by KELLEY GUSICH | photo by Bob Ross

Coming Home

The Straza family bought their Rancho Santa Fe home in 2013. Husband Joey is a RSF native, and always wanted to get “back to the ranch” to live and raise a family. “We love Rancho Santa Fe because it is private but still feels like a community,” said wife Jamie. The two became friends in high school but, “I knew I was going to marry her the first time I met her,” Joey said. The family is very involved: daughter Julia is a junior at Cathedral Catholic High, and plays varsity tennis and is a part of the National Charity League (NCL). James is in seventh grade at Roger Rowe school and loves all sports. Older brother Jack served in Teens Volunteer in Action (TVIA), and James was excited to finally be able to join this organization with him. Jack is currently a freshman at University of Colorado at Boulder, enjoying his classes and campus life.


Meet the Strazas

Parent: Geosef (Joey) and Jamie Straza
Children: Jack (19), Julia (16), James (13)
Community: Rancho Santa Fe since 2014
Parents’ Hometowns: Joey – San Diego; Jamie – Chicago
Parents’ Occupations: Jamie Straza is an owner/operator of four McDonald’s restaurants in San Diego County. Joey Straza is CEO and president of VerTechs Enterprises, Inc.
Pets: We have two yellow Labs and the newest member of our family Wrigley, a Chocolate Lab. We figured when Jack went off to college, we might as well get a puppy!
Favorite Local Spots: Market, Thyme in the Ranch, the farmers market, RSF Club’s golf course and tennis courts


After an SDSU education, Joey continued the family legacy in the aerospace industry. The Strazas have been in the space business for decades – a part of every manned space mission since 1948. Joey founded VerTechs Enterprises in 2007. Jamie started her schooling at Hamburger University, a.k.a. McDonald’s training program. She became a manager at 17 and a franchisee early on, and also began serving dinners for Ronald McDonald House Charities. “I knew back then that this was an amazing organization that I wanted to support,” Jamie shared, “but it was when I became a mother that it really resonated with me in a bigger way.” The entire household takes part in volunteerism: Jamie is a member of the development committee, Julia worked closely with Ronald McDonald House on their annual gala, and Joey and Jamie were even asked to be honorary chairs of the 2018 ROMP Gala!


The Strazas say the most rewarding part is meeting families that stay at the House or use the House’s services. “To see the impact that experience has made on them and their families, and how they are so grateful for the House, makes it all worth it,” Jamie smiled. The family loves traveling to new places, skiing, movies, playing golf or tennis, going to concerts, and serving meals at the Ronald McDonald House. Despite everyone’s hectic and busy lives, they make it a point to have dinner together almost every night. “It’s not always easy but it’s a priority to both me and Joey,” Jamie said. “That time together as a family is priceless.”