Skip to content Skip to content

Rick Tigner - President, Jackson Family Wines - Modesto Junior College

Before becoming president of one of America's most-beloved family owned wine companies, Rick Tigner studied liberal arts at Modesto Junior College, graduating with his associate of arts degree in 1982. He went on to complete his bachelor's degree at San Diego State University, and after graduating spent more than two decades in the alcohol beverage industry.

Today, as president of Jackson Family Wines and their world-famous Kendall-Jackson winery, Tigner is responsible for leading and building the global sales, marketing, communications and production organizations as well as the administrative functions of the family business founded by wine icon Jess Jackson. In early 2012, Tigner was featured on the hit CBS Television show "Undercover Boss," where he showed the passion Kendall-Jackson, the Jackson family and all of their employees have for everything they do. The episode won both critical and popular acclaim, and was the first in the series' three seasons to feature a wine company and a behind-the-scenes look at the amazing vineyards, artistry and handcrafting that goes into every bottle.

Tigner was raised in Modesto, in the heart of the Central Valley grape-growing region, and subsequently has spent his life steeped in the art and business of wine making. After earning his bachelor of science degree in business administration from San Diego State University, Tigner moved back to Sonoma County to make a career in the wine industry. In 1991, after jobs in sales at major brands Miller Brewing Company, Gallo and Louis M. Martini, Tigner joined Kendall-Jackson as the western division manager and rapidly advanced through two additional divisions.

In 1996 he was appointed vice president and general manager of Regal Wine Company, the distribution arm of Jackson Family Wines. He was then appointed Sr. Vice President of Sales and Distribution for Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates and in June of 2001 was promoted to Executive Vice President, Sales & Distribution, followed by another promotion to Executive Vice President, Sales, overseeing worldwide sales. His presidency is the result of more than 20 years of hands-on service to Kendall Jackson and the Jackson Family.

A winemaker himself, Tigner owns an 80-acre vineyard, Dream Catcher Wines, where he personally blends his own chardonnay and pinot varietals. It pays to be among Tigner’s friends and family: he does not sell Dream Catcher wine, but he does give it away to a lucky few. A true outdoorsman and an avid road cyclist, Tigner can be seen racing through Sonoma County's backcountry on most weekends. When he isn’t on his bike or playing tennis, Tigner travels the world for work and for pleasure, but always seems to find himself back in Italy, doing in-depth research for the company at the restaurants as well as cycling the Italian country side.

Along with his wife Wendy, who has bravely battled Parkinson's for many years, Tigner works with the Michael J. Fox Foundation helping to raise money for research into the disease. Perhaps most importantly, he is the proud father of three children, Richard, Lisa and Becky.


Read about more notable alumni...