For Thia Breen, the many challenges facing the global beauty industry amount to a world of opportunity.

She is expected to be elected chair of Personal Care Products Council Tuesday during its annual meeting at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla.

Breen, group president of North America at Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., will be succeeding E. Scott Beattie of Elizabeth Arden, who in the last three years has refocused the organization into an effort to speed discussion of harmonization of government regulation around the world. One of Beattie’s hallmarks — in working alongside PCPC president and chief executive officer Lezlee Westine — was to invite other industry groups, similar to PCPC, from different countries scattered around the globe. “I am proud to turn the reins over to someone with such a distinguished career and strong commitment to our industry’s future,” said Beattie, who is Arden’s ceo, chairman and president.

Breen appears upbeat. While noting that she needs to learn from other council members before fleshing out her agenda, she pointed to a couple of high points during an interview. “The beauty industry is such a growth industry: Whether it’s in terms of mass or prestige, we’ve seen growth… From the organization standpoint, it’s not a zero sum game,” she stated, adding that the analysis of the data indicates that the growth trend will continue.

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Breen turned to the consumer, whom she described as dynamic, enamored of beauty and totally in charge. “If you look at how quickly she is changing, and I think that’s a very exciting part for our industry to take a leadership role of that,” Breen said, adding that she has some ideas in mind for programs to reach out to consumers. “This should be an exciting time with the consumer who is very involved in the category.”

Breen’s tenure as chair appears to be the opening of a new chapter with a fresh point of view. It will mark the first time that the organization’s three top officers are all women. In addition to Westine, Beth Lang is chief scientist.

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