Rickey Thigpen headshot
Rickey Thigpen
President & CEO
Visit Jackson

For the past 33 years, Rickey L. Thigpen has served in multiple management positions within the hospitality industry’s administrative and marketing disciplines. Since February 1, 2019, he has served as the President & CEO of Visit Jackson.

Thigpen is a member of numerous professional organizations, including Destination International, where he serves as an association Board Member and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In addition, he is a member of the U.S. Travel Association Board of Directors, the Mississippi Tourism Association’s  Executive Board, an officer of the Capital Area Tourism Association, and the Downtown Jackson Partners Advisory Board.

Thigpen is also engaged civically, including Rotary International – Jackson Chapter, 100 Black Men of Jackson, Inc., Mississippi Valley State University National Alumni Association (Life Member), Greater Leadership Jackson Alumni Association, Alpha Foundation, Inc. (Vice-Chairman), and a Life Member of  Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., where he served as the 10th Mississippi District Director.

Rickey is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. He holds a baccalaureate degree in Computer Science from Mississippi Valley State University, a master’s degree in Leadership from Belhaven University, and currently finalizing Ph.D. degree requirements in Psychology/Organizational Leadership from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. 

In 2019 Thigpen was named Mississippi Tourism Association’s Member of the Year.  Thigpen has appeared in Black Meetings & Tourism magazine as one of the most influential African-Americans in the tourism industry multiple times and in 2020 received its coveted APEX Award.  Thigpen was recognized by the Events Industry Council in 2020 and was honored to receive its Social Impact Award.

Thigpen is a Cade Chapel Missionary Baptist Church member, where he serves as a member of the Music Staff and Public Relations Ministry. Rickey Thigpen’s life mission is “to be a lifelong learner dedicated to imparting knowledge to, uplifting and empowering those he is so fortunate to influence.”