Denise Scalf Thomas is a native of Eastern Kentucky. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management & Marketing from Eastern Kentucky University in 1986, and an MBA from Morehead State University in 1994. Thomas began her career as a sales representative in a retail store in Pikeville, and has worked in a variety of public service positions since then, including being employed as a consultant with the MSU Small Business Development Center. Presently, she serves as community and economic development associate at Big Sandy Area Development District where she has worked since June 2003. As team leader, she works with staff in the CED Team and local governments in the Big Sandy District to plan, develop, and implement a variety of community and economic development projects. Thomas is a certified community development block grant project administrator and received her certification as an economic development finance professional from the National Development Council in 2008. She is also a member of the East Kentucky Leadership Foundation board of directors, and is currently serving as secretary of the organization.