Leadership Team

John Aleva

John Aleva, President
John Aleva was appointed president in March 2015. Prior to that he was President, Cequent Consumer Products, a position he reached in October 2005. He joined the company as director of integration in 2003, prior to which he worked in the Detroit office of Deloitte Consulting LLP. Mr. Aleva was a manager in the automotive consulting practice and led numerous projects in product development, operations planning, manufacturing and supply chain strategies projects with multiple automotive OEM manufacturers. Prior to January 2000, Mr. Aleva held various positions of increased responsibility within an automotive OEM manufacturer and a Tier 1 supplier.

He holds a Master of Business Administration with emphasis in Finance, Marketing and International Business and a Master of Science in Computer Engineering, both degrees from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University.

James Tindell III

James Tindell III, Division Finance Officer
Over the past 15 years, Mr. Tindell has held a variety of financial leadership roles within the Consumer Products and Financial Services industries. Prior to his current appointment, he served in the same capacity for TriMas Corporation (former parent company of Cequent). Before joining TriMas in 2014, Mr. Tindell held roles of progressive responsibility with global corporations such as Newell Rubbermaid, Stanley Black & Decker, PPG Industries, and Principal Financial Group. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with emphasis in Finance, International Finance, and Strategy from Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management and earned a Bachelor of Science with emphasis in Finance and Accounting from the University of Nebraska.

Michael Finos

Michael Finos, Senior Vice President - Operations
Michael Finos joined the company as vice president of operations in May 2003. Previously, he served for 8 years in the same capacity with Hidden Hitch. With 20 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket, Mr. Finos has directed numerous operational teams including manufacturing, logistics, purchasing, planning, quality, and IT. He has strong leadership expertise with Asian and Mexican operations and outsourcing, continuous improvement activities, as well as numerous facility mergers and start-ups. Mr. Finos earned a Bachelor of Science in computer information systems, and also holds a Master of Science in management from Walsh College.

Francis Bernart

Francis Bernart, Divisional Marketing, Product Management and Engineering Officer
Francis Bernart leads Cequent’s brand management and category growth with innovative products and strategies for the Towing, Cargo Securing and Cargo Management categories. Additional, he is responsible for marketing, public and media relations for both towing and trailer products. For more than 30 years, he has held a broad range of marketing and engineering positions in consumer products and automotive companies. Mr. Bernart has a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from The University of Akron and an MBA from Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.

Todd Walstrom

Todd Walstrom, Vice President/General Manager -- Trailer/Industrial Products
Todd Walstrom leads the team responsible for technical and commercial growth for trailer and industrial products. He has been employed with the company for 18 years and was previously a process engineer, quality manager for Federal Mogul. Mr. Walstrom is a member of SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), NATM (National Association of Trailer Manufacturers) and NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association). He holds a bachelor’s degree in quality and productivity management from Marion College.

Abe Newman

Abe Newman, Divisional Sales Officer
Abe Newman leads the development and growth of all sales activity the Retail, Aftermarket and Specialty OE distribution channels. He joined the company in 1997, and has held several sales positions within the organization. Previously Mr. Newman held the position of VP of Sales, and prior to that was director of sales. He has more than 28 years’ experience in the automotive aftermarket, and holds a Bachelor of Science in business management from St. Johns University (New York, NY).