Thanks to everyone for all of their suggestions. It is working now. The reason why it wasn't working is very embarassing. I had read countless How-Tos and the documentation that came with samba. I was frustrated that for all the reading nothing seemed to be working.
Here is what the problem was - I was changing the /usr/local/samba/lib/smb.conf file. When I saw that there was also an /etc/samba/smb.conf file, I decided to back that up, stop the services and modify that with what I had learned through the readings. After restarting the services, everything is as I had wanted - so I guess I should be glad that I understood the configuration, but I am more concerned with my oversight!
With that in mind, I do have several new concerns/questions -
Is there a certain rule of thumb that configuration files follow as to the directories the actual config files are typically located? Why are there two different locations for smb.conf? I remember creating a soft link during the initial setup - was that just to have an easy way to view the config? Is something possibly wrong with my install?
I will research tomorrow, but in the mean time if anyone has some insight on the above questions that would be great! Sorry for my newbie-ism and thank you for your help! I hope that I at least provided you with a laugh.