The Story of Team Woofgang & Co.

Team Woofgang & Co was founded in 2017 with a mission to provide vocational skills development to adults with disabilities, while educating the community about the need for increased job opportunities for these individuals.

The Story of Team Woofgang & Co.

Team Woofgang & Co was founded in 2017 with a mission to provide vocational skills development to adults with disabilities, while educating the community about the need for increased job opportunities for these individuals.

Chapter One: 2017-2019

Co-founders (L to R)  Kelly Maffei, Amy Stern and Kris Burbank formed FUTURES-CT, Inc. in 2017.  The nonprofit officially changed its name to Team Woofgang & Co. in 2020. The co-founders envisioned a business model that would provide meaningful vocational training for transitioned adults with disabilities and increased community awareness of the need for local employment options among these individuals.

Kelly Maffei ​currently serves as Team Woofgang & Co.’s Program & Retail Manager.  An advocate for children with disabilities for over 20 years she was instrumental in creating a Best Buddies chapter at her local high school to help prevent social and physical isolation among students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Kelly is also the office manager for a local design firm and has previous experience working in the computer industry. She holds a BA in mathematics from Boston College.

Amy Stern is the current President of the Board of Directors of Team Woofgang & Co. She has served as a guest speaker for the Fairfield Public School system on the subject of raising young adults with disabilities after high school. Amy is the mother of five and previously practiced as an attorney with McCormick and Epstein (MA) and the Law Offices of James J. Gentile (CT).  She holds a B.A. in economics and political science from Boston College and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.

Kris Burbank is a former Southport resident and the mother of three children, including one with severe disabilities.  A lifelong advocate for people with special needs, Kris founded Fairfield’s Committee for People with Disabilities as well as Stamford’s Access4All Committee to help municipal leaders better address important issues.  Kris is a former member of the Abilis Board of Directors and consultant to many non-profits in the disability space.  She now coaches and collaborates with parents of individuals with disabilities through her company, Learn to Bloom Coaching. Kris holds a certificate in leadership coaching from Georgetown University and a BA in Communication from DePauw University. 

Chapter Two: 2020-Present

Team Woofgang’s board of directors makes the decision to move the organization beyond it’s grass-roots, all-volunteer beginnings. While still relying upon an incredible group of volunteers, a staff is built with the addition of an Executive Director, grants writer, bookkeeper, program manager, and production manager. Having our own production facility/bakery was also in process when COVID hit, closing down all in-person operations. Showing tremendous agility, the team shifted to an at-home curriculum that managed to both produce and sell over 850 boxes of treats but also launched an on-line curriculum that engaged our team members and continued learning with 156 Zoom “huddles.” With an exceptional team of volunteers and paid staff as well as our own production facility now operational, Team Woofgang is well positioned for a very bright future.

Executive Director Announced  – In February 2021 the board of directors brought Amiee Turner onto the team as Executive Director. She was tasked to work closely with staff and the board to ensure the organization can continue to  serve adults with disabilities as we emerge from the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, to oversee the completion and opening of Team Woofgang & Co.’s new production facility, expand ongoing fundraising/ development efforts, and to continued the evolution and expansion of Team Woofgang & Co.’s services, programs, and retail products. 

 

New Production Facility Opens – On May 5, 2021 Team Woofgang & Co officially opened their doors to the brand new production facility under strict COVID protocols. The “bakery” as it is sometimes called, is located at 2861 Fairfield Ave in the heart of the historic Black Rock District. Our opening and ribbon cutting garnered much attention from news organizations and the ribbon cutting was attended by local officials including Mayor Ganim, Board President Amy Stern, Executive Director Amiee Turner, many of our team members, volunteers, and board members.  

 

Looking to the Future – Expansion and growth are what Team Woofgang & Co is focused on for the future. We are deep in the R & D process of introducing three new treat options with a goal of launching them in 2022. This expands our curriculum and adds new skills to our curriculum. We are equally excited to expand wholesale accounts which allow our team members to learn account servicing. All of this, as well as growing our board, increasing fundraising, and bringing in a steady flow of new team members makes us excited about our future!