Thigpen joined the Chamber as Executive Director in August, 2005. Prior to being hired for this position, he was an active volunteer member of the Chamber for many years in various roles. He served as President of the Chamber in 1999-2000. Thigpen graduated from Delta State University in 1979 and was a member of the baseball team. He then went to work for his father in the fuel distribution business in Cleveland until they sold their business to Gresham Petroleum Company in 1988. Thigpen worked for Gresham Petroleum until being hired by the Chamber. He coached summer baseball for many years, served as President of the Delta State Athletic Alumni Association in 1990, was the Secretary-Treasurer of the Cleveland Exchange Club from 1990-1993, served on the Board of the Cleveland-Bolivar County United Way, served in several capacities on the Delta State Foundation Board of Directors including as President in 2008-2009. He was inducted into the Delta State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009, received the designation of IOM (Institute of Organization Management) from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2011, serves on the Board of the I-69 Mid-Continent Highway Coalition and the Mississippi Economic Development Council.
Thigpen has two children, Jud and Nora, both received degrees from Delta State; and a grandson, Brantley. His hobbies include golf and yard work.