The Georgia Notary Network was well represented during the National Notary Association's 2023 SHINE Conference at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. This event took place on June 4-6, with many considering it the notary event of the year! Not only did members of the #GaNNfam experience great speakers and workshops, but they also made new connections with other Georgia notaries who were in attendance.
#GaNNfam Members Roger Dixon, Samantha Smith & Deshedra Lanier
North Georgia notaries Roger Dixon and Deshedra Lanier were first time conference attendees who shared their biggest takeaways. "There are so many business options for notaries," Roger said. "It was great to meet so many like-minded people and learn about the various ways to diversify this business." Deshedra reflected on the opportunities to "connect with a range of beginner to seasoned notaries to engage, learn, and grow." Deshedra felt that this year's conference will impact her notary business through "the array of options presented during the sessions and the shared passion for the notary industry." This conference proved to be one of the best ways to access additional resources and services for their businesses.
Samantha Smith, 2022 NNA Notary of the Year and Georgia NNA Notary Ambassador®, believes that all notaries should attend the conference to support their business and professional development. "The most valuable experience gained from the conference is the chance to meet other notaries," Smith said. "While the learning opportunities are important, there is nothing more valuable than the relationships that are formed during the event. Our states and laws may separate us, but at conference we are one."
Click here for details about the NNA 2023 SHINE Conference!
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Samantha N. Smith is the owner of ShelistenS® Notary Specialists and Co-Founder of Georgia Notary Network, Inc. She has taken her 20-year career in education, applying principles of servant leadership and the practice of life-long learning, and expanded to the business, entrepreneurial, and non-profit spaces. Through ShelistenS®, she supports the legal, financial, and real estate industries with skilled fraud prevention services. Samantha also serves the Georgia notary community by sharing education and business opportunities connected to their commissions.
By: Samantha Smith, ShelistenS Notary Specialists,
2022 NNA Notary of the Year and NNA Notary Ambassador®
The pandemic saw a meteoric rise in the number of individuals applying for notary commissions, using their current commissions to start businesses and those labeling themselves as notary gurus and trainers. While new notaries were bombarded with messages of “fast money” and “booming business” during extremely uncertain times, they were also overwhelmed with the amount of information available to sift through. This highlighted the tremendous need for continuous (and credible) notarial education. Now that the notary community is experiencing a new wave of uncertainty in the real estate industry, where should a notary begin their journey?
Whether brand new notary to the industry or interested in providing notary business support, it is essential to know the difference between the most talked about, highly requested and often misused educational opportunities: training, coaching and mentoring.
Notaries should always begin with state-specific notary training. Training establishes the foundation to serve the state in this crucial role to protect the interests of its citizens. This is the opportunity to learn state laws and allowable notarial acts especially for those who are newly commissioned. Too often new notaries skip this step, jump right into the business and begin taking signing appointments without the proper knowledge. This can prove to be disastrous for the notary who can face legal consequences and for the signer who is expecting the notary to be competent about the notarial acts they are providing.
Once the notary has received appropriate state training, connecting with a coach can help with the application of the training and to establish sound business practices. Consider the relationship between an athlete and a coach. A good coach develops strategies to increase skill, form and execution in a sport. Coaches guide the athlete on how to hold the bat or the golf club, improve form at the free throw line, or get a faster time during a race, but the coach does not do any of the work for the athlete. Coaches don’t win games. It is the athletes who focus on improving their skills and applying the knowledge from their coach who win games. The same holds true for notaries who want to invest in a coach for their business.
All notaries have at some point sought out a mentor. From their favorite social media influencer or another notary in their community, notaries are looking for a connection to grow their businesses. A good mentor plays a support role for notaries by sharing experiences, and sometimes resources and connections. Too often a notary’s expectations of a mentor include unlimited access to their time and the idea that the mentor’s level of involvement will determine the notary’s success or failure. Additionally, mentors who are invested in supporting a notary’s journey will also encourage personal development. Those who have been successful in this (or any industry) know that the person you become is far important than the amount of money that is made.
Training, coaching and mentoring are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Many people and platforms are promoting these services, and it’s important to know that some will require an investment of money but all will require an investment of time and action from the notary in need of support.
Stay connected to the Georgia Notary Network, Inc. for more articles and information from the Georgia Notary community.
GaNN member Valerie Williams, Owner of Williams Mobile Signings recently shared the results of a new bill that was introduced in the United States Congress known as H.R. 1059, the Secure Notarization Act.
How will this new bill impact Georgia notaries? Read HERE to find out!
