Don’t forget to add links to these which are listed in the public part of our site

  • Terms of Use policy
  • Privacy policy
  • Payment policy
  • Standards and Expectations for Members
  • Netiquette Policy
  • Recognized ADHD Coach Trainings

Conflict of Interest Policy

This policy was unanimously agreed to by the Board on March 6, 2008

People who work on behalf of the ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO), including but not limited to members of the Board of Directors, Professional Advisory Board, Leadership Team, and employees, have a duty to subordinate personal interests to the welfare of the ACO and those served by the Organization. Conflicting interests can be financial, personal relationships, status, or power.

People who are subject to this agreement are prohibited from:

  1. knowingly disclosing information about the ACO to those who do not have a need to know;
  2. using such information to the detriment of the ACO;
  3. using such information for personal gain.

People who are subject to this agreement may not have a significant financial interest in any thing which the ACO purchases. The existence of such interest must be disclosed to the Board of Directors when the issue becomes a matter of Board action. Any person subject to this agreement with such a conflict or possible conflict should not have unreasonable influence over the decision at hand. The minutes of the meeting should reflect a disclosure and the abstention from voting as appropriate.

Because it is not possible to write a policy that covers all potential conflicts, people who are subject to this agreement are expected to be alert for and avoid situations that might be construed as conflicts of interests. If such a person has a concern about a pending or recently occurring situation, they are encouraged to bring it before the Board for consideration.

People who are subject to this agreement will be required to complete the “Conflict of Interests” statement. This policy will be given to each new such person for signature during orientation.

Conflict of Interest Form [LINK]

Participation Agreement

The following policy was unanimously agreed to by the Board on March 6th, 2008

All members of the board should make a point of reading and agree to abide by both the Bylaws and the Policies and Procedures of the ADHD Coaches Organization, Inc. The Participation Agreement should be completed and signed by each board member and kept on file in the permanent records of the ACO.

Participation Agreement Form [LINK]

Committee Participation Policy

Unanimously agreed to by the Board on March 13th, 2008

Committee decisions are made by the committee as a whole and not by individual committee members unless otherwise tasked to do so.

Before any commitments are made on behalf of the committee or the ACO, the committee must review proposals and request approval from the Board in appropriate circumstances.

Committee members serve at the pleasure of the committee chair.

People who do not follow these procedures or who participate inappropriately may be removed from the committee by the chair at the discretion of the chair.

Policy on Presentation of Decisions Required by the Board

Unanimously agreed to by the Board on April 3rd, 2008

For any decision required by the board, the presenting board member should write up the proposal ahead of time so the exact language may be included in the agenda and subsequently the minutes. This way the verbiage will be complete and correct for the record. This is particularly important for things pertaining to taxes, Policies and Procedures, Articles of Incorporations, and By-Laws.

Member List Serve Moderation Policy

Unanimously agreed to by the Board on August 7th, 2008

To sustain the ACO member list serve policy there will be a designated moderator who is tasked with reading all the traffic on this list serve, and a three person committee to deal with any policy violations that may arise. This committee is comprised of the list serve moderator, the Communications Chair, and the President. Violations will be brought to the attention of the committee by the moderator and be handled at the discretion of the committee. Actions may include private or public warnings, being put on moderation status, and banning from the list serve.

Member List Serve Participation Policy

Unanimously agreed to by the Board on August 7th, 2008

At the ACO we cultivate the sharing of and respect for our membership’s diversity of knowledge, experience, and opinion. The ACO’s moderated Yahoo! Group is a forum for the benefit of the community created specifically for discussion of professional issues. Before you post, remember that the Internet is NOT a private place. Everything you post is on the record, permanently available to current and future members and potentially forward able to nonmembers.

To cultivate respectful professional discussions on ADHD coaching and related topics, the rules for this group follow (members who do not abide by these rules may be placed on moderated status or banned from this group).

  1. Maintain a positive and professional atmosphere. Avoid gossip and hearsay.
  2. Promote discussions that are of general interest to the ACO community. Avoid discussion of personal matters.
  3. Express your opinion, but pay attention to word choice and tone. Do not post anything that you would not say publicly to someone’s face. Derogatory remarks will not be tolerated as they do not promote the goals of the ACO.
  4. Respect confidentiality. Do not copy or forward anything unless you have the original poster’s permission to do so.
  5. Trim your posts. When replying include just the relevant part of the original email and delete the rest, especially if you receive the digest version.


