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GST Company Information
Company Information: leadership

Dennis HillerDennis E. Hiller
President and Chief Executive Officer

As President and Chief Executive Officer of GST AutoLeather, Dennis E. Hiller, is responsible for the daily operations of each division of the company, including all operations, finance, business development, global sourcing, and human resources.

Dennis joined the company in 2004 after a nearly 30-year career in the automotive components industry, including 25 years with Collins & Aikman, and most recently as chief executive officer of Guide Corporation and president and CEO of Automotive Component Systems.

His vast experience at Collins & Aikman includes being president of North American Automotive Interior Systems, president of the Carpet and Acoustics Group and president of Collins & Aikman Accessory Mats.

Dennis' experience and product responsibilities has included a wide variety of automotive products such as exterior lighting, fascia bumpers, steel stamping systems, carpeting, accessory mats, and acoustics.

Dennis received his B.S. in Textile Engineering from North Carolina State University. Upon graduation Dennis began his career as an Industrial Engineer. During his career and prior to becoming president of three successive larger operating divisions, Dennis has worked in such varied areas as a Plant Industrial Engineer, Plant Administrative Manager, Division Quality Assurance Engineer, Division Customer Quality Assurance Manager, Sales Executive, and Director of Sales and Marketing.

Armin DieckmannArmin Dieckmann
Managing Director and Vice President of Europe

As Managing Director, Armin Dieckmann holds overall responsibility for business operations in Europe and also supports the company’s European customers around the globe. Armin joined the Seton AutoLeather Company in 2014, building upon a 20-year track record at several leading automotive supplier companies.

Armin, a recognized automotive professional, has a success record at several leading automotive supplier companies. With a range of senior management expertise covering production, program management, and sales, he most recently filled the role of Vice President Sales and Business Development for Trim and Fabrics at Johnson Controls Inc., a global provider of automotive interior & seating systems.

Prior to this, his second period at Johnson Controls, Armin worked at Continental Automotive AG and Siemens VDO AG, holding international leadership positions such as Vice President Sales & Portfolio, Vice President Business Development & Marketing, Senior Sales Manager Interiors, and International Program Manager. These international assignments took him to the USA and China, as well as to countries throughout Europe.

Armin’s career began at Johnson Controls Inc. (formerly Happich GmbH) as Sales & Project Leader and then Controller before assuming his first operational role as Deputy Plant Manager. The foundation for his strong track record was laid while earning his degree in Industrial Engineering and Business Management (Diplom Wirtschaftsingenieur) from Nordakademie (University of Applied Sciences) in Hamburg, Germany and University of Westminster in London, UK.

Cesar EscobedoCésar Hugo Escobedo
Senior VP of Operations Excellence
GST Autoleather de Mexico

Cesar Hugo Escobedo joined GST in September 2006 as Senior VP of Operations Excellence GST Autoleather de Mexico after the merger operation between GST Autoleather, Inc. and Cueros Industrializados del Bajío S.A. de C.V. (“CUINBA”). In January 2007 Cesar was promoted to Senior VP of Operations Excellence and in his new role, he is responsible for all the daily operations of GST Autoleather de Mexico, including operations of three manufacturing facilities.

Prior to GST, Cesar worked for CUINBA, where he held several senior management positions, most recently being Director of Planning and Strategic Projects. He was also the Director of General Electric Transportation Systems Mexico. Previous to that, Cesar worked for the Mexican government holding several positions.

Cesar obtained his degree as a Certified Public Accountant from the Escuela Bancaria y Comercial in Mexico. He has several studies in the Management field, including Executive MBA studies at the University of Quebec at Montreal and Innovation and Strategy techniques seminars at Harvard University. He also obtained a diploma degree from the United Nations and CECADE for his participation in a Planning and Economic Policies intensive program. Cesar resides in Leon, Mexico. He enjoys baseball and is married with four children.

Eric EvansEric Evans
Senior Vice President - CFO

Eric was appointed SR. VP/CFO GST AutoLeather in March 2012 and provides global strategic leadership and coordination in the business planning, finance, accounting and budgeting efforts of the company.

Prior to his appointment as CFO, Eric served as Managing Director of Seton AutoLeather’s South Africa facility with responsibilities for the daily operations of this vertically integrated tanning, retanning, finishing and cutting operation. In addition to a fully compliant R&D Development Center and automotive leather Testing Laboratory, responsibilities include Manufacturing & Logistics operations, Quality control/Quality assurance; Sales & Marketing, Finance & Accounting, Human Resources, Safety, Health & Environmental compliance; Information Technology and overall business development.

Eric joined Seton Company in July 1999 as Corporate Controller. In 2002 he was promoted to Vice President, Chief Financial Officer responsible for Seton’s global finance and control functions. Prior to GST/Seton, Eric spent 15 years with FMC Corporation’s Agricultural Products Group and its Armaments System Division. During his tenure at FMC Eric held a number of leadership positions in Finance, Operations, Sales and Marketing and Business Development. Eric holds a Masters of Business Administration from The Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dickinson College.

Stephen JeskeStephen Jeske
Senior Vice President – Sales, Marketing and Product Development

As Senior Vice President of Sales/Marketing and Product Development, Steve Jeske is responsible for directing the global organizations and initiatives in support of OEM and Tier I customer requirements.

Steve joined the company in 2004 after a 25 year career as a senior sales/marketing executive in the automotive industry, including 23 years with Collins & Aikman, responsible for fabric, carpet and interior trim components.

His global relationships with key OEM and Tier I customers and extensive experience in the automotive interior sector, provides him with the unique instinctive ability to lead GST/Seton in a very competitive global environment. Finally, his involvement in numerous M&A transactions during his career has given him a solid foundation for strategic business ventures.

