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Introducing your 2020 Notary of the Year Special Honorees

Every year, the National Notary Association honors an outstanding group of Notaries who go above and beyond their duties as public officials. They demonstrate a profound commitment to serving their communities and exemplify the very best standards of professionalism in carrying out the duties of their office.

Joy Chavez: Giving back to her community

When California resident Joy Chavez heard that Notaries were needed to notarize the signatures of volunteers following a devastating wildfire in 2018, she packed a bag, and made the two-hour trip to Paradise.

The wildfire had leveled Paradise and the surrounding region and people were traveling from all over to do what they could in recovery efforts. Chavez spent several days notarizing through the Caring Choices charity, a home health agency. However, she felt like she hadn’t done enough. Hence, she also volunteered sorting through the enormous piles of supplies that the community had dropped off at a former toy store.

Besides her volunteer spirit, Chavez is known as a Notary with an unparalleled commitment to getting the job done right, as an experienced mentor to new Notaries, and as a community servant who takes care of seniors through the Meals-on-Wheels program in her county.

“I’m just giving back to the community and doing what I should do,” she says.

Chavez didn’t plan on becoming a Notary (she has a degree in nutrition), but that changed when she and her husband refinanced their home in 2012. “We signed everything and a light bulb went off and I thought, ‘This is something I can do.’”

It didn’t take long for her to make the transition and become a full-time NSA. “When I make my mind up to do something, I do it. If you want it bad enough, you find a way.”

Joy’s dental hygienist, who also was working as an NSA, became her mentor and guided her through her first initial signings. She remembered how important his help was and has tried to pay it forward by mentoring others.

Chavez is well-known for her attention to detail. At one signing, a real estate agent who had been in business for 35 years said it was the first time she’d seen the oath performed. “Just doing the job right can really impress people.”

When she looks back at her time as a Notary and a volunteer, she’s reminded of how important it is to see the needs of the community and make time to show we care.

“I think people in general are quick to judge and criticize,” she said. “We need to be more loving and open to hearing people … I think it needs to be about taking care of each other more than just yourself.”

Wanda Moore: Dedicated to Notary education

When the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas in 2019 with top wind speeds of 185 miles per hour, Wanda Moore knew the island was going to need help, and for a long time. She was prepared to donate to relief efforts, but wanted to go a step further, so she set up a fundraising page and invited Notaries and friends to donate. She raised $600.

Moore has an eye for maximizing opportunities to offer long-term assistance, whether she’s raising money for hurricane victims, serving the local community or training Notaries in their basic responsibilities.

The Maryland native is heavily involved in educating Notaries, including as an adjunct instructor at her local community college and through an annual Notary Public Day event. She also works as an NSA doing loan signings and offers free notarizations to the residents of her senior housing community; and she serves as a county election judge and worked in her church’s bookstore for 20 years.

Moore became a Notary after retiring from a government job as a computer specialist. Long-time friend and 2009 Notary of the Year Elaine Wright encouraged her to become a Notary.

As she familiarized herself with her new duties, she decided to attend her first NNA Conference in Philadelphia; she has attended every Conference since. When she comes back to Maryland, she reports on what she learned with other Notaries in her area at the annual Notary Public Day programs, which feature talks by top industry professionals and education workshops. Moore is a workshop presenter at Maryland Notary Public Day and serves as the coordinator for “Giving Back to the Community.” Her projects include conducting food and school supply drives and providing financial support for performing arts and multicultural activities.

Moore isn’t scared to comb through massive pieces of legislation to make sure Notaries understand their responsibilities, like she did with a new law authorizing remote notarizations. She’s also willing to fight to protect NSAs, such as when she testified to legislators in support of a law that would allow NSAs to work without the supervision of attorneys in Maryland.

“The Notaries here had to testify at hearings so we could explain what exactly it is we do when we go to homes,” she said. “It’s not that we’re drawing up documents, we’re there to witness signatures. We were able to get that message through.”

Sometimes, it’s her reassuring, calm presence borne of her many years of experience that’s needed most in the lives of the people she helps. The daughter of one of the residents in her senior housing community had put together some directives regarding her mother’s health, and she needed someone to notarize them. She had gone on to the AARP website and downloaded what she thought she needed.

“I spent a couple hours with them,” Moore recalls. “In addition to notarizing, they were figuring out which documents to use. I couldn’t give them legal advice, but I stayed and waited while they made decisions about what they needed and did not charge the for the time.”

Moore is going to be there, for however long it takes, offering her reassuring presence, expertise and care.

Additional Resources:

NNA Awards Programs

 

4 Comments

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Miranda Aikens

28 Jul 2020

I would love to receive more information on Notary, and Notary mobility. I've just received my license month ago and I would like to get the best use of my license. Any information is help. You both accomplished my passions and goals.

National Notary Association

29 Jul 2020

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BrownYmba@gmail.com

01 Aug 2020

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National Notary Association

03 Aug 2020

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