Policy on sympathy/congratulatory events affecting board members/etc.

Unanimously agreed to by the Board on August 7th, 2008

When big life events happen the impulse is to do something for that person/friend/colleague. It is the policy of the ACO to restrict official and ACO-funded expressions of sympathy and congratulations to the sending of a card.

Policy on Ex Officio Members

Unanimously agreed to by the Board on September 10, 2009

After reviewing Robert’s Rules of Order, the board concurred that “a member, officer, or employee of the society” in the context of the ACO means a member of our existing board. It follows that if, per Robert’s Rules of Order, ex-officio members do not count in determining the quorum, then they do not count in the total number of board members. Therefore, it was agreed that Ex-Officio board members, although they have all the voting rights and responsibilities of any board member, do not count towards a quorum or towards our max total of 10 board members.

Policy on Conference Chair and Circle Editor

Unanimously agreed to by the Board on September 17, 2009

The Conference Chair and Circle Editor, if not otherwise already members of the board, will be Ex-Officio members of the board.

Policy on co-chairs/vice-chairs/deputies/seconds-in-command

Unanimously agreed to by the Board on September 17, 2009

A member of the board with a specific task (other than immediate past president, president, or vice president) may ask a person with whom they wish to work closely in fulfillment of their responsibilities to be their second-in-command (deputy- or vice- or co-chair or co-officer). This person must be a member of the ACO and have an ACO confidentiality agreement on file. Although the second-in-command may be called a co-chair or co-officer, the elected or appointed board member is always the “buck stops here” person with the final responsibility and authority for that job. If the second-in-command is not on the board of directors or leadership team, they are encouraged, but not required, to attend board meetings.

Policy on Ordinary Bills up to $300

Unanimously agreed to by the Board on June 15, 2006

In lieu of a budget, resolved that Board Members, in fulfillment of their duties to the ACO, may spend up to $300 without special Board approval. Further resolved that the Treasurer is empowered to pay all ordinary bills up $300 with out special approval of the Board.

Policy and Procedure for the Founders Award

This policy was approved by the Board on October 24, 2012.

This policy was amended on May 14, 2014 (the award was renamed).

History. In the year before his death on February 7, 2011, ACO founding board member Ken Zaretzky came to the board with the idea of creating an outstanding service award and naming it for fellow founding board member, Glen Hogard. To honor them both, the Board initiated the The Glen Hogard Award for distinguished service to the professional ADHD Coach Community, and presented the inaugural award to Glen on April 29, 2011 at the conference in Chicago, IL, which was also the venue for a memorial for Ken.

In 2014, the Board recognized that the award honors both founders, Ken Zaretzky and Glen Hogard. It was voted to change the name of the award to the Founders Award.

Criteria for this award. The recipient is someone who is making or has made a unique, impactful, selfless contribution to ADHD coaches and ADHD Coaching and/or the ACO. The recipient must be a current or past professional member of the ACO and must demonstrate and promote the values and vision of the ACO. Each recipient will receive the award only once.

Process for selecting the honoree. A committee will be formed and headed by an ACO Board member to identify nominees. Nominations will be collected in January of each year, solicited from the board, the ACO membership, and the ADHD coach community at large. An online form will be made available for collecting suggestions for nominees from the community (including name and contact information of person making the suggestion, name and contact information of the nominee, and some information on why that person is deserving of the award). The committee will vet the nominees according to the above criteria, then make suggestions to the board at least two months before the conference. The board will vote for or approve the final recipient.

Informing the honoree. The presiding president will contact the recipient via a phone call, followed with a 1st class letter on ACO letter head stating that the ACO would like to honor the recipient and inviting them to the conference for the awards ceremony. The Admin VA will follow up with the recipient to confirm travel and all additional details.

