HELENA, Mont. — Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen thanked attendees – presenters, sponsors, and Montana notaries – for attending the Montana Secretary of State Office’s 2022 Montana Notary Conference this week at the Best Western Premier Helena Great Northern Hotel.
Secretary Jacobsen opened the conference Thursday afternoon, welcoming nearly 300 Montana notaries, 20 presenters from across the country, and dozens of sponsors of the event. This year’s conference brought record attendance.
“Being a Montana Notary Public is important, and the work you do across our state is significant for so many,” Secretary Jacobsen told attendees. “Your dedication, experience, and impartiality make you qualified to serve in this important role. You’re clearly passionate about your craft and committed to furthering your expertise. A sincere thank you to each of you for being here and for all of the great work you do.”
The two-day conference focused on a variety of educational topics, including journaling, notarial acts, and Remote Online Notarization (RON). Montana has been recognized as a leader in the technological advancements in the notary world, including the introduction and implementation of RON. During the pandemic, RON became essential for businesses and individuals alike, and many Montana notaries were on the front lines of this exciting alternative to traditional notarization.
The Secretary of State’s Office was also proud to announce the 2022 Montana Notary of the Year. Sidney’s Kristi Strouf was named the recipient of the honor during a banquet Thursday evening.
Strouf has been a Montana Notary Public since 2016, originally obtaining her commission to notarize documents for her employer but quickly realizing it offered the opportunity to assist others. For the past two years, Strouf’s main focus has been on real estate loan closings. She began offering RON services in early 2021 and was part of the pilot program to implement RON for notarizing Montana motor vehicles. Strouf completed nearly 4,000 notarizations in the past year while remaining active in the Sidney community, coaching T-ball and raising funds for local schools and medical facilities.
“Congratulations to Kristi Strouf and a sincere thank you for the outstanding work in the notary profession,” said Secretary Jacobsen. “It’s clear Kristi is dedicated to serving her community and passionate about being a dedicated notary.”
“Kristi epitomizes what it means to be a Montana Notary Public,” added Lori Hamm, the Montana Secretary of State Office’s Notary Administrator. “She is a member of several notary associations and social media groups and has begun mentoring other notaries. Congratulations on a well-deserved honor.”