Meet PAN's Instructors

PAN's instructors have extensive teaching backgrounds in diverse fields. They are well-versed in Pennsylvania Notary Public law, motor vehicle transactions, complex notarial forms and procedures.

Brian Dowd

Brian is known for his upbeat and energizing presentations and quick sense of humor. His engaging teaching style has helped hundreds of men and women understand the complexities of notarial work and the importance of the function of the notary in today's society.

Prior to joining PAN in 2004, Brian's areas of expertise comprised of people skills training, customer service coaching, sales and marketing.

In addition to teaching notarial concepts, Brian is also Manager of Marketing and Training and Customer Service. He graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor's degree in political science.

"I adapt my teaching methods to meet the needs of my audiences. I make my presentations fun and informative to help notaries achieve higher levels of professionalism," said Brian.

Brian Crocker

Brian has been an instructor with PAN since 2004. He is an expert in Pennsylvania notary law, notarial procedures and PennDOT motor vehicle paperwork. Brian's distinctive voice can be heard on PAN's online courses, PAN's notary public application interactive tutorial and on other informational videos.

Before joining PAN's team of instructors, Brian worked for United Healthcare Insurance for 14 years, with the last four years as a trainer in the Pittsburgh service center. He is a graduate of Westminster College with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications and computer science.

"I like to tell stories about real notaries and the mistakes they have made. It helps participants realize potential liability and will hopefully keep them out of trouble," said Brian.

Heather Apel

Heather brings enthusiasm and fun to her notary seminars. Her background as a management trainee at ITT Technical Institute gave her the opportunity to learn and grow in a variety of paths, including recruitment, finance, registration and career services. As a gymnastics coach, Heather developed and coordinated a new competitive gymnastics program for girls at Carol Leone's where she trained, prepared and taught girls the sport of gymnastics.

Heather earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and management from Robert Morris University. In December 2011, she graduated from the university with a Master of Science degree in organizational leadership. Heather joined PAN's Education Department in 2013.

"Teaching good notary habits and proper procedures through informative and dynamic presentations allow participants to get the most out of every class," said Heather.

Jon Marencel

Jon Marencel first joined PAN in the Customer Service Department and spent several years answering members' notary and motor vehicle questions.

He then transitioned to the Education Department where his knowledge of notary law and motor vehicle paperwork serves him well as a PAN instructor. 

A 2005 graduate of Sto-Rox High School, Jon completed two years of study at Robert Morris University before entering the workforce as a customer service representative at Lender Processing Services, a position he held for three years, and a client service representative for one year at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

His hobbies include bowling, golf, playing softball, and attending Pittsburgh Pirates' baseball games and University of Pittsburgh football games. He also enjoys traveling, especially to watch University of Michigan football games.

"I enjoy being on the road to teach and getting to visit different cities," said Jon. "Getting to inform people across Pennsylvania what notaries actually do is a new adventure every time I present a seminar."