Meet the Team
Varzavand Irani, Chief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer
Varzavand "Avan" Irani assumed the position of CEO in September 2019 and is NEC's seventh CEO since opening its doors in 1938. Irani steps into the role of Chief Executive Officer after serving the members of NEC for 16 years. Irani began his career at NEC in 2003 as Project Manager/Distribution Engineer. In 2011, he was promoted to the role of Chief Operations Officer in which he assisted in strategic growth and managed operational aspects of the Co-op.
Irani earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Bombay in India, a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and completed a Master of Business Administration with a Certification in Energy Finance and Logistics from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, he is also a licensed professional engineer in the State of Texas.
Chief Executive Officer
Sarah Fisher, AGM & Chief Compliance Officer
Assistant General Manager & Chief Compliance Officer
Sarah Fisher manages the human resource, safety & loss control, corporate communications & regulatory affairs/compliance functions for NEC. She also serves as the Assistant GM, ready to support and serve in place of NEC's CEO, if ever needed.
Sarah supports the Retail Market, Strategic Planning, Education, and Annual Meeting Committees of the Cooperative Board of Directors. She is also the staff administrator of the Cooperative's charitable foundation and grant program, and the staff lead for the Cooperative's strategic and emergency response planning.
She is a certified Senior Professional (SPHR) with the HR Certification Institute and is a Society of Human Resources Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), as well as a Certified Cooperative Communicator and Certified Key Account Executive with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
She holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma and a Masters of Business Administration from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi.
Adriana Pena, Chief Financial Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Adriana Pena is NEC’s Chief Financial Officer. Pena has worked for NEC for more than two decades. She began her career with NEC in 1998 as a New Service Coordinator. She then was promoted to District Office Supervisor for the Ricardo Service Center, Staff Accountant in 2007, Accounting Supervisor in 2010, Controller in 2013, and her current position in 2017.
As CFO, Adriana directs and controls the financial and accounting functions, practices, and procedures of the Cooperative to ensure a sound financial position and achievement of long- and short-term goals. She oversees the Accounting, Membercare, Facilities and Maintenance departments at NEC.
Pena earned a Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Economics with an Emphasis in Agricultural Business from Texas A&M University and also holds a Certified Financial Professional Certificate from NRECA.
Frank Wilson, Chief Retail Officer
Chief Retail Officer
Frank Wilson began his career with NEC in 1993 as a Staking Technician. In 1994 he was promoted to Manager of Member services and Chief Retail Officer in 2004. In this role Wilson oversees NECs retail division and it's day to day operations as well as rates, budget, marketing, policies, and procedures, hiring and management of employees, and contracts. He has also served on the ERCOT/RMS Committee since 2004 and was instrumental in NEC becoming the first electric cooperative in Texas to voluntary deregulate. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas and a Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi.
Liane Padilla, Executive Assistant
Liane Padilla is NEC’s Executive Assistant. She joined NEC in 2008 as a receptionist and cashier, was promoted to work order specialist in 2009, and in her current role in 2015. As the Executive Secretary, Liane serves as the principal assistant and secretary to the CEO, Board of Directors, Asst. General Manager & Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Retail Officer, in addition to Departmental Managers, encouraging the fulfillment of their responsibilities and the realization of their objectives for the cooperative.
Joanna Prado, Human Resources Manager
Human Resources Manager
Joanna Prado is the Human Resources Manager for Nueces Electric Cooperative. Her management career began as a Property Manager for low-income and college student housing. She came onboard to NEC in 2016 with the retail division. After two years serving as a Retail Member Services Representative, Joanna was promoted to Human Resources Specialist, Supervisor and now acts as Manager. As the Human Resources Manager, Joanna plans, manages, and administers the human resource function of the cooperative for the purpose of recruiting, developing, and retaining an effective workforce to meet the mission of the Cooperative. Joanna obtained her certification as an Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR) in 2019. Joanna holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science Degree from Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Joe Huerta III, Safety & Loss Control Manager
Safety & Loss Control Manager
Joe Huerta III is NEC's Safety & Loss Control Manager. He has nearly two decades of electric utility experience. He joined NEC in 2011 as a groundman/apprentice. Shortly after joining NEC, he completed his apprenticeship program in and became a Serviceman in Orange Grove Service Center. In 2015, he was promoted to District Supervisor and his current position in 2017. His responsibilities include implementing organizational safety programs to ensure a safe, healthy, and accident-free work environment. Prior to joining NEC has worked for Medina Electric Cooperative as a Class A Lineman. Joe is a Certified Loss Control Professional.
