The Wheels of Happiness Foundation Team

We help people with disabilities in developing countries to become independent, reintegrate, and add value to their communities. We provide people with motor disabilities with medical equipment and supplies, scholarships, psychological help and inspiration to make them independent and therefore more productive. By doing this, we believe that everybody wins. The Foundation is funded by the help of corporate and individual donors and by special events 

Board of Directors

Vincenzo Piscopo

Executive Director 


Vincenzo is the founder and President of The Wheels of Happiness Foundation. He founded the Wheels of Happiness Foundation 7 years ago after  suffering a spinal cord injury that left him paralized from the waist down. He founded The Wheels of Happiness Foundation as a way to pay forward all the support he received from his family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.

Vincenzo was born and grew up in Venezuela. He has bachelor degree in Economics from Universidad Catolica Andres Bello, an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master in Creative Leadership from Buffalo State College. He is currently completing a Master in Rehabilitation Counseling. 

He has been working for The Coca-Cola Company for the last 22 years. He is married to his wife Gabriela and has 4 kids Rafael, Antonella, Arianna and Sabrina. In his free time he plays wheelchair tennis and teaches Sunday school at Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.

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María Gabriela Piscopo

Board Member: President  


Gabriela Piscopo is a Professor of Marketing and International Business at Morehouse College, where she also conducts research in the areas of customer value, 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. 

She has more than 10 years of solid industry experience which includes consulting in the area of marketing research and analytics for multinational companies, global pricing management and financial and business analysis, both in the US and South America. Dr. Piscopo recently joined the Ascend 2020 project, sponsored by JP Morgan Chase to support minority entrepreneurship throughout Metropolitan Atlanta.

Gabriela is a native of Valencia, Venezuela and has lived in the Atlanta area since 1996. Being a founding member of the Wheels of Happiness Foundation has been extremely rewarding for her. Among all things, she is most proud of her beautiful family which includes husband Vincenzo, son Rafael and daughters Antonella, Arianna and Sabrina.

                                                                                                           

Jim Sanderson

Board Member; Vice-President  


Jim Sanderson is the Division Electrical and Automation Manager for Motion Industries in the Southeast. He received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. After a 30-year career, he is responsible for the electrical and automation segment of Motion Industries, which is the largest industrial distributor in the US. As a product specialist, he has helped several large companies meet their maximum performance. He has had a long history of community service and has held several board positions in charitable organizations.  His passion is to help others achieve their goals.

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Kerry Kerr

Board Member: Secretary


  

Kerry is originally from Clearwater, Florida.  As the daughter of a Minister, she has been privileged to live in many locations throughout Florida, Georgia and England. 

Her career has spanned more than 16 years of experience across diverse international markets, including 13 years of Public and Media Relations at The Coca-Cola Company.  During that time she has been privileged to focus on global brand and business communications, investor relations, community and stakeholder campaigns, issues management and strategic planning. 

Now based in her birth state of Florida, Kerry is ecstatic to be a new member of the WOH Board and assisting with the work to share empowerment and happiness! 

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Juan Carlos Montalvo

Board Member: Treasurer

 

Juan Carlos has over 30 years of relevant business experience in accounting, auditing and finance. He currently works for Habitat for Humanity International in Atlanta where le leads their global Internal Audit Department. Before joining Habitat, Juan Carlos spent over 20 years working in various financial, accounting and auditing roles for private and public companies in the USA and Venezuela, including Ernst & Young where he served as a Senior Manager in the Advisory Services Practice in Atlanta for over six years and three years in the Assurance Practice in Caracas, Venezuela. He also worked as General Manager and CFO for a non-profit organization aimed to help children in Venezuela.  

Juan Carlos was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela and has lived in the USA since 1999. He has an MBA degree in Finance from Mercer University (Atlanta), and a BBA in Accounting from Santa Maria University (Caracas, Venezuela). He is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Georgia Chapter of Certified Fraud Examiners. He lives in Woodstock, GA with his wife and and son.