Informing the community. The identity of the recipient will be made public during formal ceremonies at the conference. In the promotional communications about the conference it will be stated that the recipient will be named and presented. At the time of the ceremony, where possible, the ACO will release its congratulations and announcement to all its appropriate communication channels such as membership email list, web site, social media communications, a PR release, posters at the Conference and other sources as deemed be the task force selection committee in conjunction with marketing and PR.

Presentation of the award. The presiding president will make the actual presentation of the award, using specific ceremonial language (TBD) which explains the history and importance of the award, and recognize Glen Hogard, should he be in attendance.  ***Note the recipient or the ACO may elect to present the award virtually, utilizing technology as the ACO and recipient deems appropriate. If and when the award is presented virtually, it would still be presented within the conference schedule and as part of the conference.

What the honoree will receive. The award will be a high quality plaque that can be easily and proudly be displayed in an office or home. The recipient will also receive an invitation to the ACO annual conference, which includes the conference registration, room accommodations for 3 nights/single occupancy, a reasonable amount to cover travel costs (coach airfare–economy rate), and an invitation to any VIP event being held at that conference. The recipient will also receive the right to display an ebadge on their website that the ACO will provide them with (a jpg image) identifying them as a recipient of the Founders Award, and a brief write up on the ACO’s website.

Funding the award. The funds for the award and supporting the travel and accommodations of the honoree will come from the general fund. Recipient gets paid/reimbursed for expenses up to $1500 less the cost of the plaque. Note that expenses from year to year will vary widely depending on where the recipient will travel from and where the conference will be held so any unused portions of the budget will roll over into the Founders Award Fund for the following year.

Budget lines (to be provided from the conference budget):

$200.00 Plaque

$500.00 Transportation

$400.00 Conference Hotel

$400.00 Conference Registration

$1500.00 Total

Glen Hogard’s Role. Glen may have a very limited ceremonial role in the presentation of the award and no say at all in who receives it. The ACO welcomes Glen in perpetuity to any VIP function that may be held at the conference. However, Glen is not invited to, and should as a matter of policy be excluded from, board-centric events such as board meetings, debriefs, and celebratory after parties.

Policy and Procedure for Nominating and Electing Board Members.

Updated resulting from Board discussion at meeting on December 20, 2007
Updated resulting from experience with elections held in 2008
Updated January 2012 to reflect new timelines and bylaws.
Updated July 2012 re vetting candidates and announcing election results.
Updated April 2015 to reflect new bylaws and board structure.

To find conversations related to these procedures, search the minutes for “election.”

How To Identify and Recruit New Leadership

The Nominating Committee is responsible for identifying, recruiting, and vetting new leadership. Not everyone who is willing to volunteer is someone the ACO wants or needs. The ACO Bylaws, Article V, Section 3 requires that members of the board must be members in good standing. In addition, it is expected that they should:

  • conduct themselves in a way that upholds and promotes the values, vision, mission, and professional standards of the ACO,
  • have the skills or aptitude necessary for the job they are volunteering for,
  • have the time necessary for the job they are volunteering for,
  • have no obvious conflict of interest (eg, being on the board of a related organization), and
  • play well with others.

The Nominating Committee uses the conference as a prime time to identify members to bring into leadership. However, this process continues all year long. Additional ways to identify active and interested members are by paying attention to who attends new member welcome meetings, who attends Expert Speakers Series talks, who posts on the list serve, who volunteers for committee work, and who submits proposals to the conference.

Because nothing is more powerful than personal connections, asking active members if they have any friends they’d like to invite to participate, and making personal phone calls to get to know people better, can be very effective in recruiting new leadership.

Perhaps most importantly, if anyone says they want to help, respond immediately. If you do, they will say yes. If you don’t, they will sour on the ACO.

The Nominating Committee and Their Timeline

  • Sep – The Nominating Committee is appointed for a one year term. The ACO Bylaws, Article VII, Section 6, require the Nominating Committee to be appointed by September 15th of each year and to be comprised of two board members and one member at large.
  • Dec – The Nominating Committee facilitates the choosing of Leadership Team members for the first half of the coming year. These are nominated by the Nominating Committee and decided on by the Board.
  • Feb – The Nominating Committee begins the official process of identifying candidates for the current year’s election. These candidates are drawn from:
  1. sitting board members,
  2. present and past leadership team members,
  3. present and past committee members, and finally
  4. members at large.

