Our Mission

Our Mission

At Wheels of Happiness, we take pride in our mission to empower spinal cord injury survivors and individuals with motor disabilities in underserved communities worldwide. We deliver vital mobility aids and medical supplies, offer scholarships, provide psychological support, and fund life-changing operations. Join us as we foster independence in our beneficiaries so they can integrate into society and add value to their communities.

Our Story

Wheels of Happiness emerged in 2011 after our founder Vincenzo Piscopo was faced with a life-altering spinal cord injury. While at an in-patient rehabilitation, he crossed paths with Father Thomas, a Ugandan priest facing a similar injury. Thanks to the support and care Vincenzo received, he has been able to live a productive, fulfilling life. Unfortunately, Father Thoma’s post-injury experience and care were lackluster. He suffered a catastrophic motorcycle accident and was left by the roadside for hours, transported to the hospital in the back of a truck, and eventually found himself confined to his bed, unable to step outside and feeling hopeless. 

Luckily and thanks to the kindness of Samaritans, Father Thomas was sent to Atlanta’s Shepherd Center for transformative therapy. Enzo’s path crossed with Father Thomas’s at Shepherd, where after a few months, Enzo got to witness Father Thomas return to Uganda, with renewed strength, resuming his role of serving both God and his community. Father Thomas’s story raised Vincenzo’s awareness of the unmet needs of people with disabilities in underprivileged pockets of the world. To pay it forward, Vincenzo and his wife Gabriela founded “The Wheels of Happiness Foundation” and sent out their first donations to Uganda in honor of Father Thomas.

From our first efforts in Uganda, we expanded our help to people with motor disabilities in Peru, Nigeria, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela – the home country of our founders, Vincenzo & Gabriela. Over the first four years of operations, Vincenzo and Gabriela directed aid from their own resources, rallying friends and family to contribute to the cause. Sometimes it entailed sending a box of supplies, others it involved purchasing a wheelchair or funding a required surgery.

 What began as an informal outreach later evolved into a more robust and sustained effort. In a pivotal turn in 2015, the Wheels of Happiness registered as a 501(c)(3) organization. This allowed us to raise more funds, helping us reach more people worldwide. As we grew, we also extended our support to individuals in the United States.

Our journey began with small steps but has grown into something impactful. Over the years, countless similar stories have fueled our commitment to changing 1000+ lives all over the world. We continue fully committed to our mission of helping people with motor disabilities live with dignity and be productive members of society.

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Our Board Members

Gabriel Vaca

Gabriel Vaca is the President and CEO of Vaca International, LLC., a business specializing in mentoring and consulting for small businesses targeting the Latino market, which offers expertise in sales strategies, training, and startup growth plans. A renowned speaker on Hispanic business, leadership, and diversity, Vaca also serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Councils of the Georgia and Cobb Chambers of Commerce.

Previously, Vaca held leadership roles with the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GHCC) and UPS International, where he spent 24 years consulting on international logistics. During his tenure at GHCC, he spearheaded initiatives in finance, sales, and minority certification, while also founding programs like the Hispanic Business Center.

Recognized for his contributions, Vaca has received accolades such as the "Outstanding Georgia Citizen" award from the Secretary of State and induction into the GHCC Hall of Fame's inaugural class. Additionally, he was honored by the US House of Representatives for his community leadership in Georgia.

A former entrepreneur with roots in international trade, Vaca brings a wealth of experience to his work. Born in Mexico City and raised in Washington, D.C., he currently resides in Roswell, GA.

Aneth Boozer

Chairwoman of the board:

Aneth Padrón Boozer is the VP of Transformation for Hearthside Food Solutions in the Greater Chicago Area.  In this role Aneth partners with Hearthside’s Senior Leadership Team to architect and develop the company’s transformation strategy and establish initiatives to support the growth of HFS.  This includes establishing and leading the Program Management Office and Commercialization Function.

Prior to Hearthside Aneth was the VP Global Indirect Procurement at Royal DSM, leading over 150 associates in the Americas, Asia and EMEA regions.   Prior to Royal DSM, Aneth held various positions of increasing responsibility with The Coca-Cola Company as well as with Kraft General Foods. She has wide-ranging experience as a senior executive, in the Nutrition and Food & Beverage industries, extensive expertise in leadership including Procurement, Supply Chain Management, Product Innovation, Engineering and Strategy, and she has led several large-scale transformation initiatives over her career.

Aneth earned her Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and Master of Business Administration from Brenau University. She holds a Masters Certificate of Translation from Georgia State University.

