LAS VEGAS – CU Direct’s 2017 Drive conference came two months after the grand opening of the Ontario, Calif.-based lending CUSO’s Innovation Lab in Irvine, Calif., and so far, the facility has been buzzing with big ideas on how to make the auto lending process speedier and more efficient for credit unions, members and dealers, according to executives.

CU Direct President/CEO Tony Boutelle and SVP of Marketing and Innovation Brian Hendricks sat down with CU Times at the conference to discuss life in the Lab and key focus areas for groups that have gathered there thus far. Hendricks emphasized that while innovation has always been one of CU Direct’s core values, the Innovation Lab is intended to provide a collaborative environment, and serve as a place where credit unions can play a key role in the development of technology products that they may eventually use in their auto lending programs.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has worked in the credit union space for over a decade. She joined CU Times as managing editor in 2015 and was promoted to executive editor in 2019. Before that, she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer and editor for more than 17 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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