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NSD Sister Act

Lise Clark with Mary Kay Ash
Lise Clark with Mary Kay Ash
Monique with Mary Kay Ash
Monique with Mary Kay Ash

They’ve grown up together at home and at work. They’ve nurtured each other through trials and cheered each other’s triumphs. They’ve shared the thrill of Mary Kay trips and the uncertainty of serious illness. And this year, they’re making Mary Kay history together.  
Independent National Sales Director Monique Todd and Independent Senior National Sales Director Lise Clark are the first real-life sisters to become NSDs since Mary Kay Ash created the elite position. These two role models are standing shoulder to shoulder as they have many times before, now cloaked in the exclusive NSD mantel and destined to make an even richer difference in women’s lives.

“Who would’ve thought that two ‘little girls,’ in our mid-20s when we came into Mary Kay, would become Independent National Sales Directors someday?” marvels Lise. “We are blessed, humbled and grateful, and we want to empower women in their own dreams. We want to give them hope, because hope in the future is power in the present.”
As a child, Lise daydreamed of being onstage, a famous celebrity whose audience would appreciate her talents and abilities (the dream became reality!). She excelled in extracurricular activities at school, where she competed in track and field, tennis, basketball and cheerleading. She was Homecoming Queen and Miss New Mexico, competing for the Miss USA National title before heading to Los Angeles to enter broadcasting.
Two years after signing her own Independent Beauty Consultant Agreement, Lise shared the Mary Kay opportunity with Monique. Her sister was impressed with Lise’s progress, but it was the terrific marketing plan that ultimately drew Monique. “I’ve had the privilege of being a Million-Dollar Sales Director,” she says, “thanks to Lise recruiting me all those years ago.” In fact, the accolades for both women have piled up impressively over the years. They both earned Rookie of the Year in Independent National Sales Director Emeritus Shirley Hutton’s National area. They shared the No. 1 and No. 2 positions in Independent Senior National Sales Director Elizabeth Fitzpatrick’s National area for five years. And they both received their area’s Go Give Award. Monique received the annual Go Give Award at Seminar 2001 in the Pearl division.
“As a result of Mary Kay, we’ve spent more time together than if we’d had different jobs,” says Monique, the youngest of nine. “What a blessing that time together has been. We’ve traveled around the world together and shared our successes. When Lise was going through National Sales Director-in-Qualification, I already had been there. With Elizabeth’s help, I offered advice and shared ideas that worked for me. It’s been great supporting each other.”
Sisterly support was never more appreciated than when Lise was diagnosed with breast cancer and Monique’s daughter, Whitney, was diagnosed with a bone disease at about the same time. “For a while, my daughter required intravenous treatment every eight hours. I didn’t travel for two years,” says Monique. “I came to appreciate Mary Kay’s philosophies and couldn’t have made the same choices had I still been in the ‘real world.’ Our unit had its best two years ever, and I never left home for more than three hours at a time.”

Lise was at the top of her own game, headed for her unit’s first million-dollar year, when she suddenly found herself facing chemotherapy treatments. “The previous year we reached the $650,000 Circle of Excellence, and I earned my first Top Sales Director trip,” she says. “We were jamming, things were happening, the momentum was building! Then I was diagnosed. I had a 9-month-old baby and two other children, ages 5 and 8. Just thinking about my kids without a mother, and my husband being a single parent, rocked my world.” Lise says her marriage entered a new chapter of devotion, vulnerability and acceptance. As Monique and her other real-life sisters took turns sitting with Lise during long days of chemotherapy treatments, Lise’s Mary Kay “unit member sisters” were working to help her stay positive and hopeful. “They gave me a great gift,” she says. “They taught me how to accept and receive unconditional giving.” Despite the setback, Lise and her unit finished the $950,000 Circle of Excellence.
“Women are incredible supporters, and their loyalty and hearts have sincerely touched us,” says Monique. “When Lise was recovering, we talked nearly every day about business and kids and everyday life. She was a pillar of strength! I mostly just baked and went to chemo and prayed for her.” These sisters share a deeply rooted faith in God, made stronger through difficult times. “We’ve prayed together often,” says Lise. “God has always been faithful, and when I appeared at Seminar after chemo — completely bald, wearing a wig — to be honored with Monique in the Top 10, it was a personal triumph.”
Top Sales Director trips have whisked the two to Spain, Hawaii and Alaska together, and even their families have enjoyed the fruits of Mary Kay. When the duo won trips to Walt Disney World®, both families shared the unforgettable experience. In fact, their favorite Mary Kay memories would fill the pages of a sentimental album. And they’re still making them. “On our first Top Sales Director trip,” Monique recalls, “we walked on the beach holding hands as if the whole world didn’t exist. This year, we’ll debut as Nationals at Seminar together, with our dad looking on.”
Each has favorite Mary Kay memories of time spent together, and they usually coincide. Asked about her most rewarding experience with her ‘little sis,’ Lise doesn’t hesitate. “Growing up as women together! Appreciating each other’s strengths, respecting each other’s differences. Sharing our joy of changing lives and watching our families reap the benefits of this career. We’re not just sisters, we’re best friends!” Both women are jubilant that their father and other loved ones will watch them take that starry debut walk across the Seminar stage. “It’s going to be a true celebration of two women who have achieved the pinnacle of success in Mary Kay,” says Lise. “Now we want to use our NSD position to empower other women’s journey to the top!”