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Kelley Brooks Simoneaux

Board Member  


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.  

Following her spinal cord injury, Kelley went to rehab for three months at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, continuing her high school education while in the hospital.  She graduated with her class, going on to undergrad 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.

When Kelley is not in the courtroom, she is fighting for greater accessibility in rideshare companies.  After being denied a ride in an Uber due to her wheelchair, she began a national campaign called Wheel2Ride, focused on education and policy change in accessibility and inclusivity for Transportation Network Providers (TNPs).  She also serves as the Director of Law and Advocacy for SPINALpedia.org, an online video mentoring platform for individuals with spinal cord injuries.  

Most importantly, Kelley is known as Mom to a 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.  She enjoys traveling the world with her family, and uses any rare moment alone to practice adaptive yoga.  

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Francisco Montiel

Board Member


  

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.

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Boyd Christian

Board Member


  

Boyd Christian is a Managing Director for CapTech Consulting, where he leads CapTech’s Atlanta office which provides technology and management consulting services to Fortune 500 companies.  Boyd has 10 years of experience in corporate roles in Talent Management, Marketing, and Innovation, and he has 10 years providing management consulting and technology services to Fortune 500 clients.  Boyd has an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, and a BS in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University.

Boyd is a native of Arlington, VA and has lived in the Atlanta area since 2001.  He currently resides in Milton, GA with his wife Tricia and two children, Anna and Grant.


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Misael Portillo

Board Member


Misael is a U.S. Citizen, born in Venezuela. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from La Universidad del Zulia in Venezuela and an MBA from Babson College, a prestigious business school in Wellesley, Massachusetts. 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. His passion since then has been real estate, in which industry, for the last 20 years, he has had highly successful experiences as investor, builder, developer and now serving as a Global Elite Realtor® at Keller Williams International, enjoing helping families, individuals and investors, to achieve their real estate needs, dreams and goals.

His participation, at a young age, as guest of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), and his continuous interaction with its International Exchange Alumni throughout the world, has given him a global perspective, fructiferous international relations and a passion to give others the same opportunities he has had in exchange programs. With this purpose in mind, 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, currently serving as member of the Board of Directors of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and member of the Global Ties U.S.’ Council of International Members.

Misael is fluent in English and Spanish and lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife Isabel Cristina.where they are.

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Corbin Reynolds

Board Member


Corbin graduated from the University of Georgia in 2013 with a degree in Computer Science. He has worked as a software engineer on a number of enterprise mobile applications. He currently works at Microsoft, where he leads the iOS engineering team for Outlook Mobile, the email and calendar app used by millions. In his free time, Corbin enjoys riding his bike and traveling with his wife, Ana. They live together in San Francisco, California. 

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Operating Team

Rosa Burkard

 

Rosa is an English – Spanish Translator and Interpreter with a BA in English – Spanish – French Translation and Interpretation from Universidad Central de Venezuela, a MA in Intercultural Communication from The Monterey Institute of International Studies, and MA in Terminology from Pompeu Fabra University, Spain. She is also trained in areas such as translation of patents, and clinical trial protocols, and Spanish technical writing.

In 2013 Rosa became a Georgia-Certified Court Interpreter, and has been a Qualified Interpreter for the US Department of State: Liaison, Seminar and Conference Interpreter since 2010.

Rosa has translated and interpreted for multiple companies, federal agencies, and NGOs in Venezuela, USA and other countries, and the justice system (Immigration, Civil and Criminal Courts, Worker’s Compensation, etc.) in USA. She has solid experience in technical fields (such as oil, energy, engineering, agriculture, and occupational safety, among ot Member: Secretary                                                                                                 

hers), labor relations, marketing, and the medical/healthcare sector. 

Rosa has taught translation, interpretation, and note-taking courses at Universidad Central de Venezuela and Georgia State University and has been a guest speaker at various educational events including the International Terminology Summer School 2008 (Vienna, Austria), the Atlanta Association of Interpreters and Translators, and the Medical Interpreter Network of Georgia.

