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Honoring Tom Wrosch, The NNA’s 2015 March Fong Eu Achievement Award Recipient

Tom Wrosch With Award

In the nineties, Tom Wrosch was a young employee with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office when he noticed something disturbing: Notaries were taking newly required tests in order to receive commissions, but many didn’t know the bare basics of the job.

At that time, the state’s method of Notary education involved sending out some materials on laws and rules, and then hoping people somehow absorbed them.

He also recognized that the purpose and importance of proper notarization were little understood or appreciated, and he was determined to change that. “I knew we had to get more people educated,” Wrosch says today, so he created curriculum for a three-hour seminar and began recruiting participants. For eight years, he crisscrossed the state, driving thousands of miles wherever he found an audience.

An Ethical, Dedicated Notary

For more than 20 years Wrosch has been instrumental in professionalizing the Notary office and being an advocate for educating both Notaries and their employers. He’s been a key player in updating many of Oregon’s laws regarding notarizations, and he became an advocate for Notary professionalism beyond the state’s borders.  

Wrosch was deeply involved in the international Notary scene as part of a U.S. delegation to The Hague Conference on Private International Law’s 2003 Special Commission on the practical operation of the Apostille Convention. He has advised different groups both nationally and internationally on uniform standards for apostilles — the special certificates used to authenticate notarizations from foreign countries — and helped revise the language.

The Salem-based husband and father of two says he was rendered speechless when he found out he was the 2015 March Fong Eu recipient. “I was flabbergasted. I’ve known about this award for a long time and I’ve known other recipients. It’s a prestigious award and it means a lot,” he says. “To be recognized by the NNA is really special.”

Bill Anderson, Vice President of Legislative Affairs with the NNA, has partnered with Wrosch on many issues. “We’ve observed Tom over the years. He’s passionate about what Notaries do, he understands their importance and his body of work supports that,” Anderson says.

The NNA will recognize Wrosch’s efforts on behalf of Notaries next week at our annual NNA 2015 Conference in Orlando, Florida. Though Wrosch says he didn’t initially plan a career serving Notaries, he considers his time with the state gratifying. “It’s been a wonderful journey,” he says.

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