A notice is put in Circle announcing the election and inviting participation. All persons interested in holding a seat on the board must submit their application with answers to the four application questions to the Nominating Committee by March 15. This allows the Nominating Committee about 2 weeks to complete their slate of candidates before presenting it to the board.

  • Mar– The Nominating Committee facilitates the sitting Board of Director’s self reviews, which are due by March 31. All members of the Board of Directors must file a self review answering the questions given in the Board Review Process section below.
    NB – this review was designed to occur in conjunction with preparing for elections. However, the board may wish to decouple these and conduct the review at year’s end, rather than at the same time as preparing for the conference.
  • Apr – The Nominating Committee presents the Board with a slate of candidates during the first board meeting of the month. The election is held later in the month. Currently, it is held the day after the second Board meeting of the month. Elected Board members take their positions on June 1 (ACO Bylaws Article V, Section 3).
  • Jun – The Nominating Committee facilitates choosing Leadership Team members for the second half of the year. These are nominated by the Nominating Committee and decided on by the Board.

Elected positions and terms

These are the elected positions:

  • President
  • President Elect
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Chair of the Membership Committee
  • Chair of the Programs Committee
  • Chair of the Public Relations and Marketing Committee
  • Chair of the Research Committee

Odd year elections (elected in the spring of an odd year and assuming their responsibilities June 1 of that same year) will be held for these positions:

  • Secretary
  • PR/Marketing
  • Programs

Even year elections (elected in the spring of an even year and assuming their responsibilities June 1 of that same year) will be held for these positions:

  • Treasurer
  • Membership
  • Research

Elected as needed: Per our bylaws, the president is elected to a two-year term, which may – when there is still one year remaining to the agreed-upon term – be extended by an additional one-year increment. This may happen multiple times. Once the Nominating Committee, in consultation with the sitting President and Board of Directors agrees that the sitting President will step down in one year’s time, a President-Elect is nominated and voted into position for a one-year term. The one-year term acts both as a year to prepare (eg, the president-elect is expected to develop a strategic plan to be executed during his or her term as president), and as a probationary period in which the president-elect can demonstrate the skills needed to be president of this organization. Therefore, the following year the President-Elect does not just assume the position of President, he or she must be voted in by the Board.

Appointed positions and terms:

  • Finance Committee – chaired by Treasurer, includes President and any other appointed person. Annual Appointments.
  • Nominating Committee – chaired by Immediate Past President or if there is no IPP, a board member appointed by the president and approved by the board, includes one other board member and one person from membership. Annual appointments. The sitting president may not chair this committee (per bylaws)
  • Conference Committee
  • Editor
  • Independent Review Committee
  • Leadership Team positions are by invitation of the board and are considered “junior” board positions. Leadership Team members are expected to attend board meetings, participate in discussions, and participate in the work of the board and its committees. They are typically invited to, but not required to attend, Board retreats. However, they hold no responsibility or right to vote on matters that require a vote of the Board, which include changing the bylaws and appointing or electing board members.

Number of Board Members:

Per our bylaws, there must be at least 6 board members and not more than 10. Ex-officio board member positions (EG, appointed positions such as Conference Chair and Newsletter Editor) do not count to this total.

Nominating Process

  1. Nominating Committee calls/contacts existing board members to ask if they want to serve again, either in the same capacity or some other capacity.
  2. Nominating Committee calls/contacts Leadership Team members to ask if they want to serve and in what capacity.
  3. Nominating Committee calls/contacts committee members to ask if they want to serve and in what capacity.
  4. Nominating Committee announces to the membership at large that if they’d like to be considered for a board position they may apply.
  5. All candidates submit answers to the four application questions.
  6. Nominating Committee puts together a slate of candidates who are willing to serve and who are deemed to be appropriate candidates for the job (see list of vetting criteria above). This must include at least one name and not more than two for each position to be filled.
  7. The Nominating Committee may, at their discretion, add at least one two-year term Member-at-Large position in any election.
  8. For every seat in contention, the Nominating Committee will discuss options with all candidates for that position.
  9. At the time of election, all candidates must be either Professional or Associate members in good standing.


