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Chapter Spotlight: NALS of Northeast Ohio

Posted By Antoinette B. VanSchaick, PP, SC, Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Updated: Monday, December 18, 2017

In 1977, while driving back from a NALS meeting, NALS member Marlene Oiler and her friend, Nancy Suvak, talked about forming a chapter.  Marlene had the knowledge of how to organize and accomplish starting a chapter, while Nancy knew the community.  They invited individuals working in the legal field in the Medina County area to meet.  A few months later, on August 13, 1977, the Medina County Legal Secretaries Association was formed and chartered.  Medina County is located about 30 minutes south of Cleveland and east of Akron.


Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the local membership and Ohio membership were strong.  As life changed, however, so did the membership.  One of the changes occurred in 2008 when the Medina County Legal Secretaries Association changed its name to NALS of Northeast Ohio.


For a chapter with only 16 members, however, it wields a powerful punch.  Sarah Twyford, PP, PLS, SC-Civil Litigation, serves as President; Sarah Wilk serves as its Secretary; Deborah Smith serves as Treasurer; and charter member, Marlene Oiler, PLS Emeritus, serves as Parliamentarian.


Currently, NALS of Northeast Ohio handles all notary testing and renewals in Medina County under the direction and assistance of Probate Judge Kevin W. Dunn.  The revenue raised from this venture is the chapter’s only source of income and is used to provide funding for members to attend seminars and for legal education.  NALS of Northeast Ohio also awards annual scholarships totaling $5,000.00 to two high school or college applicants going into the legal profession and their local bar association has raised its scholarship to match the scholarship award given by NALS of Northeast Ohio.


NALS of Northeast Ohio is also a very civic-minded and charitable organization.  Each year, NALS of Northeast Ohio members nominate local charities that they want charitable contributions made to, and some of their notary revenue is donated to groups such as animal rescue, hospice, and their local drug court.  They also donated a stone at long-time member Rose Costigan’s favorite local wildlife center in her memory after she passed away.  In addition, for the past two years, its members have rung the Red Kettle Bell for the Salvation Army at Thanksgiving and Christmas. 


Not only did Gov. John Kasich recognize NALS of Northeast Ohio as an important resource for legal professionals in Northeast Ohio, but the Office of the Ohio Attorney General also issued a proclamation in honor of NALS of Northeast Ohio’s 40th anniversary!


NALS of Northeast Ohio is proof-positive that you don’t need to be a big chapter to do great things.  I hope you will join me in congratulating NALS of Northeast Ohio on its 40th anniversary and wishing them the best as they continue to engage, inspire, enhance, and promote legal professionals in Northeast Ohio.

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