The office of Notary Public was formally established in Maine in 1821. The Informed Notaries of Maine, formed in 1993, in response to the growing need for informed and educated notaries.
Today, there are approximately 30,500 notaries in the state. INM’s mission is to facilitate the education of all these notaries.
History of The Informed Notaries of Maine Organization
The Informed Notaries of Maine (INM) was founded in April of 1993.
There was a growing need in the state for informed and educated notaries public. At the urging of the Secretary of State and with the help of that office, a letter of interest was sent to a random group of commissioned notaries seeking a level of interest in the formation of such an organization.
Richard Billings worked with a small group of notaries who volunteered to organize such a group, and initial meetings were held, bylaws were created and officers were named. A mission statement was created and the organization began to function.
Geraldine Mountain, one of the five members at that first meeting, chose the name of the Association. She thought since the mission was to educate, the group should call themselves the “Informed Notaries” and that has been the name ever since.
There were five founding members who signed the original articles of incorporation. They were: Lester Carrow, Fred Robinson, Geraldine Mountain, Gary Smith, and Richard Billings.
Lester Carrow was elected as the first President, Fred Robinson as the Vice President and Gary Smith as the Treasurer. Geraldine Mountain was the first paying member and has the designation of being member #1. Richard Billings was hired as the first Executive Director.
All members who joined the organization during that first year were considered charter members.
As noted above, INM is a non-political and non-sectarian corporation that was formed as a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code whose sole purpose is to serve to promote the status of Notaries Public.
Over the past 20 years, we have had many board members and executive officers. Each year, at the annual planning meeting, we elect the new officers of the board. The Directors control and direct all affairs of the Organization, including the power and authority to exercise all acts and provisions of the INM bylaws and to any regulations made by the Directors. The Executive Officers, streamline governable information and procedures, but still require direction from the full Board. As specified in our INM bylaws, the Executive Committee facilitates decision making between Board meetings or in crisis circumstances. The Committee complements and improve the Board’s effectiveness and it does not compete with it.
Any person holding a current, valid commission to serve as a Notary Public is eligible to apply for membership with INM. Only valid Maine Commissioned Notaries have voting rights within the organization. Although there are four classes of memberships, all members have equal rights to voting: one vote at any annual or special meeting of INM (with the exception of Honorary Members as this class has no voting rights). For more information on the four classes of membership, please see the Members page.
In 2013, State employment laws changed, requiring us to reclassify positions within the organization that were considered independent contractor positions; and, are now considered to have an employee status. This has required our Administrative Coordinator, in particular, to become a staff member; thereby, making INM an Equal Opportunity Employer.
INM has seen a lot of change over the years and has gone through several different phases of restructuring. Currently, we have seen our board dwindle down to fewer and fewer individuals willing to step up and assist with facilitating the direction of our great organization. In light of the dwindling numbers, INM has started aggressively recruiting for our board and or members this year. We have several seats available on the board currently; if you are interested in being a part of Maine’s only professional organization for Notaries Public, you can find information on this site – check out the Why Join INM? page for details on becoming a member of INM, and check out the Board of Directors’ page for details on what being a board member is all about and how to contribute your time and talents to this great organization.