Nancy Clifford Irsay grew up in the Chicago suburbs. Her father was British, her mother an American. She has two siblings - brothers, who led her to lead a bit of a tom-boy life, she admits. A natural fine artist, Nancy Irsay studied Graphic Communication at Northern Illinois University before attending the Central School of Art and Design, London, England, where she received a degree. She later studied marketing at Northwestern University in Chicago .
In Fort Lauderdale, Florida Nancy's first job as art director was with a small agency and their client Harris Computer Corporation. Nancy also did freelance work for local restaurants doing conceptual logo dev elopement with menu design and newspaper ads.
In Chicago, Nancy had the opportunity to work as art director for large agencies doing print ads, TV commercials and package design for the following advertising accounts:
In 1977, Nancy accepted a position as corporate design director for Sears Roebuck & Co. at their national headquarters in Chicago. In that position she managed the creative direction and function of copy and graphic development for packaging programs.
It was while she was at Sears that a headhunter recruited her to join the Paul Harris Co. in Indianapolis as director of communication and design. Nancy directed all creative development for the Paul Harris Fashion and Pasta divisions. She was responsible for the corporate image campaign as well.
In 1986, while Nancy was at Paul Harris, she was introduced to Bob Irsay.
In 1987, she left Paul Harris and returned to Chicago to launch Clifford & Associates, a marketing firm for retail and cosmetic companies.
In 1989, Nancy returned to Indianapolis and married Bob Irsay. She became actively involved in hosting charity fundraisers and corporate parties on behalf of the Indianapolis Colts in the party pavilion at their Carmel estate.
Nancy Irsay has a passion for horses that began as a child. She took her first riding lesson when she was six-years-old and rode intermittently through the years.
She managed to unify two of her passions, horses and charities, when she developed and launched Sweet Charity Farm in Carmel, Indiana in 1994.
Today she focuses her attention on Indianapolis-area charities and various activities in England, where she still has family. She counts grass roots politics and sporting clay among her hobbies.