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2024 March Fong Eu Achievement Award Recipient: Sandra St. Claire – Championing Notary Privacy and Education

Sandra St. Claire with the 2024 March Fong Eu Achievement trophy

Sandra St. Claire, a dedicated Notary Public with a passion for consumer protection and professional development, is the distinguished recipient of the 2024 March Fong Eu Achievement Award. She is honored for her creation of Notary Privacy Guard, a groundbreaking product that helps Notaries protect sensitive customer information in their journal entries.

“Sandra’s Notary Privacy Guard has been a milestone achievement for safeguarding signers’ private identifying information recorded in Notary journals,” said Steven Bastian, NNA vice president of product management and curriculum development. “Notary Privacy Guard protects Notaries and their employers by helping them comply with requirements such as healthcare and banking regulations.”

Presented annually by the National Notary Association (NNA), the March Fong Eu Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrably improved the standards and effectiveness of the Notary Public office in the United States.

From mailbox franchise owner to self-educated Notary

Sandra's journey in the Notary field began in 1994 when she and her husband purchased a Mail Boxes Etc. franchise in Washington state. As co-owner, Sandra needed to apply for a Notary commission but discovered that there wasn’t a lot of training or educational material available.

“At that time, the state of Washington did not offer any notarial training,” she said. “I hesitate to mention what my early journal entries looked like — they were very sparse!”

Two years later, when Sandra branched out into working as a Notary Signing Agent, she realized it was crucial to better educate herself about Notary practices to avoid errors when notarizing important transactions such as loan documents.

Recognizing the knowledge gap, she joined the NNA and devoured the organization’s educational resources online and through publications like the Notary Bulletin and The National Notary magazine. This dedication to ongoing learning became a hallmark of her career.

Building a successful Notary career through community

In 2002, Sandra attended her first NNA conference. This pivotal experience equipped her with valuable knowledge and connecting with fellow Notaries and sharing experiences proved invaluable to her.

“I had just felt like I’d been a lone wolf out there, with no other Notaries to talk to,” Sandra said. “I met people at the conference and we exchanged contact information so I could reach out to them. It was a really wonderful feeling, like I was now part of something bigger than myself as a Notary.”

Sandra emphasizes the importance of constant learning in the Notary profession and credits the NNA for providing a platform for this growth. Sandra has attended many NNA conferences since then and says she learns something valuable and new every time. Eventually, she left the retail business and became a full-time Signing Agent.

How Sandra created Notary Privacy Guard

While working as a Signing Agent, Sandra's keen eye for detail and commitment to consumer protection led her to create a revolutionary product – the Notary Privacy Guard. Sandra realized the need for journal entry protection during a loan closing, when a signer started looking through her journal entries and asking about other people’s loan transactions. Sandra explained to the signer that it was private information that couldn’t be shared, but she also recognized she needed additional safeguards against accidental disclosures of her sensitive journal entries.

Her Notary Privacy Guard, used to cover unrelated journal entries and prevent an unauthorized person from viewing them, emerged as a powerful tool to safeguard consumer identification and prevent such occurrences. When she started selling Notary Privacy Guard, it quickly gained popularity among Notaries working in real estate, finance and other industries where protecting the privacy of sensitive information is crucial.

“I am just so honored to receive this award,” Sandra said. “Being commissioned as a Notary is an act of service. I would say to other Notaries, remember how important you are, keep your education and best practices going, and if you have ideas on how to make yourself a better Notary, pay attention to them. Because your story is my story.”


Add your comment

Felecia G. Smith

26 Apr 2024

Congratulations Sandra! I appreciate your innovative idea. I've often cringed when I a signer glanes at all the visible information in my notary journal.

Suzanne Bellah

29 Apr 2024

I use a separate page in my journal for each transaction. No one ever sees any other information than their own.

E J Howard

29 Apr 2024

Simple but effective. Something that all can adopt in their day to day. Congratulations on the award.

Cheryl Brunette

03 May 2024

I am delighted that Sandra is being recognized as a stellar notary with this award. I'm honored to have called her my sweet sister-friend for over 50 years and I've watched her Notary Privacy Guard evolve from the beginning. She brings this level of dedication and excellence to everything and everyone she touches. When she calls my iPhone, Siri introduces her as St. Sandi (seriously). Even Siri knows what a special human being she is.

Michael Scott dunn

12 May 2024

well dunn lone wolf 👍🏻 sandy is my mother ( in law ) and she is one of the most incredible , compassionate, and giving person I’ve ever had the honor of knowing … congratulations and god bless you mom and all your accomplishments and dedication to family and life’s ongoing journey… ❤️ Michael Scott dunn … p.s great pic !

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