Leave your comments below on what you think the new bill means in Georgia. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you can join in the conversation!
The Georgia Notary Network, Inc.(GaNN) supports Georgia notaries public (and notaries nationwide) in their service to the businesses, families and communities of the Peach State. In honor of National Notary Public Day (November 7th), GaNN launched the #GaNNgives campaign to recognize the work of other Georgia agencies and non-profits. For all of the guidance, encouragement and support that we have received, it is only fitting that GaNN return the kindness to another organization making an impact in Georgia.
Join the Georgia Notary Network as we recognize the 2022 #GaNNgives recipient the Carrie Steele-Pitts Home (CSPH) in Atlanta, Georgia! Visit their website here: https://www.csph.org/
Listen to the rich history of this organization shared by CSPH Director Dr. Evelyn Lavizzo and ways YOU can support the mission and vision of this organization.
Click here to watch the video with the CSPH Director Dr. Evelyn Lavizzo.
The Georgia Notary Network honors the work an the legacy of CSPH! Are you interested in donating to CSPH? Click here: https://www.csph.org/donate.
If you’re here, you’re probably interested in Estate Planning or want to be intentional about WHERE and WHO your assets go when you transition. I know this conversation may seem daunting, but it does not have to be. The best thing we can do for our families and loved ones is to ease the amount of stress/pressure that’s put on them when we transition. If this is something you care about then you’re in the right place! Let me introduce myself, my name Sydney Jordan, I am a Navy Veteran, Paralegal, Loan Signing Agent, and Notary. I’ve been helping families with Estate Planning since 2017 and have worked as a Paralegal for five years. While serving in the U.S. Navy, I had the privilege of helping active duty service members and Veterans with critical documents, power of attorneys, court cases, divorce, litigation, and other legal proceedings.
Once I became a Veteran in 2020, I knew I wanted to continue to help people through all sorts of legal processes. My goal was to take the confusion, frustration, and trial and error process away from my customers and clients and explain the legal process effortlessly, while helping them draft their documents. I became interested in Estate Planning when my grandfather transitioned back in 2017. Just like many other families, my family didn’t know what to do. Unfortunately, all he had was a Will and there were still many gaps in his Estate Planning. Because of this, his assets underwent a lengthy probate process instead of innately transferring to who he wanted to designate. I didn’t understand why a Will worked in such a way, that didn’t benefit the family.
During a loved one’s transition period, families have many tasks to do. They have to get a legal pronouncement of death, arrange for transportation of the body, notify the loved one’s doctor or county coroner, notify close family and friends, handle care of dependents and pets, and call the loved one’s employer (if they are still working). On top of all of this, the family needs time to mourn and cope with this new situation and some family members may need bereavement time off. This can quickly become overwhelming which causes unwanted feelings of anger and frustration. This is why families should not only have a Will, but a Living Trust.
Why a Living Trust?
A living trust holds the assets of the trust creator in a trust for his or her benefit during their lifetime. Then, upon the death of the trust creator, the assets are transferred to designated beneficiaries by the “successor trustee," the person who had been chosen by the trust creator to do so.
Trust Creator has Control of Assets
In other words, the trust creator (grand parent, mother, father) has COMPLETE CONTROL of their assets/property when they are alive, but once they transition, the designated “successor trustee” transferred these assets to whomever the (gran parent, mother, father) designated in their Trust. Simple right?
By placing your property in a living trust, however, you can avoid probate because the successor trustee distributes assets according to the trust creator's instructions without court intervention.
A living trust is a private document between the parties involved and does not become part of the public record. In other words, no one can later go and search public records to find out more about the distribution of your estate. A will, on the other hand, is public record, so everything in it becomes public as well.
All of these things can give you peace of mind now, knowing that your estate will be handled exactly as you wish later. The existence of the trust can also provide certainty and comfort to your loved ones during an already stressful time because you've laid everything out for them.
According to The Wealth Counsel, “74% of American adults believe that estate planning is a confusing topic. My process takes the confusion and frustration out of creating your Living Trust! Let me help you and your family retain generational wealth! Still not convinced?
Book a FREE Zoom Meeting here or telephone consultation with me, to see how I can assist you!
Sydney is a wife, mom, and entrepreneur. Sydney is the owner of Sydney's Signings, LLC where she assists families with legal assistance. She served as a Paralegal Specialist and Notary with the U.S. Navy providing comprehensive legal assistance and Notary services to over 300 commands. She is a graduate of Columbia University where she studied Business Administration and Legal Studies. She is currently the 2022 President of the Georgia Notary Network, Inc. which is a Non-profit organization community for notaries public commissioned in the State of Georgia to connect, learn, and expand business opportunities. When she's not working, she enjoys roller skating with her three kids and hiking at state parks.