Sergey Seryogin, IT Director
Director of IT
Christine Grissom, Controller
Christine Grissom is NEC’s Controller. She joined NEC in 2013 as the Senior Accountant and has served in her current role since 2017. She came to the Cooperative from a Public CPA firm where she specialized in corporate and individual tax returns. As Controller, she oversees the day to day financial and accounting functions, practices, and procedures of the Cooperative. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics and Accounting and a Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi.
Rhonda Bell, Member Care Manager
Member Care Manager
Rhonda Bell is NEC’s Member Care Manager. Bell has worked in the electric utility industry for more than 20 years. She began her career with NEC in 2001 as a Billing Representative. In 2010, she was promoted to Supervisor of Customer Service and then Manager of Member Care in 2015. In her position, Rhonda manages and supervises all new service, billing, capital credits, collection, and cashier activities. Rhonda has successfully completed various National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and Texas Electric Cooperative courses.
Vicky Garcia, Member Care Assistant Manager
Assistant Member Care Manager
Veronica “Vicky” Garcia is NEC’s Member Care Assistant Manager. Vicky has worked for NEC more than 12 years. She began her career as a District Office Coordinator in 2008 at the Ricardo Service Center and the Ben Bolt Service Center in 2012 until she was promoted to Member Care Assistant Manager in 2016. In her position, Vicky assists the Member Care Manager in all new service, billing, and cashier activities. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor in Sociology and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Sociology from Texas A&M University in Kingsville.
Bill Gunn, Metering Supervisor
Bill Gunn is the metering supervisor for NEC. He came to NEC in 2014 after 25 years in state government service. He oversees the installation, reading and testing of all of the meters in the NEC system. He also manages the Automated Metering Infrastructure which provides readings for billing and outage notification to the outage management system for the operations department, as well as other alarms that may need to be checked by a technician to ensure the safety of the NEC system and our members.
Manuel Mayorga, Line Superintendent
Manuel Mayorga is NEC's Line Superintendent. While managing the Operations department, Manuel is responsible for the new construction and maintenance of NEC's distribution system. He joined NEC in 1990 and was promoted to his current role in 2013. Prior to joining NEC, Manuel enrolled in the power delivery program through Northwest Lineman College where he completed and obtained his lineman certification.
Jesus Olivarez, Physical Plant Supervisor
Physical Plant Supervisor
Jesus Olivarez is the Physical Plant Supervisor for Nueces Electric Cooperative. He came onboard to NEC in 2009 as a Meter Collector for the Meter Department. After three years as a Meter Collector, Jesus was promoted to Physical Plants Supervisor in 2012. As the Physical Plants Supervisor, Jesus ensures the operation and maintenance of the facilities, building and grounds, and fleet and inspects electrical systems for proper operation and maintenance. Jesus earned his AAS in Occupational Safety in May 2021 and his AAS Building Maintenance Applied Technology in August 2016.
Alexa Patek, Corporate Communications & Community Affairs Specialist
Alexa Patek is NEC's Corporate Communications & Community Affairs Specialist. In this role, she promotes NEC to area youth by administering the Youth Leadership Tour and scholarship programs, maintains NEC's website and social media platform pages to ensure up-to-date information, education, and member services, and establishes good working relationships and communications with all stakeholders. Alexa serves as Head Chairperson on NEC's Employee Engagement Committee providing recommendations and planning on employee events and community service. She joined NEC in 2018 as a Member Care Representative and was promoted to her current role in 2020. Prior to joining NEC, she was a Customer Service Representative for Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative. Alexa holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi.
Kirklan Hinojosa, Corporate Communications & Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Kirklan Hinojosa is NEC's Corporate Communication & Regulatory Affairs Specialist. In this role he supports the retail operations by creating internal and external communications, serves as the co-ops advertising liaison, the coordinator for the co-ops charitable foundation, Nueces Electric Charities, Inc., serves as secretary of NEC's Safety Committee, and supports regulatory compliance. He is also a member of Young Professionals of the Coastal Bend.
Kirklan joined NEC in 2018 as a part-time student intern, was promoted to Corporate Communications Representative in 2019, and his current role in 2020. He holds a bachelors degree in Technical Writing from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and is pursuing a Master's Degree in Strategic Communication and Business from Texas Tech University.