NAPA, Calif. -

AUL Corp. reinforced its executive leadership this week to ensure the F&I provider remains on solid financial footing.

First, AUL appointed industry veteran Dennis Mara as the firm’s new chief financial officer after four months of serving in the position on an interim basis as he led the successful implementation of the firm’s new accounting system.

In addition, Elizabeth Gutierrez has been promoted to controller, having previously served as AUL’s financial reporting and analysis leader.

Both announcements come as AUL recently celebrated its most successful year on record in 2020.

Mara came to AUL with more than 25 years of financial leadership experience, the last 15 of which were spent in the F&I industry.

Most recently, Mara served as vice president of mergers and acquisitions and finance for Portfolio Group, an F&I provider based in Dallas. Prior to that position, Mara served six years as chief financial officer for Interstate National Dealer Services, a vehicle service contract (VSC) administrator and underwriter based in Atlanta.

“Dennis brings tremendous industry knowledge and financial experience to the AUL family. He is especially masterful in financial planning, budgeting, and accounting processes, and has a long history of increasing efficiencies and improving profitability,” AUL president and chief executive officer Jimmy Atkinson said in a news release.

“His expertise, passion, and leadership over the past four months have demonstrated that he is the right person to lead us forward,” Atkinson continued.

Having started her AUL career as a customer service representative 20 years ago, Gutierrez’s rise to the top continues, becoming one of the key executives of AUL’s finance team.

Not satisfied with her tremendous professional success, the company highlighted that Gutierrez’s continued work in the community is just as laudable, having been honored in 2020 with the North Bay Business Journal’s Latino Business Leadership Award for her local philanthropic contributions.

“As a president and CEO, it is always most gratifying to watch and experience the growth of one of your own, both from a professional and personal perspective. Elizabeth truly embodies the spirit of AUL, where the care of fellow employees and customers is paramount. Her promotion to controller is most deserved,” Atkinson said.

These organizational moves follow the AUL’s best year (2020), and best month on record (March 2021). These records arrived during the firm’s first full year as a full-service F&I provider, after adding GAP and a full suite of ancillary products in April 2019.

Further, AUL introduced popular technology and hybrid/electric vehicle and hybrid/ electric battery coverages last year that helped accelerate the firm’s growth.

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