"The Northwest Aestheticians' Guild began with a simple idea: I wanted to provide continuous education for Aestheticians, along with the opportunity to network with each other by sharing information and experiences.  Since it's inception in 1996, the Guild has provided monthly generic lectures on topics such as dermatology, accupuncture, plastic surgery, business practices, REIKI, naturopathy and much more".

"Additionally, NWAG has brought leading educators to Seattle for one to three-day educational events.  Today the Guild continues to flourish with the invaluable help of my colleagues and guest lecturers, all of whom so generously donate their time and expertise".


Anne Martin
Guild Founder & Chair
CIDESCO Diplomat
Lic. Aes. Instructor   


Honoring and Remembering Gary Howse... A Life Well Lived

“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.”

I reread this just the other day, after I’d heard the heartbreaking news about the sudden death of Gary Howse, co-founder of the Aveda School and Salon here in Seattle. And I related to the disorder and chaos that his passing sets in motion, for we have lost a stalwart and true champion of our profession of Aesthetics, and most particularly, that of Cosmetology.

I knew Gary from state meetings with the Department of Licensing, in which subjects near and dear to our individual and collective hearts were discussed, argued about, re-discussed, maybe agreed upon, or sometimes thrown out … only to start the whole thing all over again. He and I did not always agree, you see. But Gary believed in the professions, and in each and all of us as practitioners, as professionals. Nothing short of what he deemed best would be acceptable, and it was there we found common ground. He never wavered from that commitment over those many years of meetings.

When I decided to bring the Aesthetics bill forward to the legislature, Gary was the one particular person I wanted to sign onto the bill’s goals for Aestheticians, for I respected his ideals and his school. So we talked: I explained, he listened, asked questions, asked more questions, (and then some more), until he was satisfied it was a good thing. And then he made sure that he sent a teacher to each of the legislative hearings, to represent the school and to speak on behalf of the bill, and the profession. The bill passed into law, not least because of his help.

I confess to not understanding what order there is in the sadness and disorder his loss has engendered, nor do I see any larger purpose in the chaos of shock that I feel. It is in the nature of things that loss comes to us, so perhaps that, in itself, is the cosmos and the order.  But I do understand this: that the way he lived his life was that of a compassionate man, a principled man … and best? a good man. And I will miss him.


Anne Martin


It is with overwhelming sadness and a deep sense of loss that we announce the passing of Gary Alan Howse on August 3, in New York City.  Gary was the beloved newlywed of Philip Pares, a trusted business partner to Manuel Benevich, a beloved son, brother, uncle, mentor and friend.

Gary’s inspiration and passion was shared with thousands of people over the arc of his life.   As a philanthropic leader in his community and the professional beauty industry, Gary personally poured his time, energy and love, into causes such as Lifelong AIDS Alliance and the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance.  “Gary always set an example of how each of us should strive to be our best selves and positively contribute to good outcomes,” says Gary Manuel employee and lifelong friend Kathryn Remijan. Gary’s exuberance and outstanding leadership created a salon community whose focus was more than just great hair and skin. Gary’s core belief was that with a little effort a small group of people could make an immeasurable difference. He was proven right year-over-year as his salons have become AVEDA’s largest Earth Month contributor, raising over $360,000 in the last 4-years.

Gary grew up in Nisqually, Washington, where he attended high school and served as the President of the 4H club. His reputation for riding dressage was quickly eclipsed by his expertise in coloring the mains and tails of show horses.  After attending Harvey Mudd College, Gary focused his career on his first passion hair design. Gary co-founded Gary Manuel Salon with Manuel Benevich.  Together they sought to elevate the expectation of the salon experience from technical skills to guest service. That commitment to excellence led to the development of Gary Manuel AVEDA Institute and Gary Manuel Studios both recognized as leaders in the professional beauty industry.

Gary successfully met challenges head on, from living life as an openly gay man in the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis, to building a successful business and mentoring young talent.  Challenges did not darken his spirit, but rather made him a more caring, pragmatic and compassionate man.  Gary’s passion for leading positive change was reflected in his commitment and action. When asked what Gary meant to his team, Manuel Benevich stated, "He was light in our sky and the shoes on our feet."

Gary is survived by his husband Philip, brother Dave, sister Julie, nephews Cooper, Travis, and Matthew, nieces Melissa, Bailey and Morgan, great-niece Brooklyn, countless salon clients, and a beloved Team.

Memorial contributes may be made to Lifelong AIDS Alliance, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and Metropolitan Community Church of New York.