Posted on January 22, 2003
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander today named long-time adviser and friend Tom Ingram to be his chief of staff. Ingram, who lives in Knoxville, has spent most of his time since last November's election setting up Alexander's D. C. and Tennessee offices, the fifth transition in which Ingram has played a leadership role for Alexander in their careers together, including two gubernatorial terms, the University of Tennessee presidency, and U. S. Secretary of Education. Alexander said Ingram as chief of staff will help him "be a better senator," and said he wants Ingram to spend more time in Tennessee than chiefs of staff usually do. He said Ingram will continue to live in Knoxville with his family, frequently be on special assignment elsewhere in the state and spend time in Washington as needed. "Tom, as expected, is putting together an experienced, championship team in Washington and Tennessee that will function well with his direction but not require his day-to-day physical presence, freeing him to be wherever he needs to be to help me do my job," Alexander said. "I'm extremely grateful to Tom for agreeing to do this and to Cindy and his children for letting him. I've known Tom since 1966 when he worked for the Tennessean newspaper and I worked for Howard Baker. We've worked together closely since 1974, and I've done my best work when Tom has been with me." "I'm having a blast," Ingram said, "working side by side with Lamar again. The timing was right for me personally and professionally, and as Lamar has said so often, these are very serious times for our country and for the world, and I believe this is what both of us are supposed to be doing with our lives right now. "Our team in D. C. and in the state is committed to a seamless operation between the two locations that will be accessible, responsive and determined to make important differences in the lives of Tennesseans, particularly related to Lamar's priorities in education, jobs and the environment." Ingram was the first president and chief executive officer of the Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership (KACP), a coalition of economic development organizations formed in Knoxville in l998, until he resigned last September. Under his resignation agreement he will continue to be available as an occasional consultant to KACP until October 31. Ingram was a reporter for the Tennessean and former Nashville Banner newspapers in the mid-60s and early '70s. He was a founder and the first editor of "Nashville!" magazine. He served as press secretary in Alexander's unsuccessful bid for governor in 1974, managed Alexander's successful campaigns for governor in 1978 and 1982 and was Alexander's chief of staff and deputy during Alexander's first term as governor. In 1983, Ingram founded The Ingram Group, a corporate consulting, public and government relations firm that now has offices in Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville. He sold The Ingram Group in 1990 to move to Knoxville and join Whittle Communications. He left Whittle in l994 and formed a venture capital group, with which he worked until joining KACP. Ingram, 56, is married to the former Cynthia Angel of Johnson City. He has four children, Jennifer, Jessica, Conner and Margaret.