Jefferson City, Mo. – Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has been named the 2023 March Fong Eu Achievement recipient by the National Notary Association (NNA).
Since 1979, the award recognizes officials for their significant achievement in improving standards, image and effectiveness of the office of notary public. Past honorees from Missouri include then Secretary of State James Kirkpatrick in 1980 and former director of commissions within our Business Services Division, Patricia A. Taggart in 1991.
“I am humbled to receive this prestigious honor from the NNA,” said Ashcroft. “Our society has an increased dependence on notarization, and notaries serve a vital role in our legal system. The NNA continues to be a strong voice in protecting the integrity of notaries.”
Ashcroft’s office oversees the Notaries and Commissions Unit within the Business Services Division and processes thousands of notary registrations each year.
“The NNA was impressed with [Ashcroft’s] efforts to pass major notary law reform, culminating in the enactment of House Bill 1655 in 2020,” wrote Bill Anderson, vice president of government affairs for the NNA, in a nomination letter to Ashcroft. “Never before has there been legislation that was so all-encompassing in connecting the role of the traditional Missouri Notary Public of the past and present with the Missouri Electronic and Remote Online Notary Public of the present and future.”
HB 1655 provided the first extensive changes to Missouri notary law since the 1970s. The law encourages the use of modern technology for the convenience and safety of notaries public and those who need notarial services.
It provides three options for notarization: in-person notary on paper, in-person electronic notary and remote electronic notary. The bill was sponsored by Representative Hannah Kelly and took effect on August 28, 2020.
The award will be presented at the NNA Annual Conference on June 6 in Scottsdale, Arizona.