Thom Kieft of Lake-Sumter State College has been elected as the South Lake Chamber of Commerce Chair in 2023. Thom has served on the Board of Directors since 2017.
Thom Kieft is originally from the Lake Michigan shoreline town of Muskegon, Michigan on the west side of the state. Thom graduated from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. Upon graduating from GVSU, he attended graduate school at Clemson University in the upstate of South Carolina. In 1994, Mr. Kieft graduated with Master’s degree in Mathematical Sciences from Clemson and pursued a position teaching mathematics at the college level. In August of 1994, Thom began teaching mathematics at Lake-Sumter Community College on the Leesburg Campus. Thom and his wife, Robyn, bought a house in Minneola in 1995 and he became one of the first faculty to establish the South Lake Campus of LSCC in 1999.
In 2013, Mr. Kieft was awarded with the statewide Association of Florida College’s Professor of the Year after being nominated through a written process and then performing teaching presentations on manually regulated drip (IV flow) rate calculations for nursing students. As he was the Department Chair of Mathematics in 2013, Thom assisted in the writing and was awarded a $2.9 million 5-year federal grant to create mathematics emporiums on each campus where algebra faculty would spend less time on passive in class lectures each week and instead provide individual assistance to students while they are on campus in the emporiums. The grant also allowed the college to initiate the award-winning RISE Summer Math Academy in Sumter County that provides non-college ready high juniors and seniors an opportunity to improve their mathematical abilities. In 2017, Thom was honored with the LSSC Hall of Fame Staff Award at the LSSC Distinguished Alumni and Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony.
Thom has had roles of Mathematics faculty member, Department Chair, Associate Dean, Dean, and Associate Vice President of South Lake Campus over his 29 years of employment at LSSC. Mr. Kieft currently is in the position of Vice-President of Facilities Planning and Operations where he oversees the development of new campus locations, facilities management, and campus safety.
Thom and Robyn, who is a long-time educator at Mascotte Charter Elementary School, currently live in Clermont with their three children. The Kieft family enjoys watching the Clemson Tigers play and traveling to the beach and to the North Georgia mountains during their vacation time.
“I am honored to be the Board Chair of this vibrant business organization in 2023,” said Thom Kieft. “I look forward to meeting more Chamber members in the coming year and getting to know the ones that I have met even better. The South Lake Chamber is very active with many different types of events for its members and I hope that the member involvement grows as the Chamber programming and membership does.”