Notary Public Day 2021: Recognizing the Impact of Notaries Everywhere

Today is Notary Public Day! Since 1975, November 7 has served as a day to recognize notaries for their service and contributions to national and international commerce.

When it comes to notarization, so much is made about the process – and not enough about the people. On Notary Public Day, we hope you’ll take a moment to appreciate notaries and the significance they play in some of life’s most important moments. Their role in society comes with little fanfare and great responsibility.

Many notaries are volunteer public officials, taking responsibility and pride in ensuring life-changing moments – like buying a home, starting a business, or adopting a child – are met with the integrity and professionalism that they deserve.

But every notary is more than their signature and seal. They are family members, friends, community leaders, and entrepreneurs. Many don’t use their seal for monetary gain ; they serve to be part of something greater than themselves.

So from all of us at Notarize, we’d like to thank the 4.4 million notaries in America for the role they play in our communities to help us realize our ambitions and achieve our dreams. And a special thank you from our CEO, Pat Kinsel:

National Notary Day 2021-2

In celebration of Notary Public Day, we want to highlight a pair of notaries on the Notarize Notary Network who are regularly commended for their professionalism and demeanor. We wanted to highlight their passion for people, and share a little about what makes them tick.

Read below to learn more about Mary and Matt. 

Mary Ward Markāne

Location: Palm Coast, FL

How long have you been a notary? I’ve been a notary since 1985.

How long have you been a remote notary? I’ve been a remote notary since February 2020. I was one of the first to apply in January 2020 when the RON bill went live in Florida.

Headshot of Mary Ward Markane

How did you become a notary? It runs in the family. My father was a notary, and my son hopes to get his online commission so he can serve on the Notarize platform as well.

I activated my commission in New York State in 1985 after graduating law school (lawyers and court clerks in New York State can obtain their commission without passing the state’s notary public exam). I used it mainly at work and to help friends in need. I didn’t start making a business out of it until I moved to Florida. I earned my Florida notary commission in 2001, and became a signing agent in 2006.

What do you love about being a notary? I love meeting people, especially the people on Notarize. I joined the platform October 2020, during the height of the pandemic. We were all stuck in our homes, and I was doing my full-time job during the day and Notarize on the side at night – all from within this room. It was so great to be able to meet and talk to people.

The coolest thing about the Notarize platform is the excitement from signers when they see me. For some reason, a lot of them are surprised to see another person on screen. 

What’s your most memorable notarization? One time, I connected with a woman I went to junior high school with. Another time, a signer connected me with long-lost family friends.

Wait, can you tell us more about that last story? I was notarizing a document for a lawyer in San Francisco with a very common name – let’s call him John Smith. I mentioned to this lawyer that I knew a John Smith growing up that I’d been trying to find for over 20 years. The Smiths were family friends that I last saw at my father’s funeral 20 years ago. We exchanged numbers at the time, but those numbers were no longer valid. 

What complicated things was that most of the siblings were women, so they had gone on to marry and change their last names. Their brother – John Smith – was my only lead as I searched for the family.

It turned out that John Smith from San Francisco specialized in locating missing people. He reached out to me after the notary session, and I provided him with what little information I had. He worked his magic and found the Smiths.

What do you like to do in your free time? I love to cook and sew. I’ve been making my own clothes since I was a teenager, but I’ve gotten into more creative sewing over the years: Needlepoint, crocheting, knitting. I also read a lot of political books. I’m currently in the middle of Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.

Matthew Papcun

Location: Leesburg, VA

How long have you been a notary? I became a notary (and remote notary) in March 2021.

Headshot of Matthew Papcun

How did you become a notary? I was in the hospitality industry for 21 years, and prior to the pandemic, I worked for a marketing firm doing events around the country. 

I had zero notary experience, but a friend told me about Notarize and thought I should look into it. I have friends in real estate, and I knew I had an eye for detail. I thought this would be something I could excel at.

What do you love about being a notary? There’s nothing trivial about why someone needs a notarization. They’re starting a business, ending a business, buying a house. As a notary, you’re often part of a process that’s much bigger than yourself. It’s really cool to be a touchstone in someone’s life like that.

What’s your most memorable notarization? There was this couple driving through a snowstorm, and they were stuck in traffic. They were trying to get to their daughter’s college to notarize something required for her student housing so that she could move in. This was at the beginning of 2021, so on top of the snow and the traffic, everything was still locked down. 

They found Notarize and pulled over to the side of the road. Their internet connection was horrible, but we were able to get the document notarized, and they were just so grateful. It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to help people when they’re in a tough spot like that.

What’s your experience been like on the Notarize platform? The support has been great. I’m making an effort to learn as I go, and the feedback from the Notarize team is helping me become a better notary. 

What do you like to do in your free time? I majored in illustration and graphic design in college, so I do some commissions on the side. I do voiceover work from time to time for tournaments and online game shows. I’m also a pretty big gamer, and served as host for a gaming convention called DreamHack in Atlanta.

When I was in the bar industry, I wrote a couple of cocktail books – just to see if I could. One of them became an Amazon best-seller. 

Inquiring minds now want to know: What’s your go-to cocktail? It’s changing all the time, but my most recent favorite is a Paper Plane. There’s a literal speakeasy in Leesburg where you knock on the back door of a bagel shop to enter. They have all these great Prohibition cocktails, including a fantastic Paper Plane.

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If you’d like to learn more about joining Mary and Matthew on the Notarize platform, please visit https://www.notarize.com/notary.