Melissa M. Ingram is Vice President and Channel Manager for Aspire – the television entertainment network from Earvin “Magic” Johnson that reflects the people and modern day experiences of black and urban culture in a way that is inspiring, authentic and entertaining. Ingram oversees the network’s day-to-day operations, brand and programming. In addition, she is responsible for the long-term strategy, planning and personnel for the network. She led the recent brand refresh of aspireTV into an urban lifestyle brand with an all-new website and #SeeYourselfHere tagline. Original series launched under this new direction include cooking series Butter + Brown; interview specials Idols, Icons + Influencers; and the upcoming design series Unboxed with Nikki Chu.
Ingram joined Aspire in August 2012 as Senior Counsel, Business and Legal Affairs, and was promoted to Senior Director of Business Affairs and Development in December 2014. In her role as Senior Director, Ingram was successful in executing partnerships with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHI-HBCUs) and solidifying an unprecedented partnership with the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and its member schools to produce custom programming, highlighting the rich legacy and history of HBCUs and their product – the students. Ingram also oversaw the process of Aspire becoming the first and only national cable television network to receive its certification as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and continues to serve as the network’s liaison with the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC). In 2013, Ingram was selected as one of Multichannel News’ 40 under 40 young industry executives and was also honored in 2016 and 2017 as one of Cablefax’s “Most Influential Minorities in Cable.” She was also named to the “Who’s Who in Black Atlanta” list in 2017.
Ingram joined Aspire from its sister-network UP TV, where she was Senior Counsel of Business and Legal Affairs, serving as lead counsel and negotiator for programming acquisition agreements. While at UP TV in 2011, Ingram was awarded a scholarship from the Walter Kaitz Foundation and was selected to attend the Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Rising Leaders Program in San Diego, California.
Before joining UP TV in 2008, Ingram was an associate lawyer with an Atlanta-based boutique entertainment firm, The Carter Law Firm, PC where she handled various entertainment contracts. She began her career in 2004 as an associate lawyer in the Labor and Employment group at Alston & Bird, LLP in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ingram earned a Juris Doctorate (J.D) from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, magna cum laude, from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Ingram is a former board member of the Southeast Board of Directors for WICT and is a proud member of one of the nation’s oldest volunteer service organizations, The Links, Incorporated.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Melissa now resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, Demetrius and daughter, Micah Michelle.