Steve received a B.S. in business from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. and is currently located in the GST Southfield, MI headquarters.

Allen B. ShawAllen B. Shaw
Vice President – Global Purchasing and Supply Chain Management

As Vice President of Global Purchasing, Allen Shaw is responsible for the global execution of the Company’s purchasing and supply chain priorities. Elements include leading the company’s supply chain strategy; commercial negotiations; driving supplier performance improvements; supplier relations; in-bound and out-bound logistics; import/export operations and all indirect purchasing including capital purchases.

Allen has a 25 year comprehensive and extensive background in Purchasing and Supply Chain management. He joined GST in May 2011 as Director, Production Planning, and Logistics, and in February 2013 he assumed the duties of Director, Purchasing. Prior to joining GST, Allen’s leadership experiences in purchasing; supply chain management; and operations included Director of North American Operations at Minth/PTI, a Chinese producer of OEM exterior components; Vice President Purchasing & Executive Customer Champion at Advanced Accessory Systems; Vice President, Global Purchasing at Thetford/Norcold; Vice President Purchasing & Strategic Planning at ACSYS Technologies; and Manager of Purchasing & Supplier Support Services for Honda of America Manufacturing.

Allen possesses a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Franklin University, Columbus, Ohio. He also has professional certifications from: UCLA Anderson School of Management executive purchasing program; ISM (Institute for Supply Management) and APICS (American Production and Inventory Control Society). He is currently located in the GST Southfield, MI headquarters.

Francisco Rios JimenezFrancisco Ríos Jiménez
Vice President Business Development

As VP of Business Development, Francisco Rios is responsible for global business development activities as well as supporting our purchasing group for hide procurement. He handles the main negotiation issues with customers and strategic suppliers of GST Leon.

Francisco joined the company in September 2006 through the CUINBA acquisition process. During his tenure with CUINBA, he was Sales Manager, Marketing & Sales VP and Senior VP. In these roles, he helped the company to obtain automotive industry awards and grow from 110 associates to more than 1,500. Francisco began his career with Procter & Gamble where he held various Sales and Marketing positions.

Francisco received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Monterrey Technology and he attended several seminars at Pace University NY, Texas University, MIT and Harvard in different areas such as Top Management, Sales & Marketing, Negotiation, Market Innovation and Leadership. 

Francisco is an active member on the board of several local Leon companies. From 2004 to 2006, he was a member of the General Motors de Mexico Purchasing council, and is also a member of the board of COFOCE (State of Guanajuato International Commerce entity)

Shalen SewnandanShalen Sewnandan
Managing Director - Seton AutoLeather South Africa

Shalen was appointed Managing Director, Seton AutoLeather, South Africa in March 2012 with responsibilities for the daily operations of this vertically integrated tanning, retanning, finishing and cutting operation. Prior to the appointment to this assignment, Shalen was the Operations Director at the SA facility since May 2011.

Shalen joined Lindgens Ladysmith Leathers in 1994 and has since held many positions in Quality Assurance, Purchasing, Operations, Product Engineering and Special Projects. He was appointed to Quality Director in 2007 and shortly thereafter to Quality and Human Resources Director. He was appointed General Manager for the Seton / Feltex acquisition in 2009. In March 2010, Shalen was appointed Managing Director for the Seton’s Costa Rica plant and ultimately the transition of those operations to the GST plants in Mexico. He then returned to South Africa as Operations Director in May 2011.

Shalen has a N3 Leather manufacturing qualification, certified Quality Engineer with advanced statistics, 6 sigma Project Champion, Qualifications in Quality and Operations Management, and is a Certified Quality and Environmental Auditor. He continues his studies in Economic and Management sciences.

Arnold YuanArnold Yuan
Managing Director GST China & Korea

As Managing Director of GST China & Korea, Arnold Yuan is responsible for the daily operations of all wholly foreign-owned enterprises and strategic alliances of the company in China and Korea including manufacturing operations, sourcing, finance, human resources, sales, marketing and overall business development.

Arnold Yuan Joined GST in Jan 2013. Upon graduation from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, Arnold began his career with United Technologies as a Product Release Engineer in Michigan before the acquisition by Lear Corporation. From Lear Arnold joined Yanfeng Visteon in 2002 where he worked in different product segments, interiors, exteriors and exterior lighting as Platform Manager, rising through the ranks to Acting Deputy General Manager, Senior Manager of Logistics, Operating Director and to his last position as Director of Sales.

In 2008 Arnold took the Managing Director position with Roechling Company, an injection molder of engine intake systems. Arnold had total P&L responsibility for the operations in Changchun and Suzhou. Lastly in 2010 Arnold assumed the Deputy Managing Director at Sapa, the largest aluminum extrusion company in the world.

William WalkerWilliam D. Walker
Global Director - Compensation, Development and Human Resources Compliance

As Global Director - Compensation, Development and Human Resources Compliance, Bill Walker has direct responsibility for the human resource accountabilities within the U.S and ensuring that GST AutoLeather has an overall comprehensive global approach to human resource policies and procedures in Mexico, China, Japan, and Argentina.

Bill joined GST AutoLeather in June 2004, following a 28-year career in human resources within the chemical/fibers manufacturing industry. He is a senior human resources leader with comprehensive experience in HR planning and organizational development, change management, and employee and labor relations.

Bill began his career as employment supervisor with a chemical company in Houston, TX, and he subsequently held multiple HR leadership roles with increasing responsibilities within that company. Bill was also the On-Site Manager for a contract technical staffing company in the Houston area.

Bill received his Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business and his MA Degree in Human Resources /Industrial Relations from the University of Houston.