  1. All current board members vote for all positions.
  2. Voting happens by secret ballot. (Survey monkey allows for survey without attaching info about the person completing the survey).
  3. Directors, whether running in competition or running unopposed, will be elected by a simple majority via secret ballot.
  4. A tie will be decided by President or VP, which ever one is not running in that election.
  5. If any position is not filled as a result of this voting, then the Board of Directors shall fill the position under the same rules that apply for filling any seat that should become vacant during the year.

Announcing the Results of the Election

  1. The person running the election closes the poles at the appointed time and calls the President with the results.
  2. The President then calls each person who was on the ballot and informs them of the election results.
  3. The President then emails the existing Board of Directors with the election results.
  4. Finally, the President informs the membership of the results of the election. Nominally this is done via the Message from the President in the next issue of Circle, thanking the outgoing members and welcoming and introducing the new members of the Board to the membership. However, this can also be done by special announcement to the membership.

The Four Application Questions

NB: These answers will also be used to craft board members bios for the ACO website

  1. Who are you: What is your main coach training, How long have you been coaching, and who do you work with?
  2. What position do you want: What role would you like as a board member?
  3. Why would you be good at it: What is your expertise and specifically what effect will that have on your participation?
  4. What do you want to accomplish if elected: What is your goal for participation in the ACO or what do you want to make happen?

Regarding the numbers for electing or removing board members

The policy of the ACO is that fractional people must be counted as whole people. Therefore, in the case of fractional votes required to meet the requirements for voting, the ACO will round up.

The chart below will govern how the votes must be counted in order to be incompliance with bylaws voting requirements.

number of board members
6 7 8 9 10
majority 4 4 5 5 6
2/3 4 5 6 6 7
4/5 5 6 7 8 8


Policy and Procedure for Board Review

It is the intention of the ACO that board members understand and appreciate their position on a working board. In order to be sure that all members know the contributions of all other members of the board, and in order to make sure that the election process is not just a continual reelection to a figure head board, board members shall participate in an evaluation process.

Each year during the month before the election, all board members shall submit to the nominating committee (NC) a summary of their activities on behalf of the ACO during the previous year. This shall include a list of his or her responsibilities for the previous 12 months and a list of the things he or she has actually done during the year. Additionally, constructive comments are expected. The self-review is to be based on these questions:

  1. What did you accomplished this year?
  2. What’s working? What’s not?
  3. What do you want more of? Less of?
  4. What challenges have come up this year? How did they get resolved?
  5. What would have been helpful?
  6. Any additional comments.

This may be as detailed as the board members wishes. The information in the report will be used by other board members during the election process to evaluate a member’s suitability to continue service on the board. It is also used by the Board to evaluate the overall functioning of the Board.

The evaluations shall be compiled by the NC and distributed to all board members at least two weeks before the election.

Policy and Procedure for Recording Board Meeting Minutes

How to post minutes in the record

  1. Put the following in the title line: ACO Board Meeting Minutes: xx/xx/xx
  2. Put the following as the first line of the post: Minutes submitted and posted by Your Name, YourTitle (e.g.: Minutes submitted and posted by Sarah Wright, Secretary).
  3. Before pasting the minutes into the body of the post, it is a good idea to first paste them into Notepad or similar basic text program to eliminate all funky coding from the word processing program. Then copy and paste from Notepad into the body of the post. Finally, add appropriate formatting to the post (bullets, numbering, bolding, etc).
  4. To record that weekly meeting minutes are missing from the record because no meeting was held, create a post for that date with the following text: No meeting was held on this date.
  5. Change the category of the post from “Uncategorized” to “Board Meeting Minutes”.
  6. Change the “Published on:” date to the date the meeting was held so the minutes always appear in the right order and are easy to locate for a particular date.
  7. Post the entry.
  8. After posting, check home page of this blog to make sure formatting, categories, and timestamp are correct.
  9. [UPDATE THIS with WHISLIST instructions]

To update the ACO Time Line page

This is updated on a semi regular basis. It is designed to summarize the dates of all key changes and decisions of the organization. Any date that refers to a board meeting should be linked to the posted minutes of that board meeting so the reader can easily click through. Any policy referred to should also be linked to the timeline so that the reader can easily click through.

