The Seven Best Qualities of Board Members
by Tamara Rosier, PH. D, BCC
The ACO Board of Directors is made up of individuals with complementary qualities. Their personal qualities are critical to the board’s successful operation. Here are my favorite characteristics of our outstanding board members:
1. Passion. Our board members care deeply about the purpose of our organization. They value the ADHD coaching profession and supporting coaches. They have a sense of fulfillment from working on a worthy cause because they feel strongly connected to it. Programs Chairperson, Robin Nordmeyer, is a fantastic example of this. Through her work, this committee has expanded substantially by creating programs aimed at professional development of our coaches. She and her committee show their passion for providing a learning environment that encourages members to continuously work on excelling professionally. All ACO board members are genuinely engaged with the mission.
2. Experience. Our outstanding board members have extensive experience relevant to our organization. They have the experience in the ADHD coaching field to understand the issues, frame discussions and make wise choices, making them credible leaders. ADHD Resource Chairperson, Tereasa Jones, brings her extensive experience in the field that gives her valuable insight into what coaches might be looking for, and makes high quality resources available to our members. Each board member brings their knowledge and experience to their positions, enabling practical, efficient work.
3. Time. Many people don’t realize the amount of time being a board member can consume. Aside from regular weekly meetings, board members are expected to also take charge of at least one committee or project. Each of our board members have made a serious commitment to participate in the work of the ACO. Immediate Past President, Joyce Kubik, is a great example and role model of this commitment to the ACO. Joyce has been involved with The ACO for many years in various positions, and always fully committed herself to those positions with professionalism and passion. As President, Joyce committed her experience, time and energy to helping ACO become more organized, by developing and implementing much needed policies, procedures and methods to improve our efficiency and professionalism. Membership Chair, Lee Rozycki, has committed vast amounts of time and effort expanding and improving the benefits of ACO membership. In 2016, Lee temporarily stepped away from the Membership Chairperson position and, along with Christine Kotik (Treasurer) they accepted the roles of Co-Conference Chairpersons, and delivered a very successful ACO Conference for 2017 in Reston, VA. Our board members are selfless with their donations of precious resources and time to this organization.
4. Professional skills. Board members are responsible for governance, and because of this requirement it’s best to have a few who understand sophisticated legal, financial, or business issues. Having professionals with specific skill sets on our board ensure the success of our organization from the operational, administrative and regulatory perspective. Treasurer, Christine Kotik, brings financial and accounting professional skills to ACO. An organization’s financial management is directly tied to the Treasurer’s responsibilities. Christine’s execution of her responsibilities has had a strong impact on the financial health of our organization. Her attention to detail, timeliness in completing tasks, clear and accurate record keeping, and a willingness to ask focused financial questions are critical to the successful operation of our organization. Marketing Chair, Pat Hudak, the newest board member, joined us on June 1st of this year. She is another example of a person who brings her professional expertise to the ACO. Her arrival has instilled a new energy into our board with her desire to learn and explore ways she can promote and support all board members. In addition to being an ADHD coach, she brings extensive marketing experience. All the members of this board bring professional skill sets to the ACO.
5. Attentiveness. A good board member is alert to signs of trouble – financial trouble, management trouble, operational trouble, etc. And, when signs of trouble are observed, effective board members take steps to address it. Research Chair, Roxanne Fouche, illustrates attentiveness well as she listens for the big picture and carefully asks clarifying questions. She is alert, and intellectually disciplined. Her skillful approach to conceptualizing, analyzing and evaluating information is recognized and appreciated as an asset to this board. Board members can’t be asleep at the wheel, waiting for items to be fed to them. Our board works to actively monitor our organization so that we stay ahead of challenges by a ‘management by objective’ rather than a ‘management by crisis approach’.
6. & 7. Emotional Strength with Collegiality. Board members need to be ready to take on tough issues and work through conflicts, in a respectful and productive approach inspiring collaboration. These qualities need to be in balance. Our board Secretary, Terri Reinhard, brings experience in conflict management, and applies her training in mediation and conflict coaching to insure any degree of conflicting perspectives or opinions are handled in a healthy and productive approach, with the goal of enabling the board to collaboratively achieve workable resolutions and keep positive working relationships intact. She ensures that each team member is heard and acknowledged, and that issues between people do not go ignored. She often clarifies that decisions made by the team are consistent with the team’s desired outcomes. Each of our board members bring their own emotional strength with collegiality to board discussions – and the effect this has on the outcome is productive communication and process.
The ACO has a dedicated volunteer board that make up a great team leading this organization to accomplish great things. They willingly give of their time because of their commitment and passion for this organization. They bring expertise and professional skills from their respective fields that strengthens strategic planning and awareness.
Together, they are a robust resource for the ACO. As a final note, I would like to recognize our outgoing board members, Marketing Chair, Jenna Knight and Interim Membership Chair, Rajal Dhruva, as well as our Leadership Team Member, Keith Griffin, for their commitment and valued contributions to this organization. They are greatly appreciated!