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Industry Briefs

Rickey L. Thigpen joined Visit Jackson (formally the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau) in 1987 as the Manager of Information Systems.  For the past 31 years Thigpen has served in multiple management positions within the administrative and marketing disciplines. In October of 2018 the Visit Jackson Board of Directors named Thigpen as the Interim President of Visit Jackson.  Prior to being named the Interim President, Thigpen served as the official destination marketing organization's Executive Vice President where he was responsible for governmental & community engagement, stakeholder relationships, signature event management and new & untraditional market initiatives. 

Thigpen's appointment comes on the heels of scrutiny of the DMO's operational and strategic philosophy resulting in a state mandated legislative operational and expenditure review.  Results of that inquiry have been received.  Thigpen and his leadership team were proud to share that prior to receiving that report, five of the approximately 15 identified areas had been addressed. The DMO is currently working with the city and its local legislative delegation to move forward, securing authorization for future years.

Thigpen is a member of numerous professional and civic organizations, including Destination International, 100 Black Men of Jackson, Inc., Mississippi Valley State University National Alumni Association, Leadership Jackson Alumni Association (Board of Directors), Alpha Foundation, Inc., and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  Professionally, Thigpen represents Visit Jackson and the Jackson Tourism Industry on numerous committees and commissions including the Mississippi Tourism Association (PAC) Board of Directors and the Governor's Conference on Tourism Annual Meeting Planning Committee. 

Thigpen is a native of Jackson, Mississippi.  He holds a baccalaureate degree in Computer Science and a master's degree in Leadership.  Thigpen is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology; finalizing degree requirements in Psychology/Organizational Behavior & Leadership discipline.  Additionally, Thigpen has earned professional certifications from the University of Southern Mississippi, the Mississippi Tourism Association, and Destination International. Thigpen has appeared in Black Meetings & Tourism magazine as one of the most influential African-Americans in the tourism industry multiple times.

Thigpen is a member of Cade Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 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 who is dedicated to imparting knowledge to, uplifting and empowering those he is so fortunate to influence."