Amy Leigh Varbel
Amy was born August 9, 1973 at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara to June and Gary Varbel. Her beautiful sister, Karen, arrived and rounded out the family on June 3, 1975. Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Amy spent her formative years in Goleta, affectionately known to the locals as The Good Land, attending Ellwood Elementary School, Goleta Valley Junior High, and Dos Pueblos High School. Ever the nerd, she entered the University of California, Santa Barbara as a math major and dabbled in Business Economics before graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications with an Emphasis in Organizational Communication and a Minor in Writing. The Minor inducted her into a career focused on writing; first as a technical writer for Digital Instruments Veeco, a manufacturer of atomic force microscopes, and now as a proposal writer for Yardi Systems, a real estate software and services provider. Outside of work, Amy spends her time playing with Jonathan, dabbling in the culinary arts and excelling in eating, reading anything she can get her hands on, getting bendy in yoga, dancing and grooving her way through Afro-Brazilian and Capoeira classes, tackling the Nite Moves 5K run every Wednesday during the Spring and Summer, taking thousands of pictures that no one ever sees, and jumping at any chance to get friends and family together for good food, good music, and good laughs. Quirks: she always tests new pens by writing the word "raisin". Goals: To live an authentic and meaningful life, leaving a large footprint on people's hearts and a small footprint on the planet. Oh, and to learn to play the guitar. For real this time.
Jonathan Bradford DeLong
Jonathan was born August 6, 1974, a short 362 days after Amy. Perched above the Haight-Ashbury District in San Francisco, the University of California Medical Center welcomed Jonathan into the world. Born to Barbara R. and W. Bradford DeLong, he was brought home to meet his 3-year-old sister, Stephanie. Having just had a birthday herself, Stephanie considered him a birthday present and quickly adopted him as her favorite toy. Through life's ebbs and flows, Jonathan and Stephanie's mutual respect and admiration has grown into a wonderful friendship. Jonathan found his formal education as much from life and wandering as he did from time spent at various primary and secondary schools in San Francisco, Utah, Boston, Oregon, and Marin County. After graduating from Tamalpias High School in Mill Valley, California, Jonathan enjoyed a nice break before heading down the coast to attend college in Santa Barbara. After a colorful five years and a couple of detours, he graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications and an emphasis on finishing. While Amy and Jonathan may have shared several professors, they never shared a collegiate encounter. Post college, Jonathan enjoyed seven years of self employment revolving around real estate development and ownership. This prepared him well for his current profession as Yardi Systems' National Affordable Housing Specialist and his position on the Board of Directors of the Affordable Housing Management Association of California, Nevada, and Hawaii. Working to live, not living to work; enter Jonathan's love of all things culinary, a passion for the ocean, verve for entertaining, and a commitment to philanthropy. In addition to his work with Habitat for Humanity, in 2007 Jonathan was approached as a bone marrow donor match for an unknown 46-year-old man with leukemia. Jonathan answered the call; the recipient is now healthy and they regularly exchange emails. Jonathan believes in the power of dreams, in experiences more than belongings, and the certainty of the sunrise.
How They Met
There is a running joke at Yardi Systems that not only do they have great health benefits and a 401K; it is inevitable that you will find a love match working there. Nearly two years into working together, a friendship formed, and it wasn't long until they happily became another Yardi statistic. Jonathan proposed at Roblar Winery just 35 miles up the road from Santa Barbara in Santa Ynez. Capitalizing on the fact that Amy had arranged for the two of them to take a cooking class at Roblar Winery for Jonathan's birthday, on the day of the class, he surprised Amy on a second story deck overlooking the vineyard with a beautiful spread of meats and cheeses, wine, and a ring buried in a beautiful pile of grapes. So beautiful that Jonathan almost had a coronary when Amy happily zoomed in on the pile of grapes and started snapping close-up pictures.