Enchanted by all things paper, Angelica’s paper journey started in the Philippines, where she opened a papier-mâché export company with her brother, Greg Urra.
The business of paper led to her meeting Russ Berrie, whose global gift company imported her paper jewelry. Marriage to Russ inspired a lifetime of shared passion for giving. After his death in 2002, Angelica became CEO and Vice-Chairman of Russ Berrie and Co. Inc., renowned makers of teddy bears and RUSS Trolls.
Following the sale of
his company, she acquired Kate's Paperie, an iconic New York paper destination
for quality stationery, printing and gift wrap. Angelica’s and Greg’s gift
industry experience enhance the Kate's Paperie brand of discovery, creativity and inspiration.
The book on philanthropy that she co-authored with wealth advisor, Peter Klein - A Passion for Giving: Tools and Inspiration for Creating a Charitable Foundation - is a practical guide for establishing private charitable foundations. Philanthropy is a transformational journey in Angelica’s life through her committed participation in several nonprofit foundations.
Angelica is President of the Russell Berrie Foundation which makes transformational gifts to seed innovative philanthropic ventures that express Russ Berrie's entrepreneurial spirit. She is Chair of the The Center for Interreligious Understanding, collaborating with leaders of all faiths to construct systems against religious stereotypes and intolerance and foster bridges of understanding, reconciliation and peacemaking vital to meeting the interfaith challenges of the 21st century.
Angelica is Chair of the Shalom Hartman Institute in North America, which is committed to the significance of Jewish ideas, the power of applied scholarship, and the conviction that great teaching contributes to the growth and continual revitalization of the Jewish people. She is also on the Board of the Joint Distribution Committee and President of Ofanim, a nonprofit organization in Israel whose mission is to deliver high-quality supplemental education to children in the periphery using mobile classrooms. She helped found Gilda's Club of Northern New Jersey and was Board Chair of Gilda's Club Worldwide, a free social and emotional support network of clubhouses for families living with cancer across North America.
A discriminating traveler, Angelica is Chairman of Global Nomad, an experiential travel design company based in Hongkong that she co-founded with her brother, Lorenzo Urra. Inspired by the Dalai Lama's words, "Once a year, go somewhere you have never been," her annual pursuit of life beyond her comfort zone is to walk the Camino of Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. Other pursuits include skydiving, rappelling and archery. She unwinds with yoga, meditation and listening to poetry.