AN EMPLOYMENT SUCCESS STORY
Ray and Sophie, two TotalLink job seekers, work for Finley's Barkery, a pet treat company, as Brand Ambassadors at two local stores, Kriser's Natural Pet in Wilmette and Bentley's Pet Stuff in Glenview.
“Partnering with TotalLink's Employment Specialist, Greg, and the TotalLink team has been a true privilege. The time and support they invest in the people they serve is like no other team I have worked with. From the moment I met Sophie and Ray, I knew they would be the perfect fit for Finley’s. Their love for animals and desire to have a job was evident in their smiles on training day. Seeing their success and confidence grow with each work shift has been simply awesome!”
- Angie Gallus, VP of Mission Advancement, Finley’s Barkery
Finley's Barkery began baking their all-natural pet treats out of a small commissary kitchen in 2016. The bakers included special education teachers and co-founders, Angie and Kyle Gallus and a small group of their former students. Today, Finley's products are sold throughout the United States in pet specialty and premium grocery stores and online, and their commitment to the inclusion of people with disabilities has grown along with the company. Angie and Kyle’s mission of inclusion helped inspire the Brand Ambassador Initiative, which provides paid work opportunities to people with disabilities. Brand Ambassadors, like Sophie and Ray, help promote sales of Finley's products.
Ray and Sophie feel good about helping customers and each other. Recently, in TotalLink’s heART Words program, Ray wrote the following:
"Something kind I have done recently is help out customers at my job. I help people find the Finleys treats, and I give them free dog treat samples for their dogs. I also get along very well with my coworker, and even though we just started the job, we help each other out on the job and take turns handing out the coupons and giving out the samples so that we both get to have a good time on the job and do the fun parts."