Rosa speaks Spanish, English, and Italian. She was born in Italy, raised in Venezuela, and has lived in the USA since 2005. She is married and has two grown-up children

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Carolina Artadi


Carolina is originally from Caracas, Venezuela and has been living in the U.S. for 23 years. She is a Speech-Language Pathologist with experience in language and communication disorders in children and adults. She also holds a Bachelor in Psychology. Currently Carolina works with the Babies Can’t Wait program as a Service Coordinator and Special Instructor, working with babies 0 to 3 years-old and their families. Additionally, Carolina has been painting watercolor and oil for many years. She lives in Alpharetta, Georgia, with her husband and three children. She is proud to be part of the leadership team of the Wheels of Happiness Foundation.                                                                                                          

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Sue Buitrago


Zullin is originally from Maracaibo, Venezuela, and has been living in the U.S. in the state of Georgia for 28 years. She is a Graphic Designer from GSU with work experience at CNN Español and IBM. Currently Zullin has a creative blog (Zullin.com); she is also the Coordinator of the anual Venezuelan Christmas Tree at the Fernbank Museum, a passionate activist for Human Rights and humanitarian Aid, and a proud member of the Wheels of Happiness Team.

                                                                                            

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Blas López

                                                                                          

  

Blas is from Valencia, Venezuela and moved to the US in June 1993. He has a bachelor degree in Information Systems from the Universidad Tecnologica del Centro (UNITEC). He is currently working for Orange Business Services , a France Telecom unit, where he has spent more than 20 years in several positions, and now he is an AME Sales Channel Manager.

He lives in Atlanta with his wife and has four children, two of them are grown-up kids, one is in college and the youngest one is still in high school. Blas and his wife spend most of his time in soccer fields with his youngest son. 

He enjoys volunteering for the Wheels of Happiness organization and working with its wonderful team to help children with disabilities worldwide.

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Gloria Harde

   

Gloria is originally from Acarigua, Venezuela and has lived in Georgia for 22 Years. She has been a Director of Avenext for 6 years. She works as a realtor and lives in Milton Georgia with her husband and three kids. She’s very proud of her work helping people around the world and is proud to be one of the founder members of The Wheels of Happiness Foundation. 

                                                                 

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Mayre Kile


Mayre is originally from Caracas, Venezuela, and has lived in Atlanta since 1998. She is the founder and president of The Spanish Answer. She is a Spanish Teacher, Tutor, and a Spanish Curriculum Developer. She teaches Spanish to executives from different companies in the Atlanta area. She has a bachelor degree in Learning Disabilities, a Master Degree in Learning Processes from the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello, Venezuela and a Master Degree in Teaching Spanish as a Second Language, from the University of Alcalá de Henares, Spain.

She lives in Atlanta with his Husband Tom and three daughters. She is very proud to be a founder member of the Wheel of Happiness Foundation

Eduardo Burkard

 

Eduardo is from Valencia, Venezuela and is fluent in 3 languages.

He has been working in hospitality since he began working as a team member at Chick-fil-A. After graduating from GCSU with a BBA in Marketing, he lived in Italy for 1 year, where he studied, worked, and traveled around Europe.

After gaining sales experience upon his return from Italy, he moved his career focus to hospitality.

Although he formally joined the Wheels of Happiness foundation in 2018, he has been a regular volunteer since the organization’s inception. 

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Maria Alexandra Pernetz

 

  

Alexandra is a registered diagnostic cardiac sonographer, a register vascular technologist and a fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography. She has been the Technical Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Program at Emory Healthcare of Atlanta since 1994.

She attended Central University of Venezuela and graduated as a Cardiopulmonary Technologist.  She lives in Atlanta with her husband William Rodriguez and her two kids.

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William Rodriguez

  

William is the founder and CEO of Cornucopia Farms, LLC. He worked as an Operation Manager and Chief Pilot for The Bristow Group in West Africa and a Captain for AEROPOSTAL Airlines. He attended the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas, Venezuela where he got a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Alexandra and two kids.

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