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DREF Board Selects Cheryl M. Thomas, CPA, as Interim Executive Director

The Board of Directors of the Delta Research and Educational Foundation (DREF) is pleased to announce the selection of Cheryl M. Thomas, CPA, as its Interim Executive Director. Ms. Thomas will lead the Foundation’s daily operation, effective January 4, 2021. In previous years, she served DREF as a Financial Consultant. As the Interim Executive Director, she is responsible for supervising the staff, managing the development and program initiatives, and serving as liaison to the Board of Directors.

DREF President Carolyn E. Lewis stated that Ms. Thomas brings tremendous expertise and leadership in management, accounting, and finance. Her career has included more than three decades of successful endeavors in the public and private sectors.  As the owner of Thomas Associates & Consulting, LLC, a financial management and consulting firm, she has worked extensively with non-profit organizations in the DC-MD-VA metropolitan area since 2006.  Her firm’s portfolio spans from accounting for business transactions to working with management to develop financial strategies to solve complex operational challenges. 

Ms. Thomas began her career at a Big Eight public accounting firm and spent more than 20 years with the largest secondary mortgage investor, Fannie Mae.  As Vice President of the company’s Operational Division, she led and managed operational functions, where she implemented strategic initiatives and resolved complex accounting and internal control problems. 

As Vice President of the Operations Division ($45 million annual budget and 500 employees), Ms. Thomas collaborated with senior management on

Cheryl M. Thomas, CPA

divisional reorganizations, budgets, workforce development projects and training functions. She also implemented operational performance management systems and led business process re-engineering projects.

Ms. Thomas is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant (CPA’s), and the Maryland Association of CPA’s. She is a Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant with Maryland Nonprofits, and serves on the Board of Directors for Maryland Nonprofits.  She earned a B.S. degree in accounting from Xavier University of Louisiana and an M.B.A. degree in finance from George Washington University.

Ms. Thomas is a member of the Montgomery County (MD) Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Patuxent River (MD) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.  She is the mother of two adult sons.

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