MEET THE TEAM
Arin is a young entrepreneur and the inspiration for Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats. In 2009, Arin met Posie, her service dog, who has always been called “Good Girl” by Arin. After years of feeding Good Girl countless homemade all natural treats, Arin’s hobby became her career after graduation from Webb Street School. Arin has an infectious personality, an endless love for animals, and loves making people smile! Arin is passionate about being able to earn her own living, run her business, and encourage the differently abled community.
Isaac is in his last year of high school and is excited to gain some work experience. He has learned how to be organized, punctual and a team player. Isaac enjoys making fresh and delicious dog treats and meeting new people. His vision for the future is having more social enterprises like Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats that give people with special needs an opportunity to make a difference and enjoy having a meaningful job.
Nathan likes making dog treats, especially when he gets to give his sister’s dog, Parker, treats! He also loves to play sports, showcasing his talents on the Carolina Fireflies Baseball team, in softball, soccer, and bowling with the Special Olympics of Gaston County. He also likes listening to music and playing his guitar. He enjoys being around other people and making them laugh. Nathan showcases his talents as a hard worker and learning how to do new things. He envisions a future for the differently abled community where everyone else gets to live in their own place, hang out with friends, and have a good job doing something that makes them happy.
Andrew is a graduate of Webb Street School where he got some great experience making dog treats. He learned discipline, respect, and work ethic, through the work program at Webb Street School. He has a good memory and pays great attention to details! Andrew’s vision for the future of the differently abled community, he says “I want to keep working at Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats. Everyone should be able to work at a job they like. Everyone can work and help others if they are given the opportunity.”
Alexandra has a passion for helping people, participating in adaptive sports, and jumping out of perfectly good airplanes! Her discipline, respect, work ethic, enthusiasm, and commitment to redefining the labels about her disability has allowed her to flourish in the many activities she involves herself in. When envisioning the future she dreams of for the differently abled community, Alexandra says,”I hope to see more access in public for those with a disability, and access to the things that able bodied people have. I also want to see more able bodied people accepting of those with a disability.”
Kyra is a high school junior at North Carolina Virtual Academy and will be starting classes at Central Piedmont Community College in 2022. She loves art and is planning on specializing in graphics in college. Kyra’s greatest strength is doing her best in whatever she does and trying her hardest.
Due to a traumatic brain injury from a car accident as a baby, Kyra has faced obstacles throughout her life but nothing makes her happier than proving people wrong when she is told she can’t do something. Her vision of the future for the differently abled community is one where all people understand that “differently abled” translates to unique, gifted and competent. There shouldn’t be one standard for success, achievement and effectiveness. She says: “Those of us who have challenges in our lives can and do overcome those challenges in ways that make us stronger and more capable than those who don’t. I want everyone to know that just because I do things differently or reach a goal in a different way doesn’t mean that I am any less worthy of consideration for whatever it is I am seeking to do or be in life”.
Jacob Conley is a freelance journalist that lives on his family’s farm in Rutherford County, NC. A 2008 graduate of Gardner-Webb University, Conley has covered a wide variety of sporting events from Little League Baseball to NFL Football. In his free time, he enjoys reading, going to concerts, handcycling and many other activities. In addition to Gabe, Conley has three cats, Poirot, Misty and Peaches and two pet ducks, Corona and Virus.
Gabriel Noel Conley, Gabe for short, is an AKC registered Chesapeake Bay Retriever. After an extensive search for the perfect dog, Gabe joined the Conley Clan, coming from Hassell’s Hunting Dogs in Creswell, NC during the Christmas season of 2021. He enjoys working off his energy running around on the farm, playing fetch, taking naps with Jacob, and of course snacking on Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats.
Joe enjoys watching videos and movies on his computer or iPad and is an avid Disney fan and hopes to visit Disney on Christmas someday. He is very detail oriented and does a fantastic job completing his house chores and helping his family in any way possible as well as volunteering at his local library branch every week. He loves making the Dragon Slayer treats at Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats since they are his dog Griffin's favorite treat. Joe’s vision for the future of the differently abled is that every person has their own place to live.
Greyson loves animals, especially dogs and cats. She loves taking care of her dog Mattie, short for Matilda. Greyson enjoys caring for her dog and also working at childcare at her local YMCA. She is looking forward to enrolling at her local community college to study early childhood education. Her other passion is music and learning about the different bands. Greyson has a strong work ethic, respect, enthusiasm, and a passion for helping others. Greyson’s vision for the differently abled is “being able to work and really love what they are doing. Just because we might be different doesn't mean we can’t make a difference.”
Hayden loves meeting new people at work and cutting out dog treats. He also loves sports, especially softball and volleyball playing for Special Olympics as well as playing for the Fireflies team. He enjoys music and spending time with family. Hayden's strengths are paying attention to detail making sure to get the job done. He envisions a future where people are more accepting of the differently abled.
Barbie loves spending time with family and friends and participating in Special Olympics. She enjoys learning new things and hopes to live on her own. Barbie has a strong work ethic and likes finishing projects she starts as well as caring for the people around her. She enjoys her work at Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats because directions are clear and simple to follow and she feels proud to be a part of the team. Her hope for the differently abled community is that more jobs opportunities for the differently abled become available.
Abigail | Co-founder
Abigail is Arin’s younger sister and co-founder of Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats. Abigail enjoys baking dog treats with Arin, and has volunteered within the community with disabilities throughout her life. From cheerleading buddy, to summer camp buddy, to annual fundraising for the Adaptive Sports and Adventures Program, Abigail recognizes the potential for individuals with disabilities and sees investing in them as a means to build a more inclusive and prosperous community. As a student at North Carolina State University studying Mechanical Engineering, Abigail has connected to resources such as the Entrepreneurship Clinic at NCSU helping bring Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats to life through a host of valuable mentors, community events, and supportive partners.
Talia | Director / Co-founder
Talia is a special education teacher and co-founded Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats. She believed Arin (her oldest daughter) had something special to offer the community around her. She began by baking treats with Arin for Posie (AKA Good Girl) and determined Arin’s passion was all dogs. Talia adapted Arin’s favorite recipes for dog treats and Arin’s Good Girl Dog Treats was born.
Talia believes that all individuals have potential and by cultivating that potential any individual can reach success. She has been instrumental at helping fundraise and build the only inclusive accessible playground in Gaston, NC, develop an outdoor interactive classroom and vocational training program for students with significant disabilities while fostering parent involvement in school by establishing a PTO and community partners. Talia has a BA in Political Science and Urban Studies from Elmhurst College and a master’s degree in the Art of Teaching Special Education with a focus on adaptive curriculum from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte.
Josette Duncan | Kitchen Manager
Josette Duncan is the kitchen manager for Arin's Good Girl Dog Treats and the mother to Nathan who works for the company as well. She began going to work with Nathan to help him when he didn't have a supported employment worker. She quickly realized that working at Arin's Good Girl Dog Treats was incredibly rewarding and brought lots of joy into her life. Thankfully, she was able to join the team and continue working with Arin and the other hardworking and dedicated individuals.
Josette is also the founder and president of the Special Needs Community Initiative (SNCI) whose mission is to create and sustain an affordable co-housing community for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities so that they may independently live in a safe environment that is rich in opportunities for personal growth through their LEARN, WORK, and PLAY program. She created the nonprofit organization after Nathan expressed a desire to live independently and do the same things other young adults were doing but realized there were no options that allowed him to live the life they envisioned. It is her hope to change the way adults with IDD live in their communities and that it becomes the model for other communities in the future.