LSSC announces appointment of three key leadership roles (left-right) Karen Hogans, Interim VP Academic Affairs; Dr. Laura Byrd, Senior VP of Institutional Advancement; Kristie Harris, VP of FInance/CFO; Dr. Heather Bigard, President; Thom Kieft, VP of Facilities Planning & Operations, Nick Kemp, VP of Technology Innovation/CIO; Swoop the Lakehawk

Lake-Sumter State College and President Dr. Heather Bigard are pleased to announcement the appointment of three vice presidents.

“I am excited for each of these individuals to join my leadership team,” says Dr. Heather Bigard, President of Lake-Sumter State College. “They each bring experience and expertise to their roles and share my passion for advancing the mission Lake-Sumter State College by increasing access and improving our student success outcomes.”

Ms. Kristie Harris, Vice President of Finance/CFO

Ms. Harris joins Lake-Sumter State College from New College of Florida in Sarasota where she has been serving as the Interim Vice President of Human Resources. She has previously held roles in finance and administration for New College of Florida, the University of Central Florida, and the State University System of Florida.

“I am truly excited and honored to serve as the next Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for Lake-Sumter State College,” said Harris. “Higher education finance is my first language and I look forward to serving under the leadership of President Bigard as her key advisor in all aspects of the college’s financial and business operations. I am ready to join my colleagues in taking Lake-Sumter State College to the next level.”

Harris, a Georgia native and first-generation college student, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Master of Science degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in budget and financial management from Florida State University.

Kristie currently resides outside Orlando and enjoys spending quality time with family and friends. She has a passion for wellness and looks forward to becoming an active member of our local community.

Mr. Nick Kemp, Vice President of Technology Innovation/CIO

Mr. Kemp joined Lake-Sumter State College in 2011 as a developer and team leader for the enterprise systems team of Information Technology. His role grew in scope and responsibility until he was appointed as the Interim CIO upon the retirement of the former CIO, and later selected as the CIO.

Nick Kemp has been appointed to the reimagined role of Vice President of Technology Innovation that brings together teams from Information Technology, Process Improvement and Institutional Research, and Digital Education. Nick will lead these teams as the College works to advance our technology portfolio, improve, simplify, and automate processes, and improve the student experience in both on-campus and online education courses.

“These departments are full of extremely talented and forward-thinking individuals, and I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to work for each of them,” said Kemp. “This new role gives me the opportunity to expand my passion to continue developing our staff and drive and facilitate further collaboration and communication toward our institutional goals.

Kemp has two bachelor’s degrees in Computer Information Systems and Business Administration and a master’s degree in business administration from Saint Leo University.

Nick and his wife, Jackie, live in Leesburg, and have three children ages 9, 13, and 16. He enjoys coaching softball, playing golf, and camping.

Kemp is also a member of the U.S. Air Force for 22 years, serving six of those years on active duty.

Mr. Thom Kieft, Vice President of Facilities Planning and Operations

Mr. Kieft has been at Lake-Sumter State College since 1994 when he began as a math instructor on the Leesburg Campus. Since then, he has many roles including department chair, associate dean, dean, and associate vice president. Most recently, Thom served as the Assistant VP for South Lake Campus Expansion and Interim Executive Director of Facilities.

In his new role as Vice President of Facilities Planning and Operations, Thom will oversee facilities operations, capital projects, and campus safety.

“I am looking forward to improving the college’s infrastructure and safety across all three campuses with a dedicated team of professionals in Facilities and Campus Safety,” said Kieft. “This year the college has been awarded deferred maintenance funds from the state to address and improve critical life safety components, environmental deficiencies, ADA compliance, and air quality that will create noticeable improvements across our facilities at Lake-Sumter State College.”

In 2013, Mr. Kieft was chosen as LSSC’s Professor of the Year and competed in the statewide competition to be selected as the Association of Florida College’s Professor of the Year that same year.

Thom Kieft has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Grand Valley State University in Michigan and a Master of Science degree in Mathematical Sciences from Clemson University in South Carolina.

Thom and his wife, Robyn, live in Clermont and have three children. He is the vice chairman of the South Lake Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in 2022 and will be the chairman of the board in 2023. In his free time, Thom enjoys kayaking with the family and golfing and is a huge Clemson Tigers fan.