GrooveCar Appoints New Department Heads

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New areas of expansion will promote growth

GrooveCar, the nation’s leading credit union auto buying resource has announced new appointments as part of its industry growth initiatives. Richard Charles Hess has been promoted to National Vice President of Sales, Karen Johnson has been appointed Public Relations Director, Eric Budzinski has been promoted to Assistant Vice President of Marketing, Christine Forsythe has been named Client Relations Director and Michelle Michann has been hired as a Regional Manager for CU Xpress Lease. The new appointments are part of the company’s growth strategy to serve an expanding credit union auto-buying marketplace.

GrooveCar is celebrating its 17th year in business. The once regional auto-buying resource has expanded across the U.S. into over 28 states as diversified product offerings are added to meet the expansion goals of credit unions. “Our recent staff increases reflect the desire to meet our credit unions at all levels and partner with them with unique strategies for auto loan growth in the future," states Frank Rinaudo, Senior Vice President, GrooveCar.

Richard Charles Hess had served as Director of Leasing for CU Xpress Lease. Prior to joining the company he was Regional Sales Manager for the Northeast Region at Wells Fargo in Chester, PA. As National Vice President of Sales for GrooveCar, Hess will be responsible for managing the CU Xpress Lease sales team and creating competitive lease programs for the division’s credit union partners. “I look forward to reaching and surpassing lease volume goals as well as developing new markets,” Hess explains.

Karen Johnson had served at Vice President of Marketing for GrooveCar. Prior to joining the company in February 2015, she served as Director of Marketing for World Wide Security in Garden City, NY. In her new roles as Public Relations Director for GrooveCar, Johnson is responsible for corporate communications, media relations and content creation for the company. “It’s important for GrooveCar to continue to expand its market position while serving the information needs of our credit unions,” she says.

Eric Budzinski joined the company as Marketing Coordinator for GrooveCar in July 2015. Prior to this he served as Vice President of EZVille Ltd., in Ronkonkoma, NY. Under his direction as AVP of Marketing for GrooveCar Budzinski is responsible for developing, establishing and maintaining marketing strategies to meet the company’s organizational objectives. “I’m excited to be at the forefront of emerging technologies and innovations,” he states.

Christine Forsythe joined GrooveCar this year as Client Relations Director. Prior to joining the company, Christine was Cremation Coordinator for Moloney Family Funeral Homes, headquartered in Ronkonkoma, NY. As Client Relations Director, Christine is responsible for selling and managing the auto-buying program with GrooveCar’s partners. She says, “My role is to grow in established markets and develop new areas of business.”

Michelle Michann was hired in June as Regional Manager for GrooveCar’s CU Xpress Lease. Her position involves dealership relations and assisting credit union partners with initiating their leasing programs while also providing support services. Her prior position was in management at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. “I enjoy the ongoing responsibility of managing communications between our automotive dealers and credit union partners,” she states.

About GrooveCar:
Founded in 1999, GrooveCar provides automotive loan growth solutions to credit unions nationwide while providing their members, as well as the general public, with the most informative and user-friendly auto search engine. With its expansive dealership network surpassing five million vehicles, GrooveCar facilitates the entire car buying process, including shopping, researching, buying, leasing, and financing. Through the national auto-leasing program CU Xpress Lease, credit unions can take advantage of leasing opportunities in the new and pre-owned vehicle market. CU Xpress is the leading credit union lease program in the nation. Additional information on GrooveCar or CU Xpress Lease may be found at

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