The AVO Team
Asheville Vehicle Outfitters is a local business that is family owned and run. We have a passion for the outdoors and building a community of other offroad enthusiasts. We bring years of 4x4 experience and help you build your dream rig.
The Valdes Family
Meet the Valdes family! We love the outdoors, exploring new places and meeting new people! We started our 4x4 adventures back in our college days and haven't stopped since. Since then, we've added four boys to our family, all who love to explore the trails with Mom and Dad! We're always excited to meet new people and can't wait to create new memories and adventures while at AVO!
Eric Valdes is President and founder of AVO, overseeing daily operations and accessory installations. An avid outdoor and 4x4 enthusiast, Eric's passion in the overland industry started over 10 years ago while attending UNC Asheville. After graduating, Eric began working for Toyota which triggered his deep appreciation for the Toyota brand and specifically its trucks.
Eric and his wife, Megan, began taking trips in their different Toyota Trucks including cross country trips to Utah, Colorado, and around the southeast. Soon after, Eric pursued an opportunity with ARB to manage the Northeast region of the United States for the company. The time at ARB included traveling the US to visit the country's top retailers, attend 4x4 events, and even included a trip to Melbourne, Australia to visit ARB's corporate headquarters.
Chasing a long time desire to manage an overland retail store, the Valdes family moved to New Hampshire to join Main Line Overland and develop a new store in Bow, NH. In founding AVO, Eric is driven to share his passion for 4wd's and to provide the region with the industry's highest quality accessories. Eric has four boys and is married to his lovely wife and business partner Megan.
Megan Valdes is the co-founder of Asheville Vehicle Outfitters, while also managing marketing, social media, and assisting with the day to day operations of the business.
An Asheville native, Meg has maintained a passion for the outdoors since she was a young girl. A graduate of Appalachian State University's school of education, Meg has devoted much of her life to children. Now a mother of four young boys, Meg also manages to homeschool the boys and keep them active. Be sure to say hi to Meg at the shop or on the trails!
Bobby Wooton serves as Asheville Vehicle Outfitter’s service manager, overseeing all shop functions and performing accessory installations. Born and raised in Asheville, Bobby has a deep appreciation for 4WDs and the outdoors. With over 12 years of service and mechanical experience, he has earned master status with ASE and the Toyota motor company.
We have partnered with Bobby to help bring his valuable experience in house to better serve our customers. While not at the office, Bobby enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.
AVO is proud to introduce John Pop as our General Sales Manager! With years of experience in the auto industry, John is an excellent addition to the AVO Team as he shares his passion for enjoying the great outdoors. He enjoys living in the Blue Ridge Mountains with his wife and two kids. In addition to taking his German Shepherds on hikes, he enjoys camping and overlanding in their 4Runners. John is looking forward to meeting new customers and is excited to help them build the overlanding rig of their dreams.
Heather joined AVO in October of 2020 after nearly eleven years serving Asheville, NC as a Police Officer. A lifelong Jeep and outdoor enthusiast, Heather brings to AVO a genuine passion for 4x4 vehicles and a desire to help customers build their dream rigs. Heather serves currently as Sales Manager and works directly with customers to provide expert 4x4 advice and vehicle information.
It is our privilege to introduce Michal Halka as AVO’s lead technician. An Asheville native and OG 4x4 enthusiast, Michal brings additional superior automotive experience and passion to our business in an effort to help continue improving the overall service experience.
With over 16 years of service and mechanical experience, Michal has earned his master status with Toyota and is an ASE advanced level specialist. We are very excited for this huge addition to the AVO family.
If you’re around the shop, make sure to say hi!
Rese is a Florida native who made her way out to North Carolina after completing a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2019. She graduated from Florida State with a degree in Environmental Science and has a passion for the outdoors, fitness, and exploration. If it involves roaming the US by foot, bike, or vehicle you can count her in.
Rese currently serves as our warehouse manager making sure all the gear you need to outfit your vehicle is in stock and ready to go!
We are proud to introduce our Alu-Cab Specialist here at AVO! Ian Coleman is a Florida native, but has been proud to call North Carolina home for the past 16 years. He worked in the plumbing and electrical field for 20 years, but vehicles and the outdoors have always been his passion. Ian worked with the BSA for 10 years preparing young men for self sufficiency with training for practical skills in the outdoors. In Ian's downtime, he enjoys spending time on rides with his wife, 2 grown children and his 2 doggos.
Bayron alberto mendez
Born in Costa Rica, Bayron immigrated to the United States in 2005. A graduate from North Buncombe High School, he earned an associates degree from AB Tech. Bayron began his career as a lube tech at Toyota of Asheville and worked his way up to become a certified Toyota Master/ ASE Master Technician. Bayron loves his family, his cars, anything star wars, and cerveza.
An Asheville Native and an automotive enthusiast, Trent has been servicing and performing maintenance on vehicles for the past 7 years. Trent also was with Toyota of Asheville for 5 years and became Toyota Certified.
Norm is from Woodbury Connecticut, but has called Western NC home for the past 22 years. While being an avid outdoorsman and 4x4 enthusiast, Norm spent the past 20 years in the heating and air conditioning field. His love for adventure and exploration brought him thru our doors first as a customer building out his 2016 Tacoma. Turning his passion into his profession, he has become well versed on adventure rig outfitting. A certified Tread Trainer thru Treadlightly, he seizes every opportunity to give back to the community and do his part to protect our off-road access. Norm is also very passionate for quality workmanship and attention to detail, which makes him a stellar addition to our team.