Last night David and I had the pleasure of attending a surprise birthday party for Ray Civello. Ray was surrounded by friends, family and staff at the Empire Restaurant in Yorkville in celebration of his 50th birthday. I was first introduced to Ray in the early 90s by my sister Cindy, who worked as a massage therapist for Ray. It was through the inspiration and foresight of Ray and Cindy that my sister Anne and I combined our Ste. Anne's bed & breakfast offering with with an Aveda inspired spa. Back in those days Ray had one hair salon at Yonge & Davenport, where he lead the industry by introducing spa treatments in a funky/artsy ambiance to his hair clients. Today there are Aveda and Civello salons and stores on just about every street corner. Ray and his siblings also had the good fortune of taking over the Canadian distributorship for Aveda, a tremedously astute and successful business venture. One of my earliest memories of my induction into the spa life is of Ray cutting my hair out under the big maple tree. No need to sweep up the hair cuttings as a gentle breeze takes it away. At 50 Ray has made a name for himself in the high fashion world of hair and the restorative world of spa. I am honoured to be counted amoung his friends. Happy birthday old chum!