Women and Power Series

An Interview with Martha Rivers Ingram

Martha Ingram, a native of Charleston, took over as chairman of her family's distribution conglomerate, Ingram Industries (a Fortune 500 company), in 1995 after her husband's death. She ran the company until 2008 when son John replaced her as chairman and son Orrin became president and CEO. The group, which has estimated revenues of $2 billion, transports commodities on barges and distributes books. In 2009, it merged its book, print-on-demand and digital divisions into Ingram Content group. It provides publisher content to Apple's iBookstore for the iPad. The marine division operates nearly 4,000 barges and more than 100 towboats, hauling coal, grain and fertilizer on America's inland waterways. Ingram Entertainment, a DVD and videogame distributor, is run by son David. Ingram is prominent in Nashville society; she sits on boards of cultural institutions that support theater, opera and the symphony in Tennessee. She is also the Chair of the Spoleto Festival Board in Charleston. Ms. Ingram is a graduate of Ashley Hall and Vassar College.


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