Gabriela Piscopo


Gabriela Piscopo is a Professor of Marketing and International Business at Morehouse College, where she also conducts research in the areas of non-profit marketing, relationship marketing and entrepreneurship. She has a PhD in Marketing from Georgia State University, an MBA from the Tepper School of Business of Carnegie Mellon University, and a BA in Economics from Universidad de Carabobo in Venezuela.

Gabriela, a native of Valencia, Venezuela, has called the Atlanta area home since 1996. Founding the Wheels of Happiness Foundation has been deeply rewarding for her. Yet, above all accomplishments, she is the proudest of her family: husband Vincenzo, son Rafael, and daughters Antonella, Arianna, and Sabrina.

Ramona Houston


Ramona Houston, Ph.D., PMP, enjoys a multifaceted career as a scholar, social impact strategist, and speaker. African American/Latino relations, social responsibility and higher education are the principal spheres of her work.

An American historian, Ramona specializes in 20th century American history, civil rights and race relations, specifically its African American and Mexican American dimensions. Through her publications and presentations, Ramona analyzes American race relations and promotes the importance of diverse groups working together to solve America’s most critical challenges.

Ramona is also host of the The Empowerment Zone podcast, where she explores issues pertinent to the African American and Latino/a communities.

Eduardo Burkard


Eduardo is a hospitality professional with experience with different hotel brands. In the past several years, he has been serving the hospitality industry by providing technology solutions.

He speaks fluent English and Spanish, and conversational level Italian. All of which have helped him expand his professional network and add value to the companies he's worked for. 

His personal connection to Vincenzo has kept him close to the Wheels of Happiness organization, where he's always looking for ways to grow their reach to help more people in more places around the country and the world.

He lives in downtown Atlanta with his wife Malena and 2 cats; Chispita and Gnocchi.

Vincenzo Piscopo


Vincenzo Piscopo is the President and CEO of United Spinal Association, the largest membership organization of people with spinal cord injuries and disorders in the United States. Vincenzo is a seasoned professional with 25 years of experience in the private sector with a focus on innovation, corporate social responsibility and diversity and inclusion. He is a strong advocate for the equality of people with disabilities and has a keen interest in equity, inclusion and accommodation at the workplace. He is proud to be the first person of color to serve as the leader of a disability rights pioneer like United Spinal.

Before being named CEO of United Spinal, Vincenzo was a part of The Coca Cola Company, where he founded This-Ability BRG, cultivated strategic relationships with veterans, people with disabilities and Hispanic serving organizations, and promulgated the company’s first disability inclusion agenda. 

Vincenzo is the founder of the Wheels of Happiness Foundation, where he utilized his expertise to help people with motor disabilities in disadvantaged areas of the world. As a result of the foundation, over 200 individuals with disabilities have been able to regain their independence, reintegrate into society, and add value to their communities. Additionally, he is a member of the board of directors of Respectability, FODAC (Friends of the Disabled Adults and Children), and the Shepherd Center.

Vincenzo has a BS in economics from Universidad Catolica Andres Bello, an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master in Creativity from Buffalo State College.


He was born in Valencia, Venezuela to Italian immigrants. He is married to Dr. Gabriela Piscopo, with whom he has 4 children, and enjoys playing wheelchair tennis and reading Latin American Literature. He is an enthusiastic public speaker on subjects including innovation, diversity and inclusion, disability rights, immigrant rights, Hispanic culture, and motivational topics.

Yaquarri Adams

Yaquarri Adams is an energetic and passionate business leader with extensive experience in commercial finance, strategic planning and negotiation. Throughout his career, he has been highly effective in increasing revenue and profitability through strategy development, effective planning and operational execution. Guided by his belief that the greatest responsibility of leaders is to inspire others, he is well-regarded by many for his focus on enhancing the knowledge, skills and leadership behaviors of others through coaching and development. Among his many passions, being a strong, smart and respected voice for those underrepresented in society is a top priority.

Francisco Montiel

Francisco Montiel is originally from Maracaibo, Venezuela and moved to the US in August of 1992. He has a Bachelor degree in Architecture from the Universidad del Zulia and a Master’s degree in Architecture from Georgia Tech. After working in this field for 16 years, he decided to make a career move into Interior Design and is currently a Project Director at Blackdog Studio, a firm that specializes in the hospitality industry.

Francisco has volunteered for a couple of non for profit organizations in the past and is excited to be a part of the Wheels of Happiness Organization. He currently lives in Midtown Atlanta and enjoys working out and traveling in his free time.

