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2022 Notary of the Year: Samantha Smith

Lucille Ball has been quoted as saying, "If you want something done, ask a busy person. The more you do, the more you can do." For Samantha Smith, this rule has shaped her entire career. She became a Notary to pay for her daughter's college tuition. From there, she went on to found a support network for Notaries and started her own YouTube channel to answer questions and provide answers to Notaries who needed help.

In just six short years, Samantha Smith has become an important provider of education, support, and service in her home state of Georgia for her fellow commissioned Notaries. For her drive to help other Notaries and her innovative approach to education, the NNA is honored to name Samantha Smith as the 2022 Notary of the Year.

Supporting her family as a Notary

When Samantha launched her Notary career, she had already created an impressive list of other job accomplishments. She holds a master's degree in Public Administration, has 15 years of experience in education, and 10 years' experience in non-profit management. While her daughter was in high school, Samantha wanted to find a way to help her graduate college without debt. A conversation with a close friend helped her realize working as a Notary might be the perfect solution.

With her friend's encouragement, Samantha dove in without hesitation and embraced the hard work needed to launch her own Notary business.

Providing education and support for Georgia Notaries

Early in her journey, Samantha realized that education and information to help Georgia Notaries perform their duties wasn't easy for new Notaries to find. So she decided to take action herself. In 2020, with the help of her business partner Kandi Quillet Thomas, Samantha founded the Georgia Notary Network, a community for Notaries Public commissioned in the state of Georgia to connect, learn, and expand business opportunities. She also launched the ShelistenS LLC YouTube Channel, where she engages with, encourages, and educates her fellow Georgia Notaries about their duties. In less than two years, the YouTube channel has gained more than 1,100 subscribers. The goal of the channel is to create a safe place where Notaries can be brought together to share useful information about their work as peers, not competitors.

Listening as a key to better service

Samantha's business name and YouTube channel are based on the phrase, "She Listens." Listening to customers and Notaries to discover their needs is a key part of Samantha's business philosophy. Her personal motto is "We believe in service before the sale," and she believes the best way to be of service is to truly listen to those you serve.

Samantha Smith is a busy woman. In addition to ShelistenS Notary Specialists, she is the Dean of Adult Education at Ogeechee Technical College and a board member of the Bulloch County Commission on Human Services Family Connections. Every hat she wears, every role she steps into, reflects her spirit of service.

Encouraging others to be their best

"I've been really fortunate and blessed to have been brought up with the notion that all of my experiences, none of them have been for me. They are for other people. The good and the bad, whether it is the education or the opportunities that I've had, is really about who is going to benefit after this. I believe ultimately that's really what vision is."

In that vein, Samantha says it's important for each person starting out as a Notary to find and set their own goals, dictate their own path. She encourages other Notaries to find a network of local colleagues and connect with others on similar paths. Mutual support and understanding makes the path clear and the journey easier, she says.

"It is my desire . . . to represent Georgia in a very positive light, to represent this industry. And again, to just say thank you to those who have supported me along the way and who have encouraged me along the way. I really hope that I do everyone proud."


Add your comment

22 May 2022

Congratulations Samantha!!!! How encouraging. I hope to one day get to your level of expertise.

Georgia Boles

23 May 2022


Sheila Clarke

23 May 2022

I need more experience in notary Signing, need some help, thanks


23 May 2022

Very Impressive!!! Thanks for giving back to your Community. I have been an active Notary for quite some time, however, my interests have shifted into becoming "a traveling notary!" Do you have any tips on such a venture?

Shakaya Filmore

23 May 2022

Congratulations, this is an awesome milestone.


23 May 2022

Congrats, job well done!

23 May 2022

Hi I'm new to this .I'm a notary. With everything in place to start traveling and doin notary work just want to pick your brain on how it works before I get out also a retired firefighter from Columbia s.c. also a personal trainer .so if u have any advice that would help I be much appreciated..Ed and sending my email are if you like to talk I can leave my number.

Tom Heymann

23 May 2022

Congratulations Samantha !! Look forward to meeting you at NNA 2022 in Las Vegas. It will be here soon !!

Marilyn Johnson

23 May 2022

I live in Virginia and I am new to the signing agent industry and would like assistance in getting started. How do I start?

National Notary Association

23 May 2022

Hello. Virginia restricts Notaries from conducting real property signings without an escrow license if they but once handle monies for closing costs. Please see here:

Verna Banks

23 May 2022

Congratulations! What an inspiration! I have been hesitant to start my business and hearing your story is encouraging. Thank you!

Vannetta Iddrisu

23 May 2022

Congratulations Samantha!!!!


