Tammy Darvish, for years the face of her father’s eponymous auto company until she left this month after a family squabble, will become an executive at one of the region’s largest financial institutions.

Darvish, 51, will become executive vice president in charge of business development and government and community relations at Pentagon Federal Credit Union, the Alexandria financial giant with $18 billion in assets and 1.3 million members.

Known as PenFed, the credit union has members in all 50 states, the District and Guam and does business in every corner of consumer finance, including providing mortgages, credit cards, savings accounts and auto loans.

This month, Darvish created a seismic event in the Washington business community when she filed a lawsuit against her father, John R. Darvish Sr., and his Darcars Automotive, charging that her father reneged on a promise that she would one day own part of the business.

The 19-page suit, filed Jan. 9, asked that Tammy Darvish be awarded Darcars shares worth one-third of the value of the privately held firm.

Tammy Darvish

The same day the suit was filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court, Darvish, who held the title of executive vice president, said her attorney was informed that she was no longer employed by the auto dealer.

Her husband still is employed at Darcars Automotive, one of the largest and most successful dealership companies in the country with more than 30 franchises, the vast majority of which are in the area. It has been an iconic regional brand for nearly four decades.

Darvish, who served many functions during her 30 years at Darcars, is a fixture in the local business community and has a host of connections with local automobile dealerships.

She was the first woman to chair the Washington Area New Auto Dealers Association and is a longtime member of its executive board. She was an outspoken critic of government-ordered plans to close thousands of U.S. dealerships after the industry collapsed during the Great Recession.

“Bringing her aboard was based on much more than the respect for her business success in the automobile industry,” PenFed chief executive James Schenck said in a statement. “Tammy’s commitment to the greater Washington community is without equal.” Her demonstrated track record of helping others and her community outreach is in lock step with the cultural values of PenFed and PenFed’s employees and the spirit of the credit union movement of people helping people. Her joining the PenFed team is a great match.”

Darvish, who begins her new job Feb. 2, said her experience with her family’s business will help her push PenFed forward.

“I have been serving Washingtonians forever,” she said. “I know the auto industry. I want to be able to help consumers get great deals on auto financing.”

Auto lenders such as PenFed play a crucial role in the purchase of automobiles. Most dealerships earn significant revenue by recommending preferred lenders to their customers.

Part of Darvish’s duties as head of business development will be to help PenFed expand the number of relationships it has with consumers and with automobile dealers.

“We want to drive assets to $75 billion,” Darvish said.

Darvish, who said she will continue her litigation against her father and Darcars, said in an interview that her business relationship with her father and brothers had been strained for months. She said her move to PenFed has its roots in a discussion she had with Schenck years ago at a charity event.

“We got to be friends,” she said. “We collaborated on a big promotion once. Because of my work and passion for financial literacy, and of course for returning military veterans, our paths have continued to cross. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

PenFed was founded in 1935 as the War Department Federal Credit Union and changed its name in 1947 to Pentagon Federal Credit Union.