Misael Portillo

Misael J. Portillo has a bachelor’s degree in economics from La Universidad del Zulia in Venezuela and an MBA from Babson College. Up to year 2001 he held several senior and top-level banking positions in Venezuela, with major focus in mortgage lending, as well as private and corporate banking.

In early 2010 he founded ProAmericas, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia and, in 2012, he was the co-founder and now Vice-President of IANAmericas, the Inter-American Network of U.S. Alumni Associations for the Western Hemisphere. He has been the Chairman and member of the Council of Advisors of other distinguished international organizations fostering lasting and prosperous relations with the United States of America.

Kelley Brooks Simoneaux

Kelley Simoneaux is an attorney and disability rights advocate based in Washington, DC. She is the founder of The Spinal Cord Injury Law Firm, PLLC where she represents individuals following a spinal cord injury. Kelley has committed her professional life to helping those with spinal cord injuries after she became a T-12 paraplegic as a passenger in a car wreck when she was 16 years old.


She graduated at Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama and then law school at the University of Tennessee College of Law. She practiced at several nationally known law firms in Atlanta, Georgia before moving to Washington, DC.

Abbe Kantor

Abbe was a senior consumer/customer marketer with over 32 years at The Coca-Cola Company. Her career combined consumer brand marketing expertise with advertising / promotional agency acumen. She developed and executed nearly 1500 consumer and customer marketing programs. She is widely recognized as a leader, influencer and relationship builder in all facets of consumer, customer, channel, brand and product marketing in Retail, FoodService and On-Premise.

Abbe currently serves as the Chief Community Engagement Officer at Business RadioX® - Helping Business Leaders Build Community By Sharing Stories That Matter

Brandon Winfield

In 2008, Brandon Winfield (he/him) was injured in a motocross accident that left him with a thoracic spinal cord injury (paralyzed from the waist down). Only 14 years old at the time, he was faced with the decision to either let this dramatic event stop him from truly living the life he wanted or to turn it into an opportunity to triumph in the face of tragedy – Brandon chose the latter. He continued his love for racing in the form of four wheels, entered sprint kart racing, and won numerous events across the country. As he traveled, he realized that although some places he visited were compliant according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), many areas were grandfathered in and never forced to retrofit to accommodate the mobility impaired.

Jesse Breidinger

Jesse Breidinger has 15+ years of experience across marketing, operations, strategic planning, corporate social responsibility, sustainability and more. 

Currently serving as a Strategy & Sustainability lead at Novelis, Jesse drives the advancement of strategic planning for the global leader in aluminum rolling and recycling across several industries including automotive, food and beverage packaging, and high-end specialties markets. 

Prior to Novelis, Jesse held influential roles at The Coca-Cola Company, Aramark Sports & Entertainment, and Sodexo Higher Education. She is most proud of developing the digital strategy and execution that led to empowering over 5 million women entrepreneurs through Coca-Cola's 5by20 initiative. She holds an Executive MBA from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Bachelor's Degree in Business & Economics from Lehigh University.

Outside of work, Jesse enjoys spending time with her husband, Andrew, and 3 year old daughter, Averi, at their home in Decatur tending to their "urban farm" including chickens and rescue pups.

Jesse is committed to being a positive force to shape a better future for our world. She continually seeks opportunities to learn new things and diversify her contribution to her community. She is currently in training to become a Reiki Master later this year with the intention to guide others with energy healing techniques.

Paulette Jewsome

Paulette Jewsome is the Midwest and West Regional Buyer of Indirect Sourcing for dsm-firmenich. In this role, Paulette leads in driving initiatives to enhance cost efficiencies and savings. This includes collaborating with stakeholders to navigate contract negotiations, while  fostering continuous improvement efforts and establishing strong supplier relationships.

Prior to her role at dsm-firmenich, Paulette honed her skills at The Coca-Cola Company as a Supply Chain Analyst, where she leveraged procurement data to support business planning and strategy development. Her expertise extended to supplier management and compliance, while driving supplier development initiatives.

In addition to her corporate experience, Paulette also contributed to education as an ESOL Teacher with Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta and within the Atlanta Public Schools system. In these roles, she demonstrated her passion for instruction and student progress through tailored planning and hands-on learning experiences all while seamlessly merging academia with corporate prowess.

With a proven track record of success in procurement, supply chain management, and education, Paulette Jewsome brings a unique blend of skills and expertise to every role, driving organizational success and fostering continuous improvement.

Paulette earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of West Georgia and Master of Education in Instructional Leadership from Argosy University.