Ricky Mathews | President
Mr. Mathews took an unconventional path to his role as president of NOLA Media Group. Mathews graduated from paramedic school at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and worked as an advanced paramedic before enrolling at the University of Southern Mississippi in pre-med. However, he soon decided to shift his emphasis to business. He stayed at Southern Miss, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business and a Master’s of Business Administration.
In his 27 years at the South Mississippi’s Sun Herald newspaper, Mathews started as a summer intern and worked in a number of key positions in advertising, circulation, marketing and operations, working his way up to president and publisher. Along the way, he led several corporate initiatives for the Sun Herald’s parent company Knight Ridder and was given operations responsibility for other Knight Ridder newspapers in the southeast. In 2009, he set off on a new adventure, becoming the president of Advance Alabama. In 2011, he was named president and publisher of The Times-Picayune, and later in 2011 president of NOLA Media Group, the parent company of The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com.
Mr. Mathews has held several leadership positions throughout the Gulf Coast region. After Hurricane Katrina, Mathews was a vice-chair on the Governor’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal for the state of Mississippi. After the BP oil spill, Mathews lead the Governor’s Coastal Recovery Commission for the state of Alabama. Currently, he is on the Board of Directors for the Southern Newspaper Publisher’s Association, is a member of the United Way Board of Southeast Louisiana and serves on the Chairman’s Council of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce.
Among many accolades Ricky has received throughout his career, he has a small list of awards or honors he values most. He received the Spirit of the Coast Award, which is given to the top leader in South Mississippi each year by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce, for leadership efforts after Hurricane Katrina. In 2006 Ricky was also the recipient of the Award of Valor, given by the National Association of Minority Media Executives, also for his leadership efforts after Katrina. And he is most proud of the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, which includes a gold medal given to the staff of the Sun Herald in 2006 for the newspaper’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.
Mathews is an avid runner and has been committed to exercise and a living a healthy life since 1981. He loves to spend time with his family and also enjoys boating, hunting, fishing and anything outdoors. He picked up his first pair of drumsticks in the 5th grade and never stopped playing.
Most of all, Mathews cherishes his role not only just as the president of a company, but as a community leader and as a publisher.