23 May 2022

Congrats on your award!

Trancita Mickens

23 May 2022

Congratulations!!! wishing you continued success in all your endeavors, and may God continue to bless you as you bless others. I'm just starting and reading about you has been inspiring. Thank you for your service.

Toreion S.

24 May 2022

Congrats Samantha. It is well-deserved. I had a question that I really needed answered and it was 7am in the morning. Samantha to my surprise responded back to me within 15 minutes and helped me resolved an issue. Thank you Samantha for being there for all the notaries and definitely for Georgia notaries.

Zeatha Fondon

24 May 2022

congratulation, thank you for sharing your experiences

Yolanda Phillips

24 May 2022

Congratulations Ms. Samantha. You're doing it all right.

Wayne Pleasant

25 May 2022

Congratulations as you are an inspiration to new aspiring notaries!

25 May 2022

Congrats! Awesome Job!!! Would love to connect. This is a new journey for me.

Elaine Wright Harris

26 May 2022

CONGRATULATIONS Samantha! So proud of you. Wishing you much success.

26 May 2022

What an "OUTSTANDING" job you accomplished. Congratulations! Don't stop! Keep up the good work. I'm just getting motivated to start over again myself. It's been some years. As the saying goes, "you're never too old to learn."


26 May 2022


LaCresia Taylor

27 May 2022

Congratulations!! Great accomplishment. I would love to connect with you for new and innovative ideas to relaunch my NSA business here in Ohio. Looking forward to meeting with you if possible

27 May 2022

Congratulations on your recognition!!! I respect the emphasis you place on supporting and encouraging new notaries. Thanks for the encouragement!!!!

Anitra Clue

27 May 2022

Congratulations Samantha! God Bless you in your future endeavors.

VB Timpson

28 May 2022

Congratulations Samantha & God's best to you. You have indeed made "us" proud. A fellow Floridian Notary.


30 May 2022

good information

Shirlee Douglass

30 May 2022

Congrats...I have been thinking about getting involved in this profession...Your story has encouraged me to make it happen...

Laurinda E Harper

31 May 2022

Congratulations Samantha! I'm new to the Notary world and you definitely are an inspiration. GOALS.

Pamela J. Griner

02 Jun 2022

Ms. Smith, While reading this article, I became very impressed with your purpose for becoming a Notary Public and how you were able to support your daughter's college career and yet, how you extend your service to help Notaries Public in need of guidance, as well as others in other fields of work. You deserve many accolades! May you continue to reach higher accomplishments and continue to be a blessing. ~ MD Notary, Pamela J. Griner

Leslie Deane

02 Jun 2022

I am inspired!

02 Jun 2022

Congratulations Samantha!

Samseketha Cooper

03 Jun 2022

Congratulations Samantha and continued blessings for success.

03 Jun 2022

Great job Samantha! Beautiful picture. Thank you for being such an inspiration. You wear all hats very well. :-)


03 Jun 2022

Congratulations! You deserve all the accolades for your commitment to serving others.

03 Jun 2022

Congratulations, Samantha, and keep up the excellent work you are doing.

14 Jun 2022


Melanie J Tate

17 Jun 2022

Hi Samantha…. I want you to know that I truly enjoyed hearing you speak of your Journey and particularly your Journey as a notary. You have encouraged me as I am just beginning… to set My goals and to really determine why I have stepped into this industry. I hope that my decision will take me further than I could dream of. Again, Thank You for sharing and speaking from your heart! ☺️

Carene Robinson

19 Jun 2022

Congratulations, Samantha. I respect your drive to do this business and also your determination to help others. That is very impressive. Thank you.

20 Jun 2022

Talk about paving the way!!! I am new and have pretty much been sitting on my supplies for 6 months. I decided to start notarization as a mobile service while I am home recovering from my strokes. Your story has just spoke volumes to me. Thank you for all you do and a big congratulations to you on this and your future endeavors.

21 Jun 2022

Congratulations Samantha I’m eager to find out how to get started with Notary Signing and would love any help possible. I’m currently taking the NSA course.

Fiechia Crosby

28 Jun 2022

Congratulations! Your story is inspirational and purposeful. I would love to partner with you to help out Florida Agents.😀

Antoinette M. Newsum

07 Sep 2022

Congratulations, Samantha! Wish you well on your journey! I am a new Notary from New Orleans, Louisiana. You have encouraged me via this you tube video. Hope to meet you one day when I visit ATL!


01 Jan 2023

Hi what a pleasure and thank you for sharing your experience and congratulations on being National Notary of the year! I’m starting new and would love to talk with you via email or phone if you have the spare time. Thank you in advance.

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