William P. “Bill” Morelli offers his clients a deep understanding of how to balance the unique business and multi-disciplinary legal needs of a major family-held enterprise, having recently served Ingram Industries Inc., one of the largest diversified private companies in the U.S., as its Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. Leading the legal team for over 23 years, Bill also played an executive role, working with family owners and profit center heads to provide strategic and tactical direction, and management and execution of business plans. Along with his general business and corporate responsibilities, he developed and administered the compliance and ethics program for both subsidiaries of the company which is engaged in marine transportation, print-on-demand book manufacturing, wholesale book distribution, and digital storage, management, and distribution services for publishers. Bill was recently elected to the Board of Directors of Ingram Industries.
Knowing that large, private, family-owned companies are often characterized by owners and key executives who are accustomed to being in charge and having people defer to their judgment, Bill has developed communication and advice-giving techniques helpful to operating in this unique environment. When coaching clients, he helps them develop the ability to have difficult but necessary conversations with key stakeholders – an uncomfortable but essential part of the GC’s role which may ultimately define the success of the legal function in the closely held business environment.
Early in his career, Bill joined Nashville-based Ingram Barge Company, a subsidiary of Ingram Industries Inc., as General Counsel and Secretary and a member of the Board and was named Vice President and General Counsel a few years later. As part of a reorganization of Ingram Industries Inc., during which Ingram Micro Inc. split off, Bill was appointed Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. When he was finally named Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, in addition to his general business and corporate legal responsibilities, he administered the company’s compliance and ethics program. Prior to his long tenure at Ingram, Bill served as Associate General Counsel and Director of Governmental Affairs at Midland Enterprises Inc., a large inland marine transportation company.
Furthering his experience with family-run companies, in 2013, Bill was appointed to serve on a special independent committee providing compliance program review and recommendations for Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America. He followed that assignment by assisting the company in implementing the committee’s recommendations. Bill was also appointed, in 2016, to serve on a special independent commission reviewing the Title IX sexual misconduct policies in the University of Tennessee system, resulting in a report issued publicly in 2017.
Bill received the Commander’s Award for Public Service from the Department of the Army for his work on the Inland Waterways Users Board, a federal advisory group which recommends to Congress and the Secretary of the Army construction and rehabilitation priorities on the inland waterway system. He also served on the board of DINAMO, a regional waterway development group, and for ten years as Chairman of the Legislative Committee of The American Waterways. In addition, Bill has served on the Athena PowerLink advisory panel, a peer and mentoring program for women-owned businesses, and is a past President of the Tennessee Historical Society.
Bill was named a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Cincinnati College of Law. The Nashville Business Journal cited him in 2010 and 2014 as a “Best of the Bar” in-house counsel.
Bill received his B.A. in political science from the University of Cincinnati, and J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
Compliance & Ethics Programs
Effective Reporting to CEO & Board
Family & Private Company Dynamics
Operating Review of Legal & Compliance Teams
Legal & Compliance Structure & Development
Outside Counsel Management
Confidant for General Counsel & CCO