The Georgia Notary Network, Inc. (GaNN) is pleased to announce our latest corporate member Georgia Notary Pros!
Established in 2020 by Renee Sweeney and Angela Banks whose shared passion for the notary profession and the desire to provide quality notarial services led them to establish a business partnership. This statewide notary signing service provides expert professional notarial support with “white-glove” customer service. The company serves clients across the state of Georgia and beyond.
If important documents are involved, Georgia Notary Pros is the one-stop signing service provider. Specializing in compliant support to closing attorneys, title companies and lenders, Georgia Notary Pros has an extensive network of Notary Signing Agents that operate with integrity and efficiency. Georgia Notary Pros has developed local and nationwide connections through affiliations with NAMAR, the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce and BNI.
They also have experienced attorneys as well as professional notaries for every type of signing. Their proven performance will expand business service areas, and territory while facilitating a thorough notarial experience for the clients they serve. Recognized by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce as a 2022 “Best of Hall” recipient, Georgia Notary Pros is committed to providing consistently outstanding services.
"We believe in what GaNN is doing and as a Georgia company we want to support their efforts. We are notaries too so we look forward to being apart of what is coming in the future for the Georgia notary community. It also benefits us to connect with GaNN because it helps us to recruit a higher caliber of notaries to serve our clients," said Co-Founder Rennee Sweeney.
The Georgia Notary Network welcomes you to the network! #gannfam
Georgia Notary Network, Inc. welcomes corporate member Notarize as they work together to bring Remote Online Notarization to Georgia’s Notaries in 2023.
The Georgia Notary Network, Inc. (GaNN) is pleased to announce its very first corporate member, Notarize. Notarize is the leader in remote online notarization (RON). Notarize uses modern technology to connect consumers and organizations to notary services online via live audio/video 24/7, 365. From buying or selling a home to adopting a child, Notarize brings trust to life’s most important moments.
Since its founding in 2015, Notarize has been an active partner and trusted resource to governments at all levels. They work across all 50 states to advance online notarization and have helped implement RON laws that prioritize consumer safety and maintain the integrity of the notarial act in over 40 states.
“Notarize’s membership will contribute to GaNN’s mission to advocate for, support, and educate the Georgia notary community. We are excited about the interest and energy that they have brought to the organization, and we look forward to the new ideas and initiatives that we will implement together,” said GaNN President, Sydney Jordan.
Without an update to the state’s notarial law authorizing RON, notaries in Georgia cannot perform online notarizations. After an unsuccessful effort to pass HB334 in 2022, GaNN is organizing to bring RON to the state in 2023. Together with Notarize, GaNN will continue to work with partners throughout the state to advance legislation and aims to deliver this important digital service to Georgia’s notaries next legislative session.
"Our partnership with GaNN has been instrumental in connecting us with notaries throughout Georgia searching for technology solutions to enhance their businesses and we’re eager to bring RON to the state to meet that demand," said Kim Gaedeke, AVP of Government Affairs and Community Engagement at Notarize. "In today's digital economy, RON is an essential and impactful tool that notaries can utilize to better serve the people of Georgia. We look forward to working with GaNN and notaries throughout the state to help advance RON legislation in 2023."
Through the combined efforts, GaNN and Notarize look forward to making an impact on notary initiatives as they serve Georgia’s communities and businesses.
For more information about the Georgia Notary Network, please visit www.ganotarynetwork.com.
For more information about Notarize, please visit notarize.com.
Jessica Patterson, Owner of Georgia Neighborhood Mobile Notary
2022 GaNN Member/Blog Contributor
My journey to becoming a Georgia notary started in 2015 when I moved to Georgia from Florida. I wanted to start a business that would allow me to meet new people in my area, be flexible with my time and learn my new community. Unfortunately at that time I couldn't find much information on how to be a successful and profitable notary in Georgia, so I started my business part-time providing general notary services.
In 2020 I learned about the Loan Signing System training platform and decided to leave my job and go full time with my business offering my services as a Signing Agent to attorneys in my area and through signing services. I have learned so much in the last two years. In the midst of the pandemic and the changing real estate market, I've been able to grow as a business owner and acquire and apply the skills to become a successful notary.
Becoming a notary and starting my business helps me to strive to become better each day. I'm intentional about educating myself so that I can provide the best services to my clients and manage my business correctly. I am proud to be a Georgia notary. It has been the best decision of my life.