Things to include in the time line are:

  • Key dates (conferences, elections, contracts)
  • Dates of any changes of personnel or jobs/titles and leaves of absence for personnel
  • Dates of starting or stopping of membership programs or benefits.
  • Dates of key decisions, e.g. accepting bylaws or specific policies and procedures.

Complaint and Fair Hearing Process

Independent Review Committee

The Independent Review Committee (IRC) will consist of 3 members. One member will be the Board chairperson related to the area of the complaint, and the other two members will be non-Board members. The Chairperson of the IRC will be one of the two non-board members.

Complaint and Review Process

Step 1 Filing the Complaint

A formal complaint must be filed on the ACO website [insert link]. The Complaint is forwarded to the IRC Chairperson.

Step 2 Determination

The IRC Chairperson verifies membership. Should the person the complaint is filed against be found not to be a members, the person filing the complaint (Complainant) is informed (by email) of non membership status, thereby leaving us with no authority to pursue the complaint and the case is closed.

Should the person the complaint is filed against be a member, the IRC committee determines the validity of the complaint and which Board committee Chairperson needs to be involved in the process. That Board committee Chairperson is notified by the IRC Chairperson and then becomes part of the IRC until the complaint is resolved.

The IRC determines which of the Standards & Expectations have been violated.

The Complainant is notified by the IRC that their complaint has been received and due process has begun. They are also informed that they will be notified when the complaint is resolved.

For the IRC:

  • The Complainant is not privy to any discussion by the IRC or the outcome.
  • The member involved in the complaint is not privy to a copy of the complaint in order to protect the Complainant and his or her name.

Throughout the process, the IRC Chairperson has the responsibility to keep the President updated weekly by email.

Step 3 Determining the Resolve

The IRC engages in discussions. The complaint is reviewed and a resolve is determined. The resolve may be loss of membership, expulsion, immediate dismissal, probationary, or other resolve that the IRC determines is appropriate.

Prior to notifying the member of the resolve, the IRC must notify the Board of its determination. The Board does not vote their approval, but is made aware of the status of the complaint.

The member is notified via registered mail of the IRC’s determination and their option to request a Fair Hearing. The member must confirm within 10 days of the date of the letter.

If there is no response to the registered mail, membership will be revoked and the member will be removed from the database, and listserv.

If the member accepts the resolve, the participants are informed by the IRC Chairperson that the matter has been resolved and the case is closed. A formal letter from the IRC Chairperson is sent by US mail closing the complaint filed.

Step 4 Request for Fair Hearing

If the member does not accept the required resolve, and decides to take the option of a Fair Hearing, here are the steps to proceed with the Fair Hearing.

Fair Hearing Process

Step 1: Preliminary Process

IRC sends a registered letter informing the member that the ACO will proceed with a Fair Hearing, including a hearing date to be held no later than 21 days from the date of the letter.

If the member declines the fair hearing, and still does not remedy the situation, the IRC Chairperson will inform the member that they are expelled from the ACO, including removal of their profile, and their listserv privileges.

Step 2: Procedure for Fair Hearing Process

The Fair Hearing personnel are comprised by:

  • Independent Review Committee
  • Board approved facilitator/Moderator

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Facilitator/Moderator is notified by the IRC Chairperson of the nature of the complaint and the parties involved.
  2. The member is notified of the hearing date by registered mail along with time and phone number to participate.
  3. The hearing takes place
  4. The IRC reviews the hearing and makes the final decision
  5. The IRC Chairperson notifies the member of the final decision
  6. The IRC Chairperson notifies the complainant that the complaint has been resolved.
  7. The IRC Chairperson updates the Board
  8. The IRC Chairperson forwards the necessary file(s) for processing through ACO’s Virtual Assistant who will file in a password protected folder.

Branding Policy

ACO’s branding policy (from our Standards and Expectations) is that individuals may not use their affiliation with the ACO, or the ACO’s name or logo (whether they are affiliated with the ACO or not), to promote positions antithetical to the ACO’s values, vision, mission, or definitions of ADHD Coaches and Coaching.