May 27, 2014
Convocation ceremonies were held today, at Place des Arts, for 896 HEC Montréal BBA graduates (97 of them in the trilingual stream). At that time the Université de Montréal, on the recommendation of HEC Montréal, conferred today an honorary doctorate on Lise Watier, founder of Lise Watier Cosmétiques and President of the Foundation that bears her name. An icon of the beauty industry for over 40 years, Lise Watier is a model to be emulated, an inspiring example and an essential reference for all entrepreneurs.
True entrepreneurial pioneer in Quebec, Ms. Watier built her business by listening to Quebec women. As a former television host, she recognized her viewer’s needs and they became the source of her inspiration. In order to enhance her viewer’s self-worth, she created the Institut Lise Watier in 1968 and Lise Watier Cosmétiques in 1972.
Her company distributes some 500 products through more than 2,000 points of sale across Canada and now online in the United States. It has nearly 150 employees and net sales of $41 million* annually.
With determination and perseverance, Ms. Watier took an innovative approach and created a line of makeup, skincare products and fragrances that have now become essentials. Her exceptional leadership and vision led her to launch her NEIGES perfume in 1993, the greatest fragrance success in Canadian history.
“Lise Watier, your career path is a perfect illustration of how leadership, innovation and philanthropy make it possible to overcome obstacles, be they personal, professional or, ultimately, social ones,” said HEC Montréal Director Michel Patry. “You do us a great honour by accepting this degree today, and we thank you most sincerely.”
“I cannot tell you how proud I am to receive this very prestigious distinction. Being made a doctor by this university, with its goal of educating future managers, means a great deal to me, especially considering its high teaching standards”, said Ms. Watier.
Ms. Watier has received many honours over the years. She was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada in 1991, and promoted to an Officer in December 2012. She has also been an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec since 2000. Ms. Watier was recognized as a Great Montrealer by the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal in 2013 and inducted into the Marketing Hall of Legends in 2014 as a visionary.
She is highly involved in the community, and generously gives of her time and efforts to the Foundation that bears her name, created to help women and girls in need through Canadian non-profit organizations. Lastly, Ms. Watier is an excellent model for HEC Montréal students, alumni and staff. Her success and commitment are a source of inspiration for the next generation of Quebec leaders. So it is with great pride that HEC Montréal conferred this honorary doctorate on her today.
*Financial statements dated April 30, 2013.