Humane society welcomes 2 to board

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    Dr. Ranaella Steinberg is a new member of the Kaua‘i Humane Society board of directors.

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    Dan Giovanni is president of the Kaua‘i Humane Society board of directors.

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    Pat McGrath is secretary of the Kaua‘i Humane Society board of directors.

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    Mirah Horowitz is executive director of the Kaua‘i Humane Society.

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    Kurt Last is first vice president of the Kaua‘i Humane Society board of directors.

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    David Cohen is a director of the Kaua‘i Humane Society.

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    Mindy Smith is new member of the Kaua‘i Humane Society’s board of directors.

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    Dana Rhoden is a member of the Kaua‘i Humane Society’s board of directors.

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    Howard Appel is a member of the Kaua‘i Humane Society’s board of directors.

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    Ann Hayashi is a member of the Kaua‘i Humane Society’s board of directors.

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    Alicia Iverson is treasurer of the Kaua‘i Humane Society board of directors.

PUHI — The Kaua‘i Humane Society has added two new members to its board of directors, making 11 members now serving on the board.

Recently joining the KHS board are Dr. Ranaella Steinberg and Mindy Smith, Kaua‘i residents who are also board members of other animal-advocacy groups and bring varying expertise to the table.

Smith moved to Kaua‘i more than 20 years ago, formerly owned a travel agency in Lake Tahoe, and founded an interior-design business in San Francisco. On Kaua‘i, she’s spent 20 years managing a restaurant in Hanalei, and has an active Hawai‘i real Estate license. In addition to her new position on the KHS board, she is involved in the Zonta Club of Hanalei Foundation, the Puamana Condos Homeowners Association in Princeville, the Kaua‘i Society for the Protection of Animals and Habitat for Humanity North Shore Committee, and is a member of the Best Friends Society.

Steinberg is a graduate of the college of veterinary medicine at the University of Florida, where she was the recipient of the Presidential Service Award as both an undergraduate and graduate student. She is associated with the North Shore Veterinary Service, but it was an internship in marine-mammal medicine that initially brought Steinberg to Hawai‘i. Her experience is diverse, with a current focus on companion-animal medicine that blends both conventional and holistic approaches. She’s involved in several professional organizations, including the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the Human Society Medical Association.

“We are thrilled to have such talented individuals join our board,” said Mirah Horowitz, executive director of KHS. “Both of these women are extremely dedicated to animal welfare and to the island of Kaua‘i.”

Dan Giovanni, president of the KHS board, said he is pleased to welcome Steinberg and Smith to the team.

“(We) look forward to working with them as we broaden and align the roles of KHS and KSPCA for the betterment of animal welfare on Kaua‘i, “ said Giovanni, a Kaua‘i resident who originally hails from the San Francisco Bay area, is the former vice president of Hawaiian Electric Company and is now an independent consultant to the electric-power industry.

Other current KHS board members include both Kaua‘i and Mainland residents.

Living in Kalaheo with her husband and their 11-year-old dog Mango, Alicia Iverson joined the KHS board in June 2017, and has served as treasurer since 2018. She has more than 28 years of financial and accounting experience, including serving as the chief financial officer for Koloa Rum Company, a local manufacturer of small-batch, premium, craft Hawaiian rum.

Boardmember and Kaua‘i resident Kurt Last moved to Hawai‘i in 2013. Last also serves as a consultant for universities and industrial clients, including Duke University, Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of Louisville Brown Cancer Center in their efforts to advance novel therapeutics. He is a former member of the National Institutes of Health Red Team, and is a current member of the Bryant University board of trustees, serving on the investment and finance committees.

Pat McGrath moved to Kaua‘i with her family from Canada in 2003, has been a board member since 2017, and has fostered almost 300 kittens for KHS since 2012. McGrath is the professor of English and chair of the Languages, Arts &Humanities Division at Kaua‘i Community College, where she also serves as one of the campus commissioners on the University of Hawai‘i Commission on LGBTQ+ Equality, and advises the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) on-campus student club. McGrath was the president of the Kaua‘i Performing Arts Center advisory board from 2015 to 2018.

Dallas resident Dana Rhoden is founder and chief creative officer for Veterinary Education Network, a consulting firm for veterinarians. Rhoden is fear-free certified in veterinary sciences, is trained in animal behavior, and has been in animal rescue and in human and veterinary health care for over 25 years. She was the founder of Southwest Veterinary Symposium, held annually in Texas for veterinarians. She currently lives in Texas with her husband Lee, five dogs, one bird and two ducks. Rhoden joined the KHS board in 2019 and recently chaired the annual Paws for a Cause Gala.

Kaua‘i resident Ann Hayashi joined the KHS board in 2018, and is the executive director for Blue Zones Project in Hawai‘i, a community well-being-improvement initiative that helps make healthy choices easier for Hawai‘i residents. She spends her days supporting strategic planning and implementation of the statewide initiative, and her background includes research in global public health and behavioral medicine. Hayashi said she joined the board with the desire to better support her community and the people and animals that live in it. She has two cats and a dog, all of which are the bosses of her house, and now her office, since she has been working at home.

The two remaining boardmembers are Howard Appel and David Cohen, retired entrepreneurs who founded the luxury real estate and travel company Destinations In Paradise. The company has partnered with KHS to help fund transfers of animals to the mainland over the past couple years and, in addition to providing support for KHS, Appel and Cohen are also active supporters of a rare turtle protection and breeding/release program in Mexico. Appel has more than 30 years of experience as president, chief financial officer and certified public accountant. He served as president of Millennium Health until his retirement in 2015, and has sat on multiple directing boards of both public and private firms.

Cohen was the chief operating officer of Millennium Health until his retirement in 2014, and enjoys helping start-up companies and organizations. A non-practicing certified public accountant, Cohen was raised in South Africa and has a bachelor’s degree in economics and accounting form the University of Cape Town, and he supports education for extreme poverty-stricken young girls in Uganda.


Stephanie Shinno, features and community reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or

  1. Charles L. Chimknee May 22, 2020 5:06 am Reply

    How is it possible the humane society of Kauai needs 11 board members? Typical Kauai govt. model self congratulatory bloat. The board of Facebook is composed of 10 people, and they arguably do more than sip coffee and talk story all afternoon.

  2. Wowlaulau May 22, 2020 6:39 am Reply

    Such an impressive list of individuals. Why is it that the place is on the brink of bankruptcy, cannot retain its employees, is in constant turmoil, and does not get along well with its local community?

  3. ConcernedAinakauai May 22, 2020 2:58 pm Reply

    Distressing to see the lack of diversity on the board. Why so few kānaka residents? We are also sad to see the feral cat euthanasia program stopped. They are killing the native birds in the upper watersheds. Other methods to kill those cats will not be as effective. They must be purged from the island, not native and destructive in the wild. Wild cat “colonies are OUR mongoose, and should be eradicated. it is sad the humane society will no longer be involved. I hope the new board members will help us solve this and end the “neuter and release” nonsense.

    1. Indeed May 23, 2020 8:00 am Reply

      Why do you grant them the monopoly on dealing with the concern you have? Form a group to handle it yourself or encourage others to form the group and then support them.

      I agree the cats are a concern. I’d go so far as banning cats on the island. But blaming a single group for not doing enough or enough your way is less than helpful.

  4. BoHuntR May 23, 2020 4:17 am Reply

    Two more granola crunchers appointed to a do nothing board of a do nothing organization. CA your are right about the cats. They are destroying native birds. Sterilize and release is a joke.

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