Meet The Team
President & CEO
Ren Nelson is currently the President and CEO of AVR INC. Ren’s career in the utility industry and at AVR is unique from a personal and business perspective. As a young child she became a part of the AVR business office even at the early age of three. A bit of humor... she was notorious for sitting at everyone’s desk, getting on their computers, and asking a million questions as she demanded immediate and prompt answers. The word around the office was “she’s going to run this company someday”!
Ren started working at AVR at the early age of 17, and while studying for her Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA) from University of Houston she worked her way over a 20-year span into management in departments such as Client Support, Client Relations, Sales, then onto Senior Support Analyst and Senior Implementation Director. After being in management at AVR she became a part of the executive team and eventually to President and CEO of AVR.
Her commitment to AVR starts with maintaining the ethical standards, integrity and a family oriented cooperate culture of AVR legacy, which was founded and managed for over 60 years , by her late grandfather former CEO of AVR Mr. Ronald Emberg. As Mr. Emberg did, Ren prides herself in the fact that generations of families have, and still work at AVR with tenures as far back as 30 ,40 and even 50 years. Many employees are third generation from several families.
Her Mantra is simple, be loyal, be fair and never lose sight of helping people become the best that they can be while providing our customers with the very best of everything. Ren firmly believes to keep the research and development teams ahead of the game and provide excellent products and services, continuing industry education and keeping a close eye on ever changing legislation, regulatory changes, and rules of the TCEQ, PUS and EPA is critical.
A key component of her success, she is a member of and continues to educate herself in classes with TRWA, AWBD, AWWA, and TML. She works closely with her client base of Water Wastewater Operations Companies, Municipalities, WSC’s, IOU’s, MUD’s and Privately Held Utilities, as they each have unique infrastructure needs that change according to the constant demand of industry standards. This is a vital component in her drive to provide the industry with solutions for their needs and mission to make their offices more automated.
Vice President, Operations & Finance
Sonny is proud to call Space City Houston, Texas his home where he was born and raised. After graduating with a BA in Financial Mathematics, Sonny was hired on as a Financial Analyst and closely mentored by the former Chief Financial Officer and Founder, Ron Emberg. Sonny has spent the last 8 years honing various competencies within the water billing and software industry. His ambition, leadership, work ethics, and professional curiosity has paved the way for many great successes at AVR at the same time graduating from Rice University with a Masters in Business Administration. Today, you can find Sonny working with the CEO on strategic planning and Operations management. When he's not bleeding i3 green, He's getting in touch with his Puerto Rican and Cuban roots through Salsa dancing, Wepa!
Vice President of Technology
Steve brings an abundance of knowledge with 29 years as an IT professional and 10-plus years of Utility billing experience. He has become proficient in identifying system gaps and building solutions to produce cost savings and generate revenue. As a strong believer of servant leadership, Steve has attracted and developed high level talent to drive individual and company growth. Steve enjoys hitting the links and riding the local trails.
Director of Software Services
Storm Mansell has worked for AVR since 2016 in various roles, but has worked in the water utility industry for almost his entire professional career. Showing a knack for technology at a young age and working for one of the largest water operating companies in Texas at a young age, Storm gained immediate experience in customer service, utility billing, dispatching, payment processing, and field operations before taking on various roles centered around software and information technology. Storm obtained his Microsoft Certified Solution Developer Certification from Southern Methodist University in 2001, and never looked back as he developed and implemented multiple solutions to benefit his industry, going from a Special Projects Assistant, to a Software Developer, to a SQL Database Administrator, to a Business Analyst, to a Senior Project Manager over the years. Storm brings great industry knowledge, excellent problem solving and communication skills and a semi-technical background to continue to tackle challenges on a daily basis, and move AVR forward for the future. When he’s not busy organizing meetings and solving problems for AVR, you can find him organizing events as a brand ambassador for Polaris Slingshot, playing poker, or spending time with his family.
Director of Managed Services
Dixie started her professional career at AVR Inc. 10 years ago as Manager of Print Production where she streamlined procedures to increase efficiency and profitability. Her focus was on improving the client experience and overseeing the ever-changing technology in the Print industry. When the MBA (Managed Backoffice Administration) department was in it's infancy, Dixie managed this department in addition, structuring the procedures and policies. After a sabbatical, Dixie is back to work. On this second tour, Dixie has provided her team with training and resource materials to empower them to perform their jobs faster and more accurately. She is currently the Director of Managed Services, which encompasses both Print Production and MBA. The legacy of AVR Inc. is Dixie's passion. When she's not bringing the best out in her team at AVR Inc., Dixie likes tending her vegetable garden, reading, cardio classes, and spending time with her family.
Product Manager - uVisionPLUS
Having spent 25 years of service with AVR, Carlos brings the experience of those who came before him. Carlos is originally from Mexico City and moved to the Space City of Houston at the age of 13, attended Houston Community College and University of Houston-Downtown. With his own style of leading by example and servant leadership he has manage to undertake several management positions in AVR through the years, from Print Production, IT, Software Support, Implementation, Training, Quality Assurance and now Product Manager of AVR’s utility billing application uVisionPLUS Product. Working closely with the uVP-team, they attend to the needs of our customers and strive to produce the best data and record management application for the utility billing industry. In his free time, he likes to spend time with his family and serve at his local community and church.
Product Manager - Field Management Applications
JR’ brings immense water/waste water operation and maintenance knowledge to his role as Field Management Applications Product Manager. JR spent 8 years working with a Texas MUD operator prior to joining AVR. JR held many roles within the organization that involved construction, maintenance, water and waste water treatment plant operating. Along with the field experience, JR also gained knowledge of the administrative aspect of the water utility business, holding positions from customer service to Technical Service office manager. When not at work, JR enjoys traveling for outdoor adventures, working out, reading and craft beer.
Product Manager - Bill Payer Applications
Like many before him, Kenny Shairrick started out in AVR's Print Operations department and quickly worked his way up the ranks to become a leader of the company. Prior to becoming our Product Manager of Bill Payer Applications and Product Architecture, Kenny was AVR's Print Operations manager for 5 years and during that time, pioneered new solutions to drive greater production efficiency while maintaining high quality. Kenny transitioned to the "software side of the house" in 2019 and since then, he has been very instrumental in driving our technology forward to the next generation so that AVR can build innovative and robust software solutions to serve existing clients and bring in new business to drive further growth for the company. Outside of work, Kenny enjoys spending time with his wife and children and is very active in his church playing guitar in the worship band.