Conference 2010 takes off in Chicago, Illinois in just a few days, and the excitement has mounted from coast to coast — and internationally — due to the Conference’s innovative new format and training programs, coupled with valuable networking opportunities, special events and the world class fun that awaits in The Windy City. Mix in the best traditions of Conference, including programs offered by some of the most successful Notary entrepreneurs in the nation, presentations by prestigious business leaders such as our Opening Keynote Speaker, Mortgage Bankers Association Chairman Robert E. Story, and a truly amazing lineup of excursions and fun-filled events, and you have a Conference that will be talked about by Notaries for years to come. Several exciting programs, events and attractions await this year’s attendees, including the first-ever workshop for employers and business owners on best practices for Notary-employees; the innovative Interactive Learning Center; refreshed and redesigned workshops; and General Sessions featured each day focusing on vital aspects of the Notary office, presented by top NNA officials, legal experts and leading Notaries in their fields. For the first time this year, the NNA is offering a program specifically designed to help Notary employers mitigate risk and compliance issues — the June 17 General Session “What Every Employer Needs To Know.” Presented by attorney and law professor emeritus Michael Closen, the nation’s leading legal scholar on notarization, the General Session shows how courts expect companies to train and hold Notary-employees to sound ethical practices, and that such training is essential even when not spelled out specifically in state law. Another first for Notaries is this year’s new Interactive Learning Center, a unique experience where Notaries participate in live puzzles and training scenarios focused on the fundamentals of their duties. The Interactive Learning Center will let Notaries take their book and classroom learning and apply them to real world situations. And to add a bit of Americana flavor, a selection of contributed items from states across the country will be made available during a silent auction that will take place during Wednesday's Gala Banquet—and all proceeds from the auction will benefit the National Notary Foundation. Auction items include travel packages, gift baskets, luggage and autographed posters.