The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization, has announced the election of New Canaan resident Cathy Kangas to its board of directors. Kangas is CEO of PRAI Beauty Group Inc., an international brand of luxury skincare and fragrance products manufactured in the United States. She also writes a column, "Animal News Desk," for the New Canaan News.
"Cathy Kangas has devoted her adult life to the cause of protecting animals -- through her cruelty-free beauty product lines, her lifestyle and her untiring advocacy for animals," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the society. "She's an impact player on animal issues, and this appointment will only enhance her ability to drive good outcomes for animals."
A portion of proceeds from PRAI sales go to Beauty with a Cause, an organization Kangas started that helps animal welfare groups.
Before her election to the board, Kangas was one of the founding members of the society's National Council, an advisory group formed in 2007 to work with executive staff and the board of directors to advance the society's mission. Kangas has a long history of animal protection work, with a special focus on ending Canada's baby seal hunt and protecting horses from slaughter.
"The Humane Society of the United States, in recent years, has taken giant leaps forward," Kangas said. "In addition to helping animals at the local level -- which is critical -- the HSUS has been able to protect, save and improve the lives of millions of animals through its reach and influence nationally and internationally."
Born in the United Kingdom, Kangas came to the U.S. in 1983 to work in brand management and marketing for Revlon. Prior to launching PRAI in 1999, she spent four years as the national director of sales training for Cartier.
Kangas cares for 12 rescued horses who reside at the Squirrelwood Equine Sanctuary in New York. She and her husband live in New Canaan with their four rescued dogs.
The HSUS board of directors is made up of 27 people charged with oversight of the organization.