by LIZ ONUFER | photos by Soul of Photography


Almost 16 years ago, John and Cyndi Darlington settled into the North County lifestyle. They found the friendly and relaxed vibe in Encinitas a perfect fit. “Although it’s growing, it still feels like a small town,” Cyndi said. “You go out, you bump into people you know everywhere. And, of course, the beach. How can you not mention that?”

Though they both attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo at the same time, Cyndi and John didn’t meet until mutual friends introduced them in San Francisco. Cyndi was earning her MBA from University of San Francisco, and John was building his career in construction management. They are now celebrating 22 years of marriage.

Today, John puts his years of experience in residential and commercial construction to use as the VP of construction for Stellar Solar in Oceanside. Cyndi has built a long career in marketing. In her past position with Amtrak, Cyndi actually named the Pacific Surfliner train. Now, she is president of Darlington Marketing, specializing in restaurant and retail marketing. The company was recently named Small Business of the Year for Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath’s district and recognized in Sacramento for their work in helping small businesses succeed.

Parents: Cyndi and John Darlington
Children: Ella (15) and Trevor (12)
Community: Encinitas
Parents’ Hometowns: Cyndi – San Diego; John – Auburn, CA
Parents’ Occupations: Cyndi – President of Darlington Marketing; John – VP of Construction, Stellar Solar
Pet: Melly – yellow Lab
Favorite Local Spots: Self Realization Fellowship Meditation Garden, Mozy Café, Leucadia Farmers Market, Regal Seagull, Yoga Six, 9 Round, Ecke YMCA, Kotija Jr., Pandora Pizza, Lazy Acres Natural Market, Beacon’s Beach, Gordy’s Bakery, 101 Diner, Handel’s

The Darlington children are equally as active and involved in the community. Ella is a sophomore at San Dieguito Academy. She is a member of the Thespian Honor Society and performs in North Coast Rep productions. Ella also plays beach volleyball, participates in Girl Scouts, serves in the National Charity League, and works part-time at Shave Ice School Bus. Trevor, a seventh grader at Oak Crest Middle School, enjoys playing soccer for Encinitas Express, playing piano and chess, and hanging out at the beach. He also volunteers with Teen Volunteers in Action (TVIA).
Cyndi and John are strong supporters of their kids’ pursuits. John was part of the YMCA Adventure Guides Program with Ella, and Cyndi volunteers with Ella through the National Charity League. John also serves on the board for TVIA and enjoys organizing local service events with Trevor.

In their spare time, the Darlington family can often be found at the local beaches, but they also love to explore outside North County. A favorite hobby is visiting restaurants in new cities. “We eat out way too much, and I call it ‘part of my job,’” Cyndi joked. They also love international travel. “From visiting a village in Nicaragua to watching Euro Cup soccer in France, we are pretty adventurous with the places we take the kids.”