NEWPORT COAST LIVING MAGAZINE
The Edwards: An All-American Family
By Jill McLean
Amongst the ocean views and sunny skies of Newport Coast, the Edwards family is rooted in the steady togetherness that we long to read about in today’s changing world, with Jeff (50) and Andrea (47) at the helm. It all started on a blizzardy night in Mammoth, with snow and wind tossing wildly around the cold mountain skies. Two groups of friends were both on ski trips and staying warm by the fire at Whisky Creek, when Andrea’s friend approached Jeff to give Cupid the nudge forward… and the rest is history for the couple! With the sun of California in their genes, it was only fitting that they exchange vows alongside the beautiful waters of Maui in 2003. This All-American family now has an extended crew with their three active children: Pierce (11) is in the GATE program and ASB at school, then there’s Presley (8) who is involved in competitive dance, and Stone (6) who is independent, cool, funny and loves skateboarding. After 12 playful years, their pup (now passed) still warms all of their hearts as they recall taking him in from life on the streets of El Monte at the tiny age of 6 months, and the creative use of an extension-cord-turned-leash, formally assigning him with the name E.C.
With his father as a farmer, Jeff’s soil, sun and wildlife childhood taught him about being resourceful and responsible in down-to-earth ways, all while giving him the freedom to be young. What kid wouldn’t love to be perched miles high up on a giant seat, bumping along in a fat-tire tractor at age 6, or riding in the back of a pickup truck with the setting sun aflame in the sky? With bursting entrepreneurial gusto, this diamond-in-the-rough quickly moved into a 14-year stretch of automotive customization for a huge range of clients — from young moms to celebrities like Jay Leno, John Travolta and high-profile athletes. During this time, his internal wiring fired off one of his most valuable circuits… building a rock-solid database of clients. This single component proved to be the engine of his proceeding career in the mortgage business, where ownership of The Jeff Edwards Group shines by providing specialized products, stellar packaging and excellent advice for incredibly high net-worth clients. With his office starting in Beverly Hills, he and Andrea had the opportunity to grow in Orange County, so they immediately set out to relocate and fell in love with Newport Coast, with Jeff forming a brick and mortar location last year in our beloved Corona del Mar. With his unique approach of a solid database, his philosophy resides in the top levels of integrity and success for all … “I always ask… “Where and to whom can I make a difference?” I do this with every single transaction.” This also extends into Jeff’s role on the board of Harbor View Dads, a group of fathers that raise private funds for the public sector. Focusing on the improvement of educational tools and growth, the foundation brings opportunity and fills needs for Harbor View Elementary and other under-funded schools.
Jeff is matched perfectly with his gorgeous wife, Andrea. She is one smart cookie, and her unique background includes learning fluent Chinese before the age of 10 while living in China with her family. Born in Oregon, this blossom also had the experience of a playful childhood in Santa Monica and Irvine, eventually with a degree in Psychology from Arizona State University, and had the time of her life as a professional cheerleader for the Cardinals! Well rounded and spiritual, Andrea is an incredibly loving and present Mom, and avidly practices meditation for continual growth. The entire family is bubbling with activities, too… Newport Beach Junior Guards and breezy summer sailing, hip skateboarding and unusual Parkour, creative sewing and computer design classes. Of course, Mom and Dad need playtime as well… water and snow skiing, relaxing beach time, and beyond his continuing interest in automotive-related activities, Jeff just can’t stop fixing things.
Family travel still takes the cake with the Edwards, and they just adore the adventures together as they traverse what our amazing United States has to offer. Road trips are a favorite, because it’s a time when the family comes together to see new places, experience local foods, participate in great amounts of outdoor activities, watch the skyline unfold into different seasons, and absorb education and culture without even trying. Each trip is rich with laughter and memory-making, like the recent one last summer when their San Francisco destination was reached by driving through the incredible landscapes of Yosemite National Park. Then... returning home is like another paradise completely! Perched upon the crest of San Joaquin Hills Road and Newport Coast Drive, these coordinates provide the most beautiful setting, and Jeff smiles as he describes their abode. “For six years, we’ve lived in a hidden gem of a subdivision called St. Laurent. With approximately 60 homes, it is a small and intimate neighborhood where most neighbors know each other. We appreciate the tranquility of the quiet streets and expanse of the beautiful canyon and sunsets. Our neighborhood is peaceful and has a calm and relaxed vibe. We are blessed with friendly neighbors, and fortunate to live right across the street from the shopping center. There is real peace of mind for the kids, too, since there are few streets and it is a gated community.” Of course, the tranquility is also met with lively community collaborations, and the Edwards absolutely love the 4th of July Parade when local firemen roll through the streets with the fire truck. And, with activities to entertain all year, the fun includes Christmas caroling, Easter egg hunts and trick-or-treating for Halloween. “The kids love living in St. Laurent!,” Jeff beams.
As a family, the Edwards understand that it’s about the heart, no matter how hard you work or how many activities are going on. It’s important to contribute and have goals, but with a down-to-earth gratitude of life and acknowledgement that family is everything, Jeff says “What you have can’t be bought. We really are like the All-American Family!”