PNA Leadership Team

John Cavedo – President

John Cavedo was appointed president of Plasan North America (PNA) in December 2018 after having initially served as PNA’s VP of Business Development and Programs for a year. In his role as president, he leads all aspects of the North American territory’s development, manufacturing, and growth efforts, a workforce of approximately 100 people, and the company’s Profit and Loss.  

Prior to Joining Plasan, John served in the U.S. Army for more than 30 years, retiring as a Colonel in January 2018.

John’s Army career began in 1985 when he enlisted for a 3-year tour as a Military Policeman with duty in the Republic of Panama. After his enlistment, he enrolled in the University of New Mexico, where he received a degree in Political Science and was commissioned Regular Army through the ROTC program as an Infantry Officer. John later qualified for Special Forces and served as an Operational Detachment Alpha commander and company commander. In the early 2000s, John left the operational force and joined the acquisition corps, where he served as a program manager in SOCOM, the commander of the Cold Regions Test Center in Alaska, and the Project Manager of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) resulting in the production contract award. Before retiring from active duty, John last served as the Chief of Staff for Program Executive Office, Combat Support, and Combat Service Support (PEO CS & CSS).

John holds a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, a Master of Arts in Procurement & Acquisition from Webster University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of New Mexico.

Brett Maki – Vice President of Business Development & Programs

Brett Maki is a distinguished leader in the metal fabrication industry, known for his exceptional knowledge, experience, and dedication. With over 20 years of experience in manufacturing sales and operations, he has made significant contributions to the field as a Partner in a metal forming business with over 300,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Brett holds a bachelor’s Degree from Northwood University and serves as Vice President of Business Development at Plasan North America, Inc. He oversees the DoD and commercial program management in this role and has a proven track record of driving growth and profitability.

Brett is not only known for his expertise in building and maintaining strategic partnerships and key supplier relationships, but also for his exceptional leadership qualities. He is deeply committed to the well-being and success of his team and manufacturing employees and is highly regarded for his caring and supportive leadership style. Under his guidance, the team at Plasan North America has flourished, delivering high-quality solutions to clients across multiple sectors. With his unwavering dedication to excellence and commitment to his team, Brett Maki stands out as a true leader in the industry.

Dalton Blackwell – Chief Operations Officer  

Dalton Blackwell was named Chief Operations Officer of Plasan North America and Plasan Carbon Composites in December 2020. Responsible for all aspects of fiscal operations including manufacturing, quality, engineering, supply chain, and planning.

During the past 18 years, Dalton has supported Plasan at both Plasan North America and Plasan Carbon Composites. In positions ranging from VP, GM, and President.

Before joining Plasan North America, Dalton was Vice-President/General Manager at Plasan Carbon Composites, Vice-President of Automotive Operations at Vermont Composites, and spent twelve years at General Motors as an Advance Launch Supplier Quality Engineer.

During his career with Plasan, some assignments included composite materials for the Corvette, Viper, and other high-end performance vehicles while in the automotive division. While at Plasan North America, Dalton was responsible for several military vehicles including the MATV.

Dalton is an alumnus of Johnson State College and holds certifications in Red X Analysis and several Supplier Quality Certifications.

Lisa Thorsen – Director of Human Resources

Lisa Thorsen has over 15 years of experience in increasing responsibility and complexity of human resources, leading her to join Plasan North America in 2018. Lisa is an invaluable resource to the organization, enhancing its performance management capabilities and bringing a level of strategic thinking to the human aspects of the company.

 Prior to joining PNA, Lisa was the Human Resources Manager for Plasan Carbon Composites, where she led the organization through several integration activities, including a rapid expansion, community and culture building initiatives, systems implementation, and benefits strategy. As Director of Human Resources, Lisa’s position encompasses both Plasan Carbon Composites and Plasan North America, streamlining human resources functions and positioning both companies for organizational success.

 Lisa has a bachelor’s in Business Management from Grand Valley State University.

Joan Beickman – Director of Finance

Joan has been with Plasan North America for 13 years as the Controller and is currently responsible for all Defense and Commercial business finances and operational support of our Oracle system. 

 Since being with Plasan, Joan has supported the Finance department as the Cost Manager, the Finance/Purchasing/Order Management lead for our Oracle e-business suite implementation, and Controller. 

 Joan has a bachelor’s in Accountancy from the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse and a Master’s in Business Administration. 


Avi Migdal – Director of Engineering & Survivability 

Avi Migdal has been part of Plasan since 2006, starting at Plasan Sasa as the lead of several Engineering roles, including the head of the technology department and head of the Manufacturing Engineering department, including all technologies and manufacturing processes in composite and metal for the defense sector, and Director of Engineering of the commercial division. Once Avi joined Plasan North America, he became the Director of Engineering and Survivability.

Avi has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Optical Engineering from the Technion Institute of Technology. As well as a master’s degree in Business Administration in strategy, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Avi also served in the Golani Brigade for three years.