On December 5th Walt Disney, Little Richard and Tom Krieglstein were born into this world. Tom’s birth took place on a family farm in Lawrence, Michigan where he spent the first nine years of his life. In 1989, the Krieglstein family packed up the farm and moved to Glen Ellyn, IL (outside of Chicago) in hopes of a brighter future with more opportunities.
In 1999, Tom graduated high school with a stellar “c” grade point average, which led him to getting rejected from almost every bigger named college he applied. In the end, Tom enrolled at the local community college, College of DuPage.
The boss of Tom’s on-campus student job also happened to be the advisor for the Student Activities Programming Board and
forced nudged Tom to join. For the next four years, Tom discovered himself, his passion for life and his future wife through getting involved in his school’s co-curricular activities. It was from Tom’s co-curricular activities that he grew his initial interest in Student Affairs, Student Leadership, and community engagement.
During Tom’s time at College of DuPage, he was honored as a Phi Theta Kappa All-USA Academic First Team Member, Illinois Centennial Scholar and Outstanding Graduate where he got to deliver the commencement speech.
In 2001, Tom entered his final two years of college at Aurora University where he graduated top of his class in Business Management and again got to deliver the commencement speech.
Throughout college, Tom also launched his first business selling old edition textbooks online, which he grew to $1.5 million in annual sales by the time he graduated. The business, however, came to an end as the textbook bookstores realized they could sell the books themselves and slowly cut off Tom’s supply.
As Tom’s textbook selling business ramped down, he slowly started to ramp up his student leadership speaking career which was initially sparked by two events. The first was hearing a professional speaker, Patrick Combs, give a talk at College of Dupage where, afterwards, Patrick agreed to help Tom launch a speaking career. The second was a speaking tour, through Illinois, that Tom was asked to do as part of his All-USA Academic award. Both events led to Tom finding his skill and passion in public speaking.
After a few false starts into becoming a full time professional speaker, Tom partnered up with Kevin Prentiss, during their time working at Quantum Learning Network, to launch Swift Kick in 2004 and their branded leadership program, Dance Floor Theory.
Since 2004, Swift Kick has worked with over 550 schools and trained over 200,000 campus leaders on how to create a culture of engagement where every student feels welcomed, connected and engaged. Their trainings have been named the best student leadership training program five times by APCA and is the only program to ever win the award three years in a row.
Through Tom’s work in higher ed, he also created The Student Affairs Collective as the ultimate online community of peer-to-peer learning for Student Affairs Professionals.
Tom also worked on and launched two separate technology startups in the education space called Red Rover and Student Launcher. Red Rover, a NY Techstars company, was intended to replace the people directory on college websites to make it more social. Student Launcher was an online crowd-fundraising platform for students to help them spend less time fundraising for amazing things and more time doing those amazing thing. Both reached nominal levels of success before ramping down.
Tom continues to be the Founder and a Lead Facilitator of Swift Kick.