications, corporate communications and social media programs with an acute focus on serving, supporting and advocating for Notaries everywhere. He brings to the NNA nearly 20 years of public communications experience with a proven track record of delivering vital news and information to the audiences he serves. An experienced, award-winning former editor and reporter for several daily newspapers and magazines in Southern California, Browne came to the NNA after serving as an Assistant Metro Editor for the Daily News of Los Angeles, and Editorial Director for Zone Communications Inc. At the NNA he is charged with crafting communications programs that reflect the growing importance of notarial standards and practices in strengthening the fabric of consumer protection. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from California State University, Fullerton.

  • Nicola Jackson

    Nicola Jackson, Director of Training and Education

    As Director of the Training and Education Department at the National Notary Association, Nicola Jackson works with her team to track industry trends, laws and regulations to uphold the highest standards of Notary practice. Her group of 14 instructors conducts the California required Notary training statewide approximately 800 times a year. The NNA Hotline, which she also manages, answers over 10,000 questions monthly from Notaries nationwide. Nicola has spent most of her career with the NNA as a seminar instructor where she taught Notary law seminars in 17 states and is highly regarded as a subject matter expert in Notary laws and practices. Nicola also worked on the team that developed the NNA’s award-winning Notary Signing Agent Certification course. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Sports Management from University of California, Santa Barbara.

  • David Aguirre

    David Aguirre, Director, Operations and Facilities

    David Aguirre oversees all logistics and supply chain activities for the Association including yearly conference, off-site storage and trade shows. David has over 25 years of logistics and warehousing experience in the retail and private sectors working for companies like Memorex, Targus, Magellan and North Supply where he implemented TQM, JIT, Six Sigma and Best Practice programs just to name a few. He is also APICS (American Production & Inventory Control Society) certified and earned his accreditations for Material Management, Supply Chain, Manufacturing and Transportation at California State University, Fullerton.

  • Kim Revere, Director, Program Marketing

    Kim Revere, Director, Program Marketing

    Kim Revere brings 20 years of marketing experience to her role leading the NNA's marketing efforts for state programs. She is responsible for creating state-specific strategies and overseeing the execution of traditional and digital marketing campaigns. As the head of state programs, she ensures offers are up-to-date with state requirements to effectively support NNA customers and the Notary community nationwide. Revere joined the NNA in 2010 following her leadership positions with UCSB Alumni Association and Madison Marquette. Revere holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

  • Ricky Aladort

    Ricky Aladort, Director, Information Technology

    Ricky Aladort oversees strategic planning, project management, and business and data analysis at the NNA. Ricky brings more than 15 years of technology management experience in operations, planning and software development. He is responsible for ensuring top to bottom alignment of company vision, goals and strategies, corporate project management and business intelligence. Before joining the NNA, Ricky was a Co-Founder and Head of Operations at Tolwemate, Inc. Prior to that, he led a project management team at a nonprofit organization. He is PMP and Scrum Master certified, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State University, and an MBA from Pepperdine’s Graziadio Business School.

  • Lori Sherden

    Lori Sherden, Director, Digital Marketing Systems

    Lori Sherden brings 20+ years of marketing experience in the digital space to the NNA. She manages the NNA’s digital marketing strategy and the development process of all consumer-facing websites and applications with the goal of providing an excellent online experience for our customers. Her team is tasked with ensuring that all online touchpoints are meaningful and valuable. Before joining the NNA in 2012, she worked at SAGE Publications managing the digital experience for U.S. customers in the college and K-12 divisions. Before her career in marketing, Sherden spent 10 years as a critical and emergency care respiratory therapist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders, Speech Pathology and Audiology from California State University, Northridge and is an award-winning flutist.

  • Patrick DelaneyPatrick Delaney, Director and Controller, Finance

    Patrick Delaney serves the NNA as Controller and Director of Finance, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the finance team. As finance leadership, Patrick works directly with every department with budgeting, inventory, operations, reporting, and all aspects of the business structure. He joined the National Notary Association in 2010, bringing with him over 16 years of experience in the newspaper industry as well as local government finance. After earning a BS in Accounting from Northeastern University, he earned his MBA with Management and Leadership concentrations from LaVerne University.

  • Michael ApplebyMichael Appleby, Director, Business Development

    Michael Appleby holds the title of Director of Business Development where his focus is creating a strong depth of clients in the B2B marketplace for the Trusted Notary brand and building mutually beneficial corporate relationships with outside clients. Michael has been a key driver of NNA sales success with the Trusted Notary program and NNA Surety Bonds. He joined the NNA in 2012, bringing years of business development experience in alternative energy resources, software development, and investment asset management. Michael earned his BA in Political Science from the University of Southern California.