CHATSWORTH, CA, July 22 / MARKET WIRE/ --
     Preparing for accelerated growth fueled by
increasing national demands for secure electronic transactions, the
National Notary Association -- the leading authority on the American Notary
office and the premier advocate for the nation's 4.8 million Notaries --
has named a new Chief Executive Officer. Larisa B. Gurnick, a veteran
executive with extensive experience in
high-level marketing and organizational management, has been selected to
lead the NNA's efforts in capturing opportunities brought about by
eNotarization and new requirements for identification verification and
security in global transactions.
     As the only accredited resource for electronic identity credentials
designed for use in eNotarizations, the NNA is poised to leverage its
leadership role. Gurnick's appointment as CEO positions the NNA to fully
maximize current and future opportunities brought about by emerging
technologies. Her appointment was announced by Association President Milt
Valera, who relinquished his CEO role to focus on his increasing governance
and strategic planning responsibilities as President and Chairman of the
NNA and the National Notary Group.
     Gurnick becomes only the third person in the Association's 51-year history
to become CEO, after founder Ray Rothman and Valera. She also becomes the
first person from outside the Association to be named to the post.
Gurnick brings more than two decades of experience in marketing, financial
management, corporate leadership, and operational planning to the NNA.
Most recently, she was the Executive Vice President of the California
Bankers Association (CBA), where she established priorities for
California's bankers and developed innovative solutions to a number of
major challenges. Gurnick was also successful in engaging and growing
membership in the CBA, despite a difficult economic climate for the
nation's banking industry.
     Previously, Gurnick served as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing
Officer for Countrywide Bank, Thousand Oaks, California, where she was
instrumental in developing branding initiatives; establishing marketing
programs for its retail banking network and developing landmark deposit
programs. Gurnick also served as Senior Vice President for Strategic
Planning and Marketing at First Federal Bank of California in Los Angeles,
and Vice President for Loan Accounting at Gibraltar Savings and Loan in
Simi Valley, California.
     "The NNA is growing dramatically, and we are seizing many new and exciting
opportunities for even greater success," said Valera. "Larisa is a strong
leader with a proven track record. We view her knowledge and ability as
important assets that will capitalize on our leadership position in
eNotarization and guide us into a period of accelerated growth. She has
the experience, qualities, and network of colleagues to help us in meeting
the challenges of the digital age and fuel our future expansion."
     The announcement of the new Chief Executive Officer comes at a time when
the NNA is increasing support for its membership and is stepping up efforts
to promote the office of the Notary Public. As a combined result of
rampant identity theft, the nationwide mortgage crisis and post-September
11th concerns, the critical role that Notaries play in helping guard the
nation's security has been elevated dramatically. The NNA works to
increase Notary professionalism through support, education, promoting best
practices, and acting on emerging professional opportunities for both
Notaries and the Association.
     As businesses, government agencies and defense rapidly transition to
all-electronic transactions, unprecedented security is being required to
verify the credentials of individuals participating in electronic
exchanges. To address the new requirements, the NNA has announced it is
supplying the nation's Notaries with a next-generation Electronic Notary
Seal (ENS™) developed in partnership with leading companies. The new seal
enables electronic notarizations and identification verification bearing
the highest level of security available.
     The NNA has also established its high-demand Trusted Enrollment Agent(TM)
Program, which empowers a specially-trained and authorized network of
Notaries to formally establish the identity of individuals applying for
electronic identity credentials ("digital certificates"). The Trusted
Enrollment Agent(TM) Program will initially serve the U.S. aerospace and
defense industries to secure electronic communications for "confidential,"
"secret" or "classified" projects, and is expected to expand into a number
of industries including medical, financial, banking, international trade,
insurance, automotive, energy and technology.
     "These programs and initiatives will continue to grow along with the NNA,
and solid leadership at all levels of the organization is vital to our
continued success. Larisa will play a key role in providing that
leadership," said Valera.
     A certified public accountant, Gurnick is a business administration
graduate from California State University, Northridge. She makes her home
in Woodland Hills, California, with her husband Wayne and three sons.
     About The National Notary Association
     Established in 1957, the NNA is the leading authority on the American
Notary office and is dedicated to educating, serving and advocating for the
nation's 4.8 million Notaries. The NNA imparts comprehensive notarial
knowledge and understanding, promotes a positive public perception of the
Notary professional, and bolsters consumer protection by promoting best
practices. The Association's high-demand professional programs, services,
model legislation and groundbreaking eNotarization technology initiatives
help Notaries advance their careers and serve the American public with the
highest level of professionalism and ethics. To learn more, visit
www.nationalnotary.org
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     MEDIA CONTACT
Jim Wunderlichjwunderlich@nationalnotary.org
(818) 739-4080
      


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