What an incredible experience it was to attend the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) 2022 Summer Conference held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As a member of the Notary Public Association, engaging in activities with NASS members enriched my position as founder/CEO/Online courses designer of the Cyber Notary Virtual Training Academy (CNVTA) during the primary elections season and cybersecurity education.
NASS, NPA, and CNVTA.
The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) has been around since 1904. It is considered the oldest nonpartisan professional organization for public officials that fosters cooperation in the development of public policy, issues of interest relate to voting procedures, voter turnout, business services, electronic government, securities, and government archives. The 2022-2023 NASS President is New Jersey’s Secretary of State: Honorable Tahesha Way. NASS is a non-for-profit organization headquartered in Washington D.C. NASS’ official website is https://www.NASS.org
After almost a century of its existence, the National Association of Secretary of States founded the Notary Public Association (NPA) in 1998. As a staff Section of NASS, the NPA deals with improving the function of notary public administrator offices, advancing the office of notary public through education, promoting notary best practices, and reviewing notary law. This very important section of NASS also keeps under the loop electronic notarization, Remote Online Notarization, and Apostille/Authentication. Members of the NPA fully commit to the advancement and continued support of the notary public field. Notary Public Administrators, Notary Associations, and Industry Members come from all over the United States. New NPA members are welcome all year round. NPA’s official website is https://www.npa-section.com
As a committed professional to the notarial service and notary education specializing in Remote Online Notarization, I decided to visit the NPA’s official website. A couple of weeks later, I filled out the application form and I, along with my first Notary business and cyber champion, NotaryNow LLC, became a member of the NPA. It did not take long to realize that the Cyber Notary Virtual Training Academy (CNVTA) fit well in this honorable membership led by notary public administrators. CNVTA was founded in 2019. Its focus is in Remote Online Notarization training, RON State Specific consultation, and RON certification. Providing tools that go beyond the knowledge of RON platform utilization, make CNVTA’s certified RON notaries trusted and more capable of handling simple to complex online notarization requests as well as complying with their State RON laws, and applying cyber-awareness during RON transactions. CNVTA’s official website is https://www.CNVTA.club
2022 NASS Summer Conference
Now that you know about NASS, NPA, and CNVTA, you will have a better understanding of the importance of this NASS conference held nearby the tallest Capitol building in the nation.
Adorned with voter’s machines used at poll places during elections, cyber information, travel application, and video animation creation, sponsors and vendors welcomed attendants every day during the four days conference. The conference hallway located inside the historical hotel in Baton Rouge, LA, gave way to the different planned events. On day 1, Hacking Demystified 2.0 set the tone. Cyber security seemed of high priority which I appreciated due to the fact that Remote Online Notarizations are conducted in cyberspace, and CNVTA includes cyber-awareness in its online certification courses. By lunch time, I felt I had gained valuable cyber information on ransomware prevention and other cyber threats. It was a morning from Cyber.org to the Center for Internet Security, to receiving education from the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). As a Cyber Champion for the National Cybersecurity Alliance, I was also getting ready for October 2022, the Cyber-Awareness month.
The day wrapped up playing an incident response card game known as Backdoors & Breaches.
During the rest of the conference, the main focus was on attending NPA’s meetings, networking, meeting in person NPA’s administrators and members. My entire perspective as a Notary Public and RON certification vendor was enriched during the NASS conference. Knowing that Secretaries of State and administrators of the NPA section, along with NPA’s members, were all under the same roof working on important aspects of information, policy, learning a little about the local history, and embracing memories together, made my entire experience worth the investment.
If you are a commissioned notary public, consider joining the NPA section of NASS.
If you are looking to become or renew your notary public commission as a Remote Online Notary, check if the Cyber Notary Virtual Training Academy (CNVTA) has been approved as a RON certification vendor in your state. If your State does not require RON certification, it is highly recommended that you take the general RON certification course available at https://www.CNVTA.club
An Evening of Delight
As a person who enjoys arts, culture, and music as a way of understanding our nation’s history, I was delighted to be among NASS Conference attendees at the Capitol Park Museum.
It was my firsts time visiting the State of Louisiana. Although the conference lasted four days only, I left happy knowing that great memories were built in Baton Rouge, LA.
On My Way Back to the Commonwealth of Virginia
The NASS conference ended a Sunday. My itinerary had my flight back to Virginia the next day. I had half Sunday and most of Monday to visit other places in Baton Rouge. I had in mind visiting the local Museum of Art & Science and the Old State Capitol. To my surprise, they were closed, so I had to play by ear. Sunday was mostly a production day for me reviewing pictures and putting together videos for e-Cnow, the official electronic newsletter of the Cyber Notary Virtual Training Academy (CNVTA) which is what you are reading right now. The local weather channel forecasted over 90 degrees in temperature and a lighting storm in the afternoon. Instead of staying indoors, I took an UBER whose driver gracefully gave me a tour prior to heading back to the Airport. During one of the stops,
I met an 80+ years old lady, very well dressed, polite, and conversational. She spoke English and French. My French was rusty, so we continued the conversation in English. Her stories reminded me of history learned during the NASS conference. Also, the lady wished her grandkids would visit her more in person instead of meeting with her virtually. At that moment, I recalled observing Honorable R. Kyle Ardoin, current Louisiana's Secretary of State, dancing and holding up his grandson during the conference and the smiles they both shared with each other. I hope the grandson remembers those moments when he grows up.
During the UBER tour of Baton Rouge, I also saw horses, Louisiana State University, LSU’s football field, and the entire Baton Rouge’s downtown. A lighting striking over the dark gray sky gave me the hint that it was time to head toward the airport. After tipping, gracefully, the UBER driver and entering the airport,
a comfortable rocking chair provided rest while the view of airplanes landing and taking off kept me entertained. I landed in Virginia at 12 midnight. Looking forward to the next NASS/NPA conference.
Dear readers, there is still so much more to do in the Remote Online Notarization (RON) field. There are States in the United States of America that are still new to RON. Coming together in order to establish consistent information across the board might be challenging at times, it is not impossible though. Best of all, NASS, NPA members, experts in RON law, places of consulting, education, and certification such as the Cyber Notary Virtual Training Academy (CNVTA), and Notary Associations work together in order to embrace best practices, compliance of notarial laws, and cyber-